Linda Tran Design
Linda Tran, founder of Linda Tran Design Co. (Courtesy of Bruna Rico)

Linda Tran was feeling stuck and unappreciated in her corporate day job. When the Toronto-based designer was unable to get a raise she knew she deserved, she decided to take her skills elsewhere – namely, by striking out on her own. She began this new chapter by launching her digital design company, Linda Tran Design Co. Today, Tran is filling a gap in the design marketplace by creating engaging, professional PowerPoint presentations for everyone from small businesses to serious corporate entities. 

Here’s our lightly edited Q&A, from The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project.

How is your business different from others in your industry?

My focus is presentation design, rather than offering a broad list of design services. This helps me stand out in a competitive space. 

Tell us about your biggest success so far. 

I’ve had the privilege of partnering with international creative agencies and connecting with clients in both North America and Europe. I’ve taken on projects for major brands such as Bud Light, Budweiser, Janssen, and Kraft Heinz. I also made six figures during my first year in business – a goal I had carefully planned for and worked towards.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?

Generating qualified leads and consistent work. I have experimented with different solutions, but there are pros and cons with each. I’ve largely made progress in this area by staying consistent, and leveraging my existing client list to get referrals.

Have you experienced any significant personal situations that affected your business decisions? 

I left my corporate job because I felt discriminated against. I worked for two years as a marketing manager and I hit all my targets successfully, but I couldn’t get a raise. My voice wasn’t being heard – rather, I was ignored. My ideas were being claimed by my superior, and I wasn’t being recognized for my efforts. So, I started my own business – within six months, I was able to quit my corporate job. 

What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs? 

Make sure you have a lead generation plan before you quit your day job. Have savings, and make sure you can make a steady income from your side hustle. 

How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?

I scour LinkedIn and watch a lot of YouTube videos to get my wheels turning. I also make sure to maintain work/life balance so that I can enjoy my time off, and so that I feel regenerated when I need to come up with ideas.

What is your go-to song to get motivated on tough days?

If I need to be productive, I’ll listen to Jazz or Bossa Nova. When I need motivation, I’ll listen to 90s hit songs – they’re catchy and nostalgic!

Who is your most important role model?

My mom. She works a full-time job for minimum wage and still manages to provide for her family – yet doesn’t complain. My mom always encourages me to try new things, and to work to have my own money. ◼

Instagram: @lindatco
LinkedIn: @Lindatco

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