My back story: Creating the life you want

Mindy Joyce WineryCritic Sugarfly MarketingThe highest compliment you can get is for someone to say that you inspired them to make a change and take the steps to create the life they want.  Mandy Gresh and I worked together for 4 years.  She was one of the people I interviewed with in 2005, and ironically she was the one I resigned to in 2010 when I decided to follow my next chapter.  This year she too took the plunge and left her job to create the life she wants.

Every week Mandy features people who have inspired her and who are creating the lives they want on her blog.   This week she asked me.  Check out Mandy’s blog, My Six Months Off, to see the other people she has featured.  I’m always fascinated by stories of what others have done to create the life they want.  I’m so glad I inspired Mandy and honored to be part of this group.  If you’re thinking about taking the plunge yourself, I hope I can inspire you too.

As told to Mandy Gresh for 5Q Friday for her blog, My Six Months Off

5Q Friday with Mindy Joyce

1.) Who are you?
I’m a lot of things; a marketer, idea maven, entrepreneur. I also love to travel and learn about wine. I’m definitely a risk taker. I was born in New Zealand and moved to the US when I was 21. Now 35, I’ve lived in Los Angeles, New York and now across the Hudson in Jersey City. My life during the week is in Manhattan, and I’m a Jersey girl most nights and on the weekends.

2.) What do you do/what’s your business?
First and foremost I’m an entrepreneur and like to collaborate with others to create meaningful businesses. In 2010, I created my own company, Sugarfly Marketing because I saw a need for a strategic approach to marketing using social media and PR. A lot of brands still can’t figure out how to interact with their customers through social platforms, or don’t have the resources internally, so Sugarfly was born.

Anyone who knows me will tell you I love wine, not just drinking the stuff, but can actually tell you a few things about it. And, I’ve also had a ton of years in or around the travel industry. About six weeks ago I was approached about an opportunity at a private sale site for wine called Lot18. The job was to create and build a business segment called “Experiences” (travel and winery experiences) for a community of wine and food lovers. If the stars would ever align in my career, this was it.

Now, I get the best of both worlds.

3.) Where do you do it?
My work life is based in New York. I’m also a student at the International Wine Center in New York where I’m studying for my Diploma of Wine & Spirits.

4.) When did you decide to take the plunge and “create the life you want”?
One of the toughest things to do in life (but of course all entrepreneurs go through this) is to say goodbye to a nice paycheck. I left my job in 2010 after a lot of hard thinking and finally came to the conclusion that 1. If I was ever going to have my own company this was the time; 2. I have nothing to lose/I’m still employable if this doesn’t work out; and 3. (my mantra) No regrets.

So, I resigned from my job on a freezing New York day in January and started wine school the next day. I did not have enough savings (stupid me) to fund my marketing company immediately, so I sold health and life insurance for a few months to beef up the bank account. Within 3 months I was in Jamaica as Sugarfly, and another month later I fell into another great client, the group buying site, BuyWithMe, followed by several other clients. My one piece of advice here is to really know what you are truly passionate about and be prepared to do whatever it takes.

5.) Why do you love it?
Unless you’ve had your own business this is hard to describe. It’s rewarding, it’s invigorating, it challenges you in so many more ways that a regular job ever could. I think I learned more about myself and to trust my instincts in the first year of business, than I ever have before. One of my goals was to work with people I truly respect and enjoy being around. This has happened time and time again. I just want to pinch myself when I get to meet the incredible people I do. The feeling of freedom to create your own life is probably the biggest reason to do it.

Learn more about Sugarfly.

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