By Carley Roney
Being on today's show was truly a rewarding experience for me, as it allowed me to take a moment and remember my own challenges and triumphs and what it took to get to where I am today. My husband and I founded The Knot (www.TheKnot.com) in 1996, after the excruitiating process of planning our own wedding. The wedding world was out-of-date and impractical for today's modern couple. We realized very early on that the process was not going to be easy.
We were a small group of film students, who were about to take on the archaic world of the wedding industry. The industry was in need of a makeover and the Internet was the perfect forum to break ground. This was a major challenge though, because the Internet was completely foreign to many of these small mom and pop business owners, who composed a large part of the wedding industry. We were tasked with first educating them on this new form of media (the Internet) before we could even begin to get them excited about the futuristic possibilities.
With an 'unconventional' business plan, we secured seed financing from AOL and thus began the start of the first wedding media company on the web. What began as a small internet site has grown to become the #1 wedding website, with over 500 employees around the country. Today, The Knot, Inc. is a leading network of websites dedicated to helping couples through the most passionate moments of their lives -- planning a wedding, setting up home (www.TheNest.com), and having a baby (www.TheNestBaby.com).
This morning I met some incredibly talented individuals. Each had a unique story, all completely different, but who all shared one common thread -- they all set out to prove naysayers wrong and took a chance on themselves to do something that they strongly believe in. There was so much energy, drive, and determination filling that room, that there is no doubt each will go on to do great things. That is one of the most exciting parts about being an entrepreneur -- you choose your own destiny. You tend to forget just how difficult the road can sometimes be -- nothing will be handed to you. It takes hard work, but if you truly believe in your business and commit yourself 100%, it won't be long before others around you believe in it too.
Even today, as established as we are, we are often confronted with challenges and obstacles. This has reminded us that we are continuously growing and to never sit back and rest on our laurels. Today's show helped me to remember why we began this journey in the first place.
A big thank you to Donny and his wonderful team, including Melanie and Mike! Everyone was warm and welcoming and there was a true spirit that was genuinely refreshing!
All the best,
The Knot, Inc.
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By Carley Roney