Posts tagged authenticity
5 Things to Know About Your First Year as an Entrepreneur

5 Things to Know About Your First Year as an Entrepreneur

May 2, 2019

5 Things to Know About Your First Year as an Entrepreneur

Look, I’m going to go against the grain here and say starting a business and becoming an entrepreneur takes work.

Insert Rihana singing “work work work work work”

The reality is this is not for the faint of heart, which is ironic because what you need to make this thing work is a whole lot of heart.

In addition to having the belief, mindset and deep desire to make this thing work there are 5 things you need to know in your first year as an entrepreneur.

The first year of my business it took months, I’m talking 8 months for me to truly figure out what I was doing.

I took action, continuous action and was busy working on building this dream, but I had little to show for it.

So, I consider myself a freaking expert in helping women who struggle to get going because I’ve lived through it.

After 8 months of pushing uphill things started to shift for me and within three months I was making enough monthly income to replace my 9 to 5 and in a year I had made 6-figures cash in my business.

Do I think I could have hit those goals faster if I’d had known these things? YES

But, then I wouldn’t be able to share this with you today #lessons.

So here we go - 5 Things to Know About Your First Year as an Entrepreneur (what I wish I’d known).

1. Your Website

How do I say this in a way that doesn’t come across as a total butthead - no one is searching for your website.

Oh, I know you want it to be the case, but in the beginning, people don’t know you, yet so many entrepreneurs spend so much time on building their website right out of the gate when they should be focused on building brand awareness.

Your website is needed and will be one of the most valuable tools in your business, but spending months and months and sometimes thousands of dollars to build your website is a waste at the beginning.

Take the time to identify your niche, who you want to attract and your brand messages BEFORE building your website and be sure to have a marketing plan to actually drum up enough interest that has people visiting your website.

2. Your Brand

Another one that takes so much time and so much money - yep, it’s branding.

I love branding, it is my jam, but so many entrepreneurs do it wrong the first year. They jump right into finding their colors, fonts and designing their logo BEFORE understanding their brand foundations. Yep, you guessed it - your niche, your audience and your brand messages.

PLUS, they overlook the power of emotional branding (more on that here) which at its core is WHY people buy. So rather than diving right into the visual branding what we should be focused on is what branding truly is - the deeper connection to your audience.

One of the best things you can do is create content for your audience to build brand awareness (yes, this is part of branding) and watch as your visuals fall into place.

3. Power of Story

You’ve got one thing when you start and that’s your story! It’s also the one thing you have that will help you stand out from the crowd and competition.

You need to spend time uncovering your story and setting a strong foundation for story in your business.

Your audience is 22x more likely to remember story, which means it goes beyond just your brand story and also includes authentically tying story into every piece of content and marketing material you make.

4. Social Media is Confusing

Yep, that’s right social media is a lot of information. It can be one of the coolest tools you use in the online space OR it can literally drive you crazy.

In the beginning, you want to be everywhere because that’s what you’re told right? Well, not really the best move when you’re just starting out.

Instead, I suggest you focus on one social media platform to start and get really good at that. In order to do this think of two things. #1 Where do you like to hang out and #2 Where is your audience spending time.

Boom - start there and stop overwhelming yourself trying to be everywhere!

5. Messaging is Magic

If there is one thing I’ve learned as an entrepreneur and especially my first year in business is that messaging can make or break your success.

This goes back decades and is the foundation of successful advertising. You need to be crystal clear, do everything in your power to not confuse your audience and clearly communicate how it benefits your audience.

If there is one thing you set up at the start of your business it should be your brand messaging. What do you provide and how does it benefit your audience?

That’s the secret - making sure you’re clearly sharing how it benefits your audience.

If you’re always focused on this, it’s freaking magic.

I hope you take these five essential pieces and put them into action.

They can completely change the course of your business and your ability to reach profitability faster.

If you need support along the way, that’s where I come in. As an expert in making some mistakes and turning them into a thriving online brand and business, I support my clients in using the power of story to create an authentic and profitable brand and give them to marketing tools to amplify their voice.

Schedule a Discovery Call here:

Please share your biggest takeaways from this blog post and how you’re going to implement this information in your own business!

Branding and Business Coach | Michelle Knight of Brandmerry

P.S. Are we connected on Instagram? No? Well lady what’s happening here we’ve got to fix that. Come hang out with me on my favorite social media platform. Follow for inspiration and send me a DM to know we’re connected.

Michelle Knight_ headshot copy.jpg

Hey there, I'm Michelle Knight

Welcome to my little corner of the internet. I'm a mother, wife, world traveler and storyteller. I created my own business just after having my first baby and while working a 9 to 5.

Within one year I left my 9 to 5 and created a 6-figure business. Now I spend my days as a Branding and Business coach for female entrepreneurs, raise my little boy and travel the world with my little family of 3.





Time mangement

Self-worth love


EPISODE 06 | Minding Your Mindset

Minding Your Mindset

Free to Be Podcast | Episode 06

Minding Your Mindset Ep. 06 Free to Be Podcast with Branding and Business Coach Michelle Knight

On this episode of The Free to Be Podcast Ben Knight sits down with Michelle to ask her some questions he believes her audience would love to know.

I'm an open book, but it's much easier to let my walls down when speaking to my partner Ben Knight. That's why we thought it would be fun to have an intimate conversation, while sitting on the floor, about Minding Your Mindset.

Join us to learn more about:

• One of my favorite personal development practices

• The author who not only impacted my life but completely changed it

• My beliefs around time and my suggestions for creating more of it in your life

• What I learned from my own transitions and why I believe they are always changing

• Where I hope to be in 5 years!

• Who I'm currently crushing on in the entrepreneur world

• A glimpse inside what my postpartum experience really taught me

• What I REALLY think about authenticity!

In this episode, I not so subtly share about my upcoming 5-day challenge happening in November to Uncover and Own Your Story for a Bold, Captivating and Money-Making Brand!

Join me for this 5-day challenge where you'll uncover:

↠ How to grab attention online using your story and effectively use your values to resonate and attract your ideal clients online.
↠ How to become clear on the most powerful parts of your story that should be shared with your ideal client to start building authentic relationships that lead to consistent sales (plus storytelling pitfalls to avoid to safeguard your expert status).
↠ Why powerfully capturing your story is the essence of an unstoppable brand and how every piece of your business from your branding, ideal client, messaging and even your programs fall effortlessly into place.

Sign up here:

Important Links Mentioned in This Episode

Girl, Wash Your Face

Daring Greatly

Rachel Hollis

Brené Brown

Jasmine Star

Sunny Lenarduzzi


Uncover and Own Your Story Challenge

Episode 1: Married to an Entrepreneur


Instagram: @brandmerrycoaching
Facebook: @brandmerrycoaching
Biz Group: Authentic Brand Builders


I kinda secretly hoped you'd say yes! I love you right back lady and I'm so honored you tune in every week for massive inspiration. I've got a favor to ask. Would you be so kind as to leave a review of the podcast on iTunes (if you haven't already)? It means so much to me to read your reviews + it allows more people to get their hands on the amazing interviews and content. Let's spread the love, shall we? REVIEW ON ITUNES

Podcast Featured Review of the Week

Incredible podcast by mucutiepie124

“Michelle is amazing! She is genuine, inspiring and has incredible tips and tricks for the female entrepreneur! I follow all things Michelle and so glad she has started this amazing podcast! So stoked for future episodes!”

Branding and Business Coach

Listen to More

Michelle Knight_ headshot copy.jpg

Hey there, I'm Michelle Knight

Welcome to my little corner of the internet. I'm a mother, wife, world traveler and storyteller. I created my own business just after having my first baby and while working a 9 to 5.

Within one year I left my 9 to 5 and created a 6-figure business. Now I spend my days as a Branding and Business coach for female entrepreneurs, raise my little boy and travel the world with my little family of 3.





Time mangement

Self-worth love


Authentic Email Marketing and Why It's Crucial to a Successful Brand and Business


how to find your authentic voice in email marketing

In case you haven't gotten the memo I'm really into authenticity. I've seen first hand how being authentic and vulnerable with your community can result in big pay days for your business.

In fact, it is authentic marketing that allowed me to sign four high-priced clients at $3,000 a piece with a list less than 100 people!

That's why in today's web series I'm sharing:

Four Steps to Show Your Authentic Voice in Email Marketing

I'm spilling the beans on my four techniques to make sure your true authentic voice comes through in your emails and how to start building that trust factor with your prospective clients.

I also wrote a bonus blog post all about my favorite email marketing provider and how to get started - check it out below.

Branding and Business

Michelle Knight is a Branding and Business coach for female entrepreneurs who are struggling to gain visibility and traction to take their business to the next level. She works with her clients to dive deep into their story so they can create a brand and message that positions them as an expert and allows them to create their desired income to free up time in their schedule for what matters most. Learn more >>

Four Steps to Find Your Authentic Voice for Email


If you were studying my success in a classroom, I would go against the "rules". When I started attracting paying clients I did not have a big list or a private group of over 1,000 people. What I did have was a story and I was able to share that with my community 100%.

Blog (4).png

When I officially launched my business in July, the first thing I did was to nurture my existing list, which wasn’t big at all by the way and to start building valuable relationships. This is what helped me get my firs paying clients. With the help of my coach I was able to really narrow down my message, purpose and story I wanted to share with the world. I became vulnerable and spoke with true authenticity - that right there is what attracts people. I'm sharing four steps to let your true voice shine through email and build valuable relationships!

1) Discover Your True Voice

Write how you speak, yes it truly is that simple. So many people overlook this, or overcomplicate the sh*t out of it, because they feel like they should speak a certain way to be taken seriously, that they should mimic what successful people in their industry are doing.

Listen, if you don’t write like you speak people are going to start connecting the dots and realize that you are not authentic and will not trust you. If you like to give a lot of detail and are a storyteller like me, then write that way. Look, there are already going to be people who don’t read your whole email and don’t like your style, so don’t even worry about pleasing them. Be yourself. It is all about trust, how do you expect people to trust you if you aren’t being your true self?

Two tricks I like to use are pretend you are writing a letter to your friend and a speech to text tool. Google Docs has an option called Voice Typing, simply talk about your subject and Google will turn that into written content. This is a great option if you are just starting out or struggling to transcribe your words into writing.

2) Become Clear On Your Messaging

You need to be speaking to one person when you write your emails, posts, live streams whatever. This person needs to be so clear in your mind that you can pinpoint their pains and pleasures. Now, I don’t want you to get wrapped up in exactly what your client needs and try to reformat your life and language to meet them, but I do want you to be become clear on those pains and pleasures in their life so you can speak to them using your real life experiences. There are three things to keep in mind with your messaging:

  1. our purpose (why are you doing this)

  2. What you do, who you serve, what they are struggling with and how they benefit from your expertise

  3. Their 3 major pains and 3 major pleasures

Use your three pieces above as a reference point to check in with yourself to see if you are still on track when it comes to your messaging.

3) Uncover Your Story

It is important to have your top three stories laid out from the very beginning. I want you to think of three major shifts that have happened in your life. For me it was the loss of my brother to childhood cancer, the birth of my son and my decision to skip college after high school graduation.

As you can see these shifts can be both major or subtle, it doesn’t matter, what matters is the impact it had on you and the lessons learned. Narrow down your three and write each story out. Now find the connecting pieces! This is your message. Tie this into every single email, post you write. I’m not even joking! For instance if I’m writing to my client, who struggles with time, I give them tips for how I manage time, but I also share my personal story of starting a business, working 9 to 5 and raising my son who ultimately led me on this path to entrepreneurship. Bring it back to your story every single time.

4) Pull From Real-Life Experiences

There are a few tools I like to use to plan out my content. I love spreadsheets and I’m sorry if you don’t, but I love them and I use them in every area of my business. I create a spreadsheet with columns for each week of the month and columns for the number of emails I send. I use this to plan out my content because it allows me to see from a month’s view exactly what I’ll be sharing with my community.

I also like to pull from real life experiences and encourage you to do so as well. I look at every single opportunity in my life to get inspiration from. I take note! I use a few tools to keep track of all of this:

Notepad in my phone (my favorite by far)

I have a physical notepad reserved for ideas

My journal, these often come to me in meditations

At the end of the month I pull from these various places and develop my content for the month ahead. If something really stood out to me and I feel like my community needs to hear it because it is so in alignment with my purpose and message I will rearrange my schedule to fit it in.

I also batch schedule and write all of my content. On Mondays I write out my emails for the week and blogs. That way I’m in a very creative space, they all flow together and I don’t have to worry about them again.

It really is that easy my friends, lead with your story, follow your purpose, pull from your life and share your truth BOOM!!


Michelle Knight.

P.S. Ready to start building valuable relationships and attract your dream clients? My Build Your List course is only $97 and includes five complete modules to walk you through the whole process! As an added bonus I've included video tutorials to support you in creating branded worksheets and email templates >>