Stephanie Lomas: How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur
We are talking to successful entrepreneurs who can share stories from their experiences. I had the pleasure of interviewing Stephanie Lomas.
Stephanie Lomas is a digital marketer who has worked with some of the world’s most innovative firms to focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning, automation, analytics, and other cutting-edge technologies. After seeing so many entrepreneurs failing to strike a balance between work and home, Stephanie was compelled to begin her company Success Steps. It eventually led her to devote 100% of her attention to each product she was aligned with. Stephanie is now one of the top B2B inbound marketers.
- Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I am Stephanie Lomas; I earned an electronics and communications degree and worked with one of the leading technology companies right out of college. I have been a denizen of the startup ecosystem for almost a decade, with an immense experience in various fields and technologies. From artificial intelligence and machine learning to automation, analytics, and more, I have aligned myself with the best startups globally in the capacity of a digital marketer. It eventually led to me founding Success Steps to be able to give a 100% to each product that I was getting aligned with.
I have always focused on the quality and authenticity of service. I didn’t strive to become the jack of all trades but decided to stick to the content marketing specialist. I nurtured Success Steps as a B2B inbound marketing agency. My sheer focus on SAAS products earned my company a reputation as an authority in the B2B category.
I have recently started giving motivational speeches to budding entrepreneurs. I don’t work merely to please the search engines but use storytelling to help a business’s audience picture themselves using the product or service most enticingly.
I love reading, working out, and indulging in home decor. Although I am of American origin, I am fond of South Indian and North Indian food, and my favorite travel destination is Bali, Indonesia.
- You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Being a business leader is never easy. When you start and grow a successful business, there is so much at stake. In my opinion, the three instrumental character traits that have played a significant role in my success are:
I have effective communication skills that have helped me greatly in my professional and personal life. Although I naturally have some good communication skills, I have worked a lot to improve this character trait. I know how to communicate effectively to all business stakeholders, including employees, investors, customers, creditors, peers, and mentors. My communication skills are not limited to one-on-one conversations but group conversations, written communication, and email or online messages.
I have a powerful ability to focus, and this character trait has been instrumental in my success as an entrepreneur. Building a company is riddled with ups and downs; I have faced a lot of highs of successes and despairs of setbacks. As an entrepreneur, it was vital for me to stay focused and on the course when the going gets tough. I always keep an unwavering eye on the end goal and push myself to achieve it.
My eagerness to learn is another important character trait that has saved my life as an entrepreneur. I am a person who is willing to learn in any situation, even downfall. I believe knowledge draws you closer to success. I believe failure is the most prominent teacher, and one should be ready to learn from it.
- Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about the advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?
That’s a very interesting question. When I had just started Success Steps and was striving to establish myself and my company as a credible B2B marketing agency, someone advised me to go for any client that came my way and focus on making money rather than building a reputation setting a standard. I followed the advice for a couple of months but then realized my mistake and stopped running after money and resorted to taking only those clients who could be of value to my portfolio.
- Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them create a work culture in which employees thrive and do not “burn out” or get overwhelmed?
I believe in creating a work culture that encourages employees to be their best at work. Interacting with each employee personally is what I do, and I suggest everyone follow the same. When you help your employees thrive by making them feel important and valued, they perform their best and work for the company’s growth, not just salary. Pressuring employees to work beyond working hours and not appreciating their efforts adequately results in a team you cannot rely on to stand with you in hard times.
- What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
One of the biggest mistakes of CEOs and founders is ignoring or downplaying the market risk. Most founders put too much emphasis on perfecting their technology platforms—which is understandable — but not enough to ensure those platforms deliver real business value. It’s always wise to evaluate the market risk adequately and proceed with things.
Taking wrong advice (like I did) and ignoring constructive feedback are common mistakes CEOs and founders make when they start a business. Most people with valuable insights are in very high demand, while those with plenty of time to dispense advice typically don’t have much value to impart. Take advice from an authentic source and value your feedback from inside and outside the company.
And another mistake I made when I started was taking too much work pressure. Working on a schedule of 80-hour-plus weeks and not getting through a whole night’s sleep without waking up in a cold sweat takes a toll on both creative and analytical capacity. Always put your health before anything else.
- Ok, fantastic. Thank you for those excellent insights. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about How to Successfully Ride the Emotional Highs & Lows of Being an Entrepreneur. The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy and is filled with challenges, failures, setbacks, joys, thrills, and celebrations. This might be intuitive, but it will be very useful to articulate it specifically. Can you describe to our readers why no matter how successful you are as an entrepreneur, you will always have fairly dramatic highs and lows? Particularly, can you help explain why this differs from someone with a “regular job”?
Being someone with a regular job is entirely different from being an entrepreneur. I have tasted both flavors and know what it takes to make that giant leap from being an employee to an entrepreneur. Your job requires you to make some decisions, while entrepreneurs are responsible for all decisions and consequences. Whether positive or negative, the entrepreneur is ultimately burdened with the impact of decision-making at all levels of the organization. You have mentioned rightly that the journey of an entrepreneur is never easy. It is filled with challenges, failures, and setbacks, joys, thrills, and celebrations. But one thing is for sure; it’s a rollercoaster ride of emotional highs and lows. Like after every sunny day, there is a night. I believe success and failure come in pairs and must be embraced with open arms. The year I was awarded the best B2B marketer award, I encountered a deadly car accident and was in bed for 3 months. It was a very traumatic and emotionally low time for me, but as they say, “this too shall pass,” and I was back with more zeal and zest to conquer the world.
- Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually high and excited due to your business? We would love to hear it.
I was over the moon when I was awarded the best inbound B2B marketer award in 2019. It was an extraordinary feeling of excitement and satisfaction that I could touch many hearts and add value to many businesses through my innovative marketing techniques.
- Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually low and vulnerable due to your business? We would love to hear it.
My company’s computer network got hacked in the day, and there was a severe risk of my client’s personal and business proprietary data being leaked and misused. It was an unusually low and vulnerable time for my company and me, but we managed to handle the situation well and kept the damage to a minimum.
- Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things You Need to Successfully Ride the Emotional Highs & Lows of Being an Entrepreneur”? Please share a story or an example for each.
Never take the lows personally.
When you start taking major adverse events personally, this serves no benefit but rather drags you down and slows down your recovery period. Step away from the situation, evaluate your mistakes, and make a better plan next time.
Build a talented team for management and board advisory
I believe a lot of credit for Success Steps goes to my team, who have always kept the company’s
benefit before everything. My board advisors are the best people one can ask for. Taking their recommendations has always served a great purpose in the company’s growth and success.
Having a supportive spouse
I cannot even imagine how difficult it would be to succeed as an entrepreneur without my husband’s support. Your spouse or partner makes or breaks things for you. My husband, Nicholas Grant, has been 100% behind me in everything I have done, and I am incredibly grateful for that. A perfect example of his unwavering support was when elements closed down, and I was re-evaluating my next move; Nicholas was right there, helping me think through my next steps.
Learn from negative events
When you hit a low, you tend to ask yourself many negative questions, but in the end, the key to success is being able to eventually step back from the mistake and understand what you learned. There are countless times I have made a mistake, revisited my decisions and choices, and then learned what went wrong and why to learn a lesson for the future.
Keep an eye on the result at all times.
Regardless of what happens day-to-day, never lose sight of your endgame. Your ability to continually focus on achieving the success you desire will serve as a compass that will ultimately help you get there. Whether it’s high time or low, I keep my goal in sight.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!