Amanda Cowan | Founder A.FAYE PR
I started working in the music industry when I was in college, interning with a number of different electronic music magazines and outlets. From that experience, I began to learn the in’s and out’s of working in the music biz, but years later, wasn’t sure if working in that industry was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I started my own PR company 7 years into my career so that I could not only work on my own time, but also so that I could branch out with clients in different industries (travel, fashion, wining and dining, etc).
My biggest doubt before starting my own business was simple. I doubted if I could actually do it, or at least balance running my own company and being a work-from-home, stay-at-home mom. It’s still something I struggle with weekly (balance), but at the same time, it’s something I am continuously working on.
I decided to take the leap and go for it because I knew I wanted to work for myself and on my own schedule that worked best for me and my family. I knew that I could do it, I had the experience and drive to gain new clients, so one morning I decided to buy the domain and launch A.FAYE PR just a few days later.
When I feel like my work is becoming monotonous and losing creativity, I make some moves and changes. Whether it be a mini rebrand or a change to the website, sprucing up press releases or creating some content images or artwork for clients - I am always trying my hardest to stay creative. There is definitely freedom to do so, as well, as long as you are staying true to your client's’ brand, or your own.
Throughout all of this, I’ve learned that I am NOT as patient as I always thought I was. Kickstarting and growing a business, patience is necessary (a trait I thought I held, but found out I could definitely practice more). So many things are up in the air when starting a business, and you must be patient. Everything works out in the time it’s supposed to, and patience is something to keep in mind. I tell myself this every morning, whether it’s someone not getting back to me about an important email, or a client not picking a campaign date - you must remain patient.
When I'm feeling stuck, I change my work location. Because I work from home, I feel the need to switch up where I work from to keep it fresh. Whether it be bopping from coffee shop to coffee shop, or spending the day at a local library, working from different locations gives me the opportunity to take in that neighborhood’s surroundings, and in some cases, meet new people + gain new clients without even trying!
Success will be when my daughter is old enough to know what I do, why I do it and be proud of what I do. She is still young, but this is something I look forward to, because success is making my daughter and family proud.
Networking skills have helped me the most. I used to be a pretty shy and to-myself person, I still am sometimes. But in this career, you have to be open to chatting with people whether you’re in the mood or not. The saying is, “you never know who you’ll meet, or who knows who,” and that couldn’t be truer. I can’t tell you how many of my clients have joined me due to word of mouth from chatting with someone else. It really is a small world, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. TALK. TO. EVERYONE!
I wish I would have known that I would never get everything done in a day that I need to. I guess that kind of goes without saying, but I really do need 30 hours in a day, if not more. Balancing work and motherhood is the hardest task I’ve taken on, and I wish I would have realized this before starting my business so that I could prepare myself for the overwhelming stress of not getting everything done when I need or want it done.
My advice to the #LFCommunity: stick to your guns. Whether you’re soaking in the thrill of having a successful month, or feeling like you just can’t move forward with running your own company - stick to your guns. You started this project from a dream you developed and believed in, always believe in that dream. There will always be ups and downs, learn from them and keep moving forward.