SDH 186: How to Turn Obstacles Into Motivation When Quitting Your Job with Abagail Pumphrey and Emylee Williams

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As you're tumbling along your road as a creative entrepreneur, don't you wish you had someone to look to that's tumbled down that road, too? And because of those ups and downs, and twists and turns, can offer you honest wisdom, clarity, and reassurance as you figure out what passion of yours can become a profitable and sustainable business?

Look no further than Abagail Pumphrey and Emylee Williams, the cofounders of Think Creative Collective!  Referring to themselves as biz fairy godmothers, TCC offers a multitude of business courses and acts as a resource hub for creative entrepreneurs. The two met through a Facebook group centered around encouraging other creative entrepreneurs and supporting their businesses. They connected on helping entrepreneurs find the confidence to charge what they were worth, and begin building businesses around what they were passionate about. The two ended up hosting a webinar and co-selling a course together, and within two weeks of knowing each other, they decided to start TCC while brainstorming on the floor of Abagail's office.

The company started as a marketing and branding boutique in September of 2015. They offered photography, design, and marketing for creative small business owners. As of January 2016,  it evolved into online course selling, and now features a blog, and a podcast called the Strategy Hour.

Another new addition to TCC's website is the course, 4 Days to a Sexy System. This system challenges clients to stay organized to increase productivity in their daily lives in order to drive their businesses and accomplish personal goals. By following this structure, Abagail and Emylee feel that it will create a productive system that will hold up throughout the year, and increase the sustainability of their business.

The challenge begins by asking clients where they keep their information and can they stream line it to one place. Day two consists of planning out their goals for the year, finding out what they have to do to reach them, and figuring out how those goals will lead to profit inside their business. On Day three, they break down those goals and set up achievable tasks, with day four pushing you into action.

The two are extremely dedicated to giving creatives an epicenter for advice and guidance by creating a community for new and tenured entrepreneurs. They want to be the mentors that they wished they had when they were building their business. They also know what it feels like to be a hot mess in an intimidating and scary time in your career, because they had a rocky take off themselves.

Originally, Abagail had a dream of living the corporate life and working for big national brands, with her degree in design and fine arts. After college she began working for a small agency and knew right away that she did not belong in that world. Like so many people with the heart of an entrepreneur, she simply couldn't work for another person or company any longer. She also had a lot of moral conflicts with the company because she felt that a lot of their practices were illegal. Her conscience was relieved when she was laid off, and with her husband's trust, she started her own company.

When she felt her layoff coming, she started a blog and a website within a weekend. She began blogging five days a week, and gained clients through networking and reaching out to people she saw needed her help. She dabbled in a little of everything and helped non-profits, start-ups, and worked on in-house design projects to build 8 foot banners, brochures, and full websites. You name it, she was your girl. She was also able to start with zero debt, and continue with no in-house expenses. Within 30 days she had replaced her income and was making more than he was!

Emylee, on the other hand, wanted to go into social work and eventually wanted to become a college professor. Two weeks before grad school started, she unenrolled and walked away from school. When she returned home she had a crisis moment in her nana's guest room, unsure about where she wanted to go in life. With a degree in fine arts and photography, coupled with graduating in a recession, there was absolutely no job to be had.  However, she knew she wanted to be in control of something, and wanted it to be a passion. So she started her own photography business in Oklahoma and eventually grew it to obtain a five figure salary. She loved working with other creatives and collaborating on projects, but she also loved that she got to lead and give others constructive criticism on their businesses and inspiring entrepreneurial confidence.

Learn more about TCC's origin and how the two met and have grown their business in today's episode!

In this episode you will...

  • Find the support to take a risky career change
  • Learn how to not make excuses for yourself and drive your business
  • Figure out how to micro-tweak your business to where it fits what you want to be doing
  • Know how to solidify the sustainability of your business
  • Learn to get your ideas out of your head in order to create content for your business
  • Decide on how much of your income goes towards your business, staff, and yourself


"I didn't make any excuses for myself and I was willing to do anything to make it work, mostly because I felt like I had this timeline of [how] I have to prove it to other people...but I work well under pressure, especially when the pressure is outside of myself." -Abagail Pumphrey

"You have to see where these small opportunities are for you to maybe shift your business a little bit, just to try it, and see if that's even what you like doing...and seeing what that opportunity then opens up for you in the future." -Emylee Williams

"We truly believe that there's a formula, and there's a structure, and a system and a work flow for every single piece of your business...As long as they have a process and a system they're going to be able to actually get you can really see the results of those things and know what to pivot and tweak in your business when you're faced with opportunities in your business." -Emylee Williams


Think Creative Collective Website
Think Creative
The Strategy Hour
Think Creative Collective Facebook
Think Creative Collective Instagram
Think Creative Collective Twitter
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Amanda Boleyn