The person she was before she reached her “launching point”
Graduated with a degree in Fine Art. Worked for an auction house while in college and learned how to do appraisals. Worked in the Pennsylvania State Senate. Husband got a dream job and they dropped everything and moved to Mojave, California.
Realization that she wanted to be an entrepreneur
Cross country move was a turning point. Didn’t know anybody and didn’t have a house right away. Moving and packing were stressful. Once they started to unpack, lots of things weren’t making sense and thought they would have been better off selling everything and re-buying after the move. She was just trying to think of something to do and, at that point, she realized she could use her appraisal knowledge and combine it with estate liquidation to help people who are at a transition point.
Obstacles preventing her from launching
Had moved across the country and didn’t know anyone so she didn’t have a support structure. Nobody knew her or her capabilities and finding clients was hard. Didn’t know who could help her do things like build a website or other things she needed.
First entrepreneurial venture
Estate sales. Past experience is what gave her the courage. Really likes researching objects. Motivation came from wanting to get out and meet people and connect with others in the community. She thought it would be more exciting than what she was doing before.
Negative thoughts and how she dealt with them
She had loaned her business her own money. At what point will I be able to pay the money back? What if I never get a client and I’m flushing thousands of dollars down the toilet? Had a business plan so she knew how many clients she needed to make the money back so that helped. Am I being a good mom and wife? You do have to take a leap of faith at some point. Helped to break things down into little pieces.
Affect entrepreneurship had on personal life
It was freeing. She felt like she had something that was hers. It was nice to switch from being someone else’s voice to being her own voice. Loves that everything she does benefits her family.
Moment she knew she had “launched”
She put up a very inexpensive website, but her competitors didn’t have one. People found her online, especially when the next of kin did not live in the area. She started getting phone calls right away and it really worked out magically. Her phone just started ringing asking for consultations and that was the moment she knew she had a business.
Present day entrepreneurial venture(s)
Expert Estates now has a store front. Just published The Estate Sale Business Kit: No Nonsense Materials That Estate Liquidators Need which helps other estate sale business owners. Branching out to other services like coaching and consulting for other owners. Launching EstateFusion.com to give support to estate liquidators nationwide.
How she’s changed as an entrepreneur and a person since the pre-launch version
She is known as the Estate Mama, which is a constant reminder that she’s a mom. It’s rewarding to have the freedom to be in control of her calendar. Confidence to choose which clients she works with.
If she could go back to the beginning, what she would tell herself to do differently
Put the right legal documents in place to protect herself from competitors and employees.
Book recommendation that embodies her journey
Three actionable steps:
- Set up your business plan with your target goals and what they will return. Touch on who your competition is and how you’re going to do it different.
- Get good contracts in place especially if you’re in the service industry.
- Find a coach or mentor
*Original article and interview found here.