Jessica Oman_1000StoriesYour Name: Jessica Oman

Business Name: Write Ahead, a business planning service for entrepreneurs

Type of Business: Coaching & Consulting

Business Location: Vancouver, Canada

Twitter @writeahead

Reason for starting
In 2010 I was just out of MBA school and working in academic administration at a job that paid me far less than I was worth, especially for my level of responsibility. My boyfriend knew I was miserable and kept encouraging me to quit my job, while at the same time I was thinking about ways I could use my education and my passion for writing to fill a gap in the market for small business services. I found that many businesses weren’t realizing their full potential because the written content they produced was full of mistakes, didn’t speak to the target audience, or both! For a few months, I let the idea of starting Write Ahead solidify until I was ready. Eventually I decided that if I was going to earn such a small income, I might as well be my own boss – so with $170 to invest in starting my new business, I quit my job and started advertising on Craigslist.

How do you define success?
Success for me is building a business that lets me live the lifestyle I want. My goal is to be location independent, so everything that I do in my business needs to be aligned with that goal. It’s been a 3-year process that I’m constantly improving on, but it’s getting there, and every step I’m able to take towards that ultimate goal, is success to me.

Biggest Success
My biggest success has been doubling my revenues every year since I started the business. It really is reflective of the large and growing market for business planning and business writing services. I’ve also been able to “get away from work” more than I ever have before, and the business doesn’t come to a halt when I’m away. I can’t wait to double revenue again this year!

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
My top challenge has been putting together a team with the skill set, the drive and the energy to keep this business growing. I’m addressing it by refining the specific tasks I need help with in my business and being very clear about the skills and abilities required to complete those tasks.

Who is your most important role model?
I admire anyone who can build a profitable, 7-figure business with grace and integrity. In my eyes, examples of people like this include Marie Forleo, Arlene Dickinson, Seth Godin. These people are so wise and offer so much to communities of people they’ve never even met – teaching as much about how to be a good human being as they do about how to build a great business.