Media Partners Worldwide, a women-owned business, was founded in 1997, by Natalie Hale and a small team of radio veterans working out of a garage. In honor of the 20th anniversary of Media Partners Worldwide, we asked Natalie to answer a few questions about entrepreneurship and starting a successful business on her own.
1. What three pieces of advice would you give to those who want to become entrepreneurs?
Don’t give up on having a family or put it aside too long. You can still have children and run a company. It just takes coordination with your partner. Sacrifices will be made, but it is worth having the fulfillment of a family and having your own business. One of my biggest regrets is putting a family on hold and thinking that it was selfish or impossible to do both. Through the years, I have met many successful female entrepreneurs that manage to do both and make it work!
Don’t think that you have to have a lot of capital to get started. I started with some money in the bank, however, I really didn’t need it and was, fortunately, able to have immediate cash flow. You just have to think smaller at first and know that if you don’t have capital you can still have your own business. Although it will grow more slowly and not have all the bells and whistles at first, you can still succeed.
Get a support group to help you. Without my ex-husband who was a mentor to me in business, I would not have been brave enough to move forward. After being in business for a few years, I got involved with some different CEO groups that helped me with different ideas and problems. These groups were invaluable and helped me so much with all the different decisions. From employee legal decisions, motivating and keeping employees, balancing and figuring out my profit and loss, to dealing with the everyday emotional struggles that can come up day to day, I learned so much from my CEO groups. I recommend that all entrepreneurs try to join a good group asap. It will help you make fewer mistakes, feel more confident and grow your business quicker with this invaluable support group.
2. What inspired you to start a new business venture? How did the idea for your business come about?
After working for CBS for almost 10 years, I was getting burnt out with the corporate stress and changes. I decided to take a break and do my own thing temporarily, while I figured out what I wanted to do. A client asked me to develop and place a NATIONAL radio campaign with 20k per week budget. Luckily, it successfully took off and that was the beginning of my business. I never worried about looking for a job again. I remember I agonized about the name of the company. I wanted it to sound bigger than life!
3. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
I sacrificed not having a child of my own for a long time. I was terrified that if I had a baby, everything would fall apart and that I would not be able to manage my business. It was when I was 40, that I finally accepted that with the help of my partner, I could really do both.
4. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Probably would have done more traveling when I was younger, and more networking in college. Many of my old college associates became entrepreneurs and I wish I would have kept better in touch with them, as there might have been more synergy and support to work together, Also, I do wish I would have gone to school and earned my MBA right after earning my BA. Running my company for 20 years, I feel like I have been through a rigorous MBA program now, but it would have been helpful and given me more confidence to grow the business bigger and more quickly if I had that structured information sooner.]]>