Guest Contributions

Inspiring Small Business Lessons from NThreeQ Media

“Never, Never, Never Quit.” - Winston Churchill

I started my company in 2007 as a fresh 24-year-old MBA graduate who was undergoing thyroid testing for cancer. After the surgery proved that the growth was benign, I started thinking that at 24, my world could have easily and quickly changed – drastically.

I began moonlighting for about eight months before I had to make the choice to take the leap or stay in the corporate world. Thus, I jumped and started my company – NThreeQ Media.

My dad indirectly named my company – he wrote to me in a card once to, “Always remember N3Q.” Winston Churchill’s quote – “Never, Never, Never Quit.”

I am four years in the making; half a thyroid trying, woman entrepreneur who has successfully built a company that has had a steady upward growth. I have learned many lessons along the way and have kept a blog about all of the knowledge I have gained through valuable experience. Here is a recap of some of my most personal and valuable lessons:

In business, no one gets off scot-free

Rather than reflecting on the here and the now, focus more on opportunities and possibilities - truly change the way you think. Every time there is a negative or something that is difficult that comes up in business, I just focus more on the opportunities and possibilities that lie ahead.

Fight, fight and fight some more for balance

Work is number one. Clients are number one. Sleep and everything else is second. Fight for work/life balance and still take time for you, friends, family and animals. It is important to recharge – you aren’t any good to anyone if you are tired and stressed. I took my first vacation after 10 years – don’t wait that long.

Listen to all, and then evaluate to determine the best 

Everyone has an opinion of how you should do things, what you are doing wrong, how you need to change, etc. I listen to one person in my life about business – my dad. He is my business advisor and the person that ultimately has my best interest in mind and nothing else.

There is seldom separation between business and personal

For a few months in 2010, nothing went right; between business and personal, I needed one thing to go right and it was just not going to happen. I found myself at a crossroads with a decision to make – push through or walk away. I've built a business on compassion where I put myself in my client’s shoes and walk their road to find a sensible solution. I hadn’t ever let my clients know what goes on in my life, but it was a hard few months and I could no longer push it aside. When I finally broke and told my clients what was going on, all understood and all were there for me. If I had just done that in the beginning it would have saved a lot of stress later on.

Doing business with friends

I learned that having a stronger plan, contract and understanding when you are working with friends is a necessity. Drawing solid lines and outlining expectations in writing will save the project and the friendship

Here are some other tidbits that have helped me in business:

Chase Bank – They love small businesses; their benefits and people are amazing and everything is cost effective.

Google Apps – It is an amazing item when dealing with emails and connecting people all over the place.

Postling – Best social media consolidation. We all have to do it, but do we have to log in to every single account? No more, send posts and blogs from one dashboard, schedule them for later and track visits and comments.

Mavenlink – Part of the Google Apps Marketplace, this solution is cost effective for project management all the while looking professional to your clients.

I hope that some of this information helps, I have learned many of things along the way some good, some not-so-good, but always necessary. At the end of the day, I do the only thing I can: order Chinese food and hope for a good fortune cookie.

To success!