In this episode of the Candid Conversations small business podcast, your co-hosts Dan and Sagan interview Charmaine Jennings of Strategic Charm Boutique. Charmaine shares what it’s like behind the scenes of running a solopreneur marketing connoisseur & copywriting company, how she went about starting her own business, the lessons she’s learned, and how she’s grown her business in the first year.
0:00 Introduction to the podcast
00:40 Update on our business
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1:20 Introduction to Charmaine Jennings, Strategic Charm Boutique
2:00 Why Charmaine decided to get into the marketing industry
3:35 Why Charmaine decided to start her own business
“For me, being an entrepreneur is all I ever wanted to be. So even as a kid, I knew I wanted to run my own business. I just liked the idea of being my own boss, having my own rules, doing whatever I wanted (which I realized is not how it actually works). But even as a kid, my earliest memory of entrepreneurship was when I was running a mini talent agency in grade 3! I’d sell tickets and market the event; it’s always been on my mind to be an entrepreneur.” – Charmaine
5:00 What does a typical day look like for you?
“The very first thing I have to do is clear my inbox; I can’t start my day unless it’s cleared.” – Charmaine
6:10 On organizing email inboxes
“It’s interesting how, in some areas of your life, you can end up being so meticulous and such a perfectionist, and then in other areas, just not at all! Especially when you own your own business” – Sagan
7:10 Some of the biggest lessons Charmaine has learned from starting her own business over the past year.
“One of the best pieces of advice that really stuck with me was from Devan Danielle, a business coach in the States, and she said, ‘don’t wait until you’re ready to start your business; just go ahead and do it, and you can learn as you go.’ A lot of people are waiting until they get more knowledge or more contacts or more inspiration, but I feel, when she said that, that you can just jump in and work through it as you go, that kind of struck a chord in me and the next week I was planning out how I’d launch my business.” – Charmaine
“There’s never going to be a perfect time to do anything in life, so if it’s something you really want, then why not do it.” – Sagan
“There’s never a perfect time to do anything in life. If you really want something, then just DO it!” @Saganlives
8:40 How Charmaine transitioned out of her 9 to 5 job and into working from home full-time.
“I thought, I’m working days, I’m working evenings, I’m working weekends, so how am I going to find time to work on my business? But somehow I made it work.” – Charmaine
11:25 How Canadian businesses can get support from the government for starting their own business
12:50 Shopify ad: CandidPodcast.ca/shop
13:50 What challenges do you face as a solopreneur?
“Trying to find the balance between doing client work and taking the time to take care of my own business has probably been the biggest challenge for me. Also, trying to organize my finances is a challenge! I’m trying to be more mindful of that when I make income; it didn’t occur to me to save money to reinvest in my business or pay bills in the beginning! I’m working on it.” – Charmaine
15:10 What do you enjoy the most about your work?
“One of the things I enjoy most is that I can do pretty much whatever I want with my business. I can add services as I like, I can add online products as I want, I can launch new initiatives, I can take away things that I thought I’d like and decide I no longer like. Just having that freedom to mold it into whatever I want it to be, I think is the most fun! Also working with my clients — I’ve been lucky; most of my clients so far have been amazing.” – Charmaine
“Having the freedom to do whatever I want in business is so fun!” – @StrategicCharm #smallbiz
16:05 What type of clients do you work with?
18:00 The challenges that come with working with clients who live on different continents
19:00 What kind of advice or helpful tips can you give our listeners?
“If you’re flirting with the idea of starting a new business or launching a new product or service, the best way to see if it’s going to work is to just get out there and do it. Not every idea you have is going to be golden! Just go out and test the waters. Utilize all the free resources that are out there. Dive in, learn what you can along the way, and that’ll get you to where you want to be eventually.” – Charmaine
20:10 About the Hustle & Charm Community
“Hustle & Charm is primarily for female Winnipeg bloggers and business owners who feel alone in your business. Being an entrepreneur is hard; not a lot of people understand what we go through with having your own business. I wanted to create a space where us women can meet on a regular basis face to face and share ideas, expertise, concerns, and resources.” – Charmaine
“I love this idea of connecting with other Winnipeggers, because so often it feels like as bloggers and small business owners, we are just sort of alone in Winnipeg and there’s no one else who does what we do, but that’s not true! There’s a whole bunch of us.” – Sagan
23:50 Why we decided to start a Winnipeg-focused business podcast
“There is no other podcast really talking about other Winnipeg businesses; a lot of business podcasts are American-based.” – Dan
24:55 On finances and bringing on additional team members
26:00 Next plans for Charmaine’s business
“By the end of the year, I want to start a lifestyle blog… All my ideas seem to be big ideas, and I want to do them all at the same time!” – Charmaine
27:30 On entrepreneurs taking on big projects and implementing new ideas
“You can learn so much from trying things out and seeing how they go. What I found was, when I launched my Twitter chat, my biggest problem was sticking to a weekly specific day and time — I didn’t like knowing that I was forced to do something on a specific day and time. So I realized that from there, I needed to start my own Facebook group instead. So you can test things out, see how you like them, and put it on the backburner or scrap it if it’s not the right fit.” – Sagan
Get solopreneur business tips in this Candid Conversations podcast episode #trypod #solopreneurship
30:30 How to learn more about Charmaine
30:55 About shadowbanning on Instagram
32:55 Thanks for listening!
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33:25 Outtake 🙂
Awesome Resources + People Mentioned In This Episode:
- Exclusive Content #1: What it’s like starting a business partnership
- Strategic Charm Boutique
- Red River College
- Devan Danielle
- Self-Employment Program in Manitoba
- Self-Employment Program in Alberta
- Self-Employment Program in Nova Scotia
- Self-Employment Program in British Columbia
- Self-Employment Program in Prince Edward Island
- Self-Employment Program in Northwest Territories
- Self-Employment Program in New Brunswick
- Self-Employment Program in Quebec
- Self-Employment Program in Saskatchewan
- Self-Employment Program in Yukon
- Self-Employment Program in Ontario
- Hustle & Charm Community
- Jodi Neufeld Design
- Begin Your Biz Facebook group
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