5-9er Interview: Toni L Brown

1.What is your “day job” and how many hours do you work in a week?

I create courses and manage learning and development projects for big business. I work 40 hours a week.


2.What is your business? (What do you sell/who do you serve and why?)

So I took the knowledge and skills I already love, which is creating courses and learning programs and turned into my own business. So I use the exact same skill set for big business and apply them to small businesses and entrepreneurs.


3.For how many years have you run a business alongside your regular job?

Off and on 5 years, this time, because it is the right business, I’ve be going strong for 3 years now.


4.Why did you decide to start a business?

I’ve always wanted my own business, I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. When I got a divorce I went from a two income household to one income and I didn’t want to change my two income lifestyle so I had to do something to bring in some extra money, be of service and still have time to spend with my daughter. So I decided the best way was to create a consulting firm with what I love and that’s art and learning. That was the birth of Toni L. Brown, LLC.


5.In your first 6 months of starting your business, please list out the top 3 pain points you struggled with:
1. Finding the time.
2. Getting specific on services
3. Getting organized


6.How did you overcome these pain points?

I overcame these pain points by hiring someone, this is one of the luxuries of having a 9-5 and building the biz, you still have money coming in and your not on the struggle bus. This person helped me with all three of my pain points. They kept me accountable.


7.How good are you at delegating tasks to others?

I’m better now than I was when I started lol. I thought I could do it all. You learn a lot about yourself when you are building your business and you learn your strengths and weakness and just things that you just don’t want to do. What I do know now is if I have time, I will get it done, if I have a spontaneous deadline, I will hire out. Sometimes I have 3 projects going at the same time and that’s when I’ve got to get some help!


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8.Do you feel you have a good balance between your job, business and personal life. If yes, how did you achieve this? If no – why not?

Yes, I have a pretty good balance. For one, I work from home 4 days out of the week. This just happened so I’m able to get more down now that I don’t have to travel into the office an hour each way. When I have a deadline coming I plan accordingly with my weekend time and time with my daughter. She’s 10 and I explain to her when my availability to her changes. I also get her involved if it’s creating an audio intro, taking pictures or helping record a video. This way she is involved int he process and doesn’t think I’ve just shoved her to the side.


9.What are your top 3 tips for people starting a business alongside their regular jobs?
1. Schedule time on your calendar for your biz. Select a time and put it on your calendar so you will put in the time. I found that if I didn’t I would be doing house work or cooking or just lounging on the sofa watching tv and the time I was going to devote to the biz slips away.
2. Create a plan. Don’t go in blind, you get overwhelmed and feel like throwing in the towel sooner than you should.
3. Be patient! This is a marathon, not a sprint! Take your time dot all your “i”s and cross all your “t”s

Bonus: Identify short 15-30 minute tasks you can do at soccer or softball practice or during lunch that can help you get started quickly once you get home.


10.If you could change one thing about your start up process when you started your business what would that be?

The one thing I would change is to have blocked time earlier instead of having my schedule all willy nilly.


11. Do you have plans to transition to full time business owner? Why?

Eventually, yes. For now working my 9-5 is a blessing, it provides my insurance, holiday pay and it provides me the luxury to take my time and launch a product that is perfect for my clients and future customers.

Find out More:

Toni L Brown
Course Creation Strategist
Owner of Creating Your Classroom Academy (CYCA)

Contact me and they can reach me in my open access classroom http://bit.ly/CreateYourCourseFBG

Become a VIE (Very Important Educator) at CYCA and get your So You Wanna Create AClassroom: Your CYCA Ultimate Classroom Creation Blueprint + Checklist to jumpstart the process here http://www.creatingyourclassroom.com/vie

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