How I Started My Business and Found Independence From Corporate America

It’s 2010 and I’m working for my parent’s printing company thinking I had it all figured out. But, I was about to experience a rude awakening, and life as I knew it was about to change. The housing bubble burst and the recession was in full force. The government had just eliminated a large majority of their contracts to vendors, many of whom were our clients. They relied on those big contracts to keep the lights on. We saw many of them go dark including those who weren’t reliant on government contracts but felt the full force of the recession and modernization like Ritz Camera.

With the arrival of 2010 came some harsh realities for our industry, including the competitive nature of vendors trying to keep their lights on. There are only so many jobs you can run at or below cost before you realize you’ve hit the end of the line. We weren’t prepared for what was to come next. I don’t know if you could ever be prepared for what comes next.

In the last few months of the business, my family and I stopped taking salaries. While we were hiding the struggle, we worked ourselves to the bone trying to get the next 10 jobs so we could keep our doors open a little longer.

In my world, failure isn’t an option. I have always been driven. It was incomprehensible that we had reached the end of the line and failed. But, we were forced to close the shop, move out of our homes and start over. This was my first major failure.

What I didn’t realize was that most people will experience some form of failure in their careers. Failure can help drive us forward, be more resilient, learn from mistakes, and work even harder to achieve dreams. It even happened to Steve Jobs, the person who revolutionized technology and the way society functions as a whole. The man we view as one of the most successful CEOs and leaders in business history profited most from failure.

Johnny Cash and Rockstarr & Moon

Trying to get a job was almost impossible in the recession. The 10 years of work experience specializing in marketing, production management, estimating, running presses and bindery equipment, billing, accounting, and more was questioned. Most people assumed that by working for my parents I would either be a liability or I didn’t do any of the things I claimed to do. I was between a rock and a hard place.

One night, I was sitting on the porch behind the Bottle and Cork (Dewey Beaches most incredible live music venue), feeling sorry for myself and Johnny Cash came on the radio. I can credit the DJ for lighting a fire in me when she read one of her favorite Johnny quotes:

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” – Johnny Cash

I quickly took out my iPhone and started searching for companies I could start. I knew I needed a creative outlet and something that would give me the freedom to learn and grow. I decided to start a social media marketing company. Back in 2010, most marketing companies didn’t do social media for small companies and small businesses didn’t have the time, energy, or resources to make it a priority.

While sitting there on the porch behind the Bottle and Cork, I knew I needed to create a name for my new business. It came to me out of nowhere. One of my favorite things to do is listen to live music. I always wanted to be a rockstar, but I have absolutely no musical talent. Also, it’s nighttime and I’m staring up at the stars and the moon trying to figure it all out. I put it all together and boom – Rockstarr & Moon was born that night.

The Beginnings of Rockstarr & Moon

After that night, I knew I had to get serious about starting my business. I called my girlfriend who was a lawyer to have her legally set up my business (to who I am forever in debt to. Thank you Karen.)

I got to work designing a logo with the input of my closest friends. Life would have been much easier had Canva or Adobe Spark been around back then. I took my version of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and started mocking up ideas. The first ones weren’t great, but there was one that was good enough for the time being.

While I was working on building a business and getting new clients, I was also working on securing a full-time job. I was operating under the impression that I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed health insurance, which was hard to get without working for a large organization. I didn’t know how to get clients. I didn’t have a mentor who could guide me on growing my business. I did a lot with this little company, but never in a million years did I think I could do it on my own.

Today at Rockstarr & Moon

Fast forward to the present. I spent nearly a decade working full-time jobs for executives and organizations that didn’t respect me, while still managing my small business. The pandemic hit in 2020 and I was furloughed. It fueled the fire in me to find the strength, resilience, and mindset to be able to make my dreams of being a woman-owned small business a reality. I built my business to empower aspiring rockstarr business owners to SUCCESSFULLY START, BUILD, AND GROW their business. By providing the guidance and mentorship to get their new businesses to thrive, people can create the lives they’ve dreamed of for themselves, their families, and their communities.

When you start your business, call Rockstarr & Moon, and we’ll help you transform your new business into an industry leader with specialized lead gen and content diffusion tools and techniques.

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