For anyone starting a business, the current podcast episode is a tale of twists and turns that will encourage you that it can be done if you remain open and read the road signs along the way. It is the unlikely story of how business, social media and ethics all combined to create a successful business plan.

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Meeting Marki Lemon Ryhal is like running into a ball of fire. She’s funny, earthy, and yet you instantly realize she knows her stuff. During our blab chat she takes you along on a journey of coming from a family of entrepreneurs and all the disappoints and pick yourself up off the floors that come with having that trait in your genes.

Listening to the episode you will cheer for her when she goes back to school to get an MBA to better understand how business actually works and then uses those skills to help out in the family business. And, almost in the same breath understand the hurt she felt when she was ultimately sued by a family member from that same business. Nothing personal… just business.

Being an entrepreneur requires you to not only take calculated risks but also continually ask yourself strategic questions. She does this over and over, to not only see the road Marki photosigns but ask herself what they meant as she moved from being a top seller of real estate in Chicago, to learning that buyers and sellers were migrating to the internet and social media for information, to ultimately understanding there was a market for training real estate agents in the ethics of using social media.

When reading about successful entrepreneurs we are constantly told to take risks and risk is involved in any venture but she demonstrates that a degree of research is also required to make the risk pay off. She shows how any business owner can massage the numbers even if you don’t know statistics because almost every social media site now provides analytics. What falls to you the business owner is being open to what the numbers are telling you and finding a way to work that information into your current or future ventures. This brings you back to asking those strategic questions about where you want to go and how the numbers will help you get there. She wisely cautions to not be too ambitious for the amount of effort that might be required, but be very clear about the goals you’ve set based on your research.

This interview is one of my best podcast episodes because it paints a very realistic picture of the trials that every entrepreneur can expect to encounter and how being focused and yet open can get you to the finish line. I continually talk about presenting ordinary people doing extraordinary things and hearing Marki’s story will make the wheels turn in your own thinking… I know it did mine.

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