Melissa Wallace, CEO and Co-Founder, on Balance, Trust, and Celebration

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Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:

I am the CEO and Co-founder of fivefoottwo marketing, an agency dedicated to early-stage, VC-backed startups. When launching fivefoottwo, we were meeting so many female founders who needed our services but struggled to receive funding. So we started giving them our services for free, which lead to starting Fierce Founders, a mentoring community for early-stage female founders. My goal is to grow the agency enough that I can dedicate more of my time and focus to making an impact on the lives and efforts of these brilliant female founders.

What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?

The community! I have met so many brilliant women!

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I had been laid off (again) for being an “over-paid” head of marketing at a startup. Which highlighted the need for early-stage startups to have my services, with out the expensive headcount. I found creating expert systems and building small dedicated teams gets them off the ground for less than the cost of an FTE and when they raise their Series A or start to scale, we recruit, hire and train their first marketing employees, creating the perfect startup marketing ecosystem.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

Mostly consumer marketing at entertainment companies sprinkled with brilliant experiences at a handful of startups.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

YES! But it took me time to believe in myself. I was 6 when I started my first business. 40 years later I realized, I can do this!

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?

Word of mouth all the way 🙂 But very quickly we learned partnerships were the golden ticket.

What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?

Trusting people. I trust everyone 100% from the start. Not everyone is who they say they are, unfortunately.

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

Our growth during COVID. We stayed heads down and were able to come out stronger than ever! OR my first FTE. I took a chance, and it’s paying off!

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

I do, but I also believe that my work is my life, so that balance may seem skewed to others. I get up at 5 am and get most of my day in before 9 am. Do the meetings for the day and wrap by 3/4 pm, so I can hang with the family. Meditation is so important to balance, so I meditate every day and set daily intentions that are focused on that balance.

What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?

Just do it. Fear is your worst enemy. And all the voices that say “don’t do this” you can listen to, but listen MORE to the voices that say “go for it!”

What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

A client shared our work with one of their investors – a pretty prominent individual – who was very impressed with our work, saying it was the best they had ever seen. I often challenge myself, feeling our work could always be better, but it’s great to stop and celebrate the great work we are actually doing!

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

We’re going to build some of our services into SaaS products for small businesses. And we’re going to build Fierce Founders. I hope to have a fund one day that WE can invest in female founders!

Learn more about the Entreprenista League and join today!

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