I wanted to share a recent piece MBO Partners profiled me on in the hopes that it may inspire others to take a leap of faith and create their own path. The full article can be viewed at http://info.mbopartners.com/MeetTheIndependentsDC.html.
MBO Partners works to aid consultants through their careers by providing various business managing solutions.
MEET TARA SILVER
Tara Chantal Silver had worked in politics, which is what brought her to Washington, D.C. several years ago. Fascinated with how different people communicate with one another, she worked several jobs in the political and communications industries over eight years in the D.C. area. As VP of a small public affairs firm, she had the opportunity to learn and see the ins and outs of running a business. Over the years, she consulted for colleagues, friends and family in various industries, helping them to strategically connect with target audiences, funders, media outlets and potential partners. Her craft was creating win-win situations and solutions for everyone. Three and a half years ago, she started her firm, SilverStrategy, and built it up slowly from a couple clients, to the successful business it is today. Her specialty and passion is working with entrepreneurs and small businesses. The majority of her work is media-focused; garnering earned media coverage for a variety of clients from public figures, brick and mortar shops, the arts and entertainment community, non-profits, special events, online ventures and other businesses. The firm also provides strategic planning and targeting, event planning, business development, image branding and digital and social media management. Silver creates strategic marketing campaigns by coordinating opportunities for clients to maximize exposure, growth, and successful forward thinking initiatives to ensure clients’ brands are prominent in their targeted markets. She expresses that being an independent professional is the best job on the planet and she’s thankful every day she is able to do it.
Silver jokes that she became an independent professional and started her own business so that if she ever wanted to see a movie in the middle in the afternoon, she was free to do so. Even though in less than four years, she has gone twice, at least she knows it’s a possibility.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO BUILD A STEADY BUSINESS? HOW DID YOU DO IT?
It took about a year to get my name and brand out. I was doing a lot of political work, and now I focus on entertainment, small businesses, entrepreneurship, and nonprofit clients. I also have political and corporate clients. I have an amazing network of people and was able assist, partner, trade and use other resources to spread the word about myself and my business. I am well connected in various industries having worked and aided many different types of people from the entertainment community and Hollywood to start-ups. I am active in my own eco-system as well and am a firm believer in giving back to my community. At the onset of my business, I started doing pro bono work for some amazing non-profits and they have returned to me for paid projects and referrals.
“I love to laugh, work can be challenging and stressful at times, so I can always use a creative outlet.”
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND INDEPENDENT WORK TO YOUR FRIENDS?
Most definitely. I often get calls from people who want to talk to me about starting businesses. I Co-founded an organization called DC Entrepreneurship Week and work with a lot of start-ups and investors so I do a lot of coaching. I think folks should plan ahead as much as they possibly can, and let ideas saturate a little, and then when you just need to do it, go for it. I am very supportive of people who want to be independent and run their own show, a large contributor to getting the economy to a better place is supporting the growth of small businesses and creating jobs. I run a blog called YourGoodIdeaFairy that’s used as a platform to help motivate people who want to start businesses.
HOW DOES INDEPENDENCE WORK FOR YOU IN WASHINGTON DC?
Everyone in D.C. has some sort of platform. The energy and political interests are uniquely D.C. I enjoy the opportunity to be in communications and be around the political realm. The city has really evolved over the last 4 years and is extremely fertile ground to do some amazing things. There’s so much potential in so many industries, lots of resources and the people in the city are a fascinating bunch. I’ve fallen in love with DC all over again. It’s not just an exciting political town anymore, D.C. has some great restaurants, unique culture, entertainment, passion and vibrancy like no other city, and I’m excited to be a part of it.
WHAT CHALLENGES YOU MOST IN YOUR INDEPENDENT WORK LIFE?
To be everything, all the time when needed. I always tell clients and especially my small businesses, to be the talent and focus on what they have to contribute to growing their brand. Entrepreneurs should bring in others where possible to assist with additional needs and let themselves focus on what they do best, this way your talent is not being diluted. Balancing and prioritizing can be a challenge and understanding the difference between short-term goals and long-term goals is something every leader needs to remind themselves of daily, including myself.