My 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.