Female Entrepreneur: Sherilyn Jones
Company: The Concept Media Group, LLC
Age range: 30s
What motivated you to start your business?
My business didn’t stumble on me and it didn’t just happen overnight. It was well thought out and planned, considering my talent has been a passion and a dream of mine since I was a young girl. I spent most of my years as an artist that loved drawing and being creative. It all started with the comic books my grandpa would give me every Sunday as a child. Back then I wasn’t sure why he was so interested in giving me comic books, but without knowing I began to enjoy and love the art of cartoons. I started to develop my drawing style at the age of 9 – I went through all the art classes you can possibly think of and then I decided cartooning was what I wanted to do. By the time I was in middle school, I knew I wanted to get a degree in art, so when I went to college; I did just that and earned a Computer Animation degree in Visual Communications. Shortly after college, the struggle in finding a full time job in my industry motivated me to start my business.
Tell us about your business.
The Concept Media Group is a company that provides design and marketing services to corporations, organizations, charities, not for profit corporations, churches, schools, etc. It is comprised of a design agency and a cartoon production firm that educates clients on creativity within their business. This company specializes in animation, cartoon illustration, graphic design, and web design. The Concept Media Group brings a well-rounded source of services to make completing a project easy to do.
What is a day in the life of you like?
My day is filled with drawing illustrations, developing concepts for clients and helping them to develop creative concepts to market their product, service, or business. During the early part of the day most of my work is done off site designing posters, banners, and other media along with doing print production for a church/school organization.
Some days my time is devoted volunteering in the Technology Ministry at my local home church that I joined. I am an active member there and I attend every Sunday and Wednesday night, learning, absorbing, and carrying out the word as it was being taught to me. Reading the bible and discovering Gods’ promises and performing what He expects from me as His child helped me realize my company mission.
What have been your biggest challenges so far with running your business?
With all the creative genes in the world and the tools and essentials to get it done still doesn’t mean running a business will be successful just because you design a web site and make business cards. I began working straight out of college and got a few good temporary graphic design jobs here and there, but nothing big. Being able to market my talents and get them in front of the right people was a challenge starting off. At this moment, not being able to use my drawing skills in the career of my dreams never stopped me from continuing on doing what I loved the most. I began developing my craft when I had no work. I jumped around from different part time jobs just to make money and I was also devoted to the Dallas entertainment scene creating art work for music artist and record labels. Suddenly my life took a huge stand still. I was an entrepreneur who had no clients, no job leads, no car, no money, and no way to really make everything work that I had planned. This was the moment I felt lost and wasn’t sure on what I was supposed to do next. I had to take a break from my true love of developing my business and drawing, to job hunt and look for work to provide me with basic needs. I had no other choice but to make job hunting my full time job. I started sending my resume out just to get no response from hiring managers. This went on for about two years with no successful interviews and no call backs. I continued working on my resume and hoping something would eventually come through.
My biggest challenge was figure out what my true goal for my business and mission was and knowing how to sale my services to the right people at the right time.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I realized my talent was a gift from God and at that moment I realized I was using my gifts all wrong. Once I began giving Him back the gift He gave me, doors began to open for me that wouldn’t open before. I began doing the things I loved and my company brand began to really blossom. Some people write business plans, others hand out their business cards to people to get ahead. I tried all of that, but when I put my faith in God and began using my talents for his kingdom, everything I dreamed about began to happen.
What have you found to be the most effective way to get new clients?
The most effective way for me so far has been maintaining a new and fresh product while remaining competitive. Word of mouth marketing has also been an enormous way I began building relationships with potential clients. Social Media has also been a huge factor in the success I have experienced. Facebook and Twitter can link you up with people you may have never met in person. It is also a great way to show people you know what you are doing, sales, and future services.
What advice would you give to other business owners?
My advice to other business owners is try to make some type of relationship or acknowledge as many people as you can when you’re out personally or business wise. Anyone can become a potential future client or they always know someone who needs your products and/or services. I received jobs illustrating books, a local newspaper has given me a cover story in one of their issues, and I began receiving job offers in my industry just by networking and being introduced to people by people I know.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Knowing God’s grace and having faith that all things will come to pass if I believe and know it will happen. Without my faith in Christ I wouldn’t have gotten through many of the hurdles that have come upon me in my path.
What’s your favourite quote?
One of my personal quotes is “Don’t let the world change you. Be the one to change the world. God made you exactly how he wants you to be.”
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by people who want to inspire. If everyone gets together and inspire, imagine how great things would be. Find a way to make your passion a blessing to someone.
Do you have a business philosophy?
Things are progressing and my love for art has become a door for individuals and companies to brand their service, products, and/or business. I know by helping others live out their dreams and accomplish goals in ways they could not have imagined is a reason God has put The Concept Media Group in my heart. I once was lost but now I’m found and this is why I can assist individuals along with companies by supporting their dreams. My philosophy is to find away to be a blessing and you can’t go wrong.
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