Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Elise De Saint Didier, Partner of Chameleon Collective, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We help growing companies. Chameleon Collective is a consulting organization that places fractional leaders in Direct to consumer or SAAS organizations. In the Recruiting division, we function as a Search agency supporting mostly Marketing organizations finding the best talent and working as an extension of their teams. Our clients retain us to recruit as an extension of their team.
Tell us about yourself
I jumped into Recruiting, building my own agency, and then joined Chameleon Collective as a Partner to partner with a team. I transitioned from working for 16 years with fast-growing organizations globally, from Veepee to Groupon to Fab.com. I was excited to build something on my own. I loved building teams and understood the requirements clients would have much more specific because I had been on the job myself. Supporting clients to find talent to scale their organizations, talking to people every day, learning from them, and playing a connector role while helping people land their dream job is what keeps me going. I am very fortunate to work with partners I have the luxury to choose from at this point.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Building my agency and the client's relationships is extremely rewarding. My biggest pride is building my practice from the ground up, not coming from Recruiting. I think it is a strength because I have been on the business side and can really relay to our client's challenges. Scaling this business with our team at Chameleon and working with people you share values and strong work ethic is everything.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a business owner, you are constantly thinking about what could go wrong and trying to ensure that even if things are doing great, you need to anticipate many areas of the business in case things change fast. I find it hard to unplug, not answer clients' calls, and set some boundaries. Getting better at it with time. A work in progress...
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Trust yourself - there is a reason why you are jumping on this - never look back - build a plan and get things done.
- Surround yourself with good mentors and people you trust in the business, or find partners to help you feed your business development initiatives.
- Find a CPA because, at the end of the day, you want to maximize the revenue you drive and what will come straight to your pocket. It can take a bit to figure out that piece.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
What's better than being named on the @incmagazine Inc. 5000 list of America's fastest-growing private companies? Landing on it two years standing! We're proud to announce that Chameleon Collective is a two-time member of this one-of-a-kind look at the most successful companies within the economy's most dynamic segment – its independent businesses.
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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