DIY Careers: Lessons on Entrepreneurship & Small Biz – Annie Scranton

Ever want to start your own business? Be your own boss? Conquer the world? Well, at FindSpark’s Find & Follow Your Passion conference at NYU, attendees took in a day of panels, networking, and all-round awesomeness. Three entrepreneurs – Torsten Gross, Founding Partner at Partners and Partners, Kate Levenstien, Founder and President of Cannonball Productions, and Annie Scranton, Founder and President of Pace Public Relations – shared their insights into entrepreneurship at the DIY Careers: Lessons on Entrepreneurship & Small Biz panel discussion. Here are some takeaways from Annie’s talk. 1888747_646202805427781_336018882356754180_n Do something no one else can do or do it better…chances are you’ll get paid for it Annie scored $500 by getting a publicist’s client booked for an CNBC interview using her old TV connections, and spun that into her own PR business where, you guessed it, places people on TV. Her calling card is that she’s can get people on TV faster than anyone else. As business grow in scale they will face a variety of problems with a limited set of resources to solve them. For some problems, the cost of them paying someone externally to solve them is much cheaper than paying someone internally. If you want to start your own business, start by developing a skill set that businesses need to outsource to. Be conservative when starting Annie’s business started as a side project that she worked while she was working full-time. During that time she was able to live off a regular paycheck from her full-time job, which gave her the flexibility to experiment to figure out what worked and what didn’t without stress of having to support herself off her business. The more conservative you are in your business operations in the beginning, the less risk you take in it failing. Remember businesses fail way more often than they succeed, in the beginning your goal should be to establish yourself and not fail. One good benchmark to gauge your success is having a positive cash flow. Which means after a set period to time, say a month, the amount of cash that went into your business was greater than the amount of cash that went out of your business. Having a healthy positive cash flow for extended period of time is a sign your business is trending up and can sustain itself on its own. How do you view the world? Lastly, if you are unsure just what your trade is, or what skills you should develop you could ask yourself how you view the world. Annie views the world like a TV Producer, dissecting things as opportunities to promote brands, people, or messages over the airwaves. How do you view the world? Do you break things down and try to understand them like an engineer? Do you look at the world like a blank canvas to create whatever you want like an artist? Do you see people and opportunities that need introductions like a salesman? Chances are you already display the characteristics necessary to be successful at a trade. Its up to you to find it.  

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