Meet Rock31 Member – Amanda Stonerock!
Amanda is the owner and founder of Stonerock Business Solutions, LLC. SBS works with businesses and non-profits to fulfill their funding and sustainability goals through grants, RFPs, contract procurement, strategic planning, and fund development.
Before starting Stonerock Business Solutions, Amanda was working in the non-profit sector as a Director of Development. During COVID when the government began issuing ARPA grants and RFPs, Amanda had several people reach out to her asking for help applying for these funds. “I have always enjoyed helping non-profits grow, but the more agencies I worked with in non-profit, government, and for-profit businesses while applying for COVID, I realized that these folks needed more than just one-time funding assistance. At SBS, we combine the skills and knowledge about grant writing and contract procurement with lessons learned and implementation for long term sustainability.” Amanda began doing freelance grant writing in June 2020 with 2 consistent clients and several one-time projects, and eventually made the transition to full-time entrepreneur in July 2022 with 9 regular on-going clients.
When starting her business, Amanda faced intricacies of making sure she was legally set-up to run the business. Performing the service was one thing that she knew could do, but becoming a business owner and making sure all of the right boxes are checked is a whole other ballgame. “I made sure that before I signed long-term contracts and wasn’t just a freelancer, that I was registered with the correct entities, set up my independent contractor licenses, and had contracts in place that were reviewed by trusted attorneys, accountants, and other business owners. After that, figuring out how to transition from always getting a paycheck with benefits, health insurance, etc. to having all that situated in a self-sustaining way, required me to research new options. I learned so much about insurance, finance, investing, and accounting than I ever knew before.”
To help work through all of those startup intricacies, Amanda had reliable people around her who could give her guidance. Additionally, she realized that the traditional methods that she had been accustomed to were only guidelines set up by the organizations she work for, but as her own business owner, she could make the rules that worked best for her (of course within reason and legal guidelines).
Amanda was one of the original members of Rock31 when the Coworking Space opened in the summer of 2022. She told us “the best thing about Rock31 is finally being surrounded by like-minded individuals. I have always felt a little out of place in the corporate, non-profit, and government world. Being in this space has me seeing new opportunities and finding my path for “what I want to be when I grow up.” I never understood I was an entrepreneur until coming here. Now I know. I have people who I can bounce ideas off of and also collaborate. Being in this space is the best part of working, it functions like a work environment where you build friend relationships and work together, but we are all doing our own thing so there is no competition or fear like there is in a typical office. Rock31 has become a place I enjoy coming to and I think I will have lasting friends and colleagues just by being in the space.”
To help us get to know Amanda a little more outside of her work with Stonerock Business Solutions we asked her:
What are some of your hobbies/interests (outside of work)?
“I enjoy sewing and crafting. I don’t get to do it as much as I would like to, but I make a really cool car seat poncho, that I have customized to fit adults. I also enjoy hiking, traveling, and baking. AND I have a killer pumpkin bread recipe. Unfortunately, my time now consists of helping my 4 children live their best lives by chauffeuring them from activities to social event and school. Its enjoyable to watch them grow and succeed in all their stuff. My hobbies will be there still when they have all left the nest in 11.5 years… but who’s counting?
What is the best book you have ever read?
“Ordinary Men” It is a bit of a tragic tale based on real life men in Poland during WWII, but it says a lot about society, pressures, psychology, and how people operate out of fear. It is a good reminder that people can make mistakes, and finding grace and understanding can move the needle on the future.”
A genie grants you the ability to have an infinite amount of one item. What is it?
“Gratitude. I made a shift 4 years ago to always live a life of gratitude. Gratitude leads to positivity and prosperity and gets me out of my funky moods. I wish I could always be in that state of mind, but I certainly try as much as possible. In a more humorous tone, as long as it wouldn’t make me unhealthy, I could have an unlimited supply of cheesecake with red velvet layers on a gram cracker crust and NEVER tire of it.”