We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Stansbury and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Michelle, how do you think about risk?
I often hear that people think that starting a business is a big risk, but I think about entrepreneurial risk a little differently. One lesson I’ve learned about entrepreneurship that it is often fear – not risk – that keeps people from starting their own business. A useful exercise is to face fear by asking yourself “What is the worst case outcome?” Typically, the answer for a prospective entrepreneur is that the worst-case scenario would be that they would fail. That they wouldn’t sell a single product or land a single client and their business would fold as a complete failure. Sounds pretty bad! But then ask yourself, okay, so what would you do next, with this failure of a business behind you? Most likely, you would go out and get yourself a 9-5 job similar to the one you are considering quitting to follow your dream. So, the worst-case scenario is that you end up exactly where you started, perhaps with a bit of a wounded pride and a couple hundred (or thousand) dollars poorer. Then, ask yourself – what is the best-case scenario? That you succeed in launching a successful business and obtain the lifestyle and the career that you’ve always dreamed of? If you think about it that way, the bigger risk is NOT trying to start your dream business. Of course, this also assumes a lean startup mentality. But, I believe that thinking in this way about risk and understanding that what sounds like the biggest risk, might actually be the most sensible, safe decision, has had a huge impact in my life and career. The first “big risk” I took was jumping off the corporate ladder to go travel for a few months….which turned into 3.5 years of traveling around the world. I knew I could always go back to an ordinary life, so the risk was minimal and the reward was substantial. The next “big risk” was starting my own business, which, as a service-based business, had very low start-up costs. The risks were, in fact, very small, and once again, the decision has paid off with great success.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Michelle Stansbury is the CEO of Little Penguin PR, a boutique public relations company, and a freelance food and travel writer. She excels at building credibility, generating positive press and media exposure, and positioning companies as experts in their industry. Michelle has been honored as one of San Diego Business Journal’s “Business Women of the Year.” Her clients have been thrilled with the impact of being featured in publications such as Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Fortune, as well as the San Diego Business Journal, Union Tribune, San Diego Magazine, and local TV news stations. A lifelong learner, Michelle is a contributing writer for several local and national magazines like Edible San Diego Magazine and Marie Claire.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There is so much to see, do, and experience in San Diego! My recommended itinerary for someone visiting would start with one day spent in La Jolla, going to the cove, hiking Torrey Pines, picnicing at the Glider Port, and watching the sunset from the Secret Swing. Another day would be spent around Mission Bay, standup paddleboarding around the bay with cocktails at Miss B’s and fish tacos at Sandbar. Day three would be a beer tasting, trying all of San Diego’s incredible beers at breweries around town, with a lunch stop at Stone Brewing for their incredible True Craft Burger. Day four we would take the ferry to Coronado with some bikes, cruise down Orange Ave to the Hotel Del for beach time and a sunset dinner at Serea. Day five would take us to Old Town for a journey through San Diego history and some delicious Mexican food, followed by the nearby Serra Museum. There is so much more to explore and discover in San Diego, the options are endless!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutout to Andrew Zimmer for helping me understand financial risk and reward. And to David Oates for helping me succeed in my business!

Website: www.littlepenguinpr.com
Instagram: @discoverwithmichelle
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellestansbury/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.