Today’s Entrepreneur: Jena Holliday from A Spoonful of Faith
- Tell us about your business and explain the purpose and vision for A Spoonful of Faith.
Spoonful of Faith was founded in 2014 as outlet for me to express my creativity, passions and help others create theirs! I’ve always been a creative soul, with art in my blood from a young age. With a professional background in marketing, social media, and blogging – I mix them all together and help create brands with a unique flair, distinct look, and creative touch. I also do custom illustration and design work. Right now, its a one-woman team, and I love that I can be so intimately involved with each project. My goal is really to help small businesses and women create unique hand crafted businesses, artwork, and bring something that is wonderfully made especially for them. Christ is a huge part behind why this was started and a lot of advice is given on my blog based on His principles. It’s truly a lifestyle brand where you can hear truth, find positive artwork for your life, and get the push to create a small business that’s a true expression of who you are.
- What are your long-term goals for your business?Long term I would love to be doing more marketing and campaign art commission jobs and really turning it into a full service brand management firm. It’s hard when it’s one person because I get to wear all the hats! But I know that Jesus has got His hand on it all, so I have to keep my focus on today so that whatever comes tomorrow can be exactly what is needed at that time!
- As an entrepreneur, what are some of your favorite resources to use?Hmmm, I actually take advantage of some pretty cool subscription Facebook groups. There are great ones out there that are free as well – where you can connect with other entrepreneurs in your industry that will inspire you and offer tips and tricks in things that they have learned. I also take advantage of the notes/reminders on my cell phone – like big time! I also like to make to-do lists for the week so I can see overall what I want to focus on – as currently I do work a full-time job in social media while I do the freelance work on the side. So I keep busy! God is definitely the best resource I have, finding peace and balance in it all.
- What was the number one fear that you had to overcome regarding starting your own business and choosing to be an entrepreneur?
Fears suck! But they are definitely something you can overcome. I think the biggest thing I had to overcome was that I was good enough and needed in the marketplace. I think sometimes when we see others that may be doing something we find cool in our industry – we can be intimidated and start the comparison party. But truly God has shown me that there is something about each of us that is unique and needs to be shared – so my biggest advice is to stay true to yourself and what creatively comes from your life and spirit. That creates the best content, ideas, and will give you the greatest return than trying to do what everyone else is doing. And you are good enough! Technically trained or not, you can be amazing and you really have to believe that!
- Your branding is impeccable, what’s your number one advice for branding?Wow, thank you seriously you don’t know what that means to me. I think it’s really important to understand what your brand or business is trying to say to your target audience. Once you figure out who you are talking to and what you are trying to say – the next best thing is to figure out how to effectively reach these people. Which is where a lot of people get hung up – especially today as there are so many social networks and communities of people. So market research is key – it will save you a lot of time in the end if you figure out exactly who you are talking to. Selling to a group of moms is very different than selling to a group of female entrepreneurs that could be moms – there’s different points that are important to each group, there’s different pain points, there’s overlapping values but they need to be said in a certain voice to be effective. Figuring that out can help your business tremendously.
- What’s your favorite tool for networking?I think social media and blogging have been the best tools for me to meet people! My favorite tool is social media because it’s easy to connect and drop a message. But I think conferences, local happy hours, and Facebook groups are great ways to connect with people who are interested in similar things. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of meeting in person – via Skype if you’re connection is long distance or meeting up for coffee if you’re local. I’ve met some amazing people by just getting out from behind the screen this year and have had some awesome business opportunities created from that.
- The best piece of advice that you want to share with entrepreneurs who are just starting out?Dive in. I’ve only been doing this thing for about a year and it’s insane the amount I have learned. Everything won’t always look pretty, but look past the situation and think big picture and it will help you through! When you feel like you are compromising your work and comparing yourself too much – disconnect for a few days! Also, you may work longer hours at first but it will pay off. Soak it all up, keep the faith, and stay motivated by your purpose. I guess that’s more than one piece of advice – but those are all things learned in my first year and have really helped me.
- As your business grows, is it important to stay flexible with the plan or true to the original plan and vision?
I think flexibility is important. Building a business is a bit like having a child. You can prepare yourself for the good and the bad; but you have to roll with the punches of what comes at each stage. You should have a vision but understand things may change and it doesn’t mean you are a failure. You never fail, you always walk away from a situation with a new outlook or understanding. That’s truly a win.
- What do you recommend for bloggers specifically? The blog world is hard to break into and you’ve done so almost effortlessly.Thanks! I have been blogging since 2008 – so I’ve learned so much! I recently left my longtime blog and started a new one with Spoonful of Faith – that was eye opening and hard because it was definitely starting over for me. The biggest piece of advice that I could give bloggers is to create great content. What does that even mean nowadays – since there’s so much content and blogs out there? Do some research on who your audience is. (Again market research!) What are their interests? What are their pain points? How can your blog help them? Truly being honest – people are pretty self-serving. If I visit your blog I want something out of it. And if I feel like you are talking directly to me – I feel like I belong there and I keep coming back. But the way the blogger does that is by knowing who they are trying to reach or talk to – and talking in their ‘love’ language about things they are interested in. Which should be something you are passionate about blogging on in the first place! Also be consistent and share your content – you’ve gotta be your biggest advocate.
- Most entrepreneurs wear multiple hats, what’s your advice for time management while being your own boss?
It’s important and can be hard. I’m a mommy, I work full time, I’m a wife, and I have a small business. I could tell you about ways I get through my work day – but honestly it comes down to priorities. Life is busy – but defining what is most important to you will help you prioritize your life. My family is important and providing excellent service to my clients is important. I can’t do everything but I can be open and honest with my clients about realistic timelines. I can take time to just focus on having quality time with my family. I can decide to have office hours and quit checking emails after a certain time. You have to do what works for your life and what matters to you. You put on the hat that is most important at that time, you handle what you can as it comes, you thank God for the days that you have help. Also, I think it’s important to be on the same page with your spouse and family. If you have support it really helps! And if you don’t have support from family – networking is key. There are some amazing communities, groups and people out there ready and willing to support your efforts. Find them!
For more of Jena, go visit www.aspoonfuloffaith.com
With love and big smiles,