In Conversation with Journalist, Media Personality, and Founder Cindy Mich
Describe your business in a few words?
All of my businesses center around my creation of the written word so as to educate, entertain, motivate or move millions of others! I do anything that will allow me to write. I write my own radio scripts, articles in my own magazine, Q and A panels for my film festivals, and scripts for my films. Now, I am also hired to write for others!
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
Most of my life, I have worked in offices due to being a single mother. I needed an income that was realistic and reliable. At age 40, my children were getting more independent, and I was getting more successful with my writing. It seemed to be the best time to start becoming self-employed.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I have been an award winning journalist for thirty years, a broadcast media personality for ten, and a film festival founder for six years. I had been doing these on a part time basis, but never had the freedom to do them full time until 2010. To pay the bills, I was an administrative assistant, bartender, restaurant cashier, delivery driver, promo model and Avon rep!
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
No – I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I eventually learned that I wanted to be an entrepreneur when I started to see how things worked in the publishing and filmmaking business. I saw how so many struggled to be seen, and that often, the spotlight did not shine on nearly enough people. I watched how recognition was reserved for the elite. I wanted to help the indie world succeed, as well as publishing stories about the people/places/pertinent issues that mattered to me. Finally, I just wanted to inspire people, and so I said, let’s try it out and see how well it works.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
The first business I ever started was a creative writing business. At that time, I had no clue what the word marketing really meant. It was largely a word of mouth and live event type of campaign. This did not go that well, as I lacked the knowledge as to how important things like social media, networking, press releases, and product placement are when pushing your products.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
One time that comes to mind is when I got to a crossroads about personal vs. professional wants. One of my children became ill, and stayed in treatment for about four years. I clearly had no choice, so I basically stopped working for the most part. The challenge came in when he was better and I had to get back on board with my businesses. I had to basically reinvent myself to some degree when dealing with a number of other entrepreneurs, publicists, filmmakers, etc. It is like you become irrelevant or invisible. Looking back, it might have been best to find an assistant to manage my work to some degree so I stayed on the radar on more of a routine basis. However, I never did, nor do, regret my choice.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
My greatest accomplishment that I am most proud of is having children that are all so very independent and intelligent; smart, sweet souled and sensational. I could not achieve anything greater than this gift.
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
My go to question is normally this: What have you not done before that you believe can be done by partnering with my products?
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
As to my magazine and radio show, those have not been impacted as much as things like my festival, on camera interviews, and making films. Clearly, these need to be done live, and many states have been opening and shutting on and off for a year now. Plus, each location has different provisions in place. I fear for us in the arts community, as any artist who can not do what they love for a long time loses that spark. We need our passion to push us, and we need to entertain. I am the type of gal that says to herself, “Okay, if the world will not comply with what I want, I will find a way to make it happen anyway”. So, at some point, I will invent a solution!
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
I will be launching another publication that is centered around current news. I will be releasing one short film and one TV pilot. My radio show will also be syndicated. Finally, publish one more book!
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
Things can change at any time, so do not take any person or particular opportunity for granted. Do not assume that things can wait. Live well and love warmly.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
I wish I had known that it would take years and years before I would see real results, or even get any form of industry recognition. It is a huge commitment and must be changed and cultivated every day.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
Even more time together with my children, and my better half. He is my best friend, my partner, and my rock. I feel safer when he is home, and he helps my soul smile when I am torn down and in tears. My children can make me forget my failures. Also, much more time away from watching the news, or sitting on social media. Lastly, I am lucky enough to be with a professional actor, so sometimes I just have to turn his films on, and I am already taken to a better place.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Two hundred percent, I do. If your business is blooming, but your home life is less than happy, it matters more than you can imagine. My personal belief has always been that my children and my home are primary, and my business is always staying second. I need to handle home with as much proficiency and passion as I do my business. In order to maintain a balance, I suggest simply to make time for what matters. When you get overloaded or overwhelmed, rid of it immediately. When the family is home, your focus is them and work can wait. Put the computer or phone away. Learn how to say no sometimes.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
I am incredibly insecure at times when I am on camera, and have a very hard time taking compliments. I am blessed to be referred to as a modern day Dick Cavett, Wonder Woman, an angel, etc., and yet, all I see is a very simple gal that gets to do what she loves every day. I am very real and raw regularly, and that does not always work well when you have to be filmed – one has to hide that side of themselves.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
- Learn how to prioritize your work so as to avoid being overwhelmed.
- Make it a priority that you have personal time for yourself during the work day. Walk away from everything for a while.
- Never lose your passion or purpose, for if that goes, you are finished. Keep it alive in any way you can.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
To me, this term means one who runs a business built on a lot of hopes and help. It means finding success based upon not just dollars, but also dreams. It means being recognized for acting as a role model. Finally, it means you have made it to your personal plateau as it relates to your profession.