Meet Mia Vicary, a super inspiring and much adored, best friend of mine. I have known Mia for what feels like a life time and from the moment I became friends with her, I knew she had the crazy potential to do not only great, but BIG things. Mia started Media in Action two years ago and has now gone on to create M/I/A Group. Her story is super inspiring and motivating for anyone who has just started a business (like myself) or for anyone who is thinking about it. If you believe in yourself, that is the only thing you will need and Mias success is proof of that. Mia has been so supportive on my journey, she has taught me manifestation and has showed me how hard work really does pay off. Reading this makes me only want to keep going. Make sure you don't miss this read!
Q: I guess the best way to start this off is to just simply ask, where did it all begin? When did you first ever come up with the idea to start your own business? What inspired you? Talk us through it.
Mia: I was always extremely driven from a young age. I was one of those really annoying people who knew what I wanted to do very early on. So, once I finished school, I would trek from the Central Coast (where I grew up) to Sydney CBD everyday working at Channel 7. In my mind, there was just no other option. I was so hell bent on the communication and media industry. I loved being creative, working with people and the buzz of high-life. I knew the value in forging relationships and in turn I also knew one’s reputation would always precede them so maintaining professionalism has always been important to me.
I then went on to working as a Journalist in Jakarta which was exciting but I understood news was exceptionally negative. It wasn’t until I took on a role in New York City as a digital marketer that I saw my creative side really come to life. I was working across social, digital and traditional media and events. I knew this was my niche! After returning to Sydney and continuing my career as a Junior Publicist and Social Media Manager for a boutique PR agency, I realised that my experience and interests could intersect to offer businesses a range of services that could bring their brand to life. Plus, I was sick of getting into trouble by telling my bosses what to do ha!
Q: How was the transition from this idea inside your brain all of sudden being executed? Where does one begin?
Mia: In my previous job, the new branch of business that I managed became a success. I thought to myself, hold on a second, I may be young, but here’s the proof that I could do it. So I went for it.
Q: What was your previous/current experience looking like at the time of coming up with the idea?
Mia: I used my previous knowledge working as a TV journalist, a digital marketer and a publicist when I created M/I/A Group’s business model. My past experiences showed me that a lot of PR agencies tend to be outdated. They don't understand digital marketing enough to know how to leverage their client's audience reach and convert it into dollars. At the same time, some social media agencies don't understand what makes something editorial and newsworthy. The combination of all those experiences taught me how important it is to provide brands with a 360-degree marketing plan.
Q: When you started your own business, what was life looking like for you?
Mia: I started my business in 2019, right in the middle of the pandemic and a breakup. I worked solo with less than $50 to my name. At that time, I knew there was nowhere else to go but up.
Q: Going off the above, what were some of the challenges you had along the way? Did any of the challenges create a negative mindset, for example, did you ever just want to throw in the towel and not keep going?
Mia: The three biggest challenges were cash-flow, imposter syndrome and no strong team behind me. You realise after spending so much time invested in a dream of yours that without strong cash-flow your business can’t get anywhere which is why it's exceptionally important to budget and invest in the right resources for your business.
Once I finally found a strong team where we all complimented each other's skill sets the business absolutely dominated. I can’t recommend enough how important it is to have a team you can trust and work together to achieve the main goal. You really can't do it all on your own.
Imposter syndrome was a real reality for me. At times not only did others but I doubted myself a lot which in turn reflected on the success of the business in a negative way. Once I snapped out of it and trusted that it would all work out - the clients, staff and cash flow happened organically.
Q: For those who want to start their own business or take a leap of faith, what would you say to them?
Mia: Study the industry you’re in. Find what is lacking and use your strengths in addressing that limitation. I really believe the most successful businesses out there are the ones solving problems. Trusting your instinct is as important as doing your research. Try to rely on both.
Q: What is the most memorable part of your career to date?
Mia: If I were to choose one, it would be M/I/A Group’s expansion. In just two years, three new departments were added to my company. And our team of 3 is now a team of 10!
Other career highlights include the incredible people and clients I have met along the way. I really do have an incredible professional network.
Q: Are you an advocate for reading books, listening to podcasts?
Mia: I am. I think it’s important to listen to other people’s stories no matter what the medium is.
Q: If yes, what is one thing you would recommend reading/listening to, to get inspired?
Mia: I love In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney. The book is a collection of interviews featuring incredibly diverse women, from how they embraced creativity, overcame diversity, and hit their stride as an entrepreneur.
Q: Many people who start or own their own business, find it hard to "switch off" or find themselves working seven days a week. When did you start separating personal time and work and how did you learn to do this?
Mia: It took me a good 2 years. Once the business started to do well I started to really separate my personal and business life. You really realise who is genuine when you hardly have time to make events and hence its a wake up call to know who to focus your energy on.
Spending time with those who live a similar lifestyle and want the same goals was imperative for me.
Q: What are two things you cannot live without when it's a day at work?
Mia: A good cup of coffee and my ever-reliable laptop.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years? (personal)
Mia: On a yacht in Greece!
Q: Where do you see M/I/A in five years? (business)
Mia: I would love to see it continue to thrive with an incredible team who genuinely love their job and are making an impact on our clients businesses.
Q: What is the best advice you would give someone who is just starting their own business and is struggling?
Mia: Believe that the world works in wonderful ways and manifestation is a real thing. A “no” is a mere stopover on the road that leads to a “yes”.
Q: Lastly, are you happy you took a leap of faith?
Mia: Definitely! I’m extremely happy to be where I am now.