As part of our family business series, we wanted to pick the brains of our friends over at the YEC and get their take on how family members inspired them to take the leap to start their business and if school had an impact on their path. We also took the opportunity to ask additional questions that provide advice as well as a giggle. Learn more about the YEC and the campaign just launched with #FixYoungAmerica.
Thursday Bram shares facts about how she got started with her business, what she’s learned and even something you didn’t know about her…
Do you have family members that owned a business and inspired you to become an entrepreneur or are you the first in your family to take that leap?
T: I actually come from a family of entrepreneurs. I’ve got an aunt and a couple of cousins who went out and got jobs, but the norm in my family is to start your own business (if not several companies).
Have you ever worked with your family before at some point? If you do what are the challenges you face? If not, would you ever consider it?
T: Growing up, I worked for several family members in their businesses. Since then, family members have also come to me as clients for my business. It’s been a mixed bag: some family members are great to work with, others still see me as the little kid I used to be. I’ve become more careful about agreeing to take on family projects — and I’ve stopped offering a discount to family members who are don’t really take me seriously.
When you went to college did you know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur or were you pursuing a “real job” at the time?
T: In college, I always assumed that I would eventually start my own business. I actually had a few false starts while still in school. But I had initially assumed that I’d get a job for a few years and get some experience under my belt. I managed to land a job after graduation and wound up quitting after a week and a half — starting my business a little faster than I originally intended.
If you were pursuing a “real job” in college, do you wish that you would have realized you were meant to be an entrepreneur before you went through all the schooling?
I’ve gotten a lot of use out of my college degree and I’m actually in the process of pursuing a master’s degree (I’ll graduate this May). I made a lot of great connections, had an easier time of landing internships and got to try out a lot of different things quickly.
If I could run my business from anywhere it would be…
I run my business from my laptop. I’m usually based about halfway between Baltimore and DC, but right now I’m in Oklahoma City, visiting a brand new nephew. Last week I was in San Francisco and next week, I’ll be in Colorado.
If I had unlimited funds for my business I would…
T: I would grow faster — I’d like to be able to hire a little more help. Because my business is hour-intensive, just being able to buy a few more hours in the day would pay off big time. Don’t get me wrong: I probably wouldn’t work any fewer hours myself if someone else was available to me. But that’s how entrepreneurs operate.
If I was standing in a room full of upcoming entrepreneurs I would tell them…
T: I would tell them they need great stories. Great ideas are not enough: it’s easy enough to duplicate an idea. But if a business (or the entrepreneur behind it) has a great story, it’s much easier to stand out. Keep track of those stories, even if you need to write them down and tuck them away for later.
For those dropping out of the corporate world to pursue their passion, the most important thing you need to know is…
T: Don’t be afraid to go all in. At the end of the day, you can almost always come up with enough cash to cover minimum bills if you need to. Pick up a freelance project or two while building your business. List some of your stuff on eBay. Sell plasma. You can get your hands on the cash you need to cover your ramp up costs most of the time if you’re willing to think outside the box.
One thing people don’t know about me is…
Not a lot of people know that I actually started blogging in 2003. It’s weird to think that blogging has even been an option for that long, but there you go.
My biggest fear is…
One of my biggest fears is finding myself in a position where I would need to go get a job. I’m fully confident of my own ability to make money, but I could see a situation where I would need to get a job to get health insurance or something like that.
My hope for the future of small businesses and entrepreneurs in the making…
I’d love to see that there’s more education that entrepreneurship is actually an option, early on. I knew that I could start my own business any time I wanted to because everyone in my family told me I could. But practically no one else in my high school considered entrepreneurship to be an option. There was no education that could prepare a future entrepreneur or anything like that.
About Hyper Modern Consulting: Hyper Modern Consulting is the result of one person spending far too much time focused on entrepreneurship and creativity. That person is our principal, Thursday Bram. Thursday has built up Hyper Modern Consulting into a reliable source of information and help for creative entrepreneurs. Our clients range from artists to coders to writers. We’ve taken on a variety of projects, from assisting with product development to finding ways to monetize amazing projects that are already off the ground. We’re ready to work with you on any creative question you have.