Jill Felska and Jenn Krenn became fast friends while working at a firm in Chicago after college. One day, Felska mentioned she was reading Making a Living Without a Job by Barbara Winter. They got on the topic of entrepreneurship and quickly realized they had similar ambitions about owning their own businesses. As they discussed their dreams and ideas, Felska threw out that they should quit their jobs and just go for it together; Krenn agreed. Now, the two are the co-founders of POP! Social Media, providing social media branding and management services to companies.
Neither Felska or Krenn had a background in business, so they needed a little help to get started.
"We were blissfully naïve, says Felska." "That being said, we took our research very, very seriously." They hit the library to find the best books on business, scoured the Internet for advice, and met with other entrepreneurs. They knew there was a need for what they were selling - the importance of social media for businesses is essential today in the Internet age. The two realized they weren't going to make it big overnight, but they were willing to give it their all.
"We felt that with enough dedication and perseverance, our passion and personality would shine through and show potential clients the value we bring to the table," Krenn says. And it did. In addition to their company, the two also host a blog, PursuingOurPassion.com. Felska and Krenn are now working to help others achieve their dreams.
"We've realized many people have dream careers, and others who have landed theirs want to help the next generation," says Felska. "This led to us launching DreamChamps.com - a network that will bring together dreamers and champions." Krenn adds that this project makes the two "dance in our chairs while we work!"
Felska and Krenn can count themselves among the growing number of women entrepreneurs. One study estimated that nearly 1 in 11 U.S. women owns their own business, accounting for $2 to $3 trillion in revenue. Their journey hasn’t been without uncertainty and struggle, but they are an amazing example for any young woman with entrepreneurial sights.
So what advice do they give others who want to pursue their dreams?
“Recognize that the biggest battles you face today will seem insignificant one year from now,” says Krenn. “Whether a business idea succeeds or falls flat, life keeps moving, and it’s not worth it to pause and dwell on what could or did go wrong.”
Felska adds, “Don’t be afraid to take risks. We’ve been raised to color inside the lines, get the 'right' answer and blend in. Don’t. Pushing boundaries and taking risks is the only way you can truly explore just exactly how you can use your talents to create or do something amazing. Don’t be afraid to be different, take a chance or make a mistake.” Images courtesy of PursuingOurPassion.com