Meredith LeJeune on Launching Thought Bubble Communications to Elevate Minority-Owned Businesses

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Hi Meredith! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:

My name is Meredith LeJeune, an 18-year, award-winning public relations industry veteran, and I have developed and executed high-impact media relations campaigns. Throughout my career, I’ve served on the board of directors of journalism and public relations organizations, been recognized as one of the top 15 Under 35 PR Professionals in the Greater NYC area, as well as Business Insiders 23 Rising Stars in PR. I am the owner of Thought Bubble Communications, a boutique PR agency, certified with New York State and the City of New York as a woman and minority-owned business. Thought Bubble Communications has one simple mission – elevate the voices of the often underfunded and overlooked minority-owned businesses. We caters to woman and BIPOC-owned businesses in tech, cannabis, women’s wellness and multicultural communications, and offers traditional PR, media relations and thought leadership, strategy and content creation. Outside of work, I am a wife and mother to three children – nine year-old twins and a three year old girl. I am also a certified vinyasa and pre-natal yoga instructor, as well as, a certified birth doula.

So Meredith, what excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?

The Entreprenista League is elite. I love that it is a place for women entrepreneurs to build and connect with each other, both online and in-person. Through the Entreprenista League, you will find community. We are provided with a wealth of resources to accommodate us at various stages of business. It is a judgement free zone to grow and scale your business.

Starting your own business is not a simple decision! What made you take the leap to start your own business?

In 2009, I was at a crossroads in my career. I knew I was good at what I did, but I knew I was destined for more. I also wanted to see more young women of color in public relations. I prayed about it and then headed out on a mission towards entrepreneurship. I knew I had to leave my hometown of Virginia Beach, Va., in order to do so. I landed in Atlanta, Ga., where I worked at a PR agency before being laid off. This ultimately catapulted me into the next stage in my life, self-employment. Thought Bubble Communications was born in 2012 and has been thriving since!

Can you explain your background in PR before starting your own business?

I was still in public relations. After I graduated college in 2005, I worked with a multi-housing marketing company as the marketing communications coordinate. Five years later, I moved to Atlanta, where I joined an integrated marketing and public relations firm in the high tech B2B space. Joining this firm gave me the experience I needed to run my own business, and I am eternally grateful for both of these experiences!

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

No, I didn’t. I actually thought I wanted to climb the corporate ladder. Once I got into the corporate world and determined this isn’t what I wanted, that is when I opened my eyes to being an entrepreneur. I am thankful to friends who helped me prepare for entrepreneurship mental first before diving in head first. I could no longer operate with an “employee mindset.” I had to switch gears to think like a boss. Reading books by authors like Napoleon Hill, Russell Simmons and Daymond John, helped me prepare my mind for this next stage.

With your background in PR, what was your initial marketing strategy when launching Thought Bubble Communications?

My marketing efforts started before I even officially launched my business. Although I launched in 2012, I had been networking with communicators in Atlanta (while I was still in Virginia) since 2009. I had been building up my own personal brand, so that when anyone in my network heard anything that could be a good lead, I was the first person they thought about. Once I moved to Atlanta, I made it my business to network with other PR professionals. I joined professional development organizations and made my needs clear – “I want to start my own PR consulting business. If you have any leads, please pass them on.” It all paid off. My first and longest standing client was the president of a professional development organization I belonged to in 2012. She and I started working together in January 2013!

What has your entrepreneurial journey taught you so far?

If nothing else, entrepreneurship will humble you. You will face many challenges, however; I think the biggest challenge for me has been overcoming a scarcity mindset. As entrepreneurs, we work hard for every last dollar. So, losing a client can feel like the end of the world. A scarcity mindset will have you always stressing over your next steps. It will keep you in a place of fear. Instead of leaning into this fear, I am constantly reminding myself that I am on the right path and the clients who are for me, will be for me.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

In 2022, I made a revenue goal for the year, and that was the first time I surpassed that revenue goal!

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

I believe work/life balance is essential to entrepreneurship. It’s very easy for us to get caught up in our business. Having a steady work/life balance reminds you that there are more important things in life than work. To maintain this, I recommend establishing set business hours. I also encourage starting your day with some sort of physical activity. Build fun into your schedule. Remember, no one can pour from an empty cup!

Learning from other entreprenistas is so important. What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?

I wish I understood how much of a journey entrepreneurship really was. There will be ups and downs. That comes with the territory. I also wish I understood the value of planning. For the past 11 years, I have planned out my week every Sunday evening. I was inconsistent in the beginning, but once I got consistent about my weekly schedules, the weeks flew by and I was much more productive.

Meredith, you have lots to celebrate! What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

I recently received my certification from New York State as a woman and minority-owned business!

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

In the next five years, I envision my business becoming a million dollar generating agency. I will expand my team to include two to three full-time account managers and two to three full-time account coordinators/executives. I will also contract a project manager, bookkeeper, HR professional and VA. As an additional form of revenue, I will act as an ad hoc strategic PR consultant for corporations who are interested in creating PR departments or seeking strategic PR direction where a high-level PR executive doesn’t exist. I will also have established relationships with HBCUs across the country to create a career pipeline between recent and soon-to-be PR grads and my agency.

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