I wish I knew my value sooner. I didn’t think anyone would pay me to help them, to read my books, to take my classes. Very rarely will someone offer to pay you MORE than you’re charging, but when that person shows up, pay very close attention and change everything about the way you’re charging.
As a part of our series about entrepreneurs who transformed something they did for fun into a full-time career, I had the pleasure of interviewing Angel Tuccy, Author, Speaker and Media Specialist.
Angel was a stay-at-home mom turned award-winning radio host. All her life, she had a shy, behind-the-scenes personality, until she was discovered and given a shot to be a radio show host. Angel was able to take her skill of being a good listener, and transform it into a marketing skill. Today, she travels the country as a public speaker, teaching small businesses to speak out.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a bit about your “childhood backstory”?
My dad was in the Navy. He was always being transferred to a new naval base, and because of that, I was always being pulled out of school and re-enrolled into a new one in the middle of school years. I didn’t keep friends, and it was hard to make new friends, so I ended up being very shy at school. To top it off, I was terrified of speaking in front of my classmates. I was a book worm and kept to myself a lot. But, when I was with my girlfriends, I’d light up. I loved sharing things I’d read with them. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I blossomed out of my fears.
What was the catalyst from transforming your hobby or something you love into a business? Can you share the story of your “ah ha” moment with us?
My first day in the radio studio, I took off my headphones and said outloud, “I’ve found my calling!” I loved the privacy of the radio studio, being able to share my thoughts and ideas without having an audience looking at me. I was truly in my comfort zone. That day, in 2008, I decided I wanted to be a nationally syndicated radio host.
There are no shortage of good ideas out there, but people seem to struggle in taking a good idea and translating it into an actual business. How did you overcome this challenge?
I had to quickly learn the advertising business. Everything about advertising seemed to be the opposite of marketing: customer loyalty, building relationships, connection. Advertising was all about numbers. I had to bridge what I new about building customer relationships with the advertising model, and was able to craft these unique advertising packages. Once I figured out a pricing model that worked, we were able to retain our advertisers for years.
What advice would you give someone who has a hobby or pastime that they absolutely love but is reluctant to do it for a living?
Find a way to monetize your hobby. If video-gamers can do it, so can you. If bloggers can do it, so can you. Think about some of the most creative businesses out there: Uber, Amazon, Air BnB, Marie Kondo. They all started with an idea… and a paying customer.
It’s said that the quickest way to take the fun out of doing something is to do it for a living. How do you keep from changing something you love into something you dread? How do you keep it fresh and enjoyable?
I think you can find even more joy when you realize you can be paid to do something you love. Dread comes from doing stuff we don’t want to do or we aren’t good at. When you’re an entrepreneur, the dread comes from wearing “all the hats”. We have to delegate. We have to hire or outsource the activities we dread. There is always someone who would love to do what you dread doing.
What is it that you enjoy most about running your own business? What are the downsides of running your own business? Can you share what you did to overcome these drawbacks?
I love seeing my clients light up. I love providing them a platform to share their stories. I love having the flexibility in my calendar to spend quality time with my family when they need me. I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 10 years. That means all the responsibility falls on me. The good news and the bad news is that I make all the decisions. I’m responsible. And I get to celebrate all the good, but I have to work through all the tough stuff, too.
The biggest drawback for new entrepreneurs is creating a steady stream of customers. The phrase of “if you build it, they will come” is not true. You have to hustle. You have to create exposure for your brand. You have to put your brand in front of your target audience every day.
I schedule it. Whether it’s using social media, advertising, radio interviews, or speaking, you have to be in front of an audience to build your business.
Can you share what was the most striking difference between your actual job and how you thought the job would be?
The hours. I put in far more than 40 hours each week. I call it “entrepreneurial half days: 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.!”
Has there ever been a moment when you thought to yourself “I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to get a “real” job? If so how did you overcome it?
The closest to that thought was when I was offered a high-paying position doing exactly what I love: being the Media Spokesperson for a large company. Be careful what you put out there. I had said out loud that if someone paid me X amount, I would take it. It turned out, the business culture was pretty angry and aggressive, and I knew they’d suck the joy right out of me, so I didn’t pursue it.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Even after 12 years in the industry, I still make mistakes. I misplace things. I can’t seem to get time zones correct. I forget to put events in my calendar. But my motto is “Done is better than perfect”. I’m not perfect, nor do I want my clients to expect me to be. I give grace and I ask for grace.
In the media, the funniest mistake is learning to turn off your microphone when you’re not on the air.
Who has inspired or continues to inspire you to be a great leader? Why?
When I was first invited to be the Chairman of the Board of Directors, I didn’t feel qualified. I interviewed several prior chairmen and came up with the realization that in order to be a great leader, I could be myself. I watch leaders of companies, influencers, authors and speakers, and realize the best leaders are those who are themselves. We are each unique, talented, and gifted. We need to let our own light shine through. I’m a reader. I attend conferences. I mastermind with leaders. I hope I never stop learning.
How have you used your success to make the world a better place?
I think the world needs more love. I hope that my family and friends will think of me as kind, caring, and loving.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
- I wish I knew how being an entrepreneur was going to take over my life. I’m always thinking about work, even when I’m not working. I should have outsourced/hired help sooner.
- I wish I knew my value sooner. I didn’t think anyone would pay me to help them, to read my books, to take my classes. Very rarely will someone offer to pay you MORE than you’re charging, but when that person shows up, pay very close attention and change everything about the way you’re charging.
- I wish I was taught to use media exposure and visibility earlier. It’s too slow to build a business one customer at a time.
- I wish I had more confidence in myself. I listened to too many people who were trying to protect me from failing. Instead, I should have “gone for it” sooner
- I wish I planned for scaling my business up faster. Everyone of us has the tools available to run a large corporation from anywhere in the world. It’s our own minds that keep us playing small, not our resources.
What person wouldn’t want to work doing something they absolutely love. You are an incredible inspiration to a great many people. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I’d love to see a movement of kindness online. Social media has provided this unchartered freedom of expression to say things we’d never say in real-life. Face to face, we’re civil, so tight-lipped, even restrained, but online, the gloves come off. I’d love to see more collaboration. More kindness. More love.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
After interviewing over 5,000 guests, reading a lot of books, and listening to influencers every day, I have a lot of quotes or sound bytes. One of my favorites is “Be generous with your time, talent, and treasures”. This is from my church pastor. It keeps me grounded, reminds me that life isn’t all about me but for serving others. No matter how tough life is, when you do something to serve someone else, it’s all perspective.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
Mel Robbins. I’ve been a guest in her studio audience twice. I’ve read her book. I love how she has put herself out there, created a television show, and a following. I can’t wait to see what her next adventure will be.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.