Woman Owned Wednesday: Meredith Watkins
It's funny, I've never met Meredith Watkins IRL, but I feel a closeness with her that really speaks to the power of the internet. Meredith reached out to me on Instagram after making a cross-country move from California to Philadelphia during the height of the pandemic. She came across my profile, sent me a message, and we set up a phone call to connect. Although we still have not met in the real world, I'm a huge fan and supporter of Meredith's, both as a working mom and a coach. In fact, when one of my clients needed help writing a book, I had no problem sending him to Meredith to get it done.
Meredith Watkins: Meredith Watkins Coaching
What is the name of your company and what do you do?
Meredith Watkins Coaching. I help people write, edit, and decide how they want to publish their book — either with a traditional publishing company or self-publishing — and then walk them through the steps to do it. I also help small business owners write their marketing content.
How long have you been in business?
How did you decide to launch your own business?
I found myself suddenly single when I was pregnant with my daughter and knew I needed to make money but also wanted to stay home with her. So, although I was also a licensed marriage and family therapist at the time, I returned to my previous experience as a magazine editor and started freelance writing and editing. Eventually, that became my full-time business.
What challenges did you face in the process of launching your business?
Finding clients and consistent work — something I think a lot of self-employed people can relate to. I learned to network and also learned a ton about marketing in those early years.
Did you feel as though there were resources available to you, specifically as a woman business owner?
There were more online educational opportunities then, which definitely helped, and I gravitated toward women teachers and business owners. However, I didn’t find a lot of in-person resources designed specifically for women business owners.
Do you have a mentor?
I don’t have an IRL mentor, but I like to think of the women I learned from over the years as my mentors. People like Marie Forleo and Amy Porterfield (who I met at the movies once because we lived in the same town, and she was just as lovely as I’d hoped she’d be) whose course I took and learned a ton from. I also love their transparency in their own struggles and their willingness to share what it’s genuinely like at every stage of their growth and success.
Books you recommend?
I had a lot of unlearning to do around my mindset around money, so Barbara Stanny’s Overcoming Underearning and Kate Northrup’s Money: A Love Story were both helpful there.
For writing and creativity, I love Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, which I first read in college and still holds up. Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear is super inspiring and will make you want to start pursuing the creative path you love most right away.
I’m also a personal development junkie, so Glennon Doyle’s Untamed is a must-read, as is Ian Morgan Cron’s The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery. The whole Enneagram thing is completely fascinating to me and truly helped me understand myself and the people in my life better.
I could go on and on…
What do you love most about running your own business?
The freedom and flexibility. Being a full-time single mom is really demanding, so I like that if my daughter needs me for anything, I can make myself available.
What is your least favorite aspect of running your own business?
Having to continually generate new business, as well as not having employer-paid benefits.
What is your best piece of advice for other women who are thinking about launching a business?
Consider what is most important for you in launching your own business: autonomy, increased earning power, less-demanding schedule… Depending on your resources and support system as you launch, you may not see the returns on your efforts for some time, so it’s important to be clear-eyed going into it and build good systems and create good relationships to sustain you in those early years. Also, really, truly LOVE what you do. That will sustain you too.