LOCATION: SAUSALITO, CA. USA
Ever seen an engaging social media post from one of your favorite companies? As the Founder and CEO of Chipperfield Media, a digital marketing agency based in the San Francisco Bay Area, my primary focus is helping small and large businesses alike grow their social media presence through creative strategies. The visual story-telling available to brands online is still relatively underutilized as a means for reaching more customers, build community and generating brand awareness. Additional areas of expertise include email marketing and content development. For a full list of services and to check out our latest blog post, be sure to check out our website: www.chipperfieldmedia.com.
What is your proudest accomplishment so far when it comes to your business?
Aside from starting the business which is a huge accomplishment in itself, I think achieving growth has been recent accomplishment. When you start as a one women team balancing general business to-dos with client commitments and business growth is very challenging but seeing all that hard work start to pay off makes it all worth it!
What helped you get there? Was this accomplishment a clear goal or did it happen by chance?
I invested in a year long mastermind group with an amazing business coach which helped me build a very solid foundation for my business and to stay focused when there are a lot of shining objects to follow.
As a natural born planner, most aspects of my business are a direct result of clear goals and planning but a lot of our business development is relationship based. You never know who you are going to meet today who will refer business to you in the future or become a client a few months down the road – It’s happened multiple times!
Who/What inspires you?
Watching my dream of being a business owner become a reality keeps me inspired. Likewise, seeing other women following their dreams and hustle each and every day inspires and motivates me too.
How as being an entrepreneur affected your life? How did it change the way you think about life?
Life as an entrepreneur has affected my life in so many positive ways! Even though I am working more than I ever was for anyone else, I’m able to set my own schedule and work from anywhere. If I need to run errands in the middle of the day or jump on a plane to see my family, I can!
Do you believe that there is one specific formula for success? What does it mean to be a successful business owner?
I’ve never been one to believe in a formula for success, otherwise we would all be in the same place. I do however, believe constantly developing your skills to be great at what you do and staying true to who you are will take you far.
Being a successful business owner means getting knocked down or told no, a lot! No matter what, it is important to get back up and create perseverance which will get you closer to the success you desire. As a business owner we each get to define success on our own terms.
What does it mean to have competition/competitors? Do you compete/collaborate or just observe? What is the best practice to approach your competition?
I’ve always thought having competition is great because it means there is a market for what you do. I’m a firm believer in community over competition. I have even partnered with a few of my competitors and its been nothing but an amazing experience where we have learned a lot from one another. After all, we’re both trying to serve our clients as best we can.
Do you have hobbies? What are they? Is it important to take “time off” and focus on other things such as friends, family, hobbies etc.?
I’m a big proponent of taking time off. I’ve never been one of those people who thrives on working all the time. Even though I do work a lot, taking an afternoon off or not opening my laptop all weekend gives me renewed energy and focus. I try to take at least one trip a year which allows me to have a digital detox with no email, work or social media. The experiences I have when I turn off can lead to new ideas and inspiration for my business. And guess what? The world has yet to fall apart when I do turn off.
I don’t leave my house without… A pen and my Kate Spade notebook. I know I know, I run a digital marketing agency but I still love having a physical pen and paper in hand to write ideas and manage to-dos wherever I am.
People would say that I am… I’m a doer. If I say I’m going to do something I get it done without hesitation.
The most important aspect of any business is… Knowing your numbers. Always keep an eye on expenses and income. Understand exactly where you are now and where you want to go.
My favorite business book of all time is… There are so many! I recommend Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, Girl Code by Cara Alwill Leyba and #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso.
What is the scariest thing that happened to you while being an entrepreneur? How did you overcome it?
In the beginning, the scariest thing to happen to me as an entrepreneur was not making ends meet. It took time in the beginning to pay all my bills on time. The worry and stress was a burden but also a motivator. I’m very grateful for the people in my life who believed in me (maybe even more than I did) who helped sustain me in the beginning.
Is there one “rookie mistake” that new entrepreneurs keep on making? What is it? Did it happen to you?
Listening too much to other people. When you first start out EVERYONE has an opinion on what and how you should be doing some aspect of your business. Its ok to listen to ideas but always trust your gut and follow your own vision. Do what feels right to you.
What is failure?
Failure is not having something work out the way you had intended or planned. Once I came to terms with the fact that is a very natural part of building a business you begin to welcome failure because it shows you which direction to head in. But regardless of the form of failure, its important to acknowledge it, ask what you can learn from the situation and then keep going. Its how and when you get back on your feet which helps you overcome failure and welcome it when it happens.
Why do you think it is that women get less funding than men? What can we do to change that and close the gender gap?
I’ve read a number of studies and articles mentioned that women in the work place are paid less because we don’t ask. That is only one part of it but it might apply to the world of funding. We don’t ask enough. Alternatively, I think it to do more with the kinds of businesses we start. Because many women entrepreneurs have “soul” based businesses, meaning we start businesses based on our connection and service to others which doesn’t always translate to the traditional business model requiring “start-up” funding. I think there is a lack of resources and information on how to seek funding.
What is one thing you find to be true that most people would disagree with?
That if you put your mind to it, it will happen. Its great to have ideas, but without a step-by-step approach on how you plan to get there, don’t expect resources to magically show up.
What are some pros and cons of having (OR not having) entrepreneurial parents?
I’m not a parent myself but my Mom has always been an entrepreneur. I don’t think there are any more cons to being an entrepreneur. There might be more financial instability in the beginning but like any job, you never know just how secure it is. If anything, I think having an entrepreneurial parent shows you that even if you don’t take a traditional path i.e. Doctor, Lawyer, Teacher, you can still have an impact.