You need someone who knows business inside and out. Megan is your gal…
My diverse background of both academic and real-life business experience sets me apart from others in the consulting and coaching biz. Having started six figure businesses myself, I know what it takes to make it happen for you, too. Because of this, I’m able to combine practical business tools and strategies with real-life experience. I can show you how to start and grow your business so that it aligns with your values AND gets you the results you desire!
The Early Years
I remember when I was a little girl that while others would play house and with dolls, I’d play business. My favorite “toys” were pads of receipts with the blue carbon copy in the middle, and stamps. I loved stamps. My Mom tells the story that I used to take all the groceries out of the pantry and make a store in the dining room. When she needed ingredients to make dinner, she’d have to buy them from me in my store. It was pretty genius, really.
I started early, as most business owners do…lemonade stands on the corner and selling Girl Scout cookies. I took it up a notch when I was 9 and started Megan’s Pet and Plant Service, where I would pet sit for people while they were on vacation. My poor parents had to drive me around to each of my jobs, but I was the boss and made all the money. By 14 I was an Avon lady, and that experience showed me how systems in business work…multi-level marketing companies are good for teaching this. I worked in retail jobs during my high school years, being promoted to supervisor when I was 16. I learned how to do inventory, count cash, manage people (most were WAY older than me!) and to deliver amazing customer service.
I struggled in college for several years. I thought I was at the wrong college, but when I went to a different one, I wanted to be back at the first one. It wasn’t the place that was wrong, it was what I was studying. I wasn’t meant to be an English or Psychology major. I was meant to be a business major, and when I finally figured that out, college got infinitely more interesting…and easy! For my senior project, I wrote a business plan and started a retail store in a cool old dairy barn. The store was only open for five weeks at Christmas time, as my research and experience has shown me that most retail stores make 40-60% of their annual revenue during the holidays. It was a huge hit, and I was even was on the front page of the St. Paul Pioneer Press Business Section! I ended up graduating with a degree in Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship, and got an A on my senior project. The store grossed $150,000 a year, and after 4 years, while I loved running a store, it was time to move on. Soon after, the old renovated dairy barn on the edge of town was torn down to make way for a Target.
My first job out of college was at a food packaging plant. I frequently came home smelling of cheese because we packaged Cheddar Chex Mix and I was the only one that could fix the cheese machine when it broke. I was promoted to supervisor only after a few months, and had an amazing, diverse group of line workers and mechanics that worked for me. One of the most difficult things about the job was that I felt leadership abused the workers and I was pretty sure it was because they were minorities and they didn’t have a lot of options. I revolutionized the company by creating a system for providing feedback to leadership, and things got better. But slowly, the old guard prevailed and it was time for me to move on.
I accepted a manager position at Lane Bryant, and as a plus-size gal I thought that it might just be a dream job to work with pretty clothes at the largest mall in the United States. It was a great job, and again, I learned more about the systems of business and how to sell. I loved helping women look and feel beautiful, but the retails hours were tough and it turns out I’m not as much of a fashionista as I thought I was!
During this time, I was also doing some side-work for my mom. She was a consultant and had a product called “Workplace Learning Skills”. I did her bookkeeping and most of her marketing and computer work. Now, let’s remember…the computer was pretty new back then, and I felt like I was a part of the dawn of a new age. Pretty soon her consulting friends were asking if I could help them, and I started an administrative business providing all sorts of services. I grew the company to also include strategic planning, business plan writing, and marketing plan development.
Business Burn Out and “Perfect” Jobs
For five years, I had my own business and it provided an amazing income. I loved my clients, but I got burned out and decided to get one of those “real” jobs again. I was hired as a Procurement and Contracts Administrator for a housing authority. I managed millions of dollars in federally funded projects and learned a hell of a lot about contracts and legal requirements. It was in this job that I learned how to read legal jargon, and it’s made me a better consultant, that’s for sure!
I liked that job, but I missed working with business owners. Like, really missed it. And when a position opened up at non-profit that provided business education and loans to small business owners, I jumped at the chance to get back to my roots. Learning the financial side of business planning and structure is critical as a business consultant, and because of this job I know what banks and other financial institutions are looking for when they get your loan application. I can totally help you get loans to start or grow you business.
In 2011, my “perfect job” opened up and I became the Executive Director for a non-profit in my hometown. Our only purpose was to provide consulting and coaching to small businesses, and I worked with hundreds of businesses during my time there. All together, the businesses I worked with grossed over $12 million dollars a year, and I helped them get $1.2 million dollars in loans from local banks. I worked with the local economic development department at the city to support an entrepreneurial culture in our community, and I opened a coworking space to support freelancers and creative workers. During this time, I went back to graduate school and received a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership. Because that’s really what business owners and entrepreneurs are, right…leaders! Even with school and a job, I found myself working at my alma mater helping students prepare and present their business plans for the chance to win big prize money from the college and from a statewide competition. Three of my favorite student businesses ended up winning the student division of the MN Cup, a statewide business idea competition. I couldn’t be more proud, but I also knew it was time for me start my own business again.
While I loved being a leader of a non-profit, I wanted more. (Can you see a trend here?) I wanted to help MORE people, and especially women, get started and grow their business. I have a knack for working with women: I get that your business is a huge part of your life, and that it often feels like you ARE your business. I’m awesome at helping you align your values and your goals to create a big, beautiful business.
And that’s how UnleaSHEd was born! I want to help you unleash your dreams and desires…and help you unleash your big, beautiful business. Through online education, one on one consulting/coaching, and my membership site, The UnleaSHEd Business Club, you’ll find resources and tools to help you get BIG results.