top of page

Janelle Suzanne

Louder Agency

Janelle Suzanne

@0:06 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

All right, do a quick little countdown, three, two, hello everyone and welcome to the Shades of Entrepreneurship. This is your host, Mr.

Gabriel Flores. Today I'm here with Janelle, how are we doing?

@0:21 - Janelle Suzanne

I'm doing great. It's great to be on the show.

@0:23 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Thanks for having me. Oh, and we were chatting a little bit before. Now, you're doing quite a bit of different things, but before we get into all the different entrepreneurial endeavors, all the different hats you're currently wearing, go ahead and introduce yourself.

@0:37 - Janelle Suzanne

Who is Janelle? Oh, gosh. You didn't tell me that would be coming. The first question now, Janelle, Janelle, I am a proud Longhorn, lived down in Austin, Texas, a mom of two kids and two dogs and about 75 plants, and I think I have a serial entrepreneurial entrepreneur, so.

@1:00 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah. I love it. That's that's quite a bit of plants. I am jealous. have like two, one of them is already dead.

They even the store told me I could not kill it, but little did they know I can't in fact kill house plants.

@1:14 - Janelle Suzanne

I do kill house plants. The only ones that survive is if they fit my watering schedule.

@1:20 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

So they don't make it on my watering schedule, then they're out. Yeah, fair enough. Fair enough. Yeah. The one week water schedule seems to fit in kind of what I'm doing.

Now, now you mentioned you're kind of an entrepreneur at heart. You've been doing this for some time. You're a serial entrepreneur.

said, so let's talk about what are you currently doing?

@1:40 - Janelle Suzanne

First, let's talk about loud and then we'll talk about your other endeavor. Yeah, absolutely. louder agency, we want to do more good in the world.

So we work with a lot of nonprofits and purposeful brands to help them do more good in the world.

So specifically, when we say nonprofits, I know nonprofits is as wide as right for profit. brand. So that is not a vertical or specific, but we really love to work with nonprofits that serve vulnerable people groups.

It is personal passion for people who work on our team. A lot of people who work on our team either volunteer or have worked with the type of organizations we work with.

So we are working with rescue missions. Those would be people who serve our unhoused friends in the city, foster and adoptive care, wraparound services for families here in the US.

Vulnerable children and families, international organizations that come along children who have been impacted by poverty, having been orphaned, some of those groups, and then also rare diseases.

@2:54 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Now, why would you say in your perspective, why is that so important? I believe it's a huge impact. It makes a huge impact.

in a lot of non-profits, but for your opinion, why is it so important for this organization to exist to provide these services to these non-profits?

@3:08 - Janelle Suzanne

Yeah, we see a lot of non-profits, quite frankly, who are doing this amazing work in the world, right? They started a lot of times from people even just having these radical experiences and they see, man, there's this problem that exists in my community in Kenya, in my neighborhood, that I want to create a non-profit to solve this problem, to meet the need here.

So a lot of times, they start from there, you know, 10 years later, they balloon out of, out of even, like, they go past that, okay, I've reached friends and family to engage with this.

And we see them though, spending a lot of money on marketing, that's not being effective. That's not... helping them grow their impact.

so when we talk about our mission statement, we actually believe in having mission statements that you can accomplish. So we have a 10-year mission statement, one-year mission statement.

So our 10-year target is to double the impact of the thousands of nonprofits and purposeful brands. So we want to see them using their resources, their limited time and resources in a way that's actually going to drive impact.

@4:30 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

No, that's a great, I love what you guys are doing. I would love to give me an example, I think one of the things you mentioned was creating marketing so it has a purpose, right?

it creates an impact. How do, like for example, folks that are listening, how do they do that?

@4:45 - Janelle Suzanne

Yeah. It starts, you know, I believe stories are at the heart of the way we go about doing marketing networks.

I talk often about that there are three stories that every nonprofit should be talking telling. There's the story of your potential customer.

What is the transformation that they can experience if you're talking to a personal client? So when I say clients for a non-profit, that's a rescue mission that might be their unhoused friend, who they serve.

So how is it, what's the transformation that you can make for them? But then also, and here's the unique challenge that a lot of non-profits have is they are also speaking not just to the people they serve, but to the people who support them and their donors.

And so how is it that their donors can be part of this transformation story? Not from a white savior complex, not from a, hey, we're going to go in and I'm personally going to make this difference, but how is it that they can be part, actually part of the work that is going on in that non-profit?

So that's one story we talk about, then there's the actual story of the people. you serve or that you engage within your community.

So those are the testimonials and stories of your of your clients, of your donors, of your volunteers. And then there's your origin story.

And this is the one place I always want to tell people, hey, even though this is the one that sounds like it's about your organization, it's really still about the people you're serving.

And the people you're serving may all have that story that they are telling that's happening between their ears. And so how is it that you're entering that story?

How is it that you're telling them, here's why we exist. Not a timeline, not at first of events, but more so.

Here's the problem we saw in the world. Here's how we do this very uniquely to go about solving this problem and here's how you can be part of that.

So whether you're talking to the person you're serving or the donor, that you're bringing them into that story and entering the story that they're already having in their head.

So that's a little bit of just the more philosophical. approach. But we also look at that as like, okay, so that means a website, right?

Like, your website is the front door to your organization. And whether it's fair or not, people have perceived value of the work you're doing because of the website, right?

So you may be a $2 million organization that's doing incredible work in your city, but then you have this really horrible website where people don't know how to get information or what you're doing or how to get involved.

And you've lost them.

@7:33 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yes, no, that's again, one thing we talked about pretty consistently on this show is the funnel, right? Your website is the beginning of your sales funnel.

That's where you first capture people, which really where the individuals are kind of moving from the awareness to the evaluation stage.

They are now aware that you were existing, they now searching for you and they're on your website, and they're now evaluating your service products or, you know, whatever it is that's on your website.

Right. And you know, one of the things you also mentioned, I would really, really like this recommendation is, is when you're building a story about marketing, talk about your origin story.

That's something we tell, you know, when you're doing a pitch, when you're pitching your business to venture capitalists or to the market, trying to get grant funding, or to a community at large, providing your origin story is so important, because as you mentioned, the, the audience, your consumers, they probably have very similar stories as well.

So they're able with that story to recognize, oh yeah, I actually do have this similar problem, and this solution will fix that issue, you know, and, and then it also creates the sense of, you know, you're not, you're not just doing it because passion.

have to, you know, passion, a kind of lead with purpose, right. And without that purpose, it's tough to have a passion for something.

And so your origin story creates your purpose that leads to that passion. And then that's when people are like, okay, now I see why.

this individual is also leading the charge in this non-profits base or for-profits base because the roads ahead, we talked about it often in the show too.

Entrepreneurship has challenges, it's difficult, it's lonely and so having a passion, purpose with the passion behind it will help you propel forward and be successful because it's difficult without purpose and passion.

I'll tell you that right now and then, you know, kind of losing somebody else's origin story to create your own, people will see through it, you know, see people will see through it pretty quickly.

Just be genuine, you know, be genuine to your market and again, one of the things you mentioned was use stories, right?

Use relatable stories, even it's not relatable to your product, one of the things I talked about all the time on the show is that AT&T commercial, right, when they're on the airplane has nothing to do with the phones but has everything to do with customer service.

It's relatable, right? It's so utilizing those things. are important. Now, one of the things I mentioned was the challenges of entrepreneurship.

Can you talk about some of the challenges? Maybe talk about some of the challenges, one, that some of your clients that when you when you see that louder are kind of facing.

And then two, what are some of your entrepreneurial challenges that you faced?

@10:19 - Janelle Suzanne

Yeah, well, get us it depends on how far you want me to go back. I started in my first business before I was of legal drinking age.

So and gosh, I had some successes and and I had some big failures in that where I said, you know what, I need to go learn from some other companies for time and learn how to do this well.

So, so yeah, I've had quite a journey. I've had times where I'm sitting on the sidelines or watching what other people are doing and being inspired.

you know, you have to have a two-part question there. But that first part of what is it that I see with

are nonprofits. So we, you know, a lot of nonprofits start from that person who has a drive that I get because I have that similar drive that hey there's this problem.

I'm going to go create something to meet that problem. And so, and they are they're driven by that passion.

They don't necessarily have marketing skills or the fundraising skills or how do we have we run the operations. So I know that personally I have gained so much by surrounding myself with people who are just a little further ahead than me.

And so, but specifically in the marketing realm, putting her money on the next shiny thing. So, you know, oh, everybody's doing TikTok videos now everybody's Oh, I need all this energy and time into organic social without

the understanding of how all the pieces fit together. So sure, organic social can be part of your overall marketing strategy, but do you know where that fits?

Do you know how people are going to, where that fits on for the people you're trying to engage? Is that the top, is that their third step?

Is that further down the line? And then when you're posting, where are you moving them to from there? Are you sending them an email?

Are they, is there opportunity for them to opt into an email list, for them to engage with you further at this thing or that thing?

And so you have to understand, I see a lot of organizations who really are trying all these tactics, but the tactics don't have thoughtful purpose for how they all connect together.

And so one thing I really like to do is help them think very, hey, here's, here's the big picture.

Here's the evergreen funnels. for people who may be, are as familiar with that phrase. You know, there's evergreen funnels, are here are the things that run year round, right?

They're alive year round, they're helping you bring in new leads. We specifically for our fundraising clients, we have a framework that we use that really looks at moving them through the different stages and how do we reach them at this stage?

How do we talk to this person who has already signed up for a newsletter and they already came to this live event and they haven't donated yet?

How do we speak specifically to the person at this stage? Okay, there's the person who's donated for the first time ever.

What is it that we should be doing for the person at that stage? And always thinking about how do we move them further along that and how all the pieces fit together?

And not just, well, let's try this or let's try this, or we heard about this thing that worked for them and really looking at it together.

@13:59 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah, that's great. advice. I feel like I'm in both worlds right now, to be honest with you. From the non, you know, from the podcast perspective, I'm in the world of, okay, I kind of have a general sense.

I know what I want them to do. I want people speaking of which going perfect time to plug the shades of entrepreneurship newsletter.

I want them to subscribe to the newsletter by visiting because, you know, that will also have the podcast information information about the guests.

And then I'll do a small snippet of my blog post, right? Because again, the newsletter is also that evaluation stage.

Now I want you to get you to my website because the goal at the end of the day is I would love for you to either become a patron on fame to help support the podcast or purchase an item on the website to support the podcast in that way, right?

And so I have an understanding from the funnel from that perspective, but then my other hand, the nonprofit, the, know, founders.

Now that is a whole new world because you want to you mentioned. This is new. to me because it's now working with philanthropists, donors, right?

Entrepreneurs and trying to help them scale. And so you actually have different funnels, right? Because I have a funnel for the entrepreneurs that are going through our pitch program and our business accelerator, right?

And then we have the philanthropists on that's a little bit different that are going to be more those might be like the community for philanthropists like the larger organizations like Oregon Community Foundation and so on and so forth.

And then you have the other bucket, right? The individual, you know, ones and so I'm trying to go through this process of even from the email perspective, right?

Having segments, right? I'm trying to work my, you know, do my mind around creating segments and how do I continue to so I don't lose them?

So in 15 days, right? We'll send another email in 30 days. We'll send it another email just to try to keep it.

And I'm all folks, I gotta tell you, I'm flying by the seat of my pants. So I'm really glad I'm having this conversation.

Because as you know, mention connect with people that are smarter than You know, there are things I know, I know, are things I know, I don't know, but there are so many things I do not know that I do not know.

@16:09 - Janelle Suzanne

Absolutely. Well, I think two of the biggest problems like it relates to like what you're saying right there is that one people aren't segmenting.

So they're sending the same message to everyone. The same message should not be sent to everyone. So there are different messages that need to be for lapse donors versus current donors versus people who join the volunteer list versus people who joined your email list that haven't yet engaged with the organization further.

so how do we segment those messages? And then, yeah, and then move them along. I think, and then the second one would be that I see people making is that they think of marketing.

So as being one to many, but we've really got to look at it. Even when you're sending out what I call nurture emails and maybe you're sending them to your whole list, maybe that's a thousand people, 10,000 people, 100 people, and you're thinking, okay, this is a newsletter, this is one to many, and it's then reading as one to many in that inbox.

But think of those emails that you're sending out. Think of any point of interaction that you have with them as if you're having that one to one conversation.

So Gabriel, when you're sitting down with a potential donor over coffee, and you're telling them about why this nonprofit that you started is so incredible and about the great work you're doing and about how they could be part of it.

When you send what is traditionally thought of as a newsletter for a nonprofit that should actually come across lawyers like that one-to-one communication where you're going, hey, Johnny, here's what happened this month, and this family was impacted.

I want to tell you about it, and then, you know, I don't know what your sign off is, Gabriel, but, you know, I...

Let's talk to you soon, Gabriel, whatever that is, right? So even though you might be sending that to 100 plus people, when they open that in their inbox, and I'm talking, if there's an image in there, that image should look organic, not highly stylized, not adding all the graphics or everything like that, it should look like this just came from your personal inbox, and you just wanted to reach out and let Johnny know how his support of just even encouragement has impacted the organization this month, because you're building that relationship with them so that over time, as you continue to stay top of mind and engage with them and tell them about this impact work you're doing, that they go, oh, I think I want to make a donation, or hey, I want to volunteer, I want to get involved.

@18:52 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

You know, it's kind of funny, you mentioned this, there's one newsletter I follow, Colin Landforce. So folks, if you have not been able to check out Colin Landforce,

force, really smart product individual. But as I'm thinking about, I'm looking at my newsletter for the Shains of Entrepreneurship.

Thank you for those that subscribe. And I look at his and his is like very simple, to your point, just quick, easy.

Hey, this is a quick blast. Here's a bunch of links that you find valuable, you know, if you're obviously sources to what I'm discussing, things of that nature, links back to certain episodes of this podcast or conversations he's having or articles.

And I do find it very valuable, even though it's just like quick, right? You know, just snap the thing.

just a quick overview. And I will say, and maybe I'm also apologizing to the folks in my newsletter, maybe a little too wordy, you know, I don't know.

And so I'm really, I am trying to, again, folks, it's a constant learn, right? So it's imperative to have the conversations and be humbled about it.

It's okay to say like, I don't know what I'm doing, and I'm trying to learn. It's okay. to have those questions.

But understanding a sales funnel is so and so important, so valuable to maintaining your customer flow, to your customer intention rate, to the cost of a customer acquisition, know, and having all of those things aligned.

it's all kind of correlates to having a good strong sales funnel, you know, understanding that. And then building your brand around it, one of the things you mentioned too, was the importance of a mission statement.

And not just having one, but having a mission statement that you can accomplish, right? I thought that was a really unique, one-year mission statement and a tenure mission statement, because I think I do believe that most companies create a mission statement with an aspiration.

This is our goal or our purpose, right? But sometimes it's almost unattainable.

@20:50 - Janelle Suzanne

Right, it's so high level, which means you can lose focus on what you should do this month, this quarter, right?

That is why we take that 10-year mission statement, we boil that down into a one-year mission statement, which is, you know, I don't have an in front of me right now, but it's like we're going to do X number of websites, Y marketing plans, fundraising appeals, then it says something like by the end of the year, because nonprofits deserve a clear path toward better marketing and fundraising.

Right? So it's very specific. And every quarter we make a new plan each quarter, we go, hey, what do we need to accomplish this quarter so we can accomplish our mission for the year?

And we know that our mission year over year is billing toward that 10-year mission of doubling the impact of a thousand nonprofits and purposeful brands.

And so keeping that as our target rate, that's something that's going, we can actually accomplish that. And then once we accomplish that, how can we go even bigger, right?

I think it's the same ideas, like, if someone... and says, Ann, I have these neighbors around me who have food insecurity, and I want to get to where they know where their meal is coming from every day.

so by the end of this year, and so that is like, I want to take that and make it specific in the same way for my company when I'm leading a company of what is that goal and are we moving toward it in the actions we decide to put into place this year?

@22:29 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah, that's a great point. know, I think my personal goal growing up has always been to find myself on a financial space where I could say no and not have to say no.

And what I mean by that, you know, two kids now have a four-year-old and a one-year-old, little girls, they have me wrapped around their finger.

And so I love the opportunity to say no because I can't, not because I have to. And you know, I mean by that is because I'm able to afford it and be able

I'm gonna say no because just because you haven't earned it yet, right? We have to do some things to get to that level of earning this and and it does take some time.

Now one of the things you also discussed is this is not your only, louder is not your only endeavor.

@23:14 - Janelle Suzanne

You're doing multiple things. No, it's not. So I've had, you know, my very first business I ever started, I started while I still in college.

I had some success with it. It collapsed also just because there were times where it was like, what do I do if someone doesn't pay a bill and I need to go figure out how, like, how to handle this and I want to learn from others.

So several years ago, I started an agency called Forward Copy. We were focused on providing copywriting services specifically in the digital marketing space.

So louder agency was actually one of my my clients. And if you're wondering what we're saying, well, one, you can subscribe to Gabriel's, you know, newsletter to know what the name of my agency is, but I'm saying louder, the opposite of quieter.

So for some reason, people don't always know what I'm saying when I say louder, but yes, opposite of quieter, helping amplify people's voices and those nonprofits.

So louder was one of my clients. And so myself, my team, we did a lot of the copywriting for them.

And then after several conversations, it was, hey, why don't you come join us? So jumped on board with them.

A year ago, we started up, I had this idea, was like, you know, I, we often had independent schools, private schools coming to us for services because we work with so many nonprofits, we served a lot of them.

And I said, you know what, the problems they have are really unique. And the solutions that they need are different.

the other nonprofits we work with. And so I want to start a brand around them and I want to serve them uniquely.

And so that's when we started Mosaic Path. And that took off even the way that we structured our marketing plans for them was very unique.

It was different than even how Gauter was doing it at the time where basically there's no long-term contracts. It's month to month.

You're buying a certain number of what we call points which goes toward work. And so you can use those how you want.

You can start or stop at any time. So some really unique selling points that we didn't see anyone else doing in the markets.

And so we're like, let's just, I want to test this and see if it works. And it works so well and schools jumped onto that and we're like, hey, like they saw too that we didn't want to take advantage of them and just keep them in those contracts.

So then we rolled out the way we actually structured our marketing plans for non-profits and the other purposeful brands that we serve at Louder, the same way that we do for Mosaic Path.

So it was really cool how starting this one impacted even though Louder's been around for more than a decade, how it changed even how we structured our marketing for our clients, to better serve them, to better use their resources, that they don't feel locked into a contract, all of that.

And then a new one that we are about to launch in the next month is called Her Jobs, which I am extremely excited about this.

Can't wait to tell the world more about it. As just sort of even a snippet of what we're doing, it's going to be a groundbreaking job board really dedicated to revolutionizing women's careers, connecting women with visionary organizations who really

recognize women's potential and are willing to elevate and transform the workplace to be a place where women have opportunities to work regardless of sort of the directions their life can take.

@27:15 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah, I really love the emphasis on creating these work groups and trying to really create kind of an ecosystem of professional network of growth, right, and truly encouraging not only the individuals, but also trying to encourage organizations to think more, think more inclusivity when they're actually building out their strategic plan.

And this is something I talk about even from a health care perspective, you know, when you think about health equity being so important.

It's really important to have these opportunities to get the individuals in the same room to encourage each other and lift each other up.

Because, you know, I think I've said it before. Or it's the masterpieces and on the paper, the masterpieces actually within you, you just have to bring it out.

I think there's a lot of individuals that will help bring that out of you, which is really, really encouraging.

Now, what you mentioned, you've been doing this for some time.

@28:16 - Janelle Suzanne

Now you're starting to kind of really, I would say a really cool coaching networking thing for women, and then I'm sure you provide.

And let me even, not as much coaching networking, it's really going to be a job board dedicated to helping women search for jobs that align with their family values, that align with their goals, that give them that flexibility.

so a little bit of how this started even is when I worked at Forward Copy, or sorry, when I started Forward Copy, one of my core values was I really wanted to provide jobs for these incredible people.

of talented women who would otherwise not be able to pursue a career if they didn't have the flexibility of working from home, working from anywhere, flexibility in hours.

know, whether it is the wife of a man in the military who is moving every two years and because of that, she's not able to keep a career.

Or my friend, Amy, husband moved really into the middle of nowhere in Colorado and she's this incredibly gifted writer.

And there was nowhere for her to work, right? even like an hourly paid job. And so personally, one into create a place where women could work and pursue a career to use their gifts.

And so a little bit of that came from, hey, how can we help women connect with other organizations? who are leading the way and providing the workplaces, the flexible schedules, the benefits that women specifically are looking forward to be able to continue or start careers where otherwise they wouldn't be able to.

@30:14 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

So I really love this idea because again I mentioned I have to have two kids and I will say I'm happily married and because of my wife I think I'm able to continue to follow various endeavors.

Do the podcast, do the nonprofit, work full-time and healthcare, these things. And she took it upon herself, we have the discussion of going back down to 60% time, instead of working full-time, working 60% to help support the kids and things of that nature.

I think one of the things she works in the insurance world and I get tell folks, in the insurance world isn't the most glamorous in market or industry to be in.

it's frickin talented. I was talking about it this weekend. I would hire her and harpy. And I do not mean this because she's my wife.

mean this because she kicked my butt in the negotiations class at Portland State. And so I will probably, she will always hang that over my head as well.

But it's, it's truly, I mean, I think people don't understand, I think some of the sacrifices females do make out.

mean, there's only females, I'm sure there's certainly males out there. But I would take predominantly it seems that the female cohort tends to be the ones that make the most sacrifice.

And so having something like this to your point, the flexibility of working from home or a flexible schedule where you can work when your kids are going to school from nine to one, right?

Because the preschool kids don't go full day. And and having an employer that is okay with you taking a week off during spring break because you don't have a babysitter and things of that nature.

think it's so important and so valuable because if you're not in the boat. Like I, you know, five years ago, I was in the boat.

So I'd like, ah, okay, this is a cool thing. Not for me. I'm not targeted.

@32:08 - Janelle Suzanne

Hey, now I'm a dad of two. I'm in the boat, right?

@32:10 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

I'm I feel like I'm floundering sometimes this boat. But still, I see now the purpose and the real true intent and the value, the true value of this.

Because again, there are probably remote opportunities and states, you know, that we do might may not reside in, but you still qualify for because you're it's a remote opportunity, you know, and you're just not looking for those.

So I think it was a pretty cool idea.

@32:37 - Janelle Suzanne

And when when do you expect them for this to kind of launch? So we are hoping that we'll launch by the end of June.

So we are really putting some of the final touches on it.

@32:49 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

I will let you know, Gabriel, so you can let your people know.

@32:53 - Janelle Suzanne

But yeah, all of that. mean, when you look at even how COVID affected gender in the workplace, right? So when our kids had to stay home from, you know, at the time, I think my kids were, oh gosh, it's such a hard time to look back on, but I think they were kinder and second grade maybe, and then they're suddenly home full time.

And the school that my kids were at at the time said, oh, well, here's all the curriculum. We expect you to fully homeschool them at home and then turn in their lessons digitally.

And I was like, I'm a business owner. work full time. you know, and yet I did have the luxury that I didn't have to lose my job because I had always had remote companies.

And then at louder, you know, I'm really proud of the fact that we have paid maternity leave, even though we're a small boutique agency and that we have every other Friday off and flexible work hours.

And oh, you write best from midnight to 2 a.m. That's great. That's when you do that. I'm not expecting your light to be on on Slack during this time.

And so I was like, okay, there have to be more organizations who are providing the type of environment where women can work regardless of maybe the outside restraints, which right, that's not just moms, but it might be the woman who has to travel with a husband or the woman who lives in such a remote area for various reasons, you know, like that's where she's staying and she still needs a job and she needs to make money and she wants to use those gifts.

So it's really cool to be launching this new venture, right, to help connect women with the employers who are creating the space and value, right?

you're saying like, yeah, my wife is amazing and you're not just saying that because she's your wife. Although I'm sure that will win you some brownie points.

good job, but but right, like there are talented women in this world who would love Up to where maybe and it is only during those preschool hours, but how do you find the jobs that are offering, offering the employment hours around that and so we want to create the connection between the employers and the employees and create that space.

@35:19 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

I like it and I think it's going to be super valuable. Not only for like you mentioned, I think you have a very robust amount of individuals that would use this service.

I'm also thinking about women transitioning back into the public life after incarceration or individuals abuse. Those are very partly impacted women's as well and I see that what you do and not only how you're providing a service to kind of help them grow but also some of the advice I've already found a lot of golden nuggets throughout this 30-minute conversation or whatever it's been.

It's been remarkable, and I truly see the value of it because it's going to have a huge impact. I think on a lot of individuals that, again, you're kind of revolutionizing something that hasn't been there.

You're really focused on a specific cohort. I think the impact is I continue to roll through it. I think it just continues to get bigger.

I truly do. So I'm really excited. Please do let us know and I'll make sure it is on the newsletter.

But one of the things I mentioned you do work with a lot of individuals and provide a lot of advice.

What is some advice you would provide to an inspiring entrepreneur?

@36:40 - Janelle Suzanne

Don't be afraid to fail fast. I think one of the greatest things, you know, something that has helped me be successful is willing to say I'm going to go this fast so we can see if it's working or not working.

And if it's It's not working, then we're gonna pivot fast. And I think sometimes, I know I made this mistake early is holding onto one idea so long and not willing to pivot and then you just get further and further into the hole and then pivoting gets a lot more difficult.

And so be willing to fail fast and figure out where you need to pivot to make it successful.

@37:24 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

That's great advice. And seek advice, like you mentioned earlier, I think in order for you to kind of fail fast, you have to seek advice from others outside of your inner circle because they're gonna give you the most valuable insight into whether your product or service or business idea has any merit to it.

Because unfortunately, sometimes we find ourselves in a rut where if we only ask individuals in our inner circle, they tend to give us the answers we want because they don't wanna hurt our feelings, right?

want you to, they wanna believe that you're successful. Well, and they want you to believe your own success. And so sometimes it's a bit of full gold.

So make sure to get out there and rub elbows with individuals in the industry as well. Don't be afraid to talk to somebody within that industry.

You'd be surprised how much people are willing to share and provide insight into what they're doing and how they became successful.

So just ask. In fact, what is one thing looking back at your time? What is one thing that you are most proud of that you've went through because it helped you be the entrepreneur today?

@38:38 - Janelle Suzanne

Well, that's a good question. I've been coming off of what you just said. This isn't something as much about what I went through, but I feel like maybe I should even say this to get to where I went through.

So was standing around one day at my kid's school. And I was talking to a mom and I was really at a point of transitioning in my own career.

So my kids were really little. I had taken some time off and was doing more freelance work. I was kind of working more in traditional marketing than digital marketing.

I was trying to make that pivot from traditional marketing to digital marketing. And I'm talking to this in mom at the school and I just said, is it your husband and marketing?

And would he be willing to do just like a phone call with me and someone else who's standing there who knew them really well laughed and said, do you know who her husband is?

And I kind of looked and I was like, no, should I? And I'm going to say this to you and I'm sure you might know his name, but Ryan Dives, who is over digital marketer, just this right and amazing marketer in the field.

And I was like, I just, you know, I was really embarrassed. They're like, yeah, he is currently speaking in front of 20,000 people.

This week and I laughed and I had that moment of embarrassment and and she said he would love to talk to you So he jumped on the phone with me And then invited me to just you know grab lunch with them where we just talked shop the advice he offered me, you know Was obviously I mean, it's Ryan dice.

It was gold. It's also Been a vision for me on how I Have helped and continue to open those same doors for other people, right?

The doors he opened for me just by having even a conversation Was incredible and he saw that I was in a point in my life where not only was I in a career transition I was in a personal life transition and And going through a time of you know freelancing I was going through a divorce to had just gone through a divorce previously and I was going I need to make some major pivots in my life to be able to

to provide for my kids and my little nucleus family in the way that I went to. And if I don't make these major pivots, I'm not that far from not having house over my head.

And so I think that is the part of where I just said, where I say be quick to fail.

For me, it was I did not have time to get the perfect business plan together when I started my business.

I said, I've got to pivot this, and I need to make this money now. It was not the, it was not the end.

So I was quick to pivot, quick to say, okay, this isn't right. I surrounded myself with people. I even talked to people in different industries just to go, how do you handle this?

How do you handle this? How do you set up your taxes? Who should I talk to? So that I could get to really where I am today just with this incredible team, incredible work, starting a third business, you know.

So, some hard stuff for along the way.

@42:03 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah, no, networking is so impactful. know, you mentioned, you know, meeting with folks and asking advice and just networking, getting a coffee.

Even if it's a virtual coffee building that report is so important. Because they, you might find something valuable out of that conversation, but they will also probably find something valuable out of conversation.

And the beauty of it is you both leave knowing somebody else within this kind of sphere of, you know, of relationships you're creating that eventually somebody's going to ask for some help one day.

And they're like, you know what, I actually know somebody. A great example of this is just today I've logged on LinkedIn and I was tagged on a post about a board position opened up.

And I was like, oh, this is, this is awesome. And I told my wife about it and she's like, you really another board.

But, you know, it's again, these opportunities, that opportunity arose because. as I networked. That opportunity, I would have known about that opportunity if I've never met this one individual who tagged me on this post who I just met probably six to eight months ago.

So it's a brand new relationship, it has bubbled enough that he felt confident to tag me in the post for a board position.

networking is huge, getting out there and asking folks advice. Uh, really again, uh, I would say don't worry too much about the business plan.

First focus is if you can get somebody to reach in their back pocket and pull out hard earned cash and pay you for some product or service.

Okay. Now you now you got a business plan to work on. Okay. Don't don't build a business plan until you're able to sell something, sell something first, then build a business plan around it.

@43:49 - Janelle Suzanne

One hundred percent. Yes.

@43:51 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yes. Now for the listeners at home that are interested in learning more about you or maybe the one to contact you, how can they find you on the intro web where we're social media.

@44:00 - Janelle Suzanne

You have websites, how can they contact you? Yeah, I think one of the greatest places is just to connect with me on LinkedIn.

So you can find me there. And then also email me, Janelle at Love connecting with people, even if it's, like you said, over the coffee and networking, even if it's not like, hey, come use our services.

Love connecting with people and meeting other people who have shared passions.

@44:28 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yes, and likewise, folks, feel free to connect with me. In fact, all of this information will be on the shades of entrepreneurship newsletter.

You can subscribe to the newsletter by visiting This will also be on a blog post. no, I'll make sure you get tagged on that and link it back to your website for some SEO love.

And folks, again, for much support, please feel free to follow us on the social medias where on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and LinkedIn.

So we will really encourage you to follow us.

So we're also. on patreon so you can actually view or uh youtube so you can actually view this episode on youtube and then for those that are for uh very feeling so kindly that would love to reach in their back pocket we do have a patreon page the patreon page helps support the podcast it's five dollars a month uh to help support the podcast bring on uh excellent guests like we did today and just continue to share shorts uh so Janelle before leave is there any last words you have for the listeners 

@45:00 - Janelle Suzanne

let your passions and your giftings drive where you go and surround yourself with really good people 

@45:10 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

i could not have said it better myself surround yourself with very good people we are the average of the 10 people waking out with their most folks so make sure those 10 people are phenomenal Janelle thank you again so much for taking the time for being on the show for those listening again please subscribe to the newsletter at

bottom of page