Employees to Entrepreneurs

Starting a Boutique PR Firm

A great job can become hellish when the people mix changes for the worse. Michelle Renee saw that happen at her job, so she left and started her own company, a boutique PR firm based in San Diego, California.

Michelle Renee went from working at a spa to owning her a PR firm.

She shared her story with us, including some great advice for anybody who has left a job and is thinking about becoming an entrepreneur.

What type of firm were you working at when you were let go? Was it part of a downsizing or was there some other reason given by them? How long had you been there?

When did you leave?

Last November I was the Spa Director for an upscale, chic spa in southern California. Times were getting tough for the business.

One of the partners was bought out due to conflict and the other was not exactly the most savvy business women I've ever met. Her vision and passion made up for it from time to time but overall it was a very stressful environment, even for a spa. The tension in the air, the manic energy and other poor business decisions and behaviors by the owner had me feeling physically sick.

That was when I decided it was time to give my notice and go out on my own. But before my 30-day notice was up, she fired me when I confronted her on a serious business and financial issue. Instead of admitting the truth, she let me go. So, being on my own came a little bit sooner than I had expected.

You've got your own company now, right? What is it and what do you do there?

While at the spa I did everything from management to employee relations to event planning and public relations -- and I was great at it. I decided to combine my love for writing and PR with my deep desire to help others and my 13-year background in banking to start a boutique PR and consulting business, dreamBIG Consulting.

Today I help others get their message, product or brand out to the world in a dreamBIG way.

With all the contacts I have made over the years in media due to a violent crime that happened to my daughter and me, the news wanting interviews after the trial, etc., I began leveraging those contacts for myself when I published my book, became my own publicist and now do the same for others!

Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur instead of simply looking for another job?

I felt led to do what I am doing now. There was this undeniable tug at my core that told me to take that gigantic leap of faith and follow that call on my life to write, help and inspire others.

The trick is to listen to that inner voice and never stop.

Did you buy a business or start a business from scratch? Why did you do one instead of the other? Which do you think is the best approach?

I started from scratch. As a single mom I had no money for purchasing a business and knew I needed to do something with little overhead and that utilizes my skills and experience and passions all at the same time.

Owning a business is very different from working as an employee. What are some of the biggest differences you've noticed? What do you miss? What don't you miss?

Not having to get all dolled up every morning is a huge plus for me. I have time to make my daughter breakfast, pick her up from school, take care of the everyday things I used to have to cram into a weekend.

I also love that when I get inspired, even if it is at 2 a.m., I can go to my computer and write, blog, create or do something to help a client.

I miss some of the girls and those connections but I don't miss the drama.

What advice would you give to somebody who is leaving the life of working for a company to go out on their own?

It is said all the time but so true -- do what you love. Do what works for you and be sure to take all your skills into consideration when determining what path to step onto when it comes to being an entrepreneur.

Go back to when you were a kid even. What did you love? What were your strengths? Those things never go away only get buried under time and responsibility. Dig deep, uncover your passions and talents and go for it!

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We hope you enjoyed this interview on what it takes to go from employee to entrepreneur. We welcome your comments, tips and advice below. Thanks!

  • Christine posted on 7/9/2009
    This is an awesome article to inspire women to do what you love!! I want to have my own boutique event planning firm. Reading this article really helped me!

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