Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sara Causey, Founder of Causey Consulting LLC., located in Tulsa, OK, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Causey Consulting LLC, which offers various outsourced HR functions. I primarily enjoy working at the top of the hiring funnel, i.e., performing research and sourcing amazing candidates for clients. My customers are medium to large businesses with an established HR department. For the most part, the engine is firing on all cylinders, but they know they need help with particular tasks. When companies grow, the top of the hiring funnel is the easiest place to neglect, and, unfortunately, that can cause a lot of problems.
Tell us about yourself
I never felt like I "fit" with Corporate America. I would sit in the cubicle and imagine what it would be like to be free. I was self-employed for a couple of years, and it was a terrible experience. I had feast/famine cycles and worked harder than ever for basically no money. The stress was excruciating. So I returned to Corporate America and felt so dejected. I knew I couldn't sit in a cube for 30 years and work for someone else. I screwed up the courage to try again, and I am so glad I did. Failure is a harsh but amazing teacher.
What motivates me is a combination of playing detective and solving a client's problems. I have what I like to call "introvert superpowers," so when other, more extroverted people might get bored or walk away from a repetitive challenge, I can knuckle down and keep going.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Having a recession baby. I had a soft, quiet launch of my business in 2019 and felt like things were going well enough to take the plunge. My official launch in January 2020 was interrupted a couple of months later by the pandemic. There was a lot of fear and uncertainty, but I am glad I persisted. The amount of freedom you experience as a business owner is so very different from anything you'll ever find in a full-time office job. Night and day.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I like to say, "You have to be able to worry about things without worrying about them." What I really mean by that is: you have to be able to think things over and troubleshoot without giving in to panic and over-predicting failure. For some people, that is a difficult tightrope to walk, and it can lead to sleepless nights and workaholism. It's crucial to find the right balance between something like toxic optimism versus blinding fear.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- You have to have faith in yourself. Without that, you're doomed. Your clients will not believe in you if, deep down, you lack confidence in yourself. You also must trust that in a crisis, you will handle things appropriately.
- Owning a business or running a solo freelancing operation is a lifestyle change. I don't feel that is talked about enough. It's a different lifestyle from getting a paycheck twice a month and punching a clock from 8 to 5. You must be able to create your own routines and habits and feel comfortable with uncertainty in life.
- Perform a dry run first. Do your A/B testing. Figure out if your business idea is viable before you take the plunge. One of the reasons why my first stab at self-employment failed is that I was not able to do that. If you can grow a side hustle into a full-time business operation, it will also help you to ease into the process rather than jumping off the cliff and hoping the parachute opens on the way down.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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