Welcome to our One Woman Shop Member Spotlight series, where we highlight what’s going on in the businesses and lives of One Woman Shop members. Interested in joining this ambitious group of go-getters? Apply today!
Today’s Spotlight is on Lauren Pawell, marketing strategist + owner of Bixa Media, where she helps entrepreneurs and businesses perform better digitally.
Tell us about yourself and your business - what do you do + who do you serve?
My name is Lauren Pawell, and I'm the founder and owner of Bixa Media, a digital marketing agency focused on helping entrepreneurs generate (and nurture) more leads through their websites.
Are there any things commonly accepted as truths in the business world that you flat out disagree with?
Quite frankly, I’m not sure that any “truths” are universal!
That being said, I don’t believe there is one perfect online channel or one perfect tool for every business. Be wary of someone who says “This is THE tool (or channel) that everyone should be using.” All businesses have different needs; the perfect solution for one business will be very different than the perfect solution for another.
What's one thing people might not know just from reading your website and following you on social media?
My fiance is a pilot and the current nature of his job means we have a few moves in our future. We recently relocated (temporarily) to Denver and will likely be relocating a couple more times over the next five years. From a business standpoint, this means you’ve got to have services + products that move with you. Fortunately, I’ve got that covered.
Being my own boss makes our uncertain future significantly more certain...at least from an income standpoint and the fact that I don’t have to keep finding new jobs frequently. I can’t imagine telling a future employer that I didn’t know how long I could stick around. Talk about unemployable!
What's your favorite social media platform and why?
While most may not consider this a social media platform, I love email. It’s the ultimate 1:1 form of communication and allows you to forge a deep and personal relationship with your audience members that just isn’t always possible on the various 1:many platforms.
If you could do just one piece of your business forever, what would it be?
I LOVE writing marketing emails. Coming up with compelling copy, seeing instant feedback from your audience...I find it very addicting. So much so, it’s one of my favorite things to teach other entrepreneurs how to do! Most think writing emails is difficult; I promise it’s much easier than you think it is.
If you had to describe yourself or your business in one word, what would it be?
Running my own business has given me a freedom that would not be possible otherwise.
I’ve been able to take significant time off to care for a sick family member, helped another family member create their own online business, been able to support my fiance’s career change, and travel the world….all while running Bixa Media.
More importantly, I’ve been able to help clients find their own entrepreneurial freedom. I believe that anyone who is willing to go out on their own and overcome all obstacles in order to do so deserves to take back their freedom, too.
What does community mean to you?
A like-minded group of people. In One Woman Shop’s case, it means women who are brave enough, and crazy enough, to go out on their own and pursue their version of entrepreneurial freedom.
What is the #1 lesson you've learned since being in business on your own?
Experiment and iterate.
When you’re creating something out of nothing, you have to get creative and experiment with things you’ve never done before.
And of course, not everything is a success right off the bat. But, with continued iteration and improvement, you can often turn so-so efforts into home runs.
What's your one piece of advice for new solo business owners?
Want to go farther, faster? Hire help who’s accomplished what you want to, so you don’t waste time doing the “trial by fire” method.
Whether you want to implement Facebook Ads, build a lead-generating webinar funnel, require new contracts, or need to learn how to do bookkeeping...there are experts out there who can help you with all of that. And most of the time, they can teach you how to do it yourself, should you not want to outsource the process completely.
This approach will save you a ton of time and money long term, even if it requires some upfront investment.
How has running a business changed you?
Unlike my non-entrepreneurial friends, uncertainty no longer scares me. In fact, I’d say it fuels me! I like the challenge of creating something out of nothing...over and over and over again.
Give us a shameless plug for your latest project/product/freebie!
I’m currently teaching my audience how to build a site and create an audience from scratch, in a year-long, free experiment called the Transparent Marketing Project.
It’s a lot of fun (and also happens in my limited spare time), so it’s hyper-focused on marketing strategies that produce results.
Plus, you get to see when I try things that don’t work very well. If you’re new to the online marketing world, I highly recommend checking it out. I give away a ton of awesome freebies (think email scripts, website blueprints, etc.)