Lindsay Manseau’s mom started a freelance wedding photography business when Lindsay was 14.
She wanted to help her mom out so she volunteered to accompany her to a bridal show. Two years later, Lindsay had gotten involved in every aspect of the photography business – from networking with brides to doing the paperwork to taking the pictures – and she loved every minute of it.
In 2009, Lindsay photographed 25 weddings on her own as a freelancer. Her business was thriving, but she wanted a way to better connect with her couples and the wedding industry. That’s when Lindsay began developing My Marriage Market, an online platform where couples and vendors will be able to connect. The site is set to launch later this summer. In the mean time, Lindsay is a 20-year-old college junior studying entrepreneurship and small business at the University of Southern Maine.
The following is a short excerpt from 50 Interviews: Young Entrepreneurs (Volume 1).
Q: What would you tell an up-and-coming entrepreneur?
A: Be strong. Starting your own business is like riding a roller coaster. There are highs and lows and every turn you take is another twist. The lows are really low, but the highs can be really high. You have to be strong, keep your stomach tight, and ride along with the roller coaster that you started.
Don’t take no for answer. Not everyone out there has great news to tell you. A lot of people would have you believe that there is no way you could start your own business in this economy. But don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Say, “You know what? I have the possibility to do it anyway.”
But there are also a lot of times when you need to listen to somebody else. When you’ve been through those teen years of thinking that you know everything, it’s difficult to be able to sit back and say, “You’re right. How can I make myself better?” It’s not something that I do perfectly yet, but It is something that I’ve figured out is important.
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: At this point, I’ve given up guessing. I thought that I wanted to be an environmental scientist and I was wrong. I thought that I wanted to be a graphic designer and I was wrong. I ended up in business, so I don’t really know where I’m headed to next. I do know that I love small business, entrepreneurship, and the wedding industry, so I hope to do something in those areas.
Working in an office is something that always sort of scared me. People who are in the small business industry, specifically the wedding industry, are all so passionate about what they do. But that doesn’t really happen in the corporate world. There’s something contagious about the small business and entrepreneurship community and I wouldn’t leave it for the world.
I would love to see My Marriage Market explode. I really would. It’s a heart-felt project that we started to solve a problem in the wedding industry. To have this sort of management tool provided for small businesses will really be a service to the community. So, I would like build My Marriage Market up. After that, we’ll see.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: Thank you for taking the time to interview me. Check out My Marriage Market and please be patient because the timetable has really been turned against us. Hopefully, we will have big updates on there for you by the beginning of June 2010.
This is an abridged version from Lindsay’s interview in our latest project, 50 Interviews: Young Entrepreneurs. In the spirit of entrepreneurship, Lindsay found a problem in the wedding industry and My Marriage Market is her solution. Without getting started in freelance photography, she never would have seen this opportunity. This is what entrepreneurs do. I have a feeling Lindsay is going to stick with entrepreneurship.
Lindsay Manseau’s Top Quote
“Starting your own business is like riding a roller coaster. There are highs and lows and every turn you take is another twist. The lows are really low, but the highs can be really high. You have to be strong, keep your stomach tight, and ride along with the roller coaster that you started.”
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