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How I became a "Girl Boss".

I could take you back to some inspirational time in college where I swore to myself that I would one day own and operate my very own creative agency. Or, I could tell you about my previous experience in the world of corporate design that lasted nearly a decade. Or, how I left the comforts of America and moved to the middle of East Africa (Rwanda) for six years to work with a non-profit and raise a family with my husband. However, I don’t want to bore you with those details and rhetoric today but, I do want you to know what led me to take this giant leap last year.

Onawa Linden, CEO, Founder of Proof Marketing

I remember it like yesterday. It was a cold and snowy April day in 2018. I had just come home from a workout at Great Divide Ski Area when I stumbled upon a podcast which [ultimately] led me to my golden ticket. This life changing podcast talked about the magical tools lying inside everyone and an even more “magical" book called; “YOU ARE A BADASS AT MAKING MONEY”, by Jen Sincero and it changed me.

Jen’s book was candid, honest and, at the time, pretty much mind blowing for hopeless old me. It focused first upon mindset and second, upon manifestation of everything you ever dreamed of. I was shocked by how easy the steps seemed to be to get my life in alignment with the universe and be able to send out amazing energy. It was at that moment that I decided I was going to get rich - and like fast! From that point on I decided that every word I said, moving forward, would be positive and that every action would be of kindness and every thought corrective and I would fall deeply in love with money. (read the book and you'll understand why!)

I had been struggling [wholly] with who I was and what I was supposed to do with my career. I loved my work and life in Rwanda but, coming back to America rocked my whole being in a colossal way. I didn’t know who I was anymore on this side of the ocean. Sure, I was a mom, a wife, a friend, a daughter and yeah, a designer, but I didn’t know how to put all of that together to find purpose anymore. I felt lost. My worst nightmare was having to find another corporate gig where I’d have to grind out an 8-5 for the security of a not-so-awesome paycheck that would barely cover the bills. I feared that would keep me from my kids and my freedom. I found myself applying for every job that I had even a sliver of experience with. While I was getting interviews, I wasn't being offered a dang thing. I was befuddled.


All of this goodness is made possible because of the super cool people I continue to surround myself with.


Fast forward to April 2018. I was desperate to earn money, but also determined to create a career for myself that I could be proud of, that would inspire me and provide me with a flexible schedule. After the stars aligned that day, something changed inside of me. It was on that day I started the journey to what is now a deeply fulfilling career that allows me greater control of my life. Once I got my life in alignment with the universe, things started happening. People started coming into my life to help me on my journey. Inspirational, driven, encouraging, creative souls were popping up left and right and I couldn’t deny that this was part of it. Through these people I learned how to set up a business entity and find accountants, clients, and so much more. The result was the launching of Proof Marketing on Aug 1, 2018.

Our team in 2018.


Here are the steps I took to create a badass business:

  1. Get your mindset clear and focused on your dreams and motivation for making money.

  2. Believe in yourself and what you’re about to do, and have rock solid determination.

  3. Surround yourself with like-minded badasses that want what the same things you want from career and life.

  4. Name your business ( HARDEST PART! )

  5. Read the Badass book again and again….... and one more time.

  6. Legally set up all the businessy stuff you need to run a successful business.

  7. Don't work alone!


1 year and a few months later Proof Marketing snapshot:

  1. We have almost reached our HUGE year-end financial goal!

  2. We are a full service agency with 8 official ROCKSTAR employees and several contract employees.

  3. We have created a company culture that promotes positive energy, creativity, ownership, growth, transparency and work-life balance!

  4. We are teaming up with other businesses to create and collaborate in big and daring ways.

  5. We launched this new blog to share all of the ups and downs to opening and running a start-up biz.

  6. We also launched a new social media membership collaboration with Floating Leaf Studios Photography. Be on the lookout for more info on this too! It's going to change the way that people see your business! ( check out our feed )

With every project I create with dream clients, other bosses and collaborators, we continue to lift each other to the next level by working together rather than alone. I keep finding that the more I surround myself in groups of excited entrepreneurs, the more it drives me to push harder and dream bigger.

Our team in 2022!


So, in a nutshell, that’s how I became boss of my very own marketing agency, Proof Marketing. Thank you to all of the terrific people that helped me along the way. You know who you are!

What’s next? I have a feeling something HUGE is right around the corner, so be on the lookout for what we’re brewing up over here.

Before I go, I want to ask “What’s your story?” Share with us how you launched your dream biz, or ask us anything you think might help you get there. Comment or message us, we’re here for you. - Onawa

Onawa Linden, CEO & Creative Director - Proof Marketing

Contact her at

Blog post updated 5-2022

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