Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business consulting but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dina Levitan, Founder and Principal of Chill Labs, located in Seattle, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Chill Labs, a boutique business consultancy based out of Seattle, WA. My customers are usually small-medium size companies that are working towards achieving product-market fit and building out systems and processes to scale.
Tell us about yourself
I started my career in the technology industry, working as a Site Reliability Engineer at Google on products such as Gmail, Calendar, and Google Cloud Platform. After spending a few years working at a consulting firm and completing my MBA, I decided to venture out on my own, bringing my 10+ years of experience in the tech industry to new clients and projects. I love being my own boss and having the opportunity to spend my working hours on projects where I can have high leverage and impact.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
One of my proudest moments was realizing that I already had the skills and experience to make this leap. Everything from scoping out the work, learning about the space and identifying the problems to be solved, completing and delivering projects, and presenting findings and recommendations at the conclusion of a phase of work are pieces of the puzzle that I have done before and have the skills to drive forward.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Certainly, one of the harder experiences has been navigating projects where the client culture and working style were not a strong mutual fit for Chill Labs. Over time, it becomes a lot easier to identify this situation quickly and reorient to manage expectations and ensure successful and positive engagements.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Always keep your eyes peeled for new collaboration opportunities. I like to refer to my preferred method of working with others as “chillaboration” - working together while having fun.
- Sometimes, discussing a topic of mutual interest and brainstorming casually can lead to a productive and enjoyable long-term collaboration!
- Partner with others in a similar position or working in adjacent areas! I love having a network of other consultants to learn from, share wins, and ask questions.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Starting a business is a long-term investment in yourself. The time and energy spent on it, especially in the earliest years, brings experience and wisdom that will multiply over the years.
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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