Negative attitudes were the biggest hurdle for Liane Morrissette to go from worker to entrepreneur.
“The biggest challenge was people thinking I was crazy and not understanding what I was doing,” said Morrissette, who started Cold Gold Audio from her home in 2006.
Her business makes a wide range of specialty contact microphones and sells online to individuals, companies and organizations around the world.
Poverty to profit
An electronic arts class in university taught her how to make a simple contact microphone.
“I thought it was the most amazing thing in the world,” said Morrissette.
“I was running all around the school attaching it to things, listening to sounds I had never imagined before.”
Being involved in music her whole life, she wanted to use contact microphones in her own work but couldn’t find consumer-friendly, high-quality products online.
“They just weren’t available,” she said.
Knowing how excited the microphones made her, she knew there was a potential market for them.
Her new passion and business couldn’t have come any sooner.
“I was very unhappy living in Vancouver and working a horrible job at a deli,” she admitted. “I wasn’t making enough money and I was in quite a bit of debt. I thought life was terrible.”
She quit her job at the deli before Cold Gold Audio was making enough to sustain her, but her odd jobs in Vancouver weren’t sustaining her either.
“It was scary,” admitted Morrissette. “For years whenever business got a little slow I’d say to myself, ‘That’s it, I’ve saturated the market. Nobody else will buy any more mics and it’s all downhill from here. What have I done?’ ”
But now she’s learned to use those quiet times to rejuvenate herself because she knows business will always pick up again around the corner.
Nine years later, her business regularly sells large orders to stage shows, universities and government defence departments.
Morrissette wasn’t prepared for the tax bill when she finally got above the poverty line.
“I had no idea they would be taking such a large percentage of my earnings away,” she said. “That was a reality check.”
Morrissette has had an entrepreneurial spirit her whole life. As a kid joining her mom to craft fairs, she would make her own items to sell at the fairs, too.
She thinks almost anyone has the capability to be a successful entrepreneur.
“My best advice is to find something that you already do well, that you love doing, that you’re interested in learning more about, that you don’t foresee getting bored of any time soon and trying to monetize it somehow,” she said.
Before starting her own business, Morrissette didn’t feel like a business person.
“I felt like it was always somebody else who was a business starter, whereas I’m just a worker,” she said.
“That really doesn’t exist. I’m not sure why it’s such a prevalent sentiment out there, because anybody can start a business. As along as you can overcome all the negativity and logistical problems, if you’re good at what you do and you treat people right, your business will grow and there’s usually nothing you can do about it.”
She thinks people should be more positive about their entrepreneurial dreams.
Find out more about Cold Gold Audio at http://www.contactmicrophones.com.