#HerStory With Maya Elious

Happy Thursday loves! It feels like its been forever since I've done a #HerStory feature over here but its BACK and I'm super excited to share this amazing lady with you today! Maya Elious is the creative mind behind the design company BRNDWCH and the business savvy blogger + business coach behind MayaElious.com. She has so much amazing advice and tips to share so continue reading to get to know more about Maya!

At what exact moment did you realize that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

This is going to sound so corny, but I don't think I really I "chose" to be an entrepreneur. I think it chose me. I know. That made you want to puke, right?

Because entrepreneurship chose me, there was no point of realization. One day somebody offered me money to do something I enjoyed doing (making graphics online), and I thought it was cool that I could get paid doing what I liked. I didn't think to myself "I can be an entrepreneur!" I thought "wow, money doing fun stuff." So that's what I've been doing for the past 6 years. I was 18 at the time. That's when it all started.

You help entrepreneurs bring their beautiful ideas to life through your design company BRNDWCH. What has been your favorite project so far?

My favorite projects are actually going on right now and expected to launch this month (November). Ironically, both of my clients are financial advisors, but it has nothing to do with why I'm enjoying working with them so much. I love these two projects because the people behind these brands are both so passionate about what they do. They are absolutely dedicated to delivering excellent products and services which means they understand hard work. We've been able to come up with so many fun and creative ideas to give their clients the best experience. I relate well with passionate people and that's why I love taking on passionate entrepreneurs as my clients.

Taking the leap into full-time entrepreneurship can be a scary decision to make. What steps did you take to make the transition happen?

I'm really fortunate that I started this whole journey when I was 18. Back then I still lived with my parents and didn't have any bills so I was able to enjoy being an entrepreneur without having to stress about meeting any monetary goals. It gave me a chance to grow and learn how to make a living by being a full-time entrepreneur. I never had to go through the process of quitting my 9-5 to follow my dream.

My obstacle was in the fact that I was going to school, and my parents wanted me to have more than an associates degree. I truly went full time when I dropped out of college last November. After months of anxiety trying to go against the grain of my purpose, it only took one step to do what I wanted. I had to go out of town for business, and I asked my instructor what I could do to make up for my test that I would be missing. He said I would just have to take a 0 and try to score well on the other tests. That was the last time I set foot on campus. I wasn't going to try to juggle both anymore especially when I didn't even want to be in school.

Since being out on your own for almost a year now, what has been the biggest sacrifice you have had to make?

It's really interesting, actually. The biggest sacrifice was not being able to get a degree to make my parents proud of me. I was so focused on trying to make them happy at first, but it ended up being the best thing I've done. I've learned that in order to follow your passion and live your purpose, you might have to sacrifice other people's expectations of you regardless of how it makes them feel

We know that you are a really busy woman! If we were to open up your calendar, what would a typical day look like for you?

Wake up around 8. Check social media, text message and email notifications. I use the first hour of my morning to be my down time. Checking my social media gives me an idea of whats going on in the world, checking my text messages gives me an idea of whats going on in my personal life and checking my email generally gives me an idea of what work I have to do.
Around 9 I get to my desk and create my things to do list. I usually listen to Weekly Top 50 Alternatives playlist on iTunes radio. I get bored easily so music keeps me entertained. It's my distraction from being distracted. I do this until around 2:30
Then I take a nap. Judge me all you want, but I usually eat lunch around 1:30 so I'm sleepy by 2:15. Haha.
I wake up around 3:15 and then work until 7ish. Sometimes my really good friend Josh (@aurelius_cre8s) comes over and we just exchange ideas for hours. This happens after my nap though because I don't think he enjoys being left in my office while I lie down. It doesn't matter who comes over. The 2:30 nap happens every time.
Doesn't seem like much of an interesting day, but I have a lot of fun working so it's not as dry as it seems.

You're also a blogger! How has blogging helped with marketing your business?

I love blogging, now! I tried style blogging, and I hated it because I haven't quite found my style yet. Now I blog about what I'm passionate about, and I'm so excited I've been doing it more consistently! I get to hear feedback from amazing, passionate people! It's helped my business through consulting. I love sitting down with people and hearing about their dreams. Some hire me for my design services, some don't. My audiences are slightly different from my blog to my creative agency so I don't expect to gain business [through my blog] for BRNDWCH. I just really enjoy the consulting part of my personal brand.

What are a few of your favorite online resources or books geared towards entrepreneurship?

I'm subscribed to:
SocialTriggers.com by Derek Halpern - He's a sales genius.
Bidsketch.com - They do a great job of telling you win over prospects.
LifeHack.org - Who doesn't love them? Plus I'm a contributor for them, now. Woohoo!

Books (I promise I'm going to start reading more):
Emotional Intelligence 2.0 - Being emotionally intelligent is SO important. It helps you keep your emotions in check which is good in your personal life but especially good in business.

Awesome Blogs:
TheAlishaNicole.com - DUH.
ByRegain.com - Obsessed with her. It's kind of creepy
JessLively.com - Again, obsessed.


What advice would you give a young woman wanting to take the leap of faith into entrepreneurship?

I would give her the quote by Mark Cuban that says

"Don't start a company unless it's an obsession and something you love. If you have an exit strategy, it's not an obsession."

I don't really think it makes sense to start a business for the sole purpose of money. If you want money, go be an Uber driver or something.


3 words that describe Maya as an entrepreneur : Passionate, determined, hard-working


Whats next for the Maya Elious brand?

I'm really looking forward to doing some webinars, online courses, workshops, eBooks and workbooks within the next few months! I really want to make sure people feel educated and empowered when they come to my website and I think these are other things that I can do aside from blogging to achieve that goal.

Keep up with Maya on Twitter, Instagram and through her site MayaElious.com