A few weeks ago I was interviewed for Glam, a fantastic website that offers practical advice and tips for women who aspire to be inspired. Please check out their site!
Here’s a segment from my interview about being your own boss:
Q: Please explain what led up to you becoming your own boss?
A: My daughter was six months old, my marriage was failing fast, and I was laid off from my job as a photographer’s representative.
As a frantic new mom with an infant in tow, how could I find employment in a specialized industry like photography representation—and do this by myself as an immigrant with no support system in Los Angeles? There was only one logical conclusion. I had to start my own photography production agency. At least if my daughter was ill or I had to work late, I could do it with her nearby. I naively thought, “How hard could it be?”
Q: What are some challenges of being your own boss?
A: You are in charge of everything. Developing the idea and the business model, managing the staff, accounting, sales, and the one hundred other things a business needs that you don’t even know about. There is a steep learning curve with business licenses, taxes, filings—all things I had never heard of. Most new business owners believe that a business is all about their skill, craft, or particular talent, only to find out that the business side of things is harder to handle and more time consuming. The business stuff is like a second job!
This is one of the main reasons I founded The Growth Architect, which provides entrepreneurship skills and training to support women in their pursuit of building their businesses.
Q: In 4-6 sentences, can you please explain how you manage being your own boss?
A: The key is to identify your superskill in your business, meaning figure out what makes you so unique and special. Generally, it’s what comes easiest for you. The difficult things or the time-consuming elements of work should be outsourced as quickly as possible. My key to managing is to hire many freelance people who have superskills in one defined, niche category. That keeps my business safe and doesn’t allow one other person to know everything, so it also prevents intellectual property theft. When I didn’t know any better, someone actually stole a previous business. Women need to protect themselves by diversifying and outsourcing.
Q: Can you speak to why you enjoy being your own boss and wouldn’t change it for the world?
A: What I love in my business specifically is the impact I get to make. I sold my original business, I made my money, now I want to support and provide others with the information to do the same. When younger women recognize that the information they get from me is real, the feeling is priceless, powerful, and very fulfilling. Seeing the faces of the people I mentor or train and watching the lights go on is a feeling you can’t describe. I am proud. I make contributions to the lives of others. Sure, I work 60 hours a week, but I can take a week off if I want to. For me, it’s FREEDOM and IMPACT.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: Do evaluate what you are willing to put in, in terms of hours, resources, money, time, and effort. When building your business you work twice as hard and twice as long. Entrepreneurship is a marathon—not a sprint. While working for someone else provides more security at first, in the long run being your own boss puts you in charge or your own destiny.
Beate Chelette is The Growth Architect and a results-oriented businesswoman with an entrepreneurial spirit and a proven track record in growing, building and scaling women’s businesses. Once $135,000 in debt and a single mother, she successfully sold her business to a global entertainment media company owned by Bill Gates in a multi-million dollar deal.
Through her online courses, one-on-one training programs and live speaking events, she mentors women entrepreneurs with her 5 Star Success Blueprint, developed with the knowledge gleaned from her growing, scaling and selling her own company. Beate has a deep commitment to supporting women.
She is the creator of The Women’s Code, the fourth step of Growth Architecture that is focused on Supporting Balanced Leadership. Her proprietary methods specifically address women’s obstacles and she leads from experience, having survived in business in a highly competitive male-dominated environment.
She is a respected speaker and mentor and is the author of the book “Happy Woman Happy World How to Go From Overwhelmed to Awesome”, a book that corporate trainer and best-selling author Brian Tracy calls “a handbook for every woman who wants health, success and a fulfilling career.”