Highlights from #imakealiving Los Angeles and Looking Ahead to San Francisco!

FreshBooks is on the road! Last month, we hosted #imakealiving in Los Angeles. Next up: San Francisco, California!

With great risk comes great reward—and for small business owners everywhere, this couldn’t ring truer! Plenty of heart, soul and labor goes into the creation and day-to-day of a small business. And guess what? FreshBooks is here for you every step of that journey.

Last month, we hosted another #imakealiving event in Los Angeles, CA. Here’s how it all went down!

Highlights from #imakealiving Los Angeles

Our amazing panel included Espree Devora (Producer and Host of WeAreLATech), Kristen Pumphrey (Owner and Creative Director of P.F. Candle Co.), Sonja Rasula (Founder of Unique Markets) and Khayyam Wakil (speaker, influencer and innovator). The audience and our panelists were welcomed by FreshBooks’ Events Manager Paco Arizmendi and the event was moderated by Events & Community Manager Irene Elliott.


The theme of the night was creating your brand and how you can stand out by simply being you. To kick things off, panelists shared their experiences on what they think makes a strong personal brand.

“Personal brand—I don’t believe in it. It’s just a reputation,” says influencer and speaker Khayyam. He then added, “It takes years to earn it and a second to lose it.”

Sonja, founder of Unique Markets had a different opinion. “I don’t have a personal brand. I do think that there are thousands of people who do make a living off of having a personal brand, so I think that it does exist these days just because of Instagram and Snapchat.”

Espree, Producer and Host of WeAreLATech, took the conversation on personal brand building one-step further, by explaining how important it is to just be you.

“What’s more important in building a brand, is your why. I care more about why I do what I do. My work every day is to make people feel more connected in real life. What matters is who I am in this world and how I show up and engage with people every day.”

Later, the conversation transitioned to self-doubt and how to overcome it.

Sonja started off by stating that although she can’t pinpoint exactly why this is, she is very confident when it comes to making decisions, especially in business. “I have an idea and I listen to my gut if it is something that I want. Then I move forward and have very little self-doubt about [it].”

Kristen of P.F. Candle Co. added, “You have to be a shark! Keep swimming. I keep going because if I look back it’s going to pull me back.”

Irene wrapped up the panel discussion with a question on how to find the coveted work-life balance when running your own small business.

Kristen gave a unique and honest response.

“I don’t believe in the phrase work life balance and that’s not because I don’t believe in that, but because it’s just one more thing that we tell ourselves to stress ourselves out. For me, as a business owner, it’s not going to be in perfect balance. The reality is that I could not have the built [my] company without my sweat equity and my long hours. I just stop judging myself and try to be present where I am.”

Looking Ahead to #imakealiving San Francisco

For the 7th city on our #imakealiving tour, we’ll be coming back to California, this time to San Francisco! Each and every #imakealiving event helps to facilitate and inspire connections between small business owners—and we’re honored to be a part of it all. Ready to get the conversation going, San Francisco? We can’t wait to meet you!

Event: #imakealiving Powered by FreshBooks
When: Thursday, September 20th, 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM PT
Where: Dogpatch Studios – 991 Tennessee Street, San Francisco, CA, 94107, USA
Details: For this #imakealiving event, we’ve partnered with Elaine Pofeldt the author of The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business. Elaine, a veteran journalist who has contributed to publications such as Fortune, Money, Inc., Entrepreneur, Fast Company and Forbes, will moderator a panel of three San Francisco-based entrepreneurs who broke $1 million in revenue in a one-person business or partnership. Our panelists will share stories about their livelihoods, non-traditional career journeys and then show you how to harness that inspiration to apply it to your own career. Our goal is to motivate and empower you to break out of your comfort zone and take some chances with your career and marketing!
Cost: Free—seeing you thrive is all the payment we need
Moderator: Elaine Pofeldt
Panelists: Zach Chen, Wendy Colson, Jonathan Johnson

about the author

Content Marketing Manager, FreshBooks Lisa is passionate about small business success, having managed funding programs for hundreds of start-ups and entrepreneurs while working with a Canadian startup accelerator. She is presently Content Marketing Manager at FreshBooks and in her spare time, can be found tending to her plant babies.



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