Women Making Moves Interviews Melissa McGraw
Melissa McGraw is a 20 year old New York-based veteran of the fashion and consumer goods industry. She’s collaborated with iconic fashion houses such as Calvin Klein, Cynthia Rowley, and Nicole Miller. She’s partnered with Gwen Stefani to launch Harajuku Lovers and L.A.M.B. and was instrumental in developing Joes Jeans and Rocawear into the multi-national, billion dollar businesses that they are today. Melissa is the founder of The Creative Potential as the go-to resource for creative entrepreneurs to learn how to build their online business with passion and profit.
Where are you based?
Thank you for agreeing to do the interview for Women Making Moves. First let me say, for a 20 year old women you have achieved great successes! It’ s extremely encouraging for someone your age doing great things in business.
What made you want to start your own business?
I knew entrepreneurship would always be a part of my life! As I climbed the corporate ladder in my fashion career, I realized that I was building someone else’s dream and making them a lot of money in the process. I had to do something on my own. I wanted to utilize the skills I learned in the fashion and consumer goods industry and help others trying to launch their own products or services.
I am passionate about fueling the pipeline of new talent and motivated by the idea that everyone has immense potential that deserves to be unleashed. For my entire career, I have assisted all sizes of organizations - creative entrepreneurs and small business owners, in successfully launching their businesses online with passion and profit.
What do you enjoy most about your business?
I love teaching other entrepreneurs and small business owners what it takes to launch their own business. I enjoy the tech side of the business –which is not necessarily fun but necessary when launching and growing a profitable business online and offline.
What were the struggles you went through when starting your business?
There is so much to do in your business that the first instinct is to give up because you simply can’t find time in the day to get everything done! My biggest struggle in my business now was trying to determine what my audience and clients needed and how I could help them. Like other entrepreneurs, I often got caught up in imposter syndrome worrying that others might not think I was qualified or good enough. I learned that everyone has a unique talent or skill that they can offer others!
Can you tell us about a recent personal achievement?
I taught myself how to create webinars, facebook ads, and an online course in just one month. It is not easy as you think it might be! I learned the side of selling an
online course and the marketing that goes behind it. I was just so thrilled when students enrolled in the course. It felt like all of the hard work was paying off!
How do you switch off from distractions?
It is hard not have shiny object syndrome and being overwhelmed by all of the great ideas you might have or even what you should be doing. I just keep my mind on the long term goal. I also have a very supportive husband who reminds me that you don’t have to work 15 hours days to show you are productive you just need to manage your time more efficiently!
When launching your business did you receive any loans or investment?
I self-financed my business through hard work and long hours. This was achieved through both savings and working part time/full time.
Are there any mistakes you made in business and wished you could turn back?
I launched my very first website in 2009 without a plan. I spent way too much on a web designer without having a clear vision of my business model. It was a very costly mistake but I learned so much from that experience!
Many people reading your story will be inspired to start their own online business platform. What advice would you give them?
Starting your own business requires you to devote countless hours to launch it properly. It is not a 9-5 job. It can be overwhelming for sure but the reward of building something on your own outweighs all of the bad. I would focus on what you feel you are good at and outsource those tasks that really stress you out. For example, I outsourced most of my graphics to a graphic designer so it wouldn’t take me hours to create one graphic. I can then focus on other tasks in my business.
Best advice you were given when you started your business?
Drown out the background noise. There will always be competition but you know what makes you truly unique!
Is there anyone that inspires you in business?
I am a huge fan of Gary Vaynerchuk! Gary Vaynerchuk says it like it is. There is no nonsense. No fluff. Just how you can take action. I like trying to fix things that are not working in my business and create results.
Describe your personality in business?
I am a Type A personality so I don’t give up too easily. I keep moving forward.
From the Lenique Louis collection, what's favourite jewellery piece and why?
I love the round reef Rose Gold stud earrings. They are simple and elegant and go with everything! I can see myself wearing these sweet earrings with my little black dress. Such a classic look that never goes out of style!
What's next for you in 2017, what can we look forward to seeing?
I just launched my new updated website! The Creative Potential teaches creative entrepreneurs and small business owners the fundamental business strategies to grow their online business. It's time to take action. Build an online business that brings your passion and profit!
How can we connect with you?
My website: http://thecreativepotential.com
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