Mamaprenista, Marketer, and Author: Kara Venus on Starting a Business to Help Others Succeed
Hello Kara! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:
I’m a 13 year marketing industry veteran turned small business owner! I live in New England with my husband, daughter and two rescue dogs. Having spent many years helping businesses from Fortune 100 companies to start ups succeed in marketing, I decided to turn my attention into my own agency: Stella’s Way Marketing. In addition to starting my own business, I published my first children’s book, Harper and her Dogs, this past September! The book was inspired by my daughter and her relationship with my dogs, who were my first babies.
So Kara, what excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
I love connecting with other members, I find it so inspiring to learn from others especially those that have built successful businesses. I’m also a new mamapreneur, so learning how to balance mom life and work life has been so helpful and so important. Every event the whole community is so encouraging and everyone is always willing to help!
How did you decide to leave corporate and take the leap to start your own business?
It’s been something I wanted to do for many years, but having my daughter really inspired me to take the leap. I wanted to find a way to spend more time with her, while also continuing my work. I also love helping small businesses! There’s so many dedicated to helping new moms both in and out of the workforce, so I found this so motivating to start my own business to help others succeed.
So Kara, can you please tell us more about your marketing background prior to starting your own business?
I spent 13 years in corporate marketing, specializing in healthcare technology. I worked for both start ups and Fortune 100 companies across the US. I have a Bachelors in Communication and a Certificate in Fashion Business from Parsons.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Definitely, but I came from a long line of corporate career family members, so I didn’t have a role model to really demonstrate what starting your own business would even be like. I spent many years shadowing as well as learning from and asking for mentorship from other small business owners before taking the leap. I think joining a networking group earlier in my career could have really benefitted me!
As a experienced marketer, what was your initial marketing strategy when you first launched your agency?
I’m a marketer by trade, but I’ve never marketed myself! I launched first on social media, that was a channel I had a lot of experience in. I was able to grow my channel, but it didn’t start turning into business. I next launched SEM and Programmatic advertising which helped bring in new business. The hardest part was really narrowing in on the right market for me and find who I could help the most.
So Kara, what is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way?
My biggest challenge has been balance. I took the leap to spend more time with my daughter with is my first priority, but I find sometimes a small business can easily take up more time than a 9-5! I needed to learn balance, how to shut off on the weekends and separate from family time.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
I was able to help a small business launch from the ground up including logo design, website, social media, content, scheduling, and the whole true nine yards. While I’ve been a marketer for many years, my niche has been product marketing and demand gen. I’ve never actually had the opportunity to create a logo or design a net new website, and I found I absolutely loved doing this!
Sometimes work/life balance seems like a distant dream…and you mentioned earlier that finding this balance was challenging for you. Regarding work/life balance, what are some of your best tips?
Yes! My favorite tip is scheduling everything on the same calendar. I schedule time with friends and family just like I would a work meeting and try to treat it the same way. If I wouldn’t cancel on a client, then I try to take the same attitude when canceling on a friend. I also really believe in tools to make your life easier! I love HoneyBook, Canva, Planoly, Temply and so many others. There are so many apps that come out every day to really make your life easier!
What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
Just start! I was always afraid of where to start, but honestly that’s the biggest piece. It doesn’t need to be perfect. You can upgrade your website later, you can always change your logo, but start with something! If you aren’t out there, no one can find an work with you.
Kara, you have lots to celebrate! What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
I published my first children’s book! A true passion project dedicated to my daughter, it was a labor or love navigating the writing, illustration and publishing process. Harper and her Dogs is available on Amazon!
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
I hope to continue my writing journey and I hope to take on more clients that support other mamapreneurs. It’s such an exciting time to be a business owner, and the more I can align my personal interests with my business, the most invested you become!