The following is a guest post by Juli Branson. Juli runs Corporate Marketing, PR & Communications for Branson Ink.

For more than two decades, I have been helping others tell their stories – from my days as a newspaper reporter to my time as a speechwriter for presidential cabinet members.  I earned a very good living, but felt something was missing…so I started telling my own story…but it still didn’t feel right…am I too shy? Do I not have a story?

I can tell you exactly when I started my own business – it was noon on Jan. 20, 2009 – Inauguration Day.  That is when I no longer had a well-paying job with great benefits. I had nothing to lose, and so I knew that it was time to start that business I had always talked about starting.

Then came the questions: What can I do that people will pay me to do? How do I find those people? How much do I charge? Do I need a lawyer? An accountant? A business bank account? An office? What should I call it?  What the heck is social media?

Two years into my business and I’m still asking those questions!  I have answered them, but find I must re-ask and re-answer them almost daily.  The best lesson I’ve learned is that business is messy and organic, just like the rest of my life.  I do my best every day to find clients, service the ones I have, and figure out my next steps.

I found that while I do have a story, I find it much more rewarding to help others tell their stories. The difference this time is that I get to pick the stories I tell, and I get to pick a lot of them – each customer has a fascinating niche business and I learn a lot from them.

Yet, the most important lesson I’ve learned is to forgive myself.  Forgive myself for not getting through my daily “to do” list, for not returning a call or two for a day, for not making every single networking event I’m invited to, and for having dangling prepositions (very bad for a writer).

I still network with speechwriting headhunters, cruise job sites, apply for full-time jobs and attend conferences/workshops on finding a job…Corporate vs. Entrepreneur…it’s a constant battle…do what I know or go headlong into the unknown…at the moment, I do what I tell my clients to NEVER do – split my time and energy between both camps…finding your niche is key to success…but letting go of the past is hard…

I forgive myself for that.

Juli can be reached

– By phone at 202 688-1341

– By email at ju**@br********.com

– On twitter @jrbranson

– On LinkedIn at



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