Marketer and Founder of Electric Collab, Emily Paulsen, is Ecstatic to Empower Your Boldest Ideas
Hello Emily! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:
My name is Emily, and I’d rather be dead than vanilla. (!) That’s a tad dramatic, but I do distain the idea of being just like everyone else. I’m not sure where I get off wanting to be so original, yet it feels of the utmost importance. Considering this aversion to conformity, with the exception of canned vanilla frosting, I really started Electric Collab to amplify the original, interesting entrepreneurs building businesses that deserve to last. We’ve been living in the workplace age of watering down women’s words for a while, (forever?) & I’m ready to unravel the professional veil that often blocks our boldest ideas. You have something to offer that somebody really needs, & you don’t have to morph into someone else to share that brilliance, profitably.
So Emily, what excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
Human connection! The one & only thing I miss about corporate life is interacting with people. (Somewhere past Emily is walking into a dreaded, boring meeting cracking up at this idea.) For a full-throttle extravert, entrepreneurship can feel lonely. I miss learning from people who have gone before me, hearing differing opinions, being challenged by others’ ideas & solving problems with people. I’m thrilled by the chance to do that here!
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
A nugget of confidence that I could generate faster, more effective results without the burden of corporate bureaucracy, & a giant nudge from my business mentor. Essentially I figured, I’m working really hard to make money for other people, I might as well work really hard to make money for myself. The freedom to book a midday hair appointment without sheepishly asking permission has also been a perk.
What was your background prior to starting Electric Collab?
12 years in corporate brand & marketing roles: International Brand Merchandising for Abercrombie & Fitch, Brand Manager at the Wendy’s Company, Director of Marketing & Technology for Chicago-based LYFE Kitchen.
Did you always have a hunch that one day you would be an entrepreneur? Or is it shocking you have your own biz?
I always knew I DIDN’T. I honestly worried that I wouldn’t be motivated enough to make money if I didn’t have a boss to impress or coworkers to compete against. Yikes. It’s amazing what can happen when you become so sick of the reality you planned for that you open your mind to paths you didn’t think possible. Spending time really getting to know yourself helps, too.
Okay, so Emily, you started your career in corporate branding and marketing. Please take us back to when you first launched your business, how did you go about your marketing strategy?
My strategy went something like…”I can probably charge 10k/client & help10 clients a year, so making 100k should be pretty easy.” HA! Even with well over a decade of brand & marketing experience, marketing MYSELF was completely foreign territory. I had to recalibrate my brain to switch out corporate budgets & built-in clientele for solution-based content & a lot of listening.
Entreprenistas overcome challenges every day. What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?
A completely failed program launch. Failed as in I did everything every expert, mentor & coach told me to do, & absolutely nobody bought. It was a low blow, but in hindsight I can be grateful. It showed me that in truth, I was trying to copy & paste other peoples’ results instead of taking the time to build authentic, intentional services designed to meet my audience’s needs. It forced me to go even deeper in developing my own brand which put my business on an entirely new, lucrative trajectory!
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Surpassing my corporate income doing only the work I love with people I genuinely like!
We know some days work life balance seems impossible – how do you believe in work/life balance?
I used to think of the balance as “work” vs. “personal life,” but that doesn’t feel relevant now that my business feels so personal. I love to work, always have, & feel pretty flexible about the flow from work time to fun time. If I feel like working, I do. If I don’t, I don’t.
What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
Staying curious & inquisitive is more important than being strategic.
Emily, you have lots to celebrate! What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
Launching a new program, Electric Content, teaching early stage, online entrepreneurs how to communicate with people so they really want what you sell.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
Exceptional brand & content services for early stage & established expert founders! I’m on a mission to show entrepreneurs the endless power, meaningful money & rich longevity you can tap into by building a unique brand.