“Never say never,” That’s Stephanie Cummings motto for life, so it’s no wonder she used that same philosophy when she quit her job to start her business Please Assist Me.
“If you would have told me three years ago that I would be doing what I was doing. That I would have quit my job and started a business, I would have said that you were crazy. However, I think that life offers you opportunities and its prudent for us to take advantage of those when it comes and to following the journey of life,” said Cummings
Cummings originally grow up in North Carolina, she later moved to Tulsa Oklahoma where she attend Oral Roberts University for her undergraduate degree and went to get her Master’s in business administration at Middle Tennessee State University.
Nashville is a place where Cumming loves to call home for many reasons.
“I think Nashville is a cool city, it’s a big city with a small-town feel. There is a lot of people here but hospitably is still big in the Nashville community. Everybody waves at you when you walk by and having that hospitably with all the opportunities is really nice,” said Cummings
For Cummings becoming a student is the best way to get the ball rolling on starting a business. Identifying the resources that were available to her was the first step in her journey.
“For me my first step was going to the library and picking up books about how to start a business. I picked up books on how to handle taxes, and how to handle accounting. I did a lot of reading and online classes, I listen to start-up podcasts,” said Cummings
Being an entrepreneur showed Cummings how to handle the business in tough circumstances.
“I didn’t really understand the struggles of entrepreneurship until I got involved with my business. Some days you may have an awesome contract and then the next day a conflict may come up. So, I think it’s important to decide to get off that roller-coaster and do the best that you can with it,” said Cummings.
Funding can be an entrepreneurs best dream or worst nightmare, Cummings realized the best funding comes from yourself.
“I think that you need to start your own company with the money you saved and keep investing back into your business. I cashed out my 401k and used that start-up cash to start my business. Most of the time you must prove out your concept to investors. Once you invest in yourself, you can prove out your concept to investors. When that happens, you will get better validation when you do apply for funding,” said Cummings.
Finding a good mentor is the best thing a beginning entrepreneur can do. Their advice and guidance can help you navigate through the tough decisions of entrepreneurship. Therefore, Cummings advise future start-ups to invest their time in finding a good mentor.
In the coming years Cummings hopes she sees more minorities and women in the entrepreneurship world.
“I wasn’t aware of the lack for women and minorities in start-ups until I entered into the entrepreneur scene. It really is lacking and has a huge void, so I think we need more motivation for people to succeed. I think as a minority and a woman business owner, my presence will open up the doors for even more women and minorities to enter in,” said Cummings
Although Cummings in invested in her company, there is one hobby that she enjoys on her downtime, bowling.
“I was a competitive bowler, I started out bowling as a way for me and my dad reconnecting. When I was 12 my dad started coming down regularly and we went bowling every other Saturday. From there my love for the sport grew and I started bowling in a league, I even got offered scholarship because of it. Till this day it’s one of my favorite pastimes,” said Cummings.
When it comes to Cummings fashion style one word describes her sophisticated.
“I love nice well crisp jacket and a nice ironed shirt, I love heels I think heels are a staple. Someone said that I look like a J Crew model, I don’t think that’s true but I definitely like clean, fresh, and sophisticated,” said Cummings.
Cummings has great hopes for the relationship between Please Assist Me and Nashville. Nashville isn’t just a city she chose off the top of her head. Cummings chose this city because of the great potential with within the city.
“I think its key to note that I didn’t just chose Nashville because I live here. I chose Nashville because Nashville is listed on Forbes top 25 growing cities in the United States. A 100 people move to Nashville every day and most of them are working professionals. So, as we get more working professionals and more people needing help managing their time, I thought that my business would marry well and become a great resource for the city,” said Cummings.
Princess Jones is a senior at Trevecca Nazarene University. She is currently a PR/Marketing Intern at Please Assist Me and will serve as the online editor this year of "TrevEchos" newspaper.