How I Started a Web 2.0 Social Media Site

Kristen Ruby, the founder of Ruby Media Group, talks about how working as an entrepreneur compares to being employed by a corporate company.

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Kristen Ruby founded Ruby Media Group with the goal of opening the vast potential of Social Media on the web to companies wishing to build relationships, grow and profit from Web 2.0. Here Kris talks about how she quit her corporate job and started her own business.

I was fortunate enough to have a job lined up when I graduated from Boston University’s College of Communications. The Director of Marketing at a company for which I had previously interned found me on LinkedIn and said she was looking for a social media specialist. The job was essentially a “trial run” for the summer and would continue into a full-time position in a few months.

I soon discovered that I was really passionate about the new media portion of my job. I was also hyper-focused on reading as much as I could, attending webinars and presenting all of my new ideas and strategies to my boss. The challenge was that working a corporate job meant having to take on tasks outside of the scope of my job. And the higher-ups didn’t have much appreciation for my tendency of taking matters into my own hands.

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I had no interest in working on anything that didn’t involve social media and I preferred to do things my own way. I wanted to have more creative freedom. Companies do not necessarily like entrepreneurial minded thinkers. This often leads to a power struggle, which usually ends with the employee going his own direction. Things erupted when I followed the distribution directions of a PR outlet, rather then direction from my boss. At this point, I realized it was time for me to start my own company, where I could follow my own intuitive thinking rather than someone else’s in a corporate hierarchy.

That week, I left my job, along with the comfort and stability of a steady paycheck. It was the height of the recession and the biggest challenge, beside the dire economic conditions, became leaving financial security for a lifestyle with virtually no security. While I knew I was taking a big risk, I didn’t agree with the mindset of people who thought there was less risk in working at a corporation for years. I simply started putting my previous PR experience to work, building the right strategic alliances and partnerships, and putting out feelers to my network to let them know that I was making the change and going out on my own. Sure enough, I soon received a call from a strategic partner, asking to bring me in on a project.

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I’ve been on my own for two years now and my career has since taken on a life of its own. When people ask me where I have worked prior to starting Ruby Media Group, they are always amazed to hear “I was a student at B.U. Com.” My goal is that more students will see entrepreneurship as a viable career path after graduating from college. I find I have a greater sense of job security in my own company than I did working at a corporation. In the corporate world, anyone can “trim the fat” and cut you out in a second. Then you’re on your own and have to start from square one again. I prefer the security of creating my own book of clients and a sustainable business model. After all, the only person that can let go of me in this case is either the client directly or myself.

It is truly remarkable how much I have accomplished and the brand I have built in such a short time. If I had continued working a “real” job, I’d have been accountable to a boss, sitting at a desk, and I’d have missed out on all sorts of opportunities, like speaking at Microsoft on personal branding, appearing on national media outlets and being a keynote speaker at nationally publicized events.

If you have trouble taking direction and want to express ultimate creative freedom, working within the confines of a corporation may not be best for you. Granted, new challenges will emerge, but I am so grateful every day that I have had the freedom to pave my own way.

Founded by Scott Gerber, the Young Entrepreneur Council (Y.E.C.) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The Y.E.C promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to youth unemployment and underemployment and provides its members with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of a business’s development and growth.