By LaTasha West
I will share interviews that I have done with ladies who are successfully chasing, following and living their dreams. These women are wives, mothers and business owners who are willing to share a small piece of their journey with you.
I hope this series encourages, motivates and inspires you to believe.
This week I chat with Laura E. Knights, Owner of Laura E. Knights Coaching and Consulting
Here is what Laura has to say:
LaTasha: So, Laura, What makes a good entrepreneur?
Laura: I think it’s critical for an entrepreneur to take risks and to not give up. The definition of entrepreneurship is risk! You can’t just focus on instant gratification because you will give up quickly. You have to have a plan, do the research, and make space for your market to talk back to you about their pains and desires. You have to have what I call “strategic patience” because it takes time to turn over a profit. It’s a fine balance though, because at the same time, an entrepreneur must be assessing their business and their industry at all times for indications of when it may be time to cut their losses, change directions or end a particular endeavor that could cost more than it has the potential to make.
LaTasha: If you had to pick a skill or trait the each entrepreneur that you know has in common what would it be? Explain.
Laura: They are visionaries. They see possibilities on the blank slate, and they have the courage to put themselves out there and create something new.
LaTasha: Were you a good or bad employee? Tell me why you believe so.
Laura: I think I was a good employee, but that was only because I was what you would call an “intrapreneur” in every job I had. Although I was an employee, my role was really to create new things…programs, systems, processes, etc. I’m a strategist by nature, and as long as I can assess, problem solve, and create, I’ll be happy and able to produce great results. Even as an employee, I had the space to be entrepreneurial in my approach to my work. If that characteristic wasn’t present, I think I would have been a horrible employee because I would have gotten bored really quick!
LaTasha: Who is your business role model? Why did you choose this person?
Laura: I don’t want to be cliché’, but Oprah and Richard Branson are my business role models. They both have a heart for service, and they give back immensely; however, they are not fearful of taking their brands into new markets and industries. Oprah is a media mogul, but she has the magazine, coffee line at Starbucks, film/theater projects, founded a school, etc. Branson is into music, the airline industry, mobile technology, etc. They have done so many diverse things, and yet still made them fit seamlessly under one strong brand. I'm multi-passionate and I have plans to do so many things, that many may perceive as unrelated, so they really inspire me and give me hope to go for it.
LaTasha: One last thing, What is the one piece of advice that you would give to someone who is considering entering your industry today?
Laura: The coaching and consulting industry has blown up in recent years. Part of that is due to low barriers to entry. Anyone can wake up and call himself or herself a coach or consultant these days. Many would say the market is becoming saturated. My advice would be to really do some self-assessment to see what makes your services different from those around you. Try to develop a really defined niche, instead of just “life coach.” Ask yourself, “What specific result do I help people achieve? What is my unique approach to help them achieve that result?” Once you have a clear response that is supported by the outcomes and testimonials of the people you are serving, build your marketing messaging around those specific results. You MUST find a way to make yourself standout.