Meet Sydney Nanberg a relentless 25-year-old entrepreneur, podcaster, blogger and CEO of a 6 figure marketing agency. At the age of 20, Nanberg dropped out of college at the University of Arizona. Getting her degree was just not her path or destiny.
After years of bullying, emotional abuse, severe anxiety, an eating disorder,
Sydney Nanberg started a marketing agency, The Marketing Firm, LLC.
Was everyone supportive of your idea and dropping school?
Not at all. My family was supportive, but my friends were extremely critical. They questioned my ability to become successful without a degree and tried to talk me out of leaving. If I had listened to them, I wouldn’t be where I am today! I had a friend tell me that she would never use my services because I didn’t finish college. Here I am today with clients that pay thousands/month to work with me.
Starting a business is one thing, but how did you make it grow with no experience at all?
I am 100% self taught. Everyday, I dedicate at least 2-3 hours to educate myself. I believe that education comes in many forms. Trial and error, watching what other people are doing and reading. I took the time to learn everything that I could about marketing to create a strategic method that generates business. Understanding that education was a priority, that my industry is constantly evolving and to have patience through analyzing results was key to my success.
What challenges did you face early on?
Rejection. In business, we need to understand that not everyone is our client or customer. Not everyone was interested in marketing and I had to learn not to take it personally. Allowing myself to take rejection personally just limited my growth and I had big goals in mind! I had to be persistent and persevere through the “no’s” in order to get to the “yes’s.” My persistence without the fear of rejection ended up leading to greater connections, more clients and a stronger business.
Did you have any particular fears about starting a business and if so how did you get over them?
No! This is something that I think a lot of business owners or soon to be business owners struggle with. When you start a business, you are opening yourself up to uncomfortable situations or mistakes. Often, people fear failure and see these uncomfortable situations or mistakes as failure. I have never lived my life with fear of failure because failure is when you learn the most! When I fail, I prefer to celebrate my failures because I just learned something that can help me to improve my business. While it can be scary going into business, it’s scarier to NOT pursue your passions. Having that mindset has helped me to push my limits.
Do you ever procrastinate and how do you deal with it?
Procrastination happens when we become overwhelmed or worn out. As a business owner, my job is to ALSO put out fires and I’m on the go 24/7. That can be exhausting. There were times when I would procrastinate until I learned how to batch my schedule and put routines in place. Self care is a huge part of my life and I believe that when we take care of ourselves, we can best take care of others. I talk about my morning routine and nighttime routine in my podcast, SHE DID IT and website, sydneynanberg.com because my routines allow me to take a step back and think clearly. When I think clearly, I gain that stability to be able to adjust my schedule, prioritize my to do list and become more efficient. My best tip for procrastination is to stop fighting it, allow yourself a break and focus on 1-3 tasks that are a priority for the day.
You started an anti-bullying campaign, please tell us where this is coming from and how do you think your campaign can prevent bullying? How does it work?
I started an anti-bullying campaign about a year ago to help prevent suicides. Growing up, I was traumatized by bullying. I was called fat, ugly, disgusting, weird and constantly put down. I suffered from severe anxiety, depression and an eating disorder. There was a point where I didn’t feel like I deserved to live. However, I knew that I was meant to do something impactful.
My anti-bullying campaign is not your typical campaign. It is a resource! I am coming at it from a different angle. I have developed the resource that I wish I had when I was struggling. It has turned into an entire community for self care, motivation and mindset tips/ tools that is helping people of all ages.
Bullying comes in many forms. We may be bullied as children, adults can be bullied at work and sometimes we bully ourselves. My goal is to get to the root of the issue. The issue as to why people are unhappy. Because when you are unhappy, you are more likely to put someone else down. By sharing the lessons that I’ve learned through my blog, the SHE DID IT podcast and community, I can inspire people to take better care of their mental health to live a fulfilling life. My blog and podcast not only provides tools and lessons that I share, but insight from other successful entrepreneurs and celebrities. This is your place to get inspired and learn to love yourself!
What do you have to keep in mind BEFORE before getting into entrepreneurship?
Before getting into entrepreneurship, you need to know that it’s a journey. It’s not always perfect like what you may see on social media. But, it’s extremely rewarding! It requires hard work, consistency, perseverance and dedication to your brand. Instant gratification doesn’t exist, so keeping the long term goal in mind and learning to be grateful for every aspect of the way including bumps in the road, will get you closer to achieving success.
What is your top piece of advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Go for it! If you have an idea, create a plan of action. You don’t need to quit your day job immediately, but put together a strategy to turn your dream into a reality. The only one that can limit you is yourself, and if you put your mind to it, it’s possible! When I had the idea to start a business, I had a lot of outside voices doubting my abilities. I chose NOT to listen and push myself to do what makes me happy. Educate yourself and know that you are CAPABLE!
What steps do you take when you want to get through a less of a good business day?
We all have bad days in business, right? The best thing that you can do is understand that it’s a bad day. Don’t fight it. Acknowledge it and keep moving forward. The more you fight it, the longer it will last. When I have a bad business day, I journal and exercise. That gets out any bad feelings. I also allow myself to sit with those feelings. Sometimes things don’t go our way or as planned. That’s part of entrepreneurship! I truly believe that if they aren’t going your way, it’s for a reason and I like to keep that in mind.
What popular entrepreneurial advice do you agree/ disagree with? Why?
One of the biggest issues that I see today is on social media. When you get on to Instagram or Facebook, there is ad after ad promoting “How to make six figures in 30 days.” That is a huge misconception. While I do not believe in limiting yourself and know that anything is possible, these brands are advertising false hope. The truth is that entrepreneurship looks pretty on the outside, but requires a lot of hard work. It’s more
than just posting aesthetically pleasing pictures on Instagram and being consistent. You have to be willing to put in the time. You have to be willing to understand your audience and pay attention to what resonates. Nothing happens overnight. While entrepreneurship is extremely rewarding, we cannot have the mindset that with these courses we will make six figures in 30 days.