“Don’t Apologize Or Compromise Your Company Values” The 5 Lessons I Learned Being a 20-Something Founder

I had the pleasure of interviewing Veronica Romney, Co-Founder and President of LoSoMo Inc, who turned her side hustle into a full-time…

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Veronica Romney, Co-Founder and President of LoSoMo Inc, who turned her side hustle into a full-time career, all the while juggling being a momma of 2 kids; growing her family while growing her business, multitasking two massive life-changing events at the same time. She founded and managed four online businesses, all the while holding down full-time positions for large companies like Ancestry.com. She has worked hard since day one to bring quality service to struggling businesses, and create a company that feels more like a family.

Jean: Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory” of how you become a founder?

As the first child of Cuban Immigrants who moved to the US in search of the American Dream, my backstory is my start. Both of my parents were incredible overachievers, vaulting over language barriers and no US college experience to build their own company from scratch. They left behind medical school in the University of Havana to start over and build a family in a new country. Watching them grind daily to achieve their dreams inspired me to grind even harder to achieve mine. I never wanted to disappoint my parents, and I had a passion for being the best, signing up for whatever clubs, honor societies, and AP classes I could get my hands on. When my parents decided to start a business, they went the practical route, starting an AC company in hot and humid South Florida. They started out with almost nothing, especially when it came to marketing, and they needed all the help they could get.

I realized that there had to be more people like my parents, more small start-up businesses that are too busy with the hustle of their business to spend time creating a sophisticated and well-rounded online marketing strategy. And that’s where I saw a gap. I saw people that needed help, and a void where other companies didn’t want to touch. I wanted to help these kinds of people, these underdogs who have businesses but don’t know how to, or are too busy to, market to a quickly changing and growing audience.

Jean: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I created LoSoMo for businesses like my parents; small start-ups that don’t know the first thing about social media marketing, SEO or PPC. Our motto, we get it so you don’t have to, is inspired by them. We don’t only root for the underdog; we work right alongside them to help them achieve their goals.

You’re gonna hear marketing companies all over advertise ‘real relationships’ with their clients, but we have the history and reviews that prove it. Our commitment to our clients mirrors their commitment to us. I have clients that have stayed with us for four years with no contracts, who we have built a foundation of trust with.

Clients have sent us lunch just because. We have sent flowers to a client for their funeral procession. We have also sent over a soccer jersey to help support a client recover from a knee injury. Just as you would serve your friends and family, we serve our clients. We are a steadily growing family, and once we accept a business as a client, they become part of it. If anything stands out the most about us, it is that we are approachable. We are the nerdy next door neighbor who helps the elderly neighbors figure out their wifi.

Jean: Are you working on any exciting projects now?

2018 is all about growth and that next level of success. One way we do that is by traveling the world for speaking engagements and combining forces with different partnerships to broaden our reach. There is no limit to our potential and the number of people we can help.

Jean: Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?

4-hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. A must read to make the jump from the corporate life hamster wheel to entrepreneurship. It’s a massive jump, and your mind has to shift to leave guilt behind. Of all the books I read in my first year of business, this on e helped me the most. From there, Traction by Gino Wickman is my business building bible. Regardless of your size or industry, it helps you structure your budding business perfectly. Now I’m working hard on essentialism and weeding out the unnecessary that will pile high by being a business owner.

Jean: What are your “5 Lessons I Learned as a Twentysomething Founder” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

First, surround yourself with believers. The world will tell you that you’re not good enough, it’s already been done, don’t try, what makes you so special, etc. Build your cheerleading tribe and have them surround you as you enter your new founder world.

Second, not all mentors are created equal and what works for someone in the past won’t always work for you in the future. The world is changing, and so is the competitive landscape. Don’t be scared to try something new.

Third, don’t apologize or compromise your company values. You don’t have the luxury of being picky when first hiring staff. You don’t have the awesome benefits, cool office, unlimited paid time off, etc. Hold out. Hold out as long as you can until the RIGHT person comes along. Nothing has stunted our growth more than hiring the wrong person.

Fourth, understand that founders’ days end up cannibalized by everything BUT the passion that drove you to build your business. It’s the truth. The trick is to get back to why you started the business as quickly as possible by delegating and hiring the best team around you.

Fifth, your strengths are your company’s strengths. Your weaknesses are your company’s weaknesses. Each business inherits its founder’s virtues and vices. Be prepared to stand before one big mirror. You’ll never ever grow more than you will by learning and understanding this process, and we’ve ALL been there. Love who you are with all of your quirks and dysfunctions. It’s ok!

Jean: 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 whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

If I stand by Gary Vaynerchuk, will his energy, enthusiasm, and confidence rub off on me through osmosis? I’m in awe of his authority and rapid-fire brainpower. And while I’m at it, let me stand next to Jennifer Lopez or Ellen. Two women who have built an EMPIRE on their own NAME. Life goals.

— Published on June 27, 2018

Originally published at medium.com

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