Ways to grow


A Maui sunset. (Photo by Daniel Lee)

I had the privilege of meeting SDSU alumnus Jenny Amaraneni last week as guest lecturer and CEO/co-founder of SOLO Eyewear. When she first stepped onto campus for her master’s program, she knew she wanted to create her own company. She actually began the works of her business in an entrepreneurship class much like mine. Fast forward to present day, she is a successful entrepreneur for a cause: raising funds through sunglasses sales to provide eye care for people around the world.

I found myself inspired by Jenny’s mission to make a difference. With that being said, to make a difference you must be willing to grow. If I want to touch the world, I am going to need some help and new ideas. After reading Entrepreneur’s “10 Ways to Grow Your Business,” a few tips resonated with me. First, to diversify; sell complementary products or services, teach adult education or other types of classes. I’ve said this before, I  dream of publishing a book someday. This could be a means to diversify and connect with a greater audience. This leads to the second resonating tip, to target other markets; for me, this could be teachers and anyone else involved in the classroom.

I think more than anything I will continue to dream big. It hasn’t steered me wrong thus far.

“Maintaining your momentum means looking forward even as you focus on the present. Forecasting and planning are critical to your continued success.” – U.S. Small Business Administration


Finding something good


Snapping photos of the Sacramento sunset. (Photo by Jessica Vernone)

I’ve been lucky enough to find a whole lot of good. I am wrapping up my first year of graduate school – a dream turned reality one year ago. And just like that, I am already planning my move home to Sacramento for the summer, excited to reunite with family, friends, and my dogs.

But before I move back, I will reach the height of my graduate school experience thus far and could not be more grateful. Next week, I will present my research on parent media literacy and teenage cyberbullying – a pilot study for my thesis. I am also writing a business plan to create a Parents Online blog and podcast with media literacy resources and tutorials. I will pitch my business plan in just three short weeks.

I had my share of doubts about Parents Online, wondering where in the world I would find an audience. Thanks to the guidance of my professor, Dr. Schmitz Weiss, and additional faculty in my program, I have found that the need for parent media literacy resources is greater than I imagined. My audience is out there, and I can actually do something to help them, too. After my interview with parent Caleb Eames, attending the Screenagers documentary screening and panel discussion in San Diego, speaking with Adam McLane, co-author of A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Social Media, researching the success of Screenagers, and looking at numerous parent studies, subreddits, podcasts and Facebook groups, I know my topic is important. Many parents out there are interested in gaining media literacy because their children’s interests are important to them – especially when it comes to social media. I’ve found something good here, and it certainly makes for a more than good start.


Spring cleaning


Sacramento flowers in full bloom. (Photo by Jayla Lee)

Last week, I went home for spring break to the beautiful city of Sacramento. By stepping away from my normal environment on campus, I was able to gain some fresh perspectives on my project and do a little spring cleaning on my canvas. I realized my heart was set on creating a Parents Online YouTube channel because it was my favorite social media platform. I’ve found most of my entrepreneurial inspiration from YouTubers including lifestyle vloggers Lavendaire, Ingrid Nilsen, and Sarah Nourse. While I wish to carry their bright and personable energy over to Parents Online, I decided to put my YouTube dreams on hold and consider podcasts, instead. According to Pew Research Center’s “State of the News Media 2016,” the percentage of Americans who have listened to podcasts in the past month has increased steadily since 2013. Additionally, about one in five U.S. adults reported listening to some kind of podcast in the last month.

I recently read Entrepreneur’s “6 Tips for How to Build Your Startup’s Brand From Scratch” per Dr. Schmitz Weiss’ selected course readings. The first step is to identify your target market. By doing so, you must also find out what they like and what they need. It makes sense to start a Parents Online podcast after realizing this is where most adults spend their time. Perhaps, YouTube will find a way into my plan in the future. But for now, my priority is serving my target audience in the best way possible.