We had the good fortune of connecting with Tamara Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tamara, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
Just start. Take whatever imperfect idea, product or service you’ve been thinking about, put it out into the world and just try.

Early in my career I was way more planned and rehearsed. I took risks, but they were very calculated where my success was more or less guaranteed. I had a pretty good run, but now I’m curious what would have happened if I’d allowed myself to mess up and make more mistakes. In building Studio Three 49, I understand that’s where the real magic happens.

After two layoffs in less than 90 days, the second the result of COVID-19, and with my Dad in failing health, I knew it was time to go into business for myself. I needed something I could do from anywhere, and I was literally sitting in the hospital with my Dad, Googling ‘how to make money working from home’ and stumbled onto the idea of becoming a virtual assistant which was perfect. It allowed me to take basically two decades worth of professional experience across a variety of fields and repackage into something relevant for the digital space.

And that was it. I named the business Studio Three 49 (my Dad’s birth year/month and also my mountain bike racing number) on a Friday, cobbled together a website over the weekend and launched the business on Monday.

Starting a business is not something you can allow yourself too much time to think about, or you’ll just talk yourself out of it with all the reasons why it won’t work and all the things you still have to do before it’s ‘ready.’

Truth is, you’re never ready and there’s never a good time. Would I have chosen to start a business in the middle of a global pandemic, my third move in less than a year and a family health crisis. Absolutely not, the key was to just get started.

Clarity comes from action and what Studio Three 49 has grown into over the course of the last year evolving into a full service digital marketing agency with my first employee is not something I could have ever planned for or imagined. It’s so much better!

And it all started by me telling myself in the words of the great Amy Poehler, “Don’t think. Get out of your head. Stop planning and just go.”

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Keep showing up. On the good days and on the bad days — especially on the bad days. There was a moment back in February when I was stuck in my house with all the winter weather, and for the first time, I was forced to slow down and deal with myself and all the grief and loss of the past year. Let me just say, it was a long weekend, with a lot of ugly crying, questioning every major life decision I’ve ever made and wondering if I should keep pursuing this business or go back out and get a “real job.”

It was in the moment when I was about to quit and give up that I asked for a sign. Not to get all woo-woo, but that next week, I was in a meeting and found out that my business was getting a literal sign on the front of Ecoshed, the coworking space that I call my office.

All that to say, there will be days that are hard. There will be days that you’re more than ready to give up. Don’t do it. Stick with it, because I can guarantee you don’t even know how close to the mountaintop you really are. Am I there yet? No, but I’m on my way, and I’m confident that the walk back down if I turned around now wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.

I call myself a digital marketer and, yes, that’s true. But it’s just the tool I use. I’m most passionate about inspiring people to achieve big goals and to rethink what they previously thought to be impossible, myself included.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Pizza, beer, staying active (to support my love of pizza/beer!) and anywhere outside. These are just a few of my favorite things…

Mon – Run on the Katy Trail (with a mandatory stop at the Katy Trail Ice House!)

Tues – Visit the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Wed – Go climbing at Summit Dallas

Thurs – Picnic at Klyde Warren Park

Fri – Eat pizza at Cane Rosso in Deep Ellum

Sat – Bike White Rock Lake Park

Sun – Repeat!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to recognize my Dad. He’s definitely where I inherited my entrepreneurial spirit. He always believed in me and carried me on those days when I couldn’t believe in myself. I’m so glad he got to see me start this business. And even though he passed away in December, he’s still very much with me and remains my biggest cheerleader.

I’ve also made some fortunate connections that have dropped a lot of wisdom, shared their resources and shined their light bright while helping me blaze this new path. Special thanks to Belinda Wasser with The VA Connection, Shay Banks with SB Digital Marketing and Lisa Corrado with From Challenge to Change.

And if there’s one book I can recommend that every fempreneur needs to read, it’s The Middle Finger Project by Ash Ambirge. It’s everything you would expect from a book with that title and more, and it taught me that radical self-reliance comes from following your most dangerous ideas.

Website: https://www.studiothree49.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/studiothree49/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/studio-three-49

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/studiothree49

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