by: We Rise & Shine
There's a new boss in town and her mission is to show women how to use their passion and skills to generate an income that will allow them the flexibility to do what they love. Vanessa Parker, known to many as The PinkBoss, began her entrepreneurial journey over a decade ago, and her experience building and starting all over again has equipped her with the knowledge to help women successfully navigate the waters of entrepreneurship. Find out how Vanessa is inspiring women to transform their ideas into a sustainable business.
PinkBoss is described as an online resource for female entrepreneurs. What services do you provide to help women meet their goals and pursue their vision of being a business owner?
We offer digital products, events and workshops to help women start and grow businesses.
What are some of the most common misconceptions about entrepreneurship?
- Having to wait until you have enough money to start your business. Technology advancements allow you to bootstrap your business with little start up cost.
- You have to quit your job to start a business. I think being a full time entrepreneur it awesome for some people but it is not for everyone. Starting a business while you are still employed allows you to test the waters with a safety net. It gives you time to work on price strategy and building a solid foundation for your business. If you are ready to take the leap then you can build your client base before you leap.
- Entrepreneurship gives you more freedom. Yes as a business owner you run the ship, but you are at the mercy of your customers and vendors you need to run a successful business. You also spend more hours building a business. Do not go into entrepreneurship thinking you are going to take weeklong breaks.
- You need more than a good idea or product to build a business. You also need systems in place, great customer services, great bookkeeping and a list of other things. Even if you are new to business do your research about your industry and basic startup fundamentals.
What is most rewarding to you about having your own business?
I love helping and empowering women. I love being a resource for women to thrive and succeed. I also love the idea of growing something and seeing it become successful with just an idea I had.
What would say are the three most important traits an entrepreneur needs to be successful?
- Friendly/People Person
- Ability to adjust
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am proud to build a brand that has helped women. I have spoken to many different groups of women and each time I feel rewarded that my advice and resources can help others. I am also proud to work with my husband. We currently own and operate another business that we license out, giving our licensees an opportunity to build a business of his or their own.
What was the biggest challenge you faced as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome it?
Capital. I did not have a nest egg of money to start my business. I started when I was laid off and a little of my 401k money that I had left. I over came it by hitting the pavement. I networked, spoke at events for free and built lasting relationships that helped me grow my business over time.
How do you balance your family life with being an entrepreneur?
I am not perfect at this but I try to be present when I am with my family and not checking my phone or my laptop every 5 minutes. We make our family apart of our businesses so we try to blend both when we can. I don’t believe there is a thing called work, life balance. Some days I am killing it with the business but I may be missing a football practice or I am helping my kids with homework and forget to send an email to a client. I just try to be the best at what I can when I am doing it.
What are your top 5 book (s) and or resources that would you recommend for aspiring entrepreneurs?
My top books that I always recommend for aspiring entrepreneurs is:
- Boss Women Pray by 31 Prayers to Increase Your Success & Spirit by Kachelle Kelly. I still read this book everyday. This book has helped me through some tough decisions and times in my business.
- 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris This book allowed me to think outside the box for outsourcing help for my business.
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. A classic but great read. This book has a ton of tips and business philosophies that any business could use.
- Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois Frankel. This book is more career focused but it is a great read for female entrepreneurs. This book breaks down a few misconceptions of being a assertive and being a leader as a woman.
- The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau. This book gives great examples of businesses that started with little start up money. Great read and reminder that understanding your target market is a major key to success.
What is the most important decision you made that helped you become the Boss you are today?
To be okay with failure and press forward when I want to give up. I gave up trying to be perfect. I am the Boss I am today because I am clear on who I am and what strengthens I can provide for women. I will always be learning and growing as an entrepreneur.
If you could start a business with anyone you choose, who would it be and why?
Barbara Corcoran. I love her and my ultimate goal is to become a venture capitalist one day. I am not sure what the business would be but I would love to work with her.
What have you learned about yourself since starting your entrepreneurial journey?
There are so many lessons I could write a book. A few lessons are:
A. I am a procrastinator. I use to be a go-getter when I was much younger. As I have gotten older and added kids to the mix I have become a procrastinator. This is not the best trait for an entrepreneur so I work hard to make sure I don’t drop the ball and have a team in place to keep me accountable.
B. Working with my spouse is both challenging and rewarding. We have learned over the years how to balance each other and maximize our strengthens and talents.
C. I am stronger than I thought. Life has thrown me a few curve balls. I have learned that I am strong and I always bounce back.