Why I Wanted To Start My Own Small Company

⌛ By Kaylin R. Staten ⌛

October is Women’s Small Business Month, and I wanted to kick off our slate of small-business-themed content with the 5Ws and the 1H (Who, What, When, Where, Why and How) when it comes to Hourglass Media. 

As many people know, I started my small business, Hourglass Media, in March 2015. At its inception, it existed only on my MacBook Pro, Nikon D5000, iPhone and a few odds and ends of backed-up files. I started this company while sitting on the floor of my childhood bedroom, with my cat, Oreo (my guardian angel cat now) stepping all over my newly established business license and IRS form printouts. I knew I had a company within me, so I started.

The journey to present day hasn’t always been pretty. It hasn’t been a clear-cut path, and I would be lying to you (and to myself) if I said it was easy. It is the most challenging thing I have ever done in my entire life. On the flip side, it’s also the most rewarding.

Let me take you on a journey into my personal headspace and give you my reasons why I wanted to start my own company: 

I craved ownership of my work.

When you’re a public relations practitioner and writer, your work can vary in ownership. While I love owning the copyrights to my written work, what I mean by ownership here is having to answer for everything to everyone else but me. In my previous life as a nonprofit communicator, I often felt like my to-do list ran me. It ran me straight into the ground is what it did. I own my schedule, who I choose to do business with, who I to work with. Owning a small business is full of choices. At times, that can be overwhelming, especially for a INFJ personality like me. But, I own ALL OF IT: the good, bad, successful, failing. For the first time, I saw something grow from a daydream in the back of my mind during my college classes to what it is today and what it will become tomorrow. That was liberating.

I was tired of toxic environments and situations. 

I am not going to air dirty laundry here. That is not the Hourglass way, but I will get into what it’s like to work and live in toxic environments. They do nothing for your work ethic or skin condition. Toxicity is contagious, and it craves the gossip mill. Sure, I will admit that I engaged in some negative behaviors, but just like with partying and other temporary solutions to permanent issues, I became tired of it. I became tired of micromanagement, unaddressed problems, childish behavior and ageism. While I have dealt with toxicity with business associates, it’s much easier now to weed them out before they take root in my professional and personal realms.

It’s in my blood. 

I come from a long list of business owners in my family. I grew up watching my dad run his own construction company, and I think the bug just bit me early on. Of course, I saw the struggles, but I wanted to do it anyway. I was meant to be at least somewhat of an entrepreneur and storyteller due to my compassion, work ethic and drive to make a difference in my life. I am proud to be a fourth-generation business owner in my family, and the first female to take the small business owner reins. 

And… I wanted a challenge. 

It’s not that I wasn’t being challenged in other environments. It’s just that I knew I was made for more. When I find myself in a rut, I have to always ask, “Am I being challenged?” I make changes based on the answer to that question. I was being led in the direction of Hourglass Media, and I knew it was part of my destiny. Sometimes, though, you have to grow your skill set and experience life before taking the plunge to start your own company at the ripe old age of 26. (Ha.) When you have your own company, you are challenged and have to rise above your comfort zone every day. An example of this is actually being in front of the camera instead of behind it! 

The Top 5 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Communications Business eBook
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This FREE eBook was designed for the current (and new!) entrepreneur and the communications professional who may want to start his or her own business, whether it’s freelancing as a side hustle or a full-fledged company started from the ground up. If you’re not sure where to start but know you need to start somewhere, this eBook will give you a beginner’s toolkit. How do you weed through your own aspirations to achieve success? How can you be yourself in the spotlight when you’re used to being behind-the-scenes? You will get the answers to all of this and more when you read through this eBook. I hope you can learn from my missteps and successes #behindthehourglass!

This eBook includes strategies and tactics — as well as a workbook — to help you get started!

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Kaylin R. Staten, APR, is an award-winning public relations practitioner and writer based in Huntington, WV with nearly 16 years of professional communications experience. As CEO and founder of Hourglass Media, she uses her compassionate spirit and expertise to delve into the heart of clients’ stories. She is a recovering perfectionist, mental health advocate, wife, cat mom and Leia Organa aficionado. Connect with Kaylin on LinkedIn.