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Confessions of an Entrepreneur: Resilience is Key

Bonnie Moss

Moss Networks owner Bonnie Moss shares lessons and insights from her entrepreneurship.

Bonnie Moss is the owner of Moss Networks, a full-service marketing, public relations and event planning company. Although founded and based in Los Angeles, Moss Networks works with global clients in a variety of industries, including technology, B2B, payments, and the emerging and ever-evolving world of financial technology (fintech).

Q: What inspired you to start and run your own business?

A: Being an entrepreneur is in Bonnie’s blood. “My dad owned his own business, and I always admired him for that. My sister, too, started her own company. They definitely inspired me.” Bonnie spent several years after college working for others, but eventually, her sister approached her about breaking out on her own. “She said, ‘Maybe it’s time you do this for yourself.'” That talk gave Bonnie the confidence to take a leap of faith. In 2003, with one client, she started her own business. “I haven’t looked back since, and we’re approaching 15 years. I can’t imagine working for anyone else after this.”

Q: What is it in your background or experience that you feel gives you an advantage over the competition?

A: Bonnie credits a few things that give her leg up in her business. “I started working back when the dot-com boom had just started.” In those crazy times, she went to work for an internet startup. As is common in a startup environment, Bonnie ended up wearing many hats – sales, marketing, events and more. “I got to get my hands into so many things. I had to be fearless.”

She continued to work for startups for several years, absorbing the lessons from their wins but also from their mistakes and carrying that with her into her own endeavors. Being immersed in the crazy life of a startup, she also gained a level of comfort with being off balance as she moved between projects and tasks outside her comfort zone. Now, running her own business, that off-kilter feeling that entrepreneurs frequently encounter doesn’t scare her. “I’m not scared by challenges because I know what I’ve been able to accomplish.”

Q: Have you sought out education specific to your industry (classes, certifications, degrees)? Why or why not?

A: Although Bonnie has a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and went on to get her master’s in business, she feels hands-on experience has taught her the most valuable lessons. “Staying on top of what the next thing is, making sure that I stay informed and surrounding myself with people who can inform me has been more important than certifications.”

Q: What is the strangest thing you’ve had to face as a business owner?

A: Working in the marketing, PR and event space has given Bonnie lots of opportunities for strange and amusing tales. Relying on vendors and venues outside of her control has opened the door, on occasion, for Bonnie and her team to think on their feet. But some events are completely out of her control.

“We had an event with an after-party,” Bonnie explains. A member of her team called her with some bad news about the after-party’s venue. “She said, ‘There’s been a fire, and the police aren’t letting people in.'” Instead of panicking, Bonnie and her team went to work. Before the event was over and the after-party was to begin, they had secured a new location. Only then did they tell the client about the fire. “The attendees never even knew there was an issue, and I remember telling the client, ‘There’s been a fire, but everything is fine, and we found a new place.'”

Q: What do you think is the most important characteristic of an entrepreneur?

A: “Resilience is key. You go through so many ups and downs.” When things get hard, people will suggest going back to working for someone else, and Bonnie acknowledges that would be easier. But an entrepreneur, she points out, must keep going through tough industry and economic times. Not only do clients rely on her, but so do the people she employs. “It’s definitely not easy being a business owner. You need to be clear in your own vision and keep forging ahead.”

 

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