business development

Why Consistency is the Most Important Discipline to Have

Why Consistency is the Most Important Discipline to Have

Wake up. Kick Butt. Repeat. There is NO easy way to grow a business. All you can do is work hard, do your best, ask for help, and do it again tomorrow. Consistency is the most important factor in growing your business. Genie Reese of Red Aspen not only has the work ethic but the spirit to keep momentum and energy up while growing her business with her co-founders.

The Importance of Living In The Grey

The Importance of Living In The Grey

All or nothing thinking is problematic for so many reasons, one of them being it creates almost impossible expectations of one's self. It demands perfection. Marissa Rose Nash knows exactly how this type of thinking can stop us from getting to where we want to go- not only does she work with women with these limiting beliefs but she experiences them herself.

3 Reasons Why You Should Allow Yourself To Be A Beginner

3 Reasons Why You Should Allow Yourself To Be A Beginner

Being a beginner is hard. Especially when we feel like we should have things figured out already. Here are 3 reasons why allowing yourself to be a beginner is essential to scale your business.

A Reminder To Be Creative And Live Boldly

A Reminder To Be Creative And Live Boldly

We often live in the grey, black, or white of our lives. Not taking chances and staying safe. Raechel Campbell paints portraits full of life. She reminds us to live creatively and boldly every single day.

The Best Leaders Rise By Lifting Others Up

The Best Leaders Rise By Lifting Others Up

There is absolutely no way to grow a business without a team. As a solo-preneur you’re often running your marketing department, social media, invoicing, getting coffee, and everything in between. Ashley shares how beneficial it has been in hiring the right people and putting time and energy into training them both to help scale the business but also because it makes her feel so damn good!

The Power of Patience

I find it ironic that the theme of this week’s founder series is patience and when I was writing this I had almost zero. Rushing around, yelling at cars, eating too fast just to get shit done because I’m up against a big deadline. I had planned a bunch of stuff prior to knowing about this deadline so of course life likes to load ya up all at one time! The funny thing about this is that I think that yelling at the cars to move faster or half heartily throwing a post together then the more I’ll be able to pack into the day. But, because I haven’t taken the time to slow down and be mindful I end up doing more work. There are more mistakes in my grammar, more projects that are started and unfinished (like the dishes in the sink and laundry on the bed), and the less present I am in general.  Also- side note- when you slow down and have patience you’ll notice how NOT a big deal the things you’re stressing about truly are. 

Can you think back on a time that you said something without really listening to what the person was saying? Or what about launching a program or offer from your business only to realize you weren't ready to manage it or scale it? Or rushed through an Instagram post just to get content out there? Have you ever bought a piece of home decor just to have something rather than waiting for the thing you REALLY wanted?

I've been all of the above. I've spoken thoughtlessly, launched too quickly, bought way too many fake plants, posted, edited, reposted, and then deleted because I moved too quickly. Something I've been working on in my own life is slowing down before making decisions. Now, I'm a huge researcher of all things, so in many ways, I do educate myself before I decide to move forward, BUT I often tend to make moves without thinking it through.

It seems as if learning patience is a common theme for most entrepreneurs as Allison Katz of Gift Spawt explains that it took time to understand how to even get started as a business owner and then to officially launch their brand.

She does a great job sharing how patience in her business was a key element of success! Allison and her co-founder Mariana created, Gift Spawt, a one-stop-shop for sending gifts and puppy care packages to dog friends near and far. With snuggly stuffed toys, stylish accessories, dog gift sets, and greeting cards, they’ve got something special for every pup and occasion. They love supporting their dog parent community and spreading joy to people everyday.

Allison describes what steps they took as a brand to launch their online business efficiently and effectively. In our interview, she also provides insight to those who are looking to get started and some mindset tips to keep your eye on the ball!

I originally worked with Allison and Mariana many moons ago for my 10k milestone giveaway on @paxthedood. The two of them created @dogswithstuffedanimals which is an instagram account that highlights adorable dogs with stuffed animals. That specific account is very successful and it seems only natural for them to start selling products themselves!

If you are interested in collaborating as an influencer or sending a package to a friend please contact Allison at info@giftspawt.com. Make sure to check out their website and buy your pup some fun and adorable goodies. Giftspawt packages each gift which makes it personalized and unique for each recipient. You can also follow them on Instagram at @giftspawt or on their Facebook page which you can reach by clicking here.

Without further ado, Allison Katz, everyone!

Allison with some of their ambassadors in LA

Allison with some of their ambassadors in LA

Please tell us a bit about your background both personally and professionally. 

I am originally from Charlotte, North Carolina and went to school at UNC-Chapel Hill (Go Heels!). After graduating from college, I wanted to explore life outside of NC and moved to NYC with some friends. While I started off working in entertainment PR, I later transitioned to the healthcare field and headed to DC for graduate school. 

Although city living was fun and exciting, it was also stressful and lonely at times. One of my coworkers suggested that I should get a dog and even came with me to bring Riley home in 2012. Since day one, he's been a total mama's boy (and I mean that in the best way possible) and the center of my world. Little did I know that when I started an Instagram account for him in 2015, that it would be a turning point in my life personally and professionally.

It was through IG that I became friends with Mariana, my now business partner, who also happened to have a cockapoo named Riley. We decided to start @dogswithstuffedanimals together, which gave me a creative outlet that I didn't have in my day job. I also felt a sense of empowerment turning an idea into a reality and taking on a leadership role.

At the same time, I was missing my family and friends in North Carolina and decided that I wanted to move closer to home. For the past 1.5 years, I have been living in Chapel Hill, NC, working in digital marketing for medical practices, and growing Gift Spawt. Although it was a risk leaving my life in DC and a job I had for 9 years, I am so glad that I took a leap of faith and allowed myself to try something new!

Co-Founder Mariana & her dog Walter

Co-Founder Mariana & her dog Walter

How did you get your idea or concept for the brand?

Mariana and I had been exchanging gifts for our dogs for holidays and birthdays. While the presents were small (a toy, treat, or card), it was so fun receiving a package from a friend and surprising Riley with his pawmail. 

We noticed that other dogs on Instagram were sending their friends gifts as well and how happy it made everyone. From there, we decided to create a site for the dog community that promoted friendship and celebrating special occasions -even when you can't be there in person.

Looking back would you do any thing different?

Not at all. In the past year, I've learned so much, and challenges and missteps have always guided me in a better direction.

What is your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?

The ability to create opportunities for myself and taking personal responsibility for my decisions. I'm also able to maintain a fairly flexible schedule, which allows me to have a good work-life balance.

Allison & her dog Riley

Allison & her dog Riley

Share your favorite moment or moments while growing your business.

Seeing the messages that friends write for the gift cards has been awesome! You can tell that so many humans and pups have formed genuine relationships with one another, and it really reinforces the power of the dog community. 

I also loved meeting-up with some of our IG friends, while traveling this past year.

What are some of the challenges of being an entrepreneur?

Because so much of what we do is tied to social media, email, and being online, I often find it difficult to unplug and be away from my phone or computer. But I have started to set aside device-free time each night, so that I can truly decompress and be more engaged in my relationships and experiences.

Advice for other entrepreneurs or those looking to get started?

Patience, planning, and research are essential to executing an idea. When we decided to start Gift Spawt, I bought a 2000 page book on Amazon about creating and running a small business. There were so many steps to take before we could even begin developing the website, and I just gave myself the time and space to get organized, ask friends and family for help, contact support teams (especially with tech questions), and search for answers online.

How do you advertise your brand?

Currently, we only promote Gift Spawt on social media (Instagram and Facebook). We owe so much to our amazing brand ambassadors, who have supported us since the very beginning!

What a fun idea! I can’t wait to learn more about GiftSpawt on our podcast interview this summer. If you have questions about getting involved in the Female Founder Series (FFS) please drop us a comment below or send us an email!

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Did you know that having an attitude of gratitude can help you live your best life?

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It’s funny how the universe works and I love watching it’s magic unfold! I met Beth Devine through a brand partnership that Pax did a few months ago. Beth was hired by the brand to do marketing and social outreach and so we were connected as part of the collaboration.

The more we talked the more we realized how much we had in common and that our main goal in our professional career was to help other women succeed. Currently, Beth is the Founder and Principal of Devine Solutions Group, LLC. She is a digital marketing and business development expert who almost exclusively works and collaborates with women entrepreneurs. 

She founded her agency on the premise that women deserve to have a one-source solution to go to and obtain the knowledge required to achieve the financial independence they require and the work/life balance they deserve.

If you are a business owner/entrepreneur who is looking to increase your online brand presence Beth is the right contact for you! She can help your business generate more leads, establish a new web design, and do a stellar job with SEO. She is a skilled content writer and social media manager. Beth also provides excellent business insight and mentoring to her clients. As for collaboration opportunities, she is always looking for ways to support other entrepreneurs and establish relationships long term.

You can reach her directly by emailing info@devinesolutionsgroup.com or call her at 833-9DEVINE (833-933-8463). You can find her on Linked in, Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter!

I am so excited to introduce Beth to our LOTP community and for our relationship to continue to blossom in the years to come! Without further ado…Beth Devine everyone!

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF PERSONALLY & PROFESSIONALLY.

We deliver top tier digital marketing services to those who require and up-leveling of their brand and their business. I believes that every woman deserves to have a profitable business on her own terms and in the confines of her own time.

I live in Tracy, CA with my husband Robert and our two teenagers, Ellie and Sean. Robert works at Lawrence Livermore National Lab and manages radiation safety for the National Ignition Facility (NIF). We have two German Shepherds, Fargo and Zami who keep me vacuuming regularly. I enjoy boating on the Delta every Spring and Summer as well as tour on Robert's motorcycles.


How did you get your idea or concept for the brand?

Based on 25 plus years of sales, marketing and business development, I know that the name of a company and its purpose should be reflective in their brand. The most personal and intimate part of any one's being, is their name. Your name is your brand. So, since Devine really is my last name, why not build a brand around it and highlight what that word in and of itself means to others and then pull it back to the root of who I am.  Prior to founding Devine Solutions Group, I spent over 20 years as a retail operations professional for some of the biggest name brands nationwide. Since then, I spent over a decade as a successful VP of Business Development for a civil engineering and land surveying firm. My entrepreneurial spirit came alive again when I founded Impact MMA, where I was only one of two female sporting event promoters, duplicating what UFC started, but on a smaller scale. After Impact MMA, I entered into telecommunications as a marketing and business development executive and once again delivered the results that inspired me to create Devine Solutions Group.

Tell us more about your brand and what you do!

Devine Solutions Group is a premier digital marketing, business development and implementation agency that supports small to mid-sized business owners.

Our purpose is to assist our clients with turning their business potential into a profitable reality. We do this by creating and implementing top-tier digital marketing and business development services. We are committed to assisting clients with building your business and their brand, so they can achieve the financial independence they require.

In addition to frequent public speaking engagements, training business owners on branding, marketing and business strategies, I am a frequent contributor to publications including Fit Small Biz, Business Connection and Best Hosting Pro.


Looking back would you do any thing different?

I would have learned how to let go of fear, anxiety and doubt A LOT earlier in my life, but I didn't know how to do that. I knew deep in my soul that I had so much potential and that something was holding me back.  I had to get out of my own way because I was holding me back. 

By putting in the self-work and understanding the root cause of the "hold-back" issues, I was able to give myself permission to receive success and let go of the self limiting beliefs. Once I did this, the right people just starting showing up and my business and life took off in a direction I knew I deserved. 

If anyone is interested in the full story of how I did it, I encourage them to contact me for insight and support. I look forward to paying it forward and inspiring others to do the same, so they can  too can have the chance to living their best life.

What is your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?

Having control of my time and being able to deliver the required services anytime and anywhere, via a mobile lifestyle. Working with super smart people who have a high degree of integrity and skills and of course, being able to plug-in to my community and contribute to the greater good of others.

Share your favorite moment or moments while growing your business.

My favorite moments are when I look at my vision board and I literally see a pattern of the images coming to fruition. It is so rewarding! In the middle of my board I have an image that says HAPPY CLIENTS and I look at it and experience that reality every day! Living in gratitude sets the stage for successful manifestation.

What are some of the challenges of being an entrepreneur?

The biggest challenge at this time is that about 70% of the time, I am a technician who is actually producing the work. This is normal in the first few years of a new business, so I get it. 

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As the business builds, I will be hiring professionals who can deliver the end product better than I can. The ultimate goal is to position the agency to be process dependent and not so much person dependent. That is when your business is really working for you vs. you working for your business. I am super excited about my plan to achieve this too.

Advice for other entrepreneurs or those looking to get started?

What ever business you want to go after, create a viable business and financial plan. PERIOD! Use it as a tool to drive your business and course correct when you have too. 

Stay close to your purpose and your passion, then create a business around it, so you can add value and monetize at the same time. Make sure your new business is financially viable first and foremost. Plan your work, then work your plan.

How do you advertise your brand?

Well, obviously we have a signifiant social media presence that is coupled with very strategic and effective SEO, but I will tell you that I spend about 30% of my time networking, speaking and connecting with others. 

The majority of our leads actually come in through referrals. I look at the digital space as what I call "tip" money. Nothing will ever trump the power of an eyeball to eyeball, belly to belly meeting and personal relationship building.

How can clients reach you/Collaborate with you?

Any business owner/entrepreneur who requires an increase in online brand presence,  more leads, new web design, SEO, content writing, social media management, etc. — or just needs some insight or some mentoring, they can reach me directly by emailing info@devinesolutionsgroup.com or call me at 833-9DEVINE (833-933-8463). 

As for collaboration opportunities, I am always looking for ways to support other entrepreneurs and establish relationships long term. For such inquiries, use the same method to reach me by email or phone.

Anything else you would like us to know?

We are always looking to add talent to our Group, so if you feel that you have a service that supports our client avatar, which we can discuss when you call, we'd love to talk you and discover how to incorporate you into Devine Solutions Group and assist you will building your business!

One of the biggest things I’ve learned being an solopreneur is that I can’t do everything alone. Just like the saying “it takes a village” when raising a child the same message can be viewed when growing a business. It is such a gift to be surrounded by like minded women were I can pick their brain on different aspects of my business, become inspired by others, and collaborate with powerful women around the world.

A big take away from Beth’s interview was the notion of letting go and reflecting on how much I hold myself back due to things I haven’t dealt with or how we let past experience dictate who we are today. I am taking the steps to truly break these limiting beliefs by personal development and exploration of myself.

If you would like to be featured as a female founder or are interested in collaborating in some way please write in the form below which will send a ping my way.

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