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Andrew's Story

Andrew's Story

2022-05-2320:14

Andrew always thought he was going to be an engineer. It was, after all, the "high-quality" profession his family dreamed he'd have. But when he found himself making short videos for fun while attending college, Andrew began to think to his career may lie on a different path.  Listen as Andrew shares how he turned his love for making videos into Dad Verb, a YouTube channel that provides resources and advice for new fathers. 
Jamee's Story

Jamee's Story

2022-05-1615:02

Twice Jamee had tried to buy her dream boutique Bella Me—and twice the offers fell through. As the owner of a successful preschool, Jamee already had experience as a small business owner. But something about Bella Me kept her hoping that one day she could own that business as well. And when COVID-19 hit, Jamee saw a way to help save Bella Me while finally making her dream come true. Listen as Jamee shares how she became the owner of the Bella Me boutique.  
Mitchell's Story

Mitchell's Story

2022-05-0916:09

Marriage proposals can be nerve-wrecking affairs under normal circumstances. But when the proposal all hinges on your fiancée solving a series of puzzles in an escape room you created, that's a completely new level of stress. Fortunately for Mitchell, his homemade escape room proposal worked in his favor, and gave him and his family an idea for a unique business opportunity. Listen as Mitchell shares how he and his family began their mobile escape room: The Escape Pod. 
April's Story

April's Story

2022-05-0219:05

When April bought a few goats as a form of lawn care for her three-acre property, she had no intention of starting a goat yoga studio. But when a friend proposed the idea and a video of April and her friends doing yoga poses with her goats caught the eye of news outlets, one thing led to another. Listen as April shares how three goats and eight friends led to the founding of her business: Arizona Goat Yoga. Find more small business stories at mazumausa.com. 
Ben's and Greg's Story

Ben's and Greg's Story

2022-04-2523:58

Ben wanted a change. As an auditor, he noticed that his clients, no matter how friendly, were relieved whenever he left. And so while sequestered in the small basement of a business he was auditing, he came across two words in a headline on his phone that seemed to be the answer: "fun" and "accounting." Intrigued, he clicked on the link to discover Mazuma, a company that provided revolutionary tax services to small businesses. And after discussing his findings with his friend, Greg, the two made a decision that would change their careers forever. Listen as Ben and Greg share their story of how they began Mazuma USA. 
Derek's Story

Derek's Story

2022-04-1820:55

Like most people raised in the 80s and 90s, Derek has a love of music. But it isn't the lyrics to Journey or AC/DC songs that he enjoys, it's the composition. And after making video game theme song remixes for his friends in his teenage years, Derek felt like he could turn his love of music composition into a career. Listen as Derek shares his story of how he went from making Mario remix songs to scores for movies and podcasts as part of his business Mix at 6 Studios. Find more small business stories at mazumausa.com. 
Tai's Story

Tai's Story

2022-04-1126:07

While working in the tech industry, Tai noticed something others lacked—organizational skills. In fact, Tai's skills were so impressive, she would use them to help her struggling colleagues. And when an email turned into a meeting that turned into a $100,000 deal, Tai knew she could create a business from her unique skillset. Listen as Tai shares her story for how she began her small business: Organizely.  Find more small business stories at mazumausa.com. 
Daon's Story

Daon's Story

2022-04-0412:17

It all began when Daon ordered what he thought would be the perfect sectional for his home from a website. But when it arrived, it became clear the sectional was more suited for a doll house than his house. Yet this online mishap gave Daon an idea. Listen as Daon shares how online ordering led him to starting his own small business: M and D Ventures Group.  Find more small business stories at mazumausa.comSee the products Daon and his wife review at janewaygoods.com. 
Juanita's Story

Juanita's Story

2022-03-2825:30

Teachers have always been unsung heroes. Whether it's funding school projects with their own money or spending unpaid time to check in on students, a lot of teachers go above and beyond their job description with little to no recognition. Add COVID-19 to the mix and one day a year doesn't feel like a enough to show appreciation for what teachers do. Listen as Juanita, the founder and CEO of Teachers Support Teachers, shares how her business gives teachers much-needed recognition through a variety of ways. Find more small business stories at mazumausa.com 
It's tax season. If those three words caused you to sweat a little bit as you thought about your small business, you're not alone. In this episode, Ben and Greg answer common questions from small business owners about how to file taxes with as little stress as possible. YouTube: Mazuma USAWebsite: mazumausa.com 
Dominic's Story

Dominic's Story

2022-03-1414:24

Even before the days of YouTube, Dominic loved creating short videos with his friends. But as he passed into adulthood, Dominic wondered how he could use this passion to create a business. Listen as Dominic shares how he used his passion for video to become the CEO of La Rondie Media Inc.,  a business that creates viral advertisements for social media. Learn more about Mazuma at: mazumausa.comFind show notes at: mazumausa.com/keep-goingContact Dominic at: larondiemedia@gmail.com
Qiana's Story

Qiana's Story

2022-03-0715:48

Qiana wanted one thing after her HVAC broke in the middle of summer: tacos. But as a dietary vegan, she couldn’t use animal meat. Instead, she did something she had never done before—she used ground walnut meat. In this episode of Keep Going, Qiana shares how her creative decision to use this plant-based ingredient led to her starting her own business, The Walnut Tree. Find Qiana’s business on Instagram at @thewalnuttreenutmeat or Facebook at The Walnut Tree Nut Meat.  
Derek's Story

Derek's Story

2022-02-2833:50

Data drives everything, and as a small business owner, you need to understand your data if you want to grow. Derek Doel, founder of Analytics Odyssey, joined the Keep Going podcast to share his insights on how small business owners can effectively use data to help manage their company.Before starting his own company, Derek was working with a startup that grew incredibly fast. In the span of two years, the company grew from 10 employees to over 200. "During that period of growth, we invested in career development coaches for managers, and really she was coaching me how to be a better entrepreneur. So I started a website, picked a company name, all while leading this team," says Derek. Soon after, he took the jump to start his own business providing data management and consulting services."Things that happen in your business will be forgotten unless it's in data," says Derek, who mentions that the term "data" can mean something different to every business, depending on their stage of growth and the goals they are trying to accomplish. Whether you are trying to save money, get more customers, or just want to stay afloat, the answer is in the data. That's why Derek and his team focus on helping businesses find that data, understand it, and use it to make informed decisions.And the most important and relevant data all businesses should be tracking revolves around customers, Derek notes. By understanding the customer experience throughout their journey, business owners can make decisions that will lead to future growth. "As you become more comfortable with those numbers, you will grow measurement techniques from there on how to change behaviors that you want to see, whether that's more customers, better conversion, or more engagement from customers after they have been converted."However, Derek knows firsthand that growth does not come easily.  About the emotional journey he's experienced as an entrepreneur, Derek shares, "When you've worked harder than you ever worked before, and made more money than you have made before, but you are still more broke than you have ever been before, you're in it. That's an emotional toll for you and for your family."Derek mentions that leaning on his routine has been key to keeping a work-life balance. "The gym is very important to me, and that has never strayed," says Derek. He is also very strict about keeping work time and family time separate. "If it's after hours and you are messaging me, I will stonewall not discuss it, because I refuse to work while I am having my family time."  Derek believes a big part of his success, and his advice for other entrepreneurs, is his growth mindset and drive to be better. "That is a lot of what drives me every day," says Derek. "To me, it's the version of me today—I can be better than that tomorrow, and that will be my attitude regardless of the circumstances in front of me."If you are a small business owner who wants to understand your data better, or if you want to get a better understanding of what Derek's team offers, reach out through their website at analyticsodyssey.com . "Definitely connect with me," says Derek. "I can tell you how to use data for your competitive advantage."
Rebecca's Story

Rebecca's Story

2022-02-2128:25

What are the biggest mistakes small business owners make when creating a website?That’s a question Rebecca Wilson knows inside and out. In fact, she and her team help business owners avoid these mistakes and build professional, seamless websites.Rebecca and her husband, Ian, own ThemeSupport, a company that specializes in web development for WordPress sites. From bug fixes to complete website rebuilds, ThemeSupport provides expert help and customized support. The company has been around for years, but Rebecca and Ian bought the business in 2021. Even though Rebecca had no prior experience in the field, she felt confident about their decision. “For me, this was a very natural thing. I had a small business in the past, and my husband for several years has wanted a business, whether it was starting a business or buying a business, so this just felt like the right fit for us,” she says.During her time running ThemeSupport, Rebecca has noted three common pitfalls that often pop up when business owners build a website:First, many business owners want a  unique design that requires extensive backend coding. She mentions that while having a vision for your brand is good, the more customized your site, the more it costs and harder it is to manage. She recommends business owners start with a prebuilt WordPress theme and then add unique touches to help it stand out. This will make it easier and more cost-effective to maintain. The second most common issue Rebecca noticed is people installing too many plugins. While WordPress plugins provide diverse functionality, they also take up space, require constant updates, and can interfere with each other. Start with what you know you need, and then expand from there.The final mistake she notes is thinking that once you build a site, you are done.  “It is really important that you maintain your site by updating your themes and plugins to make sure your site isn’t vulnerable and that everything is working as you expect it to,” Rebecca notes. The sites that offer the best customer experience are the sites that are constantly being updated and maintained. The worst scenario for a small business owner would be a site that crashes or is difficult for customers to navigate.If you are building your website on your own, Rebecca recommends researching your competitors and seeing what they are doing: “A lot of sites that are in the same industry often have the same look, so research what your competitors are doing, and find something that is a little different to help yourself stand out.”One thing Rebecca and her husband have learned running the business together is that being successful requires much more than just coding and website knowledge. Relationship building is a secret to success for any small business owner. “When we notified current customers of the change of ownership, so many people responded with messages about how much they will miss the past owners and how great they were to work with, and I thought that was really cool.”Rebecca is working hard to provide the same level of customer service. “It is really easy to become impersonal in an attempt to be professional,” says Rebecca. Instead, she works on adding a personal touch in all her communication and avoids cut-and-paste templates.One final mistake business owners can make when it comes to their website is not putting in the time, effort, or resources. “Your website is often a customer’s first impression of you,” Rebecca says. It can be what invites business or drives it away, so it’s worth the cost to ensure your website makes a good first impression. To learn more about ThemeSupport, visit themesupport.net.
Bobby's Story

Bobby's Story

2022-02-1427:08

When Bobby lost his mother two years ago, he wanted to make sure he stayed connected with her. He found his answer through his small business: Essence of Soul Creations LLC, a restaurant providing quality dishes built uniquely for each customer. 
Michelle's Story

Michelle's Story

2022-02-0725:09

Michelle Dy is the founder of African Abroad Date, a dating app for Africans to meet online. After moving to the United States from Cameroon, she realized how difficult it was to connect with other Africans. Her friends and family were running into the same issue, so she took it on herself to find a solution. 
Brent's Story

Brent's Story

2022-01-3136:18

 Today's episode of Keep Going features an entrepreneur who had to make a dramatic life change due to the market collapse of 2009. Brent Howard, of Howard & Howard Insurance, shares his story about the decisions he made in pursuing a new career, the work it took to get to where he is today, and his advice for other small business owners. 
Thiefaine's Story

Thiefaine's Story

2022-01-2440:45

"You work 100 hours weeks because it's not actually work and you love what you are doing, or because you don't have a choice because you have 3 mouths to feed at home". Thiefaine , founder of Prouduct, a global sourcing and trade company, shares his insights as an entrepreneur that helps other small business owners expand their opportunities.
Kerry & Kevin's Story

Kerry & Kevin's Story

2022-01-1734:22

Kerry & Kevin are the founders of ESports Furniture Store. Their goal is to be the leading provider in quality in e-sports and gaming furniture, for anyone that just enjoys gaming as a hobby, to up and coming professionals in the space. As gamers themselves, they wanted to start something that mattered to them, in a space that they understood. Kerry & Kevin are twins, and have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. They mentioned that as kids they started selling Pokémon and baseball cards to their friends, or charging other classmates to clean their desks for extra snack money, and even hired friends and gave them a commission for their help. "We didn't notice at the time but today we think back, and we started a 'business, we had an employee, we understood supply and demand'. All that to say that entrepreneurship was always inside of us, and now it's all coming together".
Charles' Story

Charles' Story

2022-01-1024:00

From protecting the President of the United States, to protecting the 9-5 office, Charles Roselle, founder of Trinity Risk Solutions, shares his story of starting a security and risk management company designed to provide companies exceptional workplace security, safety and training. 
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