Just because you’re an expertise in your industry, doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Read books, even when it comes to supporting your business like SEO or social media.
Melissa Hernandez is born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. Although she moved away at the age of 21 to start her adventure in Phoenix which then resulted her to moving to Miami, she found herself back in Minneapolis. Throughout the years of living away from home, she worked in everything from retail, merchandising, photo shoot coordination, pr, marketing, event planning, product styling, sales, management, along with the ecommerce industry. After working in the venue management industry upon returning to Minneapolis, she decided to go on her own and open two businesses, MH Style Consulting and MH Event Productions. This is where she is combining her love of product and wardrobe styling with the event and wedding planning industry. Instead of working for someone else and doing one thing, she is working for herself and doing TWO things she loves!
Where did the idea for your company come from?
Since as long as I can remember, I have been the only Melissa Hernandez in the wardrobe and events industry, especially here in Minneapolis. With that being said, I wanted people to be able to search for me easily as well as recognize my name if they happened to come across it organically. With that being said, MH Event Productions and MH Style Consulting, very straight to the point and obvious, were born!
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I start “work” right away when I’m having my morning coffee, around 7am-8am. I don’t feel like it’s work when I’m just sitting there anyways; I get antsy if I just sit and relax, honestly. I always prep the day before or right away in the morning by using a to do list. I prioritize everything and give myself a deadline. Because I work on the weekends for the most part and because I work right away in the morning, I like to reward myself by working only until about 2pm-3pm. Reason being is because 1) I find myself hitting a wall by that time, and 2) I am more productive when I feel like I’m working “less” than most people during the “work week”. As far as the workplace, I have to work outside or at a coffee shop to stay focused.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I do my research and write it down on a piece of paper, the old school way. If I don’t number the steps on how things should go when bringing it to life, I get anxiety so it just works out.
What’s one trend that excites you?
There are new businesses opening up everywhere! With my extensive marketing background and with my ability to build relationships quickly, I like to meet these businesses. Even if it’s an industry that you wouldn’t think is related to what I do, I find a way. I love meeting new people and learning what they do.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Writing step by step my gameplan whether it’s my to do list or an idea. Also working outside the house like I mentioned. I tend to work outside on my patio to get fresh air (and of course my vitamin D) or at a coffee shop. I need silence in order to stay focused. Another thing that makes me more productive is that I keep coming up with new ideas for my business. It keeps challenging me and allows me to reach out to a bigger clientele. It also sets me apart from everyone else in my industry.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Network more outside of your circle!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
When my wedding clients think that they don’t need a planner because their friend or family member is going to help.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Sign up for webinars when it comes to social media since it’s an ever changing industry along with reading books on SEO and other related topics. That’s what really keeps your business going and it’s always changing so keep yourself educated.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Network and create partnerships. It’s free advertising, for one. Two, when I talk about my services and what I do, people finally understand how I merged the two businesses together. In addition to, they understand what I do and the versatility along with the flexibility that I offer with both.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I was advertising in the wrong areas. I finally signed up for a business networking session that happens weekly. I also started writing down my partnership ideas and focus on at least one per month. In the beginning, I wasn’t organized, was throwing advertising dollars left and right and I was also not writing out a gameplan before reaching out to potential partners.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Although I already came up with it and is in full motion, my most recent service I offered were styling subscriptions for MH Style Consulting along with a one stop shop for MH Event Productions when it comes to specific event types such as product launches. i.e. I incorporate product styling, photo shoots as well as being a brand influencer in addition to their event planning package for their new product.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Thumbtack. I’ll send quotes, but based on the law of averages if I spend money to send quotes but book 1 event, I made my money back and then some.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Google sheets and docs. They have a wedding planning sheet which I use for event and wedding clients. They have to do lists that allow you to cross things off. They have business proposal templates, you name it! Even invoice templates!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Honestly, the Magnolia books by Chip and Joanna Gaines.They’re the most motivating stories you’ll ever read. They went through the recession, to building several more businesses off of the Magnolia name, now look at them! They are humble people who do it all just because they have a vision and run for it while still prioritizing their family and friends.
What is your favorite quote?
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. -Wayne Gretzky
- Always stay organized whether it’s with to do lists or a business plan. Think things through.
- It’s not what you know, it’s about who you know. So network.
- Spend your money in the right places.
- Do your research no matter if it’s for a new business idea or expanding in an existing one
- Just because you’re an expertise in your industry, doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Read books, even when it comes to supporting your business like SEO or social media.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.