Interview with Maren Kate from Escapingthe9to5.com
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Maren Kate, who blogs at Escaping the 9 to 5 about a variety of topics related to entrepreneurship (with a very motivating style).
She has one of the greatest attitudes of any blogger who I’ve ever followed or spoken to, and it really shows through her writing. Best of all, she has successfully escaped the “9 to 5,” so there’s probably a lot we can learn from her.
My Interview with Maren
1) I’m very interested in origins of entrepreneurs. I know before your success with Oracle Launch and Escapingthe9to5.com, you were a bartender (correct me if I’m wrong) out of college. We’re about the same age, only a couple years out of college, but already have drastically different paths (I went straight into the 9 to 5 cubicle life while you dove into entrepreneurship – yes, I’m jealous of you).
Tell me – How did you get started? What got you going on the right track? I know it’s a very loaded question, but briefly walk me through what you did between quitting your bartending job and starting up your business(es) online.
I bartended in college and realized it was not what I wanted to do with my life, or even have as a ‘worst case scenario’. Though I was in college with the idea of law school at the end of my undergrad I saw that as just another soul sucking job so instead when I got out I decided to try entrepreneurship. So more or less for a year I tried different things, read probably 200 books on business, marketing and lifestyle design and just kept going no matter what until I hit upon something that worked.
2) Which accomplishment so far are you the most proud of?
Supporting myself through my very own business and knowing that all the money I make comes directly from my own sweat and tears. Having a blog that someone reads, that still is crazy to me and of course having a business where I help businesses get launched in the social web.
3) What have been your biggest failures and frustrations? What did you learn from them?
My biggest failures and frustrations always have to do directly with me – I’m being lazy, I’m not working smart enough (i never, ever say ‘hard’ enough). I just learn every time that I can only rely on myself and if I don’t do my very best then I won’t be able to live my dreams – that usually remotivates me pretty fast.
4) If you had all the money in the world (i.e. didn’t HAVE to work), what would you be doing with your life?
I’d do what I am going for right now – I’d travel the world, I’d start some charities (have one in mind already) I’d start businesses that helped the world and solved problems. I love starting businesses – it is one of my most favorite things to do so I know in one way or another I’d still do that no matter how rich I was.
5) What is the best piece of advice you can give to someone looking to create a muse?
Figure out what you LOVE and are good at, take your time – this may take weeks, months or years. I thought I knew mine a year or two ago but realized I didn’t until about a month ago.
6) I know you do a lot of work with virtual assistants (“VAs”), which is a crazy and unfamiliar concept to a lot of people used to traditional business. I can see how people generally might think you need an established, fully-functional business before you get involved with VAs, but something tells me that this isn’t necessarily true. In your opinion, how could someone effectively utilize a VA to plan or kick-off their muse/business, if at all?
I use virtual assistants to do the work I a) can’t do myself like programming or graphic design and b) am to lazy to do myself thus i know that if its left to me it won’t get done (like research, etc). If you get the right virtual assistants and learn how to manage people it will benefit you for the rest of your life – the biggest benefit VAs have had on my life is that now I know how to manage a business, how to delegate and how to do deal with subordinates the right way.
7) What’s the future of internet business in your mind? What’s going to be the key (or keys) to success going forward?
The keys of success are for those who try the hardest and smartest. People that have a fire to win and pair it with ridiculous, relentless action. Entrepreneurship is growing faster now than it ever has before but building a mobile business will ensure you can truly live your life the way you please.
8 ) I remember you saying that you read a lot, so we’ll end on a fun and (hopefully) easy question – what’s your favorite book, and why?
My favorite book used to be Think & Grow Rich, it is amazing – but now it is The New Pyscho Cybernetics – just Amazon it. Buy it, read it, download it via iTunes and listen to it – it will rock your world and change your life. Far too much to explain in a paragraph, but trust me on this one – this book gives you all the tools to change your life by changing your mind.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, and I really appreciate the book recommendations as well (they might pop up on next month’s reading list for me!).
Once again, I urge you to check out Escapingthe9to5.com – You’ll be happy you did.
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