Imagine having a career where you have started acting at the age of four, starred in a popular daytime soap opera since the early 90s, hosted a long-time running reality show, authored books, executive produced and directed movies.
Alison Sweeney, Actress, Executive Producer and Director, has literally done it all.
While grateful for the experiences acting offered Alison, having worked as an employee Alison realized that she wanted more control in her career and set her sights on entrepreneurism. Encouraged by her father, who is an entrepreneur himself, Alison set out to learn the ropes of her profession and work her way up the ranks.
It wasn’t always easy as entrepreneurialism offers many challenges along the way. But as Alison persevered, learned from her mistakes, knocked on doors for opportunities, and the opportunities did come.
She wrote novels to better understand storyline arcs. She directed to have a keen sense of ‘getting the right shot’ and then moving on. She began developing projects with a producing partner to expand her experience from inception to completion. And now, all of Alison’s hard work and determination has led her to where she is today. She’s starring and executive producing projects that she develops or where she’s acquired TV rights, including Sweet Revenge: A Hannah Swensen Mystery, which airs August 8th on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
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This project reunites her with Cameron Mathison, Gabriel Hogan and Barbara Niven to pick up where the movies, based on Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen Mysteries book series, left off – with Hannah (Sweeney) and Mike (Mathison) planning their wedding. Sweeney recognized the fervent fan base of the movies and worked tirelessly to acquire the TV rights, develop the next movie and sell it to Hallmark for U.S. rights (she owns the international rights), and then star in it while also producing it.
If you have that entrepreneurial spirit and will be starting a business, or have started one, Alison wants to leave you with these tips:
1. The path to success isn’t a straight line
There’s often the misconception that the path to success should be smooth and linear. However, when building a business, you will experience bumps in the road. Those bumps are to be expected and there will be challenges along the way. The message here is not to give up but rather ride through the hard times.
2. Rejection and no’s offer valuable feedback
There will be rejection and no’s along the way, but take that as an opportunity to gain useful feedback and help you improve your business skills and get better along the way. When someone says no try to find out why and see where you need to improve for the next time you ask for something.
3. Play up your strengths
We all have weaknesses and trying to improve them doesn’t make sense. It’s a loss of productive time. Get help and bring others in to fill in the gaps that you can’t cover. We all have blind spots and having others to cover your blind spots is beneficial for the business.
4. Be willing to compromise and help others
It literally takes a village to build a business and you will need help along the way. Be willing to collaborate with others and compromise where you need to. Be great to work with because nobody likes working with unkind people.
5. Manage your numbers
Working on a daytime show exposed Alison to what it means to be budget conscious. Alison is aware of staying within her budget and her partner, being the numbers person, holds her accountable.
The bottom line is success doesn’t happen overnight. Regardless of who you are and where you are starting from, building a business requires hard work and resiliency. Things may not go as planned, but if you manage to navigate through the obstacles, you will get there.