The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.
I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.
- Can you please tell everyone your name?
2. Tell us about your business and what you do?
I am the owner of Goodwin Group PR, a public relations company I started in 2001. We represent a wide range of clients from professional athletes to professional service companies and everything in between!
3. Why did you want to become an entrepreneur?
I became an entrepreneur by accident! I was working for Edelman, one of the world’s largest global public relations companies as a vice president when 9/11 happened. The aftermath of that tragedy and the economic downturn led to CEO Richard Edelman closing some of the smaller Edelman offices and Boston was among them. At the time I was pregnant with my youngest son who is now 16. Richard told me that he would never reopen Edelman in Boston and if I wanted to take some of the clients I’d won, I should start my consultancy. Before that happened, I never thought about working for myself but took the plunge. I started with one computer and a phone in an upstairs bedroom at my house. I now have seven employees, ten consultants, and a real, grown-up office!
4. What are the challenging aspects of running a business?
The biggest challenge is that no one teaches you to be a CEO. You start a business because you have a skill in a particular field. I love public relations, event planning, and crisis work but I did not embrace the role as a company CEO until many years into the business. I eventually realized that my job had to change if I was going to get to that next level of success and although I still do some strategic PR for our clients, I spend more time on the structure of the company, strategic planning and troubleshooting to help our team succeed.
5. What do you love most about your job?
The people I work with — my team and my clients. I always tell my staff if you’re not happy about coming to work, that’s a problem that needs to be fixed! You spend so much time working that it should be a place you enjoy coming to — at least most of the time!
6. How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We run a high-pressure business, so we subscribe to the “work hard, play hard” mantra. We schedule monthly team outings — a spin class that nearly killed me; dinners, fun tours of places we haven’t been — we did a comedy improv show, and everyone gets one professional development conference/opportunity a year where they can choose to hone their professional skills.
One of our clients is a practical joker, and we have a lot of fun being pranked and orchestrating pranks on him — all in good fun!
7. What would one piece of advice that you give to a new business owner?
Understand you don’t have all the answers and get the help or guidance you need. As entrepreneurs, we sometimes think that we have to do it all, but that’s not a plan for long-term success. I joined a group six years ago called Vistage, for high performing CEOs and it was the best investment I ever made. My business grew exponentially because I learned how to really run a company and was surrounded by peers who weren’t afraid to tell me what I was doing wrong — and believe me, the list was long. Never stop learning and improving!
Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web: