Wendy Webb is the Director of Marketing and Business Development for Jowen Enterprises, a company that builds customizable, PERSONALLY BRANDED marketing systems that allow business owners to generate more leads and produce income from day one online.
After years of “exploratory” career paths that yielded good salaries, but limited freedom with respect to her time, Wendy partnered with Jowen Enterprises to pursue her own business and develop her own consulting division of the company: “Ask Wendy Webb.”
She recently took some time to talk about her company, her success as a Zamzuu representative and her thoughts on what it takes to make it in business today with BusinessOpportunity.com’s Entrepreneur Exchange:
How does someone know if they have what it takes to own their own business?
The deciding factor that delineates between the haves and the have-nots on this issue is that the haves possess the desire, determination and dedication to stay the course and pay the price to achieve a worthy goal. They’re willing to make the necessary investment of time, effort and money that, in the end, makes all the difference between being an armchair quarterback or a 6- and 7-figure player on the field.
Tell us a bit about how you made the decision and why…
After attaining my education and working in a diverse collection of careers, I realized that the lifestyle of trading hours for dollars not only did not make sense, but would forever hold me hostage to building someone else’s dream. Years of working demonstrated to me that there was no “safety” in allowing others to dictate my earning potential. I decided that if I was going to spend my time building a dream, the dream was going to be my own.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in your first six months in business? How did you meet that challenge?
The biggest challenge for me was finding genuine mentors who could teach me how to succeed on my own. Everyone had loads of advice, but ironically, no one had any results to back it up! I already knew that actions speak louder than words, so I continued to sift through the 98-percenters in an effort to find that 2% who were qualified to teach me what I needed to know in order to succeed.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing business owners today and why?
In my opinion, the greatest challenge facing business owners today is information overload. Everybody is trying to sell something and elevate their credibility at any cost. Buying into the different programs and experimenting with hundreds of strategies can quickly send the aspiring business owner out of business. There is no faster way to kill a vision than trying out anything and everything.
Any suggestions for how to address those challenges?
First, new business owners need to find a results-producing mentor and model that person’s behavior. Assess your potential mentor’s lifestyle and mode of operation and discern whether or not it is the lifestyle you want. Remember that only about 2% of the population is qualified to give you advice. Before investing your life’s savings or borrowing from your 401K, find a mentor who will work with you in drawing up a business AND marketing plan on paper so that you will have clarity prior to implementation.
What is the single strongest piece of advice you would have for someone just starting out in business for themselves?
Remain committed to your ultimate goal. The going will be rough in the beginning, but give yourself an appropriate amount of time before giving up and running back to the façade of a safe haven in a 9 to 5. Most people give up in the first few months when they do not see the results they expected. Success usually does not come overnight. Therefore, give yourself a minimum of 12 months before calling it quits.
What would you say is the one thing that new business owners forget about or overlook when they’re just planning/starting out?
Budgeting. I can’t emphasize this enough. You will quickly run out of capital trying every new-fangled tactic out there. You must set a realistic budget for marketing, inventory or whatever you will need. Anticipate running your business on this budget without the consideration of incoming revenue. This way, you will be prepared to endure most any scenario.
What marketing strategies have you found to be most successful in growing your business?
I have found that using affiliate marketing tools such as My Lead System Pro (MLSP) have been invaluable in providing not only guidance from “legitimate” mentors, but offer a structured, step-by-step training program that even the most novice of entrepreneurs can easily follow. MLSPalso provides a supportive community of like-minded business owners for consultation 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week.
What is it about the business/industry you are in that made it so attractive to you?
For me, the most influential benefit of the network marketing industry is the fact that it is merit-based. Your income is relative to the amount of effort you put in. You have complete control over your earning potential and company position. There is no nepotism, unionization, horizontal violence, and there are no fickle or fearful managers or unjust annual evaluations to contend with. At the end of the day, your evaluation is reflected in your paycheck. And did I mention the tremendous residual income opportunity?
After the initial start-up phase in business, what obstacles do business owners face as they try to grow their business and remain successful? Any advice for how to overcome those obstacles?
Remaining focused on the pre-launch plan that you developed is the key. Focus on one marketing technique at a time until you are able to master it. New business owners must resist the temptation to prematurely change things up when they do not get the results they are expecting right away. Stay the course and trust that you selected a good mentor, and allow time for the process to work for you.
What on-line, software or other resources have helped you the most in managing all aspects of your company? Why and how have they been helpful?
MLSP has been my number one resource for training, technical advice and peer support. With weekly conference calls and webinars as well as live events, our team is able to have their questions answered and network with professionals who have achieved the results they are trying to attain.
What did you do before you decided to become your own boss, and how have those skills helped you in your current business?
I worked in a number of industries from manufacturing, quality assurance and nursing to counseling and customer service. On the surface, those jobs don’t seem to have anything much in common, but they do have the most important commonality of all: Dealing with people! You can’t have a business without dealing with people in some capacity, because ultimately your income will come from PEOPLE. The skills of rapport and relationship building will be invaluable as people join and work with other people, regardless of the business or opportunity they represent. Master relationship building and you will be successful.
What process do you follow to successfully close on a lead and make the final sale? Any tips?
I simply focus on the individual and carefully assess their needs. Identify the problem that you or your opportunity can solve and offer that solution to your prospect. Often times, business owners are focused on selling what they think the prospect needs rather than simply asking them what they want.
If you bought into an already existing business opportunity, distributorship, licensee opportunity or small franchise, how and why did you make that choice?
I decided on Zamzuu as my primary business opportunity for a number of reasons. First, there is no inventory to store since the business is 100% online. Also, people are already shopping online and it is practically a no-brainer for them to shop on your website and get cash back when they otherwise would not. They are already shopping at the same stores anyway, why not shop with you or even on their own site and get cash back AND commission for each sale? Zamzuu also allows prospects to test the water and become familiar with the business without investing a dime. We provide the website absolutely free and they can start earning commissions within ten minutes. This opportunity simply made sense to me.
What is/are your favorite motto and/or quote when it comes to business? Any final words of encouragement and/or inspiration for the budding entrepreneur?
My favorite quote is “Lead, follow or get out of the way,” by Thomas Paine. This one resonates with me because it calls for the individual to realistically assess themselves and take ownership of their actions or lack thereof. There are many people out there who are not only unwilling to work toward their own success, but will envy and try to be a detriment to the progress of others. Regardless of the challenges you encounter, my advice is to remain focused on your goal and keep failing forward if you must because surely you know that perseverance and failure cannot coexist.