Starting A New Business with A Bang—and Clear Priorities—with Edios Media founders Elizabeth Madariaga & Michael Karsh

Starting A New Business with A Bang—and Clear Priorities—with Edios Media founders Elizabeth Madariaga & Michael Karsh

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The Nitty Gritty:

  • How you know when it’s time to head out on your own
  • What are key things to focus on to start off your business quickly
  • How to balance service delivery with planning for the future

On this week’s episode of the Profit. Power. Pursuit. podcast I talk with Elizabeth Madariaga and Michael Karsh, former producers of this podcast and co-founders of Edios Media, a production agency and consultancy. Although they are in their first year of business they have skyrocketed to small business success. We talk about why they decided to head out on their own after great careers in production, what they did to sign their first two contracts within six weeks of opening for business and how they balance service delivery and planning for the future of their brand new company.

Time to Do Our Own Thing

Felt like now was the time to bet on ourselves.

— Elizabeth Madariaga

Michael and Elizabeth had gotten to the point in their own careers while working for start-ups, that they didn’t see a clear growth path. Combined, they have produced thousands of hours of premium education content and before that had acquired years of experience in entertainment and production. They were ready for and wanted something different. They started to realize it seemed like the right time to launch their business based on what the industry needed and where they were in their careers. There was a bit of a hole in services—a hole that their experience and capabilities could fill. As they considered the next steps in their own careers, they started to float the idea around about doing this on their own and the excitement built. They took the leap and as Michael said, “It was one of the best decisions I ever made.”

A Fast Start

Don’t wait until it’s perfect. It’s never going to be perfect.

— Michael Karsh

What started as brainstorming and dreaming in July of last year, accelerated when they both gave notice in November. They used November and December to finish up obligations they had and officially began working together as Edios Media in January of this year. Just six weeks later, their first two clients signed with them on the same day. Although they had a business plan and an idea of who their ideal clients would be, priority No. 1 was to get a website created to be able to articulate their abilities, experience and, most importantly, what they were able to offer clients.

We’re working with people we had no idea would even want to come to us. It’s scary, crazy and fun.

— Elizabeth Madariaga

So far all of their clients have been the result of working their network. After the site was launched, they crafted an email and sent it wide to their network with some very clear asks:

  1.       Please check out our new site
  2.       Does this feel like something you’d be interested in discussing further?
  3.       If not, please share with your network who could benefit from our services

A lot of those initial calls were catch-up calls rather than hard sales calls, just checking in to share what they were up to and finding out what’s new with the person they called. Elizabeth shared that they are still reaping the benefits of people they know telling other people and spreading the word about Edios Media that way.

Balance of Service Delivery with Future Growth

Right now, our focus is working with these clients and delivering incredible results for them.

—Michael Karsh

Michael and Elizabeth have written down where they want their business to be in three years, and schedule time in their calendar to actively work on those tasks that will get them there. However, in their production world, it helps to have a multi-track mind and the ability to reprioritize. So, it’s most important for them right now to ensure that their clients are taken care of. If they don’t do that right and deliver an exemplary product and experience to their current clients, they will lose that critical word-of-mouth that is essential for them to build their business.

In the full episode of the podcast we talk more about the logistics of starting a business from figuring out how to create repeatable processes to finding the right contractors who have the same work ethic and values, the easiest and most challenging part so far, plus the particulars of how to start a business with a good friend.

Join me each week by subscribing to the podcast to get all the Nitty-Gritty details from today’s business owners.

Creating Systems for Efficiency & Productivity with Indie Shopography founder Emily Thompson

Creating Systems for Efficiency & Productivity with Indie Shopography founder Emily Thompson

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The Nitty Gritty:

  • How purchasing a tanning salon when she was 18 set Emily on a track for entrepreneurship
  • Why extremely detailed process management will help you feel more productive
  • How Emily balances the demands of running two businesses

This week, my guest on the Profit. Power. Pursuit. podcast is Emily Thompson, founder of Indie Shopography and co-host of Being Boss, a podcast for creative entrepreneurs who want to up their game. At Indie Shopography, Emily helps creatives build and run online businesses from the design and development of their business websites to marketing and education products. Emily and I talk about the time she bought a tanning salon at the ripe age of 18, why her extremely detailed process management helps her feel more productive and how she balances running two businesses.

Lessons from owning a tanning salon

I remember thinking this would not be my last relationship with business.

– Emily Thompson

When Emily was 18 she worked at a tanning salon one night a week in exchange for getting to use the tanning beds herself. Even though she had never taken a business course and was young, she could tell the business was in trouble. Then, thanks to a combination of moxie and mettle she made a call to the owner and ended up buying the salon and owned her first business at age 18. During our conversation, Emily shares insights about this opportunity and although it was a relatively short period of time, she credits it with giving her the bug to be a business owner. Today, she is very intentional about building a business that really allows her to do work that works for her.

Detailed {often painstaking} to-do lists for optimum productivity

My trick for myself is breaking down those tasks so minutely that sometimes I can check off 5 things in 5 minutes because I really broke them down that small.

– Emily Thompson

Whether Emily is designing a website or developing a new educational product, her process is very much the same. She outlines her entire process in the podcast and emphasizes the power of her detailed to-do lists that break down tasks into bite-size chunks. Once she has that very detailed plan, she schedules it out by using Asana. Even though her to-do list may seem super overwhelming for every project, she knows that tackling each of those individual tasks—that are small and manageable—she will ultimately get to the end of it. When those to-dos are marked off, the end result is a new product or website has been created.

Secrets to juggling two businesses

I don’t have to wear too many hats. They’re the same hats, just different colors.

– Emily Thompson

In the podcast, Emily shares her experiences and thoughts about how to juggle being the boss for two different businesses. She loves that she doesn’t have to put all of her energy into one thing, and that makes having more than one business appealing to her. The two businesses give her enough structure to not pigeon-hole herself creatively into one creative endeavor. She and her partner at Being Boss put together a very detailed marketing calendar annually so that they have a clear view of what’s happening in all three of their businesses so nothing gets lost.

In the full episode, we talk more about Emily’s passion for Asana, the structure of her team, as well as what’s on the horizon for both of her businesses, plus a book launch next spring! I hope you’ll tune in to receive all her valuable insight.

Learn from today’s most innovative and inspiring entrepreneurs every week by subscribing to the Profit. Power. Pursuit. podcast on iTunes when you want to know how small business owners really manage their time, develop outstanding products, build their teams and get new customers.

the many sides of balance, or not tipping the scales isn’t about equal weight

the many sides of balance, or not tipping the scales isn’t about equal weight

Your definition of balance is overrated.

Okay, I don’t know for sure that your definition is overrated.

But if it has anything to do with weighing out equal quantities of gold while a Lady Justice-esque woman looks on unknowingly, it is.

We have been programmed for strive for balance: family/work balance, give/take balance, eat your veggies/have your cake balance. We want to make sure each dangling tray carries the right amount of weight to keep the scale from tipping.


Contentment – nay, passion & joy – is about defying an equal-handed approach.

We indulge in work when we should be resting, we keep on giving when it’s time to take, we sneak a fork full of goey chocolate lava cake for breakfast. And we feel good about it.

We don’t feel off balance. We feel good.

The pursuit of balance makes us juggle. It puts us behind (always behind,) makes us guilty, neglectful, imbalanced. It’s as useful a concept as original sin. You can never get it right.
Danielle LaPorte

Tipping the scales isn’t a matter of too much weight here, to little there. In order to maintain balance, you have to gently hold the focus of your passion, purpose, and values.

  • If being a great mom & raising engaged children is important to you, do you need to fear the joy of working hard at your business?
  • If serving others through your words & actions is your purpose, do you need to fear the need to make a living from what you do?
  • If creating art & expressing yourself visually is your passion, do you need to fear the desire to have others love what you make?

We’ve created these false dichotomies. We’ve manifested dualities where none exist. We’ve set ourselves up for failure.

Your joy is whole. There is no need to balance the weight of what is demanded of you. Instead, honor all that you have to give.

{image via lululemon athletica}