1 – Q) Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

A) I’m Cecelia Livingston, owner of CeCe Online Enterprises. I’m an entrepreneur with an additional 20+ years of experience in corporate America. When I realized that corporate America was no longer “doing it” for me, I began to surround myself with some wicked smart people, folks who completely love to geek out on all things Google, Meta, pixels, leads, conversion rates, etc. Soon thereafter, CeCe Online Enterprises, a 100% Virtual Digital Marketing Agency, was born. I am physically located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in South Carolina and my team is spread throughout the country.

2 – Q) What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

A) I experienced burnout (crash & burn) with my corporate job. I decided that I could no longer sacrifice my peace and health for someone who could drop me at a moment’s notice. It was time to make a change and quit relying 100% on my 9-5 to support my family. I couldn’t do it any longer. So I began to create digital assets and skills to support other businesses.

3 – Q) What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

A) Success loves speed; Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of good; Building the business and the skills is only 20% of the equation… 80% is personal development.

4 – Q) What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

A) Determination, willingness to learn, humility to adapt

5 – Q) How many hours do you work a day on average?

A) I work about 10 hours a day.

6 – Q) To what do you most attribute your success?

A) My family is my drive. Knowing that they are relying on me to provide and care for them ensures that failure is not an option. I persevere.

7 – Q) How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

A) I think word of mouth and referrals are critical to a business’ success. If you have an incredible experience with a business, maybe a great meal with great service at a restaurant, you are an enthusiastic advocate for that business. You tell everyone about it! That’s the kind of marketing I really like. And of course, in today’s digital world, you need to have a solid online presence along with a good online reputation.

8 – Q) Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

A) I self-funded my business. After years of focusing on paying off the debt that raising children brings, I was able to start reinvesting that money into something else I wanted to raise… a business.

9 – Q) What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

A) You’ve gotta keep learning and adapting if you want long-term success. It’s not a “one and done” destination but is a continuing journey that requires effort, adaptation, and movement.

10 – Q) Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

A) CeCe Online Enterprises will continue to be a virtual agency serving national, regional, and local brands. We will hire sales, administrative, and fulfillment staff and be an employer of choice as we focus on people first.

11 – Q) Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

A) Taking the personal sagas of the founders out of the picture, the journey of Jeff Bezos and Amazon is AMAZING. Starting off selling books out of his garage to being the top household name and changing the way that the world shops… it’s just incredible how he made it happen.

12 – Q) What motivates you?

A) My family is a motivation. My own mental health is a motivation. Being the wife, the mom, the Chief Procurement Officer, the co-founder, the Life Coach, the nurse, the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Medical Officer, the sole wage earner of the family… these are all hats that I wear for my family. I enjoy most of these roles but also know that I need to prioritize my mental health as I do them. You can’t keep giving without taking time for yourself to rejuvenate. I consciously make decisions to ensure 1) I’m fulfilling one of my family roles but 2) I am prioritizing the time or energy that I need for myself.

13 – Q) What are your ideals?

A) Honesty, integrity, relationships, joy.

14 – Q) How do you build a successful customer base?

A) Get rid of the sales pitches and just communicate. Talk to people about their business, their growth, their challenges. Let them get to know you and what you do, in just a few words. Let them come to you for your services, while prioritizing the relationship over all.

15 – Q) What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

A) The best part of being an entrepreneur is that I have the autonomy and authority to make the decisions that are right for my clients, my family, and me. There are no rigid, nonsensical, and burdensome rules and processes that are time and money wasters. I have the freedom to do what’s best for everyone.

16 – Q) What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

A) The first time I heard, “This is just what I needed! Thank you!”

17 – Q) What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

A) We’re tenacious. We are problem solvers. We can focus on the important things. We are partners to those we work with. We are leaders.