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It takes hard work, dedication and sometimes good old fashion luck to build a strong, profitable business. One of the best pieces of advice for entrepreneurs and emerging business owners is to get smart insights from people who have been there before.

See what Shawn Goffer, President/CEO of Precious Memories by Shawn has to say on how she keeps her business growing. 


What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

The best piece of advice that I have ever received was that “most people want to receive a promotion without going through the process. You must be willing to drink from the bitter cup in order to earn a seat at the table”.

In other words, you must be willing to put in the work, persevere, and overcome any obstacles which you may encounter. When I see a door closed, I will find a way to open it. If I come to a wall, I will break it down and walk through. If there is no door, I will build one and step through it.


What’s the one thing you wish you’d have known when you started out in business?

The one thing that I wish that I had known when I started out in business is that being the founder can be a quite lonely. There were times when I was excited about what I was doing, but that excitement did not relay to certain people around me. But by reading “The Dream Giver” by Bruce Wilkinson, I realized that it didn’t mean that I had to go through it alone. I had a Champion, a person who continues to encourage me to pursue my dream; Faith, who helps me to get through rough times and keeps me moving, even at times when I thought of giving up; a Commander, who reminds me that the doubt and disbelief which lies within can be more dangerous than any external opposition, and sometimes tells me to “get up and keep it moving”. Last, but not least, is the Dream Giver, the one who instilled the vision within my heart and reminds me everyday that all will be well as long as I remain focused and steadfast.


Who is your role model and why?

I would have to say that my father, Oscar E. Miles, Sr. is my role model. He was an advocate for decent public housing in the city of Newark, NJ. He was the President of both the Newark Tenant’s Association and the Newark Tenant Council, all while working a full- and part-time job and obtaining an Associate’s Degree in Engineering to better support his family. He has left us with his legacy – the tearing down of the high-rise project buildings and having them replaced with a wonderful townhome community which named “Oscar E. Miles, Sr. Village”.

Although I lost him at an early age, I still reflect on the wisdom which he instilled in me. I hope that I make him proud.


We've asked business owners from across the city to share some of their best advice on starting and growing their small business. Want to learn more insights from other Chamber members? Follow the hashtag #MemberAdvice on our social media channels and read more here on our blog.