Releasing control to drive your business forward - #IMadeTheAsk with Meg Clarke

Welcome to the #IMadeTheAsk entrepreneur spotlight series, where we share the stories of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have made the ask...and lived to tell the tale.

Read on to learn about Meg's business journey, how her drive to see clients succeed fuelled a passion for SEO, and why releasing your stronghold control as a founder could be essential to the evolution of your business.

imadetheask how to ask for what you need negotiation devon smiley meg clarke clapping dog media.png

Tell us a bit about yourself, and your journey as an entrepreneur. 

I live in Northern VA with my family - husband Mike, 3 boys Joshua, Isaac and Jonah and Clapping Dog Media's mascot a golden doodle named Vader the Dood. I worked at a web design/development firm until our first 2 boys came home (they are adopted from Uganda). At this point, I took a break from work and was a full time mama. I loved it, but also really missed creative work. So I began to do some freelance design while the boys slept. I loved it.

My favorite part was working with interesting businesses and their passionate owners. I was on their team and deeply wanted for them to succeed. Design is a powerful tool for businesses, but sometimes a beautiful site doesn't bring in traffic. I got frustrated that we could build a beautiful site around excellent services that were priced well -- and still not get measurable traffic. I started learning more and more about analytics and Search Optimization and how to bring the right traffic to sites.

Fast Forward through a lot of learning and growing, and now I only do SEO for clients. It is very encouraging to use traffic as a means to help and empower other entrepreneurs.

What's an Ask that you chickened out of making...and regret?

My goodness this is an easy one -- to be on podcasts. I have gotten to know some of the most successful women podcasters - and I haven't pitched myself to be a podcast guest!

What's the Ask that you're most proud of making - whether or not it worked out?

I am so glad that I asked my now-friend Shay to help me with a recent launch. It took me a while to ask - I had all of the lies echoing in my head -- She is too busy, she works with more established brands, she would get into the guts of my business and think that I am a mess and on and on. I was afraid. BUT. I asked her for help and working with her was so dreamy. She taught me so much and the launch was exponentially more successful with her!

imadetheask negotiation consulting how to ask for the help you need in business devon smiley meg clarke clapping dog media.png

Which Ask has been the biggest win for you - professionally or personally?

This is both personal and professional. I asked my husband for strategy help. For a while, I had this stronghold around my business. I wanted it to be mine -- the ideas, the success, the failure, I was holding it close and didn't want any help with it. I quickly dismissed any idea that Mike offered regardless of how good it was! I didn't want to let him or anyone in. BUT then (a few years into it) I did. I wanted help. I needed to get out of my own way. Now, together we dream, plan and strategize. It is fun not to hold the business so tightly in my hands.

What's your #1 piece of advice for other entrepreneurs or business owners who are gearing up to #maketheask?

Believe in yourself. Make the ask. Even if you are scared or don't feel ready. Stick your neck out and go for it!


Instagram: @ClappingDogMedia
Facebook: Clapping Dog Media