As an entrepreneur myself, Marlee Ward quickly became someone I followed for inspiration, online strategies and faith & business perspectives. She is a master of building personal brands and has expert level experience across a wide range of technology mediums. It was my true pleasure to invite her for this Entrepreneur in Action interview and I am sure she will be someone you will want to follow as well!
1. Career influences
My grandfather. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and my grandfather was an incredible entrepreneur. He started a business when he returned home from being in the war (in the 40’s) by selling work gloves. He went door-to-door selling work gloves until he had enough income to expand his product line. He built that endeavor into a multi-million dollar personal protective wear company now run by my aunt. In him I saw determination, confidence, and a whole lot of hustle.
2. Biggest career success
Leaving my work as a lawyer, odd as it may sound. It was such a difficult choice, but I would not have the fulfillment that I do if I hadn’t walked away. I consider that a big win. The runner up would be turning my first business endeavor profitable in two months (at the height of a recession). It just goes to show when you can solve specific problems for specific people the money will be there.
3. Recent lessons learned
Woo. This is a tough one. Most recently, I learned a big spiritual lesson that involved my business. That is, keep first things first. Being so passionate about my business it’s easy to let it control my life. I got really out of balance. Rather than keeping my eyes on my Creator, I became too focused on the gifts He provides. It led to a very dry and difficult spiritual place, which eventually started to wreck havoc on my health and productivity. You have to keep your priorities straight.
4. What inspires and motivates
What inspires me is what is possible. Our lives have a ripple effect on all things around us. When you do good work in the world you create a ripple of blessing around you. You never know who you’ll touch or how you’ll have an impact, and that inspires me. As for motivation, I’m most motivated by being able to practically meet the needs of others. This drives my desire to be a highly profitable entrepreneur. I know the more I make, the more I can give, and that is the key motivating factor in my pursuit of business success.
5. Share a leadership story (brief 100 word or less)
When you’re an eager entrepreneur it’s easy to want to say, “yes,” all of the time. But not every opportunity is the right opportunity for you. One thing I had to lead myself to do was say no to business opportunities and client engagements that were not going to be good for me or my business. On multiple occasions I turned clients away because I knew we would not be a good fit for one another. While I could have helped them reach their goal, I knew the experience would not be enriching for either party. These are things you must be very clear on as you lead your company forward so that you can stay true to your own vision.
6. Your Top Two
- Never give up.
- Go back to number one.
7. About Marlee
I’m Marlee Ward, Chief Radical Entrepreneur (aka CRE), marketing strategist, and speaker.
I help coaches, authors, speakers and professional service providers create irresistible marketing messages, powerful marketing strategies, and digital products so they can earn an abundant income sharing their God-given gifts, knowledge, experience and expertise with the people they are meant to serve.
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