I WISH I KNEW: Q&A with writer Elea Carey


Elea Carey is a Fundbox customer, and an independent writer and communications consultant who helps her clients craft their unique voice. She recently stopped by the Fundbox HQ office in San Francisco to share her experiences with our team. Here, she reflects on the challenges she faces in running her business as a busy solo entrepreneur, and the mindset that helps her overcome them.

Elea Carey, Communications Consultant

Elea Carey, Writer & Communications Consultant

Q: Hi Elea, please tell us about yourself and your business:

My name, Elea Carey, is the name on the door, though the “door” is a laptop I can open anywhere. Why do I use my own name? I didn’t want to use the creative talent that I deploy for clients on a clever business moniker. I also want to make it clear that I personally stand behind the work I do. When clients engage me, they get a communications consultant and a writer, but they also get Elea Carey.

Q: Can you describe your business in a few words?

I’m a deeply embedded communications consultant who works alongside clients on a daily basis, helping them carefully craft the ways they “talk” to their audiences.

I write blogs and speeches, tweets and take-one brochures. I work with clients on the voicemails they leave and the sales phone calls they make.

More broadly, I consult on their events and social gatherings—who should be in those rooms, what makes their time memorable—and I help them craft long-term strategic plans about how they will communicate and connect with audiences in years to come. I also manage a team of freelancers who support clients with written content, editing, and social media tactics that converge with larger objectives.

Q: What’s your driving purpose? Why do you do what you do each day?

It’s become central to my purpose to spend my time with people I respect and enjoy, and to find ways to support them that are exciting in the short run and successful over the long haul.

These principles abide in my home life and my work, so I wake up looking forward to spending hours with my clients and then coming home to my family with the many fruits of the day.

Q: Do you have a personal business philosophy? What principles to you use to run your business successfully?

I find great comfort and success in a thought from Alcoholics Anonymous, of which I’m an active member: Just do the next right thing. So while I’m able to help clients see the future and think strategically about it, I can also simply focus on next steps without getting overwhelmed.

Q: What do you most wish you knew when you started your business…and why?

I wish I had known that writing was not editing, and that typing is not writing. The meta view of that is: I wasted a lot of time and energy beating myself up for small mistakes while not taking credit for significant strategic thinking (for which, it turns out, I have a gift). I now concentrate on what I’m good at and subcontract the areas where I don’t excel.

Q: What challenges have Fundbox (and convenient access to funding) helped you solve?

If I include watching my father and grandfather manage their own businesses, I can say I’ve got about a 40-year perspective on small business funding issues, and wow have they changed. I self-funded my own efforts successfully until I had strong clients in place.

What I didn’t expect was that, even with great clients, there would be invoicing delays. With my giant institutional clients, those delays are because of bureaucracy. Most of my smaller clients don’t have a steady paying rhythm. Fundbox has helped me easily bridge those gaps.

Find more about Elea Carey and her work at wellwritten.com. In I WISH I KNEW, we talk to business owners about their career paths, their business growth, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. Want to share your small business lessons or stories? Tweet us @fundbox and use #IWishIKnew.

Enjoyed this story? Read on for more business owner Q&As:

I WISH I KNEW: Q&A with Miles-Kevin Baron, Avenue Catering

Hear from more business owners as they reveal what they most wish they knew when they started their business:

I WIsh I Knew: Small Business Owners get real

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Tags: Customer Stories