I started my business back in 2004 when I was just 21. It happened right after college and it happened fast. Within the first 2 weeks, I landed my first client. And within 6 months, I ran a full digital marketing practice.
The succession of events would make you believe I had entrepreneurship in my blood. Truth is, I wasn’t bred from a family of entrepreneurs. I had nothing to go off of, other than the fact that when I was young, I had this exposure to computers and tech from my father.
Today I work as a digital marketing strategist for my business, Erin Blaskie. I work with a small group of clients—most of whom I’ve worked with for the past 3–5 years. I’ve built great relationships with them over the years, so we do a much deeper dive into both their short- and long-term marketing projects.
Being an entrepreneur, I’ve learned one important lesson: Where you start isn’t where you stay, and you should constantly strive to evolve.
I most recently branched out of entrepreneurship and took a job with an Ottawa-based business accelerator called L-SPARK, where I work closely with the new entrepreneurs participating in the program. Though it’s a different atmosphere, a lot of the work is similar. And I feel like I can still offer my business and marketing expertise just as I would with any other client.
Entrepreneurship is all about exploring what I want, and not necessarily following the traditional path. Inevitably, I ran into challenges as a business owner.
Roadmap to navigate me through entrepreneurship: Looking back, I wish I found a mentor earlier to help guide me through entrepreneurship more gracefully.
Tools to run my business better: In the early days, I wasted a lot of time on picking the wrong tools. I didn’t know where to set up my email marketing lists or where to track my time and do my invoicing. I spent a lot of time figuring those things out!
Before FreshBooks, my invoicing and accounting system wasn’t anything to be admired. I created invoices using templates on Microsoft Word, then sent them to my clients and had to tell them to pay me by check.
To track my time, I used a desktop time tracker that I found on Google. I would use the tracker for projects, then copy and paste the time entry in a spreadsheet. Ironically enough, it was a time consuming and painful experience.
After realizing that managing my accounting kept me from doing what I love, I started searching for a better solution. There had to be one out there that would close all the gaps in my accounting and improve my organization.
So 4 years into running my business, that’s when I came across FreshBooks!
Today I run a paperless digital marketing company simply because I chose to put all my administrative work on the cloud. And since using FreshBooks, I’ve been able to nearly double my business’ revenue.
Invoices and Time Tracking Is the Perfect Union
I’ve connected all the dots between my invoicing and time tracking, so I no longer have to jump from spreadsheet to spreadsheet.
That’s the main reason I started using FreshBooks. I could track my time, then easily bill my time to clients. I can look back at how much time I tracked to make sure I didn’t go over my retainers. The fact that I could do all of this virtually without having to manually enter any of it is incredible.
What I love most about FreshBooks is the fact that I can streamline everything. I can focus on other parts of my business and growing as a professional.
I wouldn’t be able to do that if I was still in the minutia of my business—managing all the unbillable work. The fact that I don’t have to worry about that now means I can say yes to a lot of other things!
If someone told me I could only take 5 tools for my business, FreshBooks would be up there without a doubt. It’s been a game-changer for me and my business.
I can’t even imagine going back to my old ways. I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to achieve with my own company as a result of using FreshBooks.