Kelly Farrell is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Toronto. Kelly is the Director of Teach Me Social, and she has been a member with Mompreneurs since 2012.
Teach Me Social seeks to empower small business entrepreneurs to take control of their online presence to maintain an authentic voice for their brand by providing training and support for social media marketing and digital media platforms. Teach Me Social delivers in-person and online training opportunities as well as full service digital media packages designed to help small business make the most of their marketing budget using a variety of online publishing and social media platforms. We are excited to share Kelly’s Success Story!
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
When I first discovered “Mompreneurs” in 2012, it opened my eyes to the possibility of adding entrepreneurship to my life as a way to build a new social life and work towards financial independence. I saw how other women were forging their own way and using their passions to create new opportunities for their families.
As a newly independent mother of a very spirited daughter, I also wanted to take control of our financial stability by finding new and exciting ways of providing for our family. I have always been inspired by the achievements of others and creating a business through which I could promote growth and success for my clients energized me to take the leap into entrepreneurship. I saw the opportunity to apply my passion for teaching to helping others understand how to navigate the quickly changing world of digital media.
What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
I believe in empowerment through education Teach Me Social was founded on these principles. It is not only education for my clients, but for myself as well. As a lifelong learner, one of my favourite activities is researching new technologies or apps and figuring out how it would help someone or be applicable to a client. I, myself, am empowered by the success of my clients and take great joy in following their growth on social media because of the support I was able to offer. I have discovered that my passions for teaching, learning and technology have found a shared purpose in enhancing the business opportunities for so many others.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The biggest perk of owning my own business is definitely the flexibility to set my own hours and spend more face-time with my daughter. I am also motivated knowing that my income is directly related to the amount of work I put into a project. No longer am I working to fill someone else’s wallet, but my success is entirely my own – for better or for worse. That sense of accountability is what keeps me going.
Can you describe a typical day?
I would describe my days as a 3-ring circus! I am constantly juggling priorities and managing multiple aspects of my life concurrently. Every morning begins with the snooze button, followed very closely by a large hot cup of coffee in a mug with one of my favourite quotes. I choose my mug based on what motivational message will keep me going through the day. I read the message and repeat it over to myself, like a mantra, with every sip. Today, it was “I got this”, yesterday it was “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
After school drop-off, my mornings are spent catching up on work and my afternoons are for meetings, phone calls and errands. The hours between school pick-up and bedtime are devoted to family time. That being said, it’s not unusual for me to take business calls in the car on the way to pick up my daughter or during the time she’s at a lesson or play-date. After my daughter goes to bed is prime work-time for me. I’m a genuine night owl and I get a second burst of energy around 10pm, which carries me through to 1 or 2 am. This is one of the greatest perks of working with other Mompreneurs because I can always find someone else working the same “night shift”.
Who do you count on for help?
As a single parent, help comes from outside the home. It’s not easy to ask for help when you’ve build a life doing it all on your own and it’s a skill I’m still working on. Asking for, and accepting, help has become so much easier through the connections I’ve made through Mompreneurs. Not only do I have amazing friends I can count on when I’m in need of advice, support, a hug, a babysitter, or a glass of wine, but they have taught me that I’m not alone and it’s okay to ask for and accept help when it’s needed. My parents have also been relentless supporters of my business and my life choices. I owe so many of my accomplishments to their unwavering support and innumerable hours of babysitting.
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
Sacrifice is part of being a working mom. To find true work/life balance, there has to be give and take. I’ve given up lucrative contracts because I knew they would require too many hours away from home, and I’ve given up important opportunities with my daughter to make it to an event or meeting that I saw as a priority for my business. My daughter has become an important member of my team and we often discuss the pros and cons of various decisions I have to make. She understands the sacrifice needed from both of us to allow me to continue to enjoy the flexibility that entrepreneurship offers while still being able to pay the bills. Understanding the sacrifice doesn’t make the decisions easier, but it has given us a foundation of trust and transparency in our family.
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
What’s a day off? Vacation and time away from work is built into my day, but I’m not sure I’ve ever taken a full 24 hours away. The beauty of working in social media is the ability to do my job anytime and from anywhere. This is a double-edge sword though, because the same connectivity that allows me to work on a flexible schedule also demands that I be accessible at all times. As such, I am constantly monitoring client social accounts and available by email for urgent requests.
In the past year, I have made the decision to turn off the sound on my cell phone. This allows me to “take a break” when I need it and not be constantly called back to attention by a beep or vibration device. I check my phone when I am in the mindset to reply. This ensure that not only do my clients receive my fullest attention, but whatever I am doing away from my phone also receives my full attention. I have found this made a huge difference in my ability to multi-task and to take time off when I needed to.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
It is such an exciting time to be working in social media! Trends are changing daily and new apps and technology are completely changing the way we market businesses in the 21st century. I’m really excited about the future of Teach Me Social, as the need for quality, up-to-date training is going to be essential for business owners wanting to make an impact online. In the coming year, Teach Me Social will be releasing online training courses and expanding our in-person training events. Our digital media services for businesses are constantly growing as the needs of our clients change. I am so excited to continue to build a team of experienced, creative and reliable people who can continue to help transform the landscape of digital media for small business owners.
Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
I offer kudos to any woman who is thinking of starting a business. It takes a great deal of courage and self-confidence to step outside of the box and offer something unique to the world. I would encourage women starting businesses to develop a strong network of other women who can offer support and guidance along the way without prejudice or condemnation. I also think it’s imperative to spend time writing a business plan and fully understanding what your unique offering is before launching a new endeavour. If you fully believe in what you are doing and have done your homework, everything else comes easier.