Running a small business is not for the faint at heart. Who can agree with me that running a small business is like being on a never-ending rollercoaster ride? One minute you’re cruising at a level pace, the next you’re at the highest of highs and then all of a sudden something happens and you feel like you are falling fast. Please tell me that it’s not just me that feels that way. Now, I know some times are better than others and it’s great when we get to a point where we are cruising at that level pace for a long time but even if your business is doing great you know that at any time things could change and even the little hiccups sometimes feel like you are crashing to the bottom. The thing is though, we stick with it, right? There has to be a reason behind the long hours, the stress, the decisions, the learning curve, the growing pains, and all the other craziness that small business owners endure. If it was just all about the money, it wouldn’t be worth it – we could go work for someone else and make a decent living, right? So, what is it? What’s your biz story? What is your why?
I thought it would be fun to share my “why” as well as a few other awesome small business owners that have an amazing “why” as well. If you missed my story, check it out here and also be sure to check out Trena’s, Tracy’s, and Ashlyn’s stories as well. Today, I’m super excited to introduce Shay Brown to you as she shares her story.
Feel free to comment here or share your story on social media as well, and tag us and use the hashtag #whatsyourbizstory
What motivated you to start your business?
When we first started out building a service-based online business, offering services from graphic design, website design to operations business management we also began to travel the world. We’re best friends who met in Mexico at a little cafe, just at the beginning of building those service-based businesses. As we set off to travel the world we noticed there weren’t very many other young women entrepreneurs working online and traveling like us. The women we did meet on the road were always asking us how we did it, how did we work online and travel the world. We’d always sit down over coffee and explain everything we did to get started, launch and grow an online business and how to manage it while traveling the world. This lead us to the idea of starting an online community where we could connect with other like-minded women. From there as our community grew we decided the only way we could reach all these women around the world to essentially sit down over coffee and teach them how to build an online business that gave them the freedom to work from anywhere would be through an online course. This is how we decided to team up as The Bucketlist Bombshells and launch our first course, our signature course, The Work Online and Travel the World Course. We’ve now grown this international online community to over 70,000 women spanning 50+ countries and over 5,000 (and counting) students enrolled in our collection of courses referred to as The BB Academy.
How does your business look different today than when it first started?
Bucketlist Bombshells started off with just one course which we would open for enrollment once a year in the summer. This was our passion project and a side business while we were still running our successful service-based businesses full-time. There came a tipping point when our community grew so large and we started realizing we were so much more passionate about growing Bucketlist Bombshells into something bigger. From there we started to develop and launch more courses and eventually, we closed our service-based businesses and went full steam ahead with our attention 100% devoted to our Bucketlist Bombshells community. From there we were able to create more courses, resources, host in-person meetups, create our giving back program and really develop a place where someone can come to find like-minded women and gain the skills and support they need to become their own boss.
What is the hardest part of running your small business?
The growing pains of expanding our team. As the COO of Bucketlist Bombshells, I’m in charge of finding new team members, on-boarding them and training them to be leaders within our company. As we grow bigger and create new amazing products and services for our community we inevitably need to bring on more amazing team members to help us offer that above and beyond quality and customer service we built the foundation of this business on. I absolutely love finding that diamond in the rough who joins our team and is so invested in our mission and brings their own unique skills to the table. I only say this is the hardest part because it’s really made me have to grow in my own leadership abilities to learn to understand that not everyone is motivated by the same thing or communicates the same way. It has been such an interesting experience and I admit tough at times to build, manage and lead an ever-expanding, completely remote team.
What motivates you to keep your business going even when it gets tough?
Hearing the success stories from our community. Every week we feature a new successful student and this brings me so much joy I always keep these open to remind me when things are tough, why I started this company. Plus inside our private Facebook communities, women are sharing their wins every day and supporting each other when things get tough too – this also keeps me motivated and focused on creating an even better community for them.
What is one piece of advice you’d give a new business owner?
It might take a little longer to get to where you want to be, but it’s the entrepreneurs who believe so strongly in themselves and that they’ll reach their goals no matter what, even in the face of obstacles, who are the ones who have the greatest success. Also, noting that success looks different to everyone and it’s important that you define what that is for you, with no outside input, and remember to remind yourself of why you started your company in the first place.
If you would like to learn more about Shay and what she does, check out her cute website here!