I left New Zealand when I was 18 to come to Australia on an adventure of a lifetime and landed in banking. That did not really suit me so I moved across to hospitality which I loved and then after 3 years of temping in every industry imaginable I ended up in the fast pace world of finance and loved it.
Eventually I ended up in communications and marketing for Westpac until I had my son Hunter and decided that the work life balance was not going to work for my personal lifestyle choices as a mother and left to go on another adventure discovering the world of entrepreneurialism.
Tell us about how your business came to be?
This is a long story, but the short version is… I attended a seminar lunch invitation teaching people how to create an online business. At the end of the lunch I had purchased $5,000 worth of websites and had absolutely no idea what to do next.
For the next 3 years I self-taught myself internet marketing and built several experiment businesses along the way until I fell in love with this new thing called social media back in early 2009. It just totally resonated with my marketing and communications background.
I started a business called Social Media Woman teaching women how to leverage their marketing using the power of social media. I created the first ever international online magazine for social media called Social Media Woman which was hugely successful. Within 8 months of launching I had a global brand speaking on the topic of Digital Leverage and Video Marketing on some of the biggest stages in the US and Australia.
2.5 years ago I joined forces with my marketing husband Steve Brossman to teach offline businesses how to leverage their marketing using video. And I continue to teach women entrepreneurs how to become Elite Entrepreneurs with online training programs at SheExperts.com and DigitalAuthorsAcademy.com.
Can you talk us through any obstacles that you have faced in building your company?
The biggest obstacle I have faced in growing my business is the same one I faced in the male dominated finance industry. Internet Marketing is a very male dominated industry so it has taken a long time for the women to break into this market. But since the Global Financial Crisis more and more women have started working from home to bring in some extra income and we have successfully changed the dynamics of the industry in the last 2 years, especially with the uptake of social media as a predominant marketing tool for entrepreneurs and small business.
Women are natural born networkers and love communicating and helping others. When social media launched onto the scene women started dominating the online space while most men retreated. This has opened up many more opportunities for lifestyle choices for women of all backgrounds, ages and education levels including me.
Was founding your own business something you always had on the career agenda?
Gosh no, I wish I had been this smart 20 years earlier. It was the birth of my son and the lifestyle choices I wanted as a mother that introduced me to my business. Plus the fact that my husband was an entrepreneur and I could not quite get used to the fact that while I was sitting in a suit in the office 40-50 hours per week, he was sitting in a pair of shorts at Balmoral Beach conducting his business meetings. Something did not quite add up and I decided his lifestyle was a lot better than mine and decided to jump ship from corporate to becoming my own boss and I have never looked back.
This lifestyle is not for everyone, but for us it has been the best decision we ever made.
Why do you want to inspire women to grow and improve their business?
Because everyone has an area of expertise that they can monetise on a global scale. The only thing holding them back is ignorance to the opportunities of what is now available to them and how to get started. I believe that women these days want more lifestyle choices and now the world has got smaller through technology, a whole new realm of working opportunities has opened for them.
So I like to teach women how to leverage that knowledge and expertise and create a business and lifestyle model that works for them. I do not believe there is a one size fits all and being an entrepreneur allows you to create a business model that fits in with your goals, aspirations, family needs and lifestyle choices.
I also believe in creating training and coaching programs that fit in with the different stages that women are at in their life. So if you can only learn from home then there are online training programs for you. If you love face to face workshops and love to travel then there are those programs available to you as well. I am all about helping Women become the best that they can be by creating learning opportunities for them to grow and invest in themselves to meet their own personal goals.
How has following this path shaped your life today?
Well 4 years ago I was living in a 3 bedroom unit with a little boy and my husband trying to grow a new business with hopes and dreams of success like everyone else. These days I live in a 6 bedroom home with a tennis court and swimming pool overlooking the ocean in beautiful Mosman. I work from home with my husband and travel the world speaking, shopping and making new friends that I meet through my work and online communities.
To say it is surreal is probably an understatement but it is a lifestyle choice that I wanted for my family and one that I have achieved in a very short period of time.
Has it been easy? I would have to say not really. Being an entrepreneur is hard work and you do have many ups and downs along the way but, the rewards far outweigh the difficult times and I would not change it for the world.
I tell my clients that life is a choice and you just have to choose what works for you. Then create a model that will achieve that lifestyle choice and then just get out there and go for it.
What does it mean to you to own your own company?
Wow, looking back now I have to say I am very proud of my achievements. When I was working in the male dominated world of finance I remember one of my managers saying to me one day. “Pam you should just get married, have children and settle down, that is all that women are really good for anyway”.
Then I look at what I have accomplished since that conversation so many years ago and just smile thinking to myself if only he could see me now.
Taking an idea and turning it into your own successful business would have to be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. It is hard work and yes you have to pick yourself up many times when things don’t go to plan, but if you hang in there and stick to the vision eventually you get there and it is SO WORTH IT.
Plus, being able to make my own choices as to when I can be with my son without being accountable to others was very important to me. Being able to make mistakes and learn from them without fear of being sacked. To be able to run with an idea without being told there is no budget for it. Or just get up and take a cruise around the world at short notice with 100 other entrepreneurs just because I want to, has been so liberating to say the least.
Owning my own company I can now see was something I was born to do and it has allowed me to instil strong values in my son who is a huge part of our business life. He thinks like an entrepreneur, he believes that anything is possible and that you just have to work hard, treat people with respect, give back to those less fortunate and help others to succeed. Yes, watch out world there is another entrepreneur on its way ready to make a difference and I am excited to be his Mum.
What advice would you give to any of our readers who dream of starting up their own business but just don’t know where to begin?
Success leaves clues. You do not have to reinvent the wheel. Go and research the successful people in the area you want to launch your business. You want to research who has the same expertise as you and ask yourself how they are successfully leveraging that expertise…
- Are they running workshops?
- Are they doing public speaking?
- Do they have online training programs?
- Do they have a book on Amazon [self-publishing is becoming huge on Amazon]?
- What products or services are they selling?
- What is attracting people to them and where are they hanging out online?
- Do they have a following on social media?
- What are they marketing?
- Do you think you could you do something similar?
- What could you do better?
- What could you do differently to stand out?
If there are successful people making money from an area of expertise that you already have then there is a market for it. You just have to do things a little differently and add the ‘YOU’ factor to your business. Don’t worry about competing, people cannot compete on personality. There is only one YOU.
Then once you have done your market research make a list of things that you either need to learn or outsource and get done for you, to get your business started.
The more you invest in your education the faster you will get to the top. You are worth the investment. Those who try and learn for free get ‘free results’. So if you want to succeed invest in learning from those who are already there and can show you how to get to where you want to go faster.
Once I figured out that I was worth investing in myself, I have never looked back.
If you want to learn from key leaders who are implementing very successful business models into their business creating high 6-7 figure businesses online grab my new book Marketing for She Experts on Amazon.
What has been the most profound thing you have learnt to date in your career?
Standing out is the most important thing in your business. The more you help people get to where they want to go, the more they will take you with them.
This is what my mentor told me a few years back …it is not who you know but who knows you .
He told me that you could be the smartest person in your industry but if people do not know you exist then it will be of no benefit to your business.
So we have spent the last 3 years ‘standing out’ and helping our clients and students do the same. And yes my mentor was right! Success is determined by your ability to market YOU, your knowledge, your expertise and your products and services to your desired target market and stand out against your competitors using your own ‘Wow Factor’.
How would you best describe your investment style in three words?
Strategic, Daring, Global.