Shannon Bloomfield Cox is an Elite+ member based out of Coquitlam, BC. She is the Chief Strategist with Incisive Marketing Inc., as well as a Marketing and Management Consultant, and Business Coach and Educator. We are honoured to share Shannon’s story of success as an entrepreneur!
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
To be able to work with a variety of people, organizations, and projects. I am drawn to the challenge of new and changing projects, developing innovative solutions, and supporting a variety of business owners and leaders. More importantly, as I stepped into parenthood, being an entrepreneur enabled me to work around raising my children, allowing for more flexibility.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
Never being bored! It’s true. I have a terrible sense of curiousity and really love the change and challenge that comes with working with new clients and situations. The privilege to develop solutions, help others, and share in the development of others’ business goals brings great job satisfaction for me.
Can you describe a typical day?
I am always juggling marketing consulting projects, facilitating, teaching, and writing. Most of my days start the night before because I find that I need the quiet and low activity of late evening/night to get organized, produce work, and be ready for the next day.
Who do you count on for help? Do you have a network of family that answer the call?
I am very fortunate to have business partners who are like-minded to work with and to count on. I also have support from my husband and children, my sister, my friends. Beyond that, I have a network of smart and enthusiastic contacts who usually have the expertise or a contact to assist (could be with ideas, services, or hands-on-help.)
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
As a working mom, time with the kids is sacrificed, being present at every activity is just not possible. I have had to give up a lot of those days – and I hear about it from them, and feel guilty for not being able to do it “all”. But it has been a good process to talk about life priorities, personal priorities, and to demonstrate choices and commitments.
On the flip side, I have had to renegotiate deadlines to meet changes at home – mostly unplanned ones like sick kids. I have also turned away projects when they meant a summer of daycare for my kids, when they were younger.
Overall it is revealing how deep I could dig to get work done, meet deadlines, and how little sleep one can survive on.
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
I don’t really take days off. There are simply days when I don’t do work but I am still thinking about how I can sneak a little in. (This is not a good habit, particularly ☺). Work life balance means when work needs me the balance is heavier on the work side… and when family needs me, the pendulum swings towards home. And I love what I do, so it is fun and creative.
Are you active in your community? What does supporting local mean to you?
I have always volunteered in my girls’ classes, helping with a field trip, or lending a hand with fundraisers. I also help in leadership roles with local non-profits such as Girl Guides, professional associations (e.g., alumni), church. Supporting local creates the opportunity to give back and contribute, and even more importantly, it gives me the chance to actually connect with others in the community. Those relationships have been gold for me.
Name another entrepreneur who inspires you.
Just one? I have met so many amazing people who developed their passions into businesses and give back to society. Local BC stars are Jacqui Cohen and Peter Legge. Ms. Cohen runs Army & Navy which has the most amazing shoe sale every year and maintains low end prices for gloves in the winter to ensure all can afford them. Mr. Legge built his publishing business with his exemplary integrity and sales methods. Both demonstrate the importance of giving back to the community.
Carla Gail Tibbo is an amazing marketing researcher and business intelligence thinker, and she has inspired me to the point of partnering with her on projects regularly over the last five years.
I was drawn to Mompreneurs because it is full of amazing women who are succeeding in business every day. Regardless of the field, so many of these women have wonderful compassion and commitment to offer as entrepreneurs. The Vancouver Chapter organizer, Elaine Tan Comeau, is absolutely an inspiration. Have you ever met someone who is so gracious even under the biggest pressure – not sure I could win with the Dragons on Dragon’s Den.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
Looking at developing more tools to share with business owners and leaders on how to be successful marketing their products, growing their business, managing their internal marketing. Coaching and speaking on how to boost business using online and offline methods.
Any tips for other women thinking of starting a business?
For women who are thinking about starting a business – ask lots of questions, make that plan (do your homework here), and ask for help – then LEAP! There is a need for your service or product, and being confident and persistent will help you find the right customer or client. Think about how you can solve their problem – rather than sell to them – and the ways to connect will be clearer. If you are helping someone else out, it is much easier to talk with them. Women are natural helpers and problem solvers.