Episode 11: Meg Wheeler - From Soul Sucking Jobs to Creating Your Own
Hello almost-summer! To inspire leaps into new business opportunities with the changing seasons, we bring to you this week Meg Wheeler, the co-founder of One for Women and author of The Unpublished Author blog. A realtor turned international tax accountant turned startup CEO, Meg is passionate about empowering women, a believer in constant reinvention and never takes herself too seriously.
Creating Opportunity Out of Change
Soul sucking jobs. We’ve heard about them, we’ve experienced them, we’ve complained about them. Meg has been there too.
For about a year, she had been struggling with not being challenged, wasn’t feeling like she was making an impact, and didn’t feel like she had strong mentors. When she came back from maternity leave, the company she worked for was changing and the work she was doing was going to be changed along with it. This would have led her down a different path then what she was interested in, so she thought “here’s my moment.”
And so she gave her notice. Examining her options, she thought she could stay in her industry, go to work for a startup, or to start a business. It was that last one that kept coming up to her, having started when she had a friend who had had a bad week. She sent her flowers, but the hefty price tag made her realize she can’t do that for every friend each week. And as the ideas kept coming, she went for it.
Enter One for Women, an online gift company for the small moments in life. 100% of their products come from women owned or run businesses, and a portion of their proceeds go back to nonprofit organizations that support and advance women.
Finding Your Route in Business
When you hear startup, do you think tech and VCs? While this is the case for many, particularly those in the news and having fast growth, it’s not always true.
For Meg, they’re bootstrapping and not looking towards the investor route, and it’s tough. They’re small, scrappy, and constantly think about if the option for high growth. But for now, they’re a small team trying to constantly make things work.
The reasons behind this are many, but a statistic that Meg cites in the podcast is that only 3% of VC funding has gone to women. So even if you decide, hey I want VC funding and I want to be backed, it may not even be an option!
So, there is nothing wrong with taking your time in business. As Meg says, “There is nothing wrong with the low and slow in my opinion. It gives you the time to understand your customers, to hone your product, and to really figure out who you are.”
Wanted (and Unwanted) Advice
When you’re starting a business, you no longer have the built in network or team that a traditional company provides. So you end up working long hours holed up by yourself; this can get lonely.
“Not having people to bounce ideas off of is really really challenging. So I think it’s crucial when you do something like this… you just need to get out and talk to people. Find a network you can rely on.”
On the flip side, people will always offer advice. Particularly when you’re not looking for it. Meg deals with these instances by evaluating the feedback and asking, ‘is this really right for what I’m doing?’
Hear more advice and tips from Meg by listening below! And be sure to give us a review on your podcast app of choice or give us some feedback on social @iammakingmoxie.