We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Collum and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, how did you fund your business? Do you think you would do anything different if you could go back?
Top Score Writing, Inc. was founded in 2011 and was completely self-funded. I started my business by opening a business checking account with just $100. Nine years later, this decision has evolved into a multi-million-dollar business servicing thousands of schools across the nation. For me, building my business from scratch has been instrumental in defining who I am today. As an entrepreneur and mom of 4, I think it is critical to let other people know they too can start a business without a lot of money. I was not in the position to just abruptly quit my job and take a risk and start a business. I wanted to start slow, something on the side, and build my business in conjunction with my job and family. At the time of starting my business, I was raising three young children and working a full-time job. With only $100, I was able to print a few copies of my curriculum book and ship them to customers. From that sale, I deposited more money into the account and was able to print more books. I continued this cycle for months at a time until I had enough money in my business account to make an executive decision to spend some money on marketing. From that point on my business grew in ways I did not imagine. I hired team members, partnered with a print shop, dramatically increased my social media presence, and sales grew exponentially. This is how I self-funded and grew my business one step at a time over the years. I embrace the fact that I self-funded my business from the very beginning. The internal gratification that I have developed from this treacherous journey on my own makes this achievement that much more self-assuring. I want everyone to know, especially women, that they can conquer this same challenge if they choose to. Starting a business is not about having a lot of money. It is about passion, commitment, hard work, and fulfilling a vision. When you build a business on your own from scratch, it means something. I would not change anything about the way I started my business. The unknowns, obstacles, challenges, setbacks, and the trials and tribulations have all contributed to molding what my business is today. I learned so much along the way. You DO NOT need an investor. You CAN start a business while having children and raising a family. You CAN do it by yourself!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am the author, owner and CEO of Top Score Writing. I was able to take $100 and turn it into a multi million dollar business while having four kids along the way. I show moms that they can do it all. Nothing has been easy in this journey, but it has all been worth it. I have learned that there will always be ups and downs. If you expect it, you’re ready for it, and can learn from it. I think it is important for people to remember their “why” and always believe in their business and what they are doing. My story shows that you can take an idea and turn it into a business, you can build a business while having kids, and you can be a successful entrepreneur while still being a good mom. I am living proof that it can be done.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
My favorite spot has always been the beach. I live in South Florida and my number one place to take people is Singer Island. This is a beautiful spot of sandy white beaches and clear blue water. Singer island is lined with restaurants, water sport activities and beautiful hotels. It truly is a one of a kind place to visit. If I had a best friend visiting, I would start by taking them to the beach. After the beach, I would make sure we had dinner at Sailfish Marina and follow it up with a night of dancing at Cucina Cabana.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband (Ray) and 4 kids (Ray-Ray, Brandon, Bryson and Jazzy). They are always there to love and support me through this journey.
Headshot Chris Headshots All other photos Imani Givertz Photography