head_shot_websiteMy name is Erin Smith, and I was a Cor­po­rate Amer­i­can 20-some­thing that dreamed of climb­ing the cor­po­rate lad­der.  I would lit­er­al­ly spend time mak­ing cal­cu­la­tions about how much mon­ey I would make in 10 years.  If I con­sis­tent­ly made 4% rais­es every year, I was aston­ished at what I would be mak­ing in my 30’s.  I didn’t under­stand why peo­ple used all of their vaca­tion.  As you can imag­ine, I moved up quick­ly and made a name for myself in my field, speak­ing at con­ven­tions, and inter­view­ing for pub­li­ca­tions.  How­ev­er, in 2002, I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and my life was changed for­ev­er.

I learned what finan­cial free­dom real­ly was, and that it was not about being employed and mak­ing 4% rais­es.  Instead, it was all about own­ing.  I took that to heart and start­ed to ‘own’ any­thing I could get my hands on.  I bought my first house at 22, got my realtor’s license, and start­ed invest­ing in prop­er­ties, short­ly there­after.  I then met, who I thought was the love of my life, and bought at 2nd home in Dal­las, at the ripe old age of 27.  I tried for a year to live between the two cities, but it was a bit hard­er than I thought, so I made Dal­las my per­ma­nent res­i­dence.

It was in my late 20’s when I fell upon my first busi­ness out­side of real estate.  After hav­ing a hard time find­ing a pet sit­ter, we thought it would be a ‘fun’ idea to start our own com­pa­ny.  I had no idea what I was doing, but thanks to Google and net­work­ing, in two years, I built that part-time ‘fun’ busi­ness to a six fig­ure income and 12 employ­ees, all while hang­ing on to my Cor­po­rate Amer­i­ca safe­ty net.

How­ev­er, five years after we start­ed, I was burned out and going through a divorce.  I decid­ed it was time to move on and sold the busi­ness.  It was incred­i­ble hav­ing a check show­ing up every month in my mail­box for a busi­ness I had built, but no longer had to work.  There was some­thing to this resid­ual income thing.

My next ven­ture was a mobile spray tan­ning busi­ness.  Skin can­cer runs in my fam­i­ly, and after fail­ing to find some­one who could come to my house to spray tan me, once again, I fig­ured I would take on the chal­lenge myself.   Nine months lat­er, I had grown it so quick­ly, and added sev­er­al employ­ees, that I knew it was on to some­thing.  In just anoth­er few years I was able to sell that too.

Since then, my time has been spent help­ing and invest­ing in oth­ers and their ven­tures.  We’ve tak­en prod­ucts to mar­ket, launched online busi­ness­es, and have tak­en on mas­sive mar­ket­ing changes and plans for busi­ness­es in var­i­ous indus­tries.  Oh yes, and I have two small chil­dren and six res­cue dogs (obvi­ous­ly, I’m fail­ing mis­er­ably at that fos­ter thing).  So I know what the jug­gle is all about, but I also know it can be done.

My dream, though, has been to help oth­ers.  Noth­ing breaks my heart more than when I see some­one want­i­ng to do some­thing, but they’re just so unsure of where to begin that they nev­er start.  I’ve been par­a­lyzed in fear of the unknown more times than I dare to count, and it’s just no bueno.  I also love giv­ing peo­ple ideas of the oppor­tu­ni­ties they have to mon­e­tize their pas­sions.  Or how they can kick-start a stag­nant busi­ness by just think­ing of cre­ative mar­ket­ing ideas or prod­uct devel­op­ment.  My goal is to nev­er have any­one par­a­lyzed in the jour­ney to their dreams because they don’t know or under­stand some­thing.

That’s why I start­ed The Starters Club.  We’re here for any­one, no mat­ter where you are in your jour­ney of entre­pre­neur­ship.  We’ll get you the answers you need, and if we don’t have them, we’ll con­nect you with some­one who does.