Entrepreneurs With Purpose Interview #002: Candace Roadknight
Since then, we've had a few email conversations about entrepreneurship, how to make a difference through business, and when to keep going while chasing a dream. Therefore, I'm proud to bring you the second installment in this series. Read below to learn more about Roadknight's work and her ideas for starting a company that has a chance to change the world.
Why did you want to start a magazine?
I started a magazine for quite a few different reasons. For me, personally, I was always looking for something upbeat and could never find it. So I took it into my own hands to provide just that. I wanted to produce something that left the reader feeling inspired to follow their dreams and to simply help them find happiness in life.
I also wanted to create something that was clutter-free. If I felt overwhelmed by the countless images, words and mini sections on just one page of a magazine, then others could possibly feel the same way. I discovered that there just wasn't anything out there that I truly enjoyed reading. Therefore, I created a magazine strictly based on a very unique and specialized target market: Me. All I had to do is ask myself, "What do you want?" A magazine full of stunning eye-catching imagery coupled with ridiculously upbeat and inspiring stories, clutter free pages, ads that read like articles, and finally a magazine that didn't take you 20 pages in to find the Table of Contents.
Did you ever imagine you'd start something - ever?
To be honest, no! I have always wanted to do something great and big but never thought I could. To me it seemed like a far-fetched dream that would never become a reality. A girl from a small town? Ya right! I always felt that the people who have become a raging success were just born that way, or that they grew up knowing that one day it would happen for them.
One of the biggest lessons I've learned throughout this process is discovering that no one ever got to the top just by sitting there and letting their dream fall into their lap or by putting in 50%. You have to put in 110%, the whole way through. Every person who has ever made it, or who has become something spectacular, did it by working their ass off. And that's something every single one of them is proud of.
What's been the hardest part about starting a business?
Definitely not having any training whatsoever and having to learn things by trial-and-error. I am one person with a gigantic dream who didn’t have a clue on how to produce a magazine. I never went to College or University and I know some people frown upon that but without any training I still managed to produce an incredible magazine, with the help of my writers, featured photographers, and supportive family and friends. What it took was sheer determination, following my intuition, and working really hard. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you're passionate about something.
What's been the best part of being an entrepreneur?
Having complete full control over the outcome. Because I'm the producer, designer, creator, etc., I get to approve of everything. Every single item in the magazine has a purpose and I know for a fact that each part of the publication will mean something to my readers because it means something to me. I’m also not influenced by anyone anymore. I truly have found myself, my calling and my dream and I'm doing it in a way that stays true to who I am and the purpose of the magazine - inspiring people. That is the beauty of being an entrepreneur.
How do you measure your impact, given what you do?
It used to be the readership numbers, until I caught the "Numbers Disease"! It became clear to me that I was choosing the wrong path for measuring the impact and I wrote about it recently on our website. It turned out to be a true learning experience - one I will never forget. Now I measure the impact by the personal e-mails and messages I receive from our readers. That means more to me than any number count even if just one person's life was changed. When someone tells you that a story they read taught them not to care about what other people think anymore and to go after what they want no matter how many people are telling them they’ll never make it - I can't even put it into words. It's the best feeling in the world knowing that person just picked themselves back up again and is holding their head high.
What advice do you give budding or young entrepreneurs?
Never ever give up! Every single person in this world can accomplish anything they want to. Remember that passion can sometimes be your most powerful tool. But it must be combined with determination, hard work and the will to keep going no matter what obstacles come your way. When I wanted to give up, one of the biggest reasons I kept going was Hip Hop Guru Eric Thomas. What he taught me changed my life. He said, among many things, "When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful." His videos and encouraging words truly changed my life, my work ethic, and the way I see goals and dreams now. Know that you can become great. Know that your dreams ARE reachable. Go out there and take a hold of them while you can, and if you need a little encouragement visit our website. We're here to cheer you on. Like a good friend of mine would say, we're like a “pom-pom punch of inspiration”.