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Celebrate your independence! See how 3 Stride members achieved self-employment glory

Celebrate your independence! See how 3 Stride members achieved self-employment glory

As our founding fathers knew, independence is hard, but totally worth it. That’s why in honor of Independence Day, we’re celebrating your independence by sharing a few stories from Stride members. Read on to learn how they achieved self-employed success and the most important lessons they’ve learned along the way:

Denise Pasquinelli
Health Coach & User Experience Designer
Vancouver, WA
Self-employed: 2 years

Why did you become self-employed?

I was in a job that wasn’t a perfect fit and I was seeing more momentum with my health coaching work, which I’d started on the side. I was curious to see what would happen if I devoted more time and energy to it.

What are you most proud of with your self-employed lifestyle?

I’ve had really positive feedback on a couple of products I created – people report feeling healthier, more clear, having a better relationship with their food and feeling supported by me. I feel really good about those outcomes. I’ve also had a lot of fun collaborating with other small business owners to see how we could both grow.  

What’s the number one lesson you’ve learned?

Be patient and have a realistic goal in mind so you can measure your success and determine areas for growth. Initially, I had a vague sense of what I wanted to accomplish but the main measure was financial and felt like it wasn’t working. I found myself chasing a number of different things hoping one would help me meet my goal. Then, I changed my focus to the few things that might not make a ton of money right away but had the potential to grow in the future. That enabled me to work with collaborators in a much more productive way and develop a long term strategic plan.

How can people find your business?

Website:  DenisePasquinelli.com
Instagram: @SEED_dpasquinelli

Phil Gorman
Co-founder of payment software business
Boise, ID
Self-employed: 5 years

How and why did you become self-employed?

To pursue an opportunity to make more money and work for myself, and be independent. I founded and operated a youth sports program for lacrosse. After 2 years working on it full time, I ended up selling that business to a larger sports organization. I got into what I’m doing now because of gaps I saw in the youth sports marketplace – specifically the back office. What it’s become is Fitpay.io, an electronic payout service making it easier for fitness businesses to pay their 1099 contractors electronically.  

What are you most proud of with your self-employed lifestyle?

My goal with the Lacrosse program was to show kids that Lacrosse was a ticket to college. I grew the program quickly from 0 to 300 paying members in less than 2 years. Many of those kids have gone on to play Lacrosse in college. That’s what I’m most proud of. And now, Fitpay is going to make a lot of other independent business people’s lives a lot easier. There’s a lot of pain around the back office, as you guys know!

What’s the number one lesson you’ve learned?

I’ve gotten a lot of bad advice over the years and learned you don’t always know people’s motives when they’re giving advice. They may mean well, but they may not really believe in your idea or truly understand your business. So stay open minded and don’t take no for an answer.  

How can people find your business?

Fitpay.io

Katy Osborn, with sisters Jenny Alberti, Andrea Alberti
Chicago, IL
Sister-owned Creative Studio
Self-employed: almost 5 years

Why did you become self-employed?

My sisters and I had talked about it in college – we’d always been pretty collaborative and creative. After college, I got into advertising, my middle sister went to graphic design school and ended up at an agency, and then my youngest sister went to school for film and was working as a freelancer. I got tired of working for other people and butted heads with my last boss in terms of vision for the business, so I quit. I called my sisters and said we’re doing this and they said ok we’re in! None of us had kids or were married at the time, so we felt like this was the time to do it.

What are you most proud of with your self-employed lifestyle?

We’ve tried to be true to who we want to be as a business and work with people who will let us be a good partner to them. Getting there was a process and we sometimes had to choose between money and the work we really wanted to do. It wasn’t until the last 6 months that we got comfortable with who we are and who we want to work with. It seemed like as soon as we started saying “no,” the people we really wanted to work with started showing up at our door!

So I’m really proud of the work we’re doing now – it’s really creative and strategic and represents where we want to go as a creative agency.

What’s the number one lesson you’ve learned?

Don’t be ashamed of working a side hustle that gives you steady income so you can get through the grind of the first couple years in business. It’s totally worth it to be able to do what you’re passionate about. After I quit my job, I worked part time doing marketing for a dog walking company, which gave me a small income and time to work on building Amelia Street Studio. While we were first starting the business, my middle sister kept her day job and my youngest sister worked in a wine shop. Just stick with it and have faith, it’ll be worth it.

How can people find your business?

www.ameliastreetstudio.com

Celebrate your independence! Share your story in the comments below.

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