#4 Samantha Schmeltzer: How to Take Charge of Your Career

June 11, 2018

Samantha Schmeltzer is the owner of FIVE:thirty, a project management and website design consulting firm in Rapid City and the creator of The OWN, a network for female entrepreneurs that offers support services like administrative assistance, web presence, and office space.  She also received the young entrepreneur of the year award from the South Dakota SBA.  In this episode she talks about her previous career and how she realized that she would never achieve all that she wanted unless she created her own path.  She’s an incredible woman, doing incredible things, but she also has such a clear vision for how she wants to live her life and what really matters.  You do not want to miss hearing what Sam has to say!

A few key takeaways:

  1. “I just don’t want to have to keep validating my career because I had a ponytail.  I couldn’t ever be enough, I couldn’t be smart enough or witty enough or whatever, nothing made my career what I wanted it to be other than saying, I just have to do my own thing.”
  2. If you can’t get what you want out of your career, make your own path.
  3. Starting your own business is just weird and awkward in the early days, surround yourself with other people who are in or have been through it.
  4. Survey your customers often about their services to see how you can grow and evolve with them.
  5. Take time to make sure you are a good fit for your customer AND that your customer is a good fit for you.
  6. Rethink the word hustle.  You need to take care of yourself. “Live your dream, but slow down, because there’s only one of you.”
  7. To stay ahead of your customer, think like your customer.  Put yourself in their shoes.  Pay attention to cultural changes, seasonal changes, and see how this affects your customers – and use this information to be one step ahead of them.
  8. You can’t be the solution for everyone, focus on your demographic, know them inside and out.
  9. Proceed with caution when you are your brand. You have a business but that is not all you are.
  10. “Your identity is not the business that you do.”
  11. “The most important thing about you is not what you achieve, it’s who you become.”
  12. First and foremost, you’re valuable because you’re a human being. “You do matter, because you just do. Because you’re here, because you’re human.”
  13. You can choose to stay as big or as small as you want, and that’s really lovely about being a human.”
  14. It’s not your job to fix people.  You can give them ideas, you can give them support but you cannot change how they think about your what you’re doing.  Even if they are wrong, you can’t change it.
  15. “More anger isn’t going to do anything, we’re already angry enough. What really moves things forward, to be honest, is forgiveness and letting it go.  And that’s hard.  But it’s the most powerful thing we can do.”
  16. We need to stop outsourcing our decisions, we’re so convinced that our inner voice isn’t right, but we need to listen to it.
  17. “To just be a person, is kind of a lost art.”
  18. Book reference: Present over Perfect – “Remake your life, “no” will be your scapula”
  19. Protect the things that matter most, and that’s your time.  You have to train people that you are not a renewable resource, that you have a limit.

photo credit: Kristina Barker

photo credit: Jessica Simons

For more on Samantha Schmeltzer & The OWN & FIVE:thirty:

Do you have a suggestion of someone that is Standing up to Serve their market or their community in a unique way? Send me a note and tell me about them!


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