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Love, A Sometimes Crazy Social Media Entrepreneur

crazy-social-media-entrepreneur

Here’s my feeble attempt to tell you what it’s like to be a social media entrepreneur.

Startups are hard; I’m about to be in my 5th year of business and I still struggle daily.

Even at my best, I am being chased by my worst.

If you own a business, work for a business owner, or employ a business through outsourcing, here’s a peep show you probably can’t unsee.

crazy-social-media-entrepreneur

As 2016 comes to a close, I felt like shouting from the mountaintops about B Squared Media, our team, our success, and most importantly, those who helped me get here.

This year in a nutshell? Totally cray.

As I watched my little baby go from crawling to beginning to walk, there were too many people to thank — past and present.

So, here it goes. From my crazy social media entrepreneur mind to a timestamp on our blog.

Here’s what I often failed to say in words the past 365 days or so …

To My Friends & Family

For the past five years, you have watched me cry, break out in hives, and give my entire waking life to being a social media entrepreneur and making B Squared Media work.

You’ve been robbed of precious time, much-needed advice, and laughter.

You’ve supported me, told me to slow down, worried, and have been angry (secretly or outwardly) with me.

You should know that your support keeps me going in the lowest of times, and your hug is fuel when my give-a-shit is totally destroyed.

One of the things that made it extra hard was doing it financially on my own. No loans. No investors. No debt.

B Squared Media got started with a wad of cash from selling the Jeep I drove for 10 plus years and solid lead from my dad (thanks, DAD!).

I don’t know how long it takes to prove or disprove success for most social media entrepreneurs, but five years in and I’m just now seeing the fruits of my labor pay off!

We grew 238% this year. Don’t get too excited … our expenses grew by nearly 200%!

To my mentors (you know who you are), who also happen to be crazy social media and marketing entrepreneurs: You. Are. Amazing. And I can’t thank you enough.

Thank you, friends and family, for helping me do something I truly love to do … being a social media entrepreneur totally completes me.

To My Co-Workers (Past, Present, Future)

I call you co-workers and don’t say, “MY team” because I view you all as equals.

Whether it shows or not, I spend an unhealthy amount of time trying to be your friend and not your boss. I truly care about the B² Crew.

Sometimes this actually hurts our progress because being liked and being respected are two different things.

When you mess up, it hurts. When I mess up, it feels like my heart is being carved out with the earth’s tiniest spoon … and the spoon is made of salt. (Remember that time I deleted an entire Basecamp?!)

As we scale — and trust me, without each and every one of you, past and present, we would not be where we are today — I have to look harder at processes and people.

Remember that I’ve done every job I’m asking you to do and more. I’ve brought in every sale or cultivated the relationship that referred business to our team.

Yes, I even worked 7 days a week … for years. So I know how much it means for you to give up those weekends!

I’ve fought tirelessly (with my own husband!) to offer you raises or bonuses and show you — not just tell you — how much you’re worth.

I go to bat for you every day. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, I’m trying to make this company and your job into a real, bonafide place to work.

Being a social media entrepreneur is kinda like juggling a chainsaw, a banana, a live rabbit, and an egg — all while balancing a piano on your head.

I do realize what you’ve done for me/us/B Squared. Which is why you will always be my equals and not my employees.

I appreciate you!

To Our Clients (Past, Present, Future)

I love working with so many of you and am proud to call many of you friends.

I’ve always tried to learn from my/our mistakes. We’ve improved so many things thanks to your candid feedback.

No matter how you choose to deliver your criticism, I very much appreciate the chance to hear it. Seriously. ALWAYS.

I hope you know we never intentionally mess up.

Choosing to go with a startup, or boutique as we call ourselves in the pitch deck, means you get to be the guinea pig from time-to-time.

It means people come and go, processes and workflows change improve, and we’re not as agile as we’d like to be. Sometimes we are moving faster than our little fingers can type!

Which is where errors come in. :-/

Even when we nail down a solid strategy, people have to execute the processes and tactics, and people are always a variable.

I can’t (and don’t wish to) “control” my co-workers anymore than I can control continuous “evil” Facebook updates. We’re human.

We make mistakes, and admittedly, the team doesn’t always give 1000% (which hurts me more than it hurts you, trust me!).

Oh, and when you celebrate with us, elevate us, or compliment us at all, it TOTALLY makes our day.

We delight in pleasing you. We adore serving you. Your success is the only way we’re successful; we’re your NUMBER ONE FAN.

I’m indebted to all of you, past, present and future. Thank you for betting on B Squared and allowing me to continue to shine as a social media entrepreneur. 

To Myself

You need to slow down. You need to spend more time with loved ones — especially the ones who don’t have a ton of time left on this planet.

Celebrate the wins more. Let go of the losses.

Stop worrying about being liked. Fire people and don’t cry about it (I have yet to do this).

Remember that making $20 and more an hour while sitting at home in your PJs is a job that MANY people would love to have; leverage that (without being a bitchy boss. Because, ew.)

Set more boundaries. Ask more questions.

Ignore the haters. Ignore imposter syndrome.

Take stock. Write thank you notes. Remember to uplift someone every day.

Set up quarterly check-ins and don’t miss a single one. Make it personal. Think conversation. Surprise and delight.

Define what success means for you. Not B Squared Media and not as a social media entrepreneur. Not for the team. Just. For. You.

Remember, you don’t have anything to prove. You’ve already done that. In a big way.

To Crazy Social Media Entrepreneurs (& Our Readers)

Multiply these thoughts by a million and that’s a little taste of what it’s like to live inside my head every day.

It’s likely a small glimpse at how social media entrepreneurs are handling our constantly changing work environment while juggling our personal lives and feelings. (Am I right?!)

And B Squared Media is just a tiny, little guy. Imagine the pressures big brand CEOs must face.

Or social media entrepreneurs who deal with all of the above, plus have KIDS!

At the end of the day, when we’re stripped of #HumbleBrags, titles, labels, and stereotypes, we’re all just left feeling that same feeling of wanting to make some kind of difference.

I’m sure I sound crazy at times. And I am. I’ll wear that badge proudly because the crazy ones are the ones who will change the world.

If you’re a social media entrepreneur or work for one, and want to leave your love letter to the world, please do so in our comments section below! (Because crazy should always stick together) 😉

 

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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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Category: B Squared Media, Best of B Squared, Social Business, Social Media Professionals
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6 Comments. Leave new

  • Avatar
    April Heavens-Woodcock
    December 14, 2016 2:57 PM

    Brooke, It has been amazing to watch you grow your business! What a great love letter and I especially love the reminder to yourself ( do not forget that part!). I am in my 10th year and I learn and grow daily. I am thankful for like-minded peeps such as yourself who I get to call a friend! Congratulations on a HUGE milestone! Keep on be amazing, the world needs more souls like you! Happy Holidays! xxx

    Reply
    • Thank you so much, April! I can’t even pretend to imagine what 10 years is like … hopefully, you get more sleep! LOL. And, you’re wise in saying not to forget ME. I put myself last which I really want to change now that we’re in a different place. I am so thankful for my SMM mentors (you and Mandy, Mark, Michael … I can go on and on) and am SO glad to know all of you. Happy Holidays! xoxo

      Reply
  • Congrats on your success this year Brooke!! I’m so proud to call you friend and watch as your baby has grown! While my biz isn’t as large-scale (I primarily work with smaller businesses), I could copy what you wrote plus add a whole section dedicated to my daughters!

    Reply
    • Thanks, friend! I’m proud as well. And tired. Really, REALLY tired. Haha! It’s funny you say you’re not large scale because I *totally* see you as that way. Perspective!
      And yes, I actually did have you specifically in mind (and Jenn Herman) thinking about doing this AND having kids. How you get anything done is an absolute miracle! Thank you again!!

      Reply
  • Amazing love letter, from the heart and with SO MUCH TRUTH! You are amazing Brooke. Keep the fight and keep the love and joy and song in your heart. You’ve got this!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Jamie! You know how much I love the #RealTalk. I so enjoyed getting to know you more during our weeklong work/play trip, and I’m VERY excited about all of the business we’re going to do together in 2017. Bring it!! (You always do … in such an authentic way) 🙂

      Reply

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