How do you define success? For Nada Jones, success meant using her talents and gifts to their fullest. This became possible for her when she founded ltd365, a company focused on providing resources and support for women living their entrepreneurial dreams.
4word: Where did your interest in entrepreneurship, specifically for women, come from?
Nada: A few places really.
With regard to focusing on women, it started my junior year of college when I felt a strong calling to work with women in developing countries. Today, this seems more like a right of passage for college students (pack up, head to Africa, and work amongst the locals), but at the time, it seemed to be an unusual trajectory. That’s how I knew it was God’s calling and not my wanderlust taking over. My hope was to help these women create sustainable businesses that would improve their lives. It was literally a vision, and one that has yet to be realized. Did I mention I am 46 now?
The entrepreneur in me came out when I could not find the job I wanted or was suited for. I always felt like I was only exercising parts of myself, and I wanted a place where more of my interests, passions, and gifts could be realized.
I figured I was not alone in the pursuit of more satisfying work; work that did more than bring in a paycheck, but work that matched a calling. It appeared that the obvious thing to do was to work with women to support their journey and help them navigate the entrepreneurial road. Helping women realize a goal, pursue a passion, and create the flexibility and financial freedom they longed for seemed to be a revolution women had been waiting for. I wanted to be a part of that movement.
4word: What led you away from corporate marketing and to the founding of ltd365?
Nada: It’s been over 15 years since I left that career track so a lot has happened between then and the founding of ltd365. While I loved all things marketing and branding, I knew I wanted to create something from the bottom up for the reason mentioned above.
My first foray into entrepreneurship came when I started importing artisan glassware from Prague. The former Czech Republic had just began to export to the West and that seemed to be an opportunity worth investigating. I found a women-owned cooperative of glass blowers and began importing their work to the States. When bigger companies caught on to the same idea, I decided it was time to switch gears.
My next move was the launch of nedandshell.com, a cooperative for emerging women designers. Along with my business partner, we created a retail platform for brands to sell their products online. This was in 2000, when the world was still unsure of the viability of online shopping. Over the next nine years, we introduced a wholesale division and a weekly email promoting up-and-coming women-owned brands to consumers.
Five kids and two coasts later, we decided to take all those experiences and write a book sharing what we had learned through watching so many brands succeed while others didn’t. We wrote Sixteen Weeks to Your Dream Business: A Weekly Planner for Entrepreneurial Women, published by McGraw Hill. The speaking and teaching opportunities that accompany writing a book revealed to me that my work with entrepreneurial women was not done, hence the launch of ltd365.com.
4word: Where did the name ltd365 come from? What was the vision?
Nada: ltd365 stands for Live The Dream Everyday. Our mission is to help women actualize their passion through entrepreneurship, making the process inspiring, accessible, and achievable. We want to share the “everyday” of entrepreneurship—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sharing the true stories of other women who have found success propels us to consider our own possibilities.
4word: What challenges have you faced along the way?
Nada: There have been and continue to be many. Here are three that come up constantly:
1) Balancing the important work of parenting along with my business.
2) Keeping up with technology that is ever changing and both creates and complicates various platforms that we offer subscribers.
3) Creating meaningful AND profitable work. It’s always a challenge to stay true to the mission while ensuring that the bottom line is healthy. If you can’t stay afloat, you can’t impact the people you set out to support.
4word: What about ltd365 makes you excited to get up every morning?
Nada: The potential to tell a story, create an experience, and share information to support someone else’s journey to success. I want to build a brand that inspires, connects, and educates women to launch and grow ventures and leads them to a more full experience of who they are, what they can be, and the world they can affect.
Additionally, and of equal importance, we want the work we do with women here to have an impact on women in developing countries. We have a Dream for a Dream program which gives 10% of ticket sales from our live and online events and workshops to support various micro-business opportunities. This is a small step towards seeing that mission through. I would love to one day take groups of women to some of the villages we have supported and actually share our gifts and learn from theirs—now that gets me excited!
4word: What is the one thing you want women who are pursuing their dreams to know?
Nada: There is no other version of you, so get busy leaving your mark—you’re the ONLY one who can do it!
Nada Jones knows how challenging finding your sweet spot and chasing your dreams can be. But she also knows that achieving your dream is worth every tear shed and every challenge faced. Overcoming these obstacles and achieving success is why ltd365 was founded.
One of the best ways to chase your dream and find your sweet spot is through a mentor/mentee relationship. Nothing beats having a knowledgable confidante to help you achieve your goals quite like what a mentor can. Consider applying for the upcoming 4word Mentor Program fall session; applications are due by September 5!
What obstacles do you face on your journey to your dream?
My name is Nada (pronounced Ned-ah) Jones. I’m 40-something and married to Mr. Jones, a modern-day Jimmy Stewart. Together we are blessed to have three amazing children.
I went to FIT in NYC and received my bachelor’s degree in Marketing Communications. I’m an entrepreneur at heart and thrive on helping women identify and actualize their dreams. I’m passionate about using ltd as a platform for change.
Prior to living the entrepreneurial dream, I launched my career in communications working for some biggies like Estee Lauder, Bloomingdales, Carolee, Nike, and Patagonia. I started out as a public relations assistant for a small firm in Boulder, Colorado, and ended my corporate stint as the Director of Marketing for the nation’s leading arbitration and mediation company in Washington, D.C. My experience, both in corporate America and as an entrepreneur, has given me invaluable insight into the essentials of launching and growing a successful business.