Porsche Williams’ 3 Tips for Women on the Fence About Entrepreneurship
By Laci McKinney
Entrepreneurship gave Porsche Williams the freedom to live the life she has always dreamed of, while being a mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend. She credits her decision to become an entrepreneur to watching her parents not fulfill their dreams and follow their individual passions. In wanting to give her son the example to know that there are more ways to success, Porsche created The Prototype Lifestyle Agency.
We recently talked with Porsche about her childhood, entrepreneurial journey and how she balances her busy life as well as motherhood. She also shared the three things aspiring entrepreneurs should consider before making the leap.
How did your childhood shape the woman you have become?
That’s a great question. My childhood was really good, it wasn’t free of challenges, but it also wasn’t wrought with struggle and disappointment. I am the oldest child and the first granddaughter on both sides, so my parents and my extended family poured love into me from the beginning because I was the first baby girl. I was always taught that I was beautiful, how to carry myself as a lady and that God and my family loved me.
As the oldest, the expectation was that I excel in whatever I did and that I was a good example for my younger sisters. We went to church a lot and my parents, especially my Dad was very involved, so I had an extended church family that held me accountable and provided love, support and a great foundation. My Mom taught me to be independent and that I don’t have to be available to everyone whenever they want. That’s served me well, because I have always been able to take care of myself and I’ve always been very particular about the people I surround myself with. I was encouraged to be myself and to do things the best I could do them, that’s manifested itself into meing a bit of a perfectionist, which is good sometimes.
I have very high expectations of myself, which drives me and motivates me to make my visions come to life. I come from a family of hard workers and I adopted that as well, whatever it takes to get the job done is what I will do and more.
Who or what influenced you to become an entrepreneur?
My parents influenced me. They worked for other people and companies their whole lives making huge sacrifices in regards to their dreams and goals, for the sake of our family. That is what made me want to be an entrepreneur. My favorite conversations with them were when they told me what they wanted to do “when they grew up.”
My mom loves to travel, loves horses, and motorcycles and my dad loves to sing, loves clothing and fashion, and loves to work with his hands. The fact that they weren’t able to invest in themselves and their passions is at the core of why I became an entrepreneur.
I believe in the possibility of it. I believe that I can create the life I always dreamed of by deciding to invest in my passion and creating a business that serves and helps people. I want my son to see both forks in the road. My husband is not an entrepreneur and he’s happy with the path he’s taken. I’ve gone the other direction and I’m happy with my path, so I want him to see that there’s more than one way to achieve success. It’s ok to change your mind if you find that another path suits you as you grow as a person.
What tips can you give to someone who is hesitant to jump into the entrepreneur life?
Tip #1 – It’s more than just hating your job. A lot of people aren’t happy in their job, but that doesn’t mean they should become an entrepreneur. They may just need to find another job with a company that has a company culture and a group of people that are more supportive and enjoyable to work with. You really need to look inside yourself and be honest with what you want.
Tip #2 – Side hustle first. If you determine that entrepreneurship is right for you, let your 9-5 finance your dream. I didn’t take this advice and it’s made things more challenging. Give yourself a timeframe, get your business off the ground, while you still work. Test the market, determine what the need is for your business and start building a client base, then when you have money saved to live off of for several months, quit your job and take the leap full time.
Tip #3 - Nail down your why. WHY do you want to be an entrepreneur? WHY does your business make sense and how can it bring value to others? WHY are you interested in your business and what are you willing to do to stay an expert in what you are offering?
If you feel confident in those things and you’ve prepared, then take the leap! Know that it won’t be easy – but it will be worth it!
How do you balance being a mom and running your own business, The Prototype?
I honestly haven’t figured out the balance yet! Balance is elusive and I’m constantly chasing it. I will say that I am content in my decision to be a full-time mom, while I run my business.
I have an incredibly supportive husband and family that helps me be able to get in front of people when I need to on behalf of my business. My son is my first consideration in any decision I make regarding my schedule, so it actually helps me to have very clear boundaries with my time.
I’m far from mastering this process, but I am working on being as intentional as possible with my time because it’s precious. While I want him to see his mom as a successful entrepreneur, I don’t want him to see me on my computer all day, so I have to make sure I step away and that we have very clear ‘mommy & baby’ time.
This concept of time is an important piece of the mission of my business. The Prototype is a Lifestyle Management Agency aimed at connecting clients that have a need to save time, create memories and elevate their life, with Lifestyle Professionals in Fashion, Food and Fitness that can and will fulfil that need.
So what does that look like? For a busy mom like myself, that means coming to The Prototype to hire a Personal Chef to do meal prep, because who has the time?
Then coming back, because I’ve been wasting time in the gym for years so I need a Personal Trainer to give me guidance so that I can meet my goals. Then coming back again, for a Personal Shopper that can help me dress for everyday and special events I have coming up because I don’t have the time, patience or expertise to develop a “look” for myself.
Most people are in the same boat in one or all areas of their life. “The Prototype” provides you with your #LifeTeam, the people that help you put your best foot forward.
What are you hoping to accomplish in 2017– personally and professionally?
2017 is going by so fast already, I’m trying to keep up! Personally, I want to represent my brand in a more intentional way. That means I have to be an example of health and happiness, so in order to do that, I have to take better care of myself.
I also want to get better with managing my time and I want to get more involved in the community. I’m a committee member for a non-profit, which I’m really enjoying, so I want to do more of that work that can make a difference.
Professionally, I want to continue to expand my network and create meaningful relationships. I really love connecting people, so one of the goals of “The Prototype” is to create experiences that bring people together in a meaningful way. We’ve had one event so far and more are planned for the year. I am also focused on creating a better culture for “The Prototype” and the professionals I work with. I want to create a team environment where we are laser focused on growing together in an effort to improve the lives of others through our expertise.
Want to keep up with Porsche? Follow her on Instagram @theprototypelife.