Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Bryant Galindo, Founder of CollabsHQ, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
CollabsHQ works with startup founders, business partners, and mid-level to C-Suite executives in the areas of communication, conflict resolution, and collaboration. As a mediator, I get in the middle of disagreements, helping founders and business teams negotiate high-stakes business disputes, including equity restructuring conversations, partnership dissolutions, and resolving interpersonal conflicts.
I also partner with clients as an executive coach and consultant, using neuroscience-backed tools, simulations, and assessments to improve individual and team communication/leadership skills. We work primarily with pre-seed to Series B startups or established teams aged between 27 and 40 years old throughout the world.
Tell us about yourself
Entrepreneurship found me. I had no dreams of owning my own business. But after getting my graduate degree in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Columbia University, I found it difficult to find paid work as a mediator when I didn’t have a traditional legal background or X number of years as a former judge. Then I had a near-death experience that made me say, “Eff it! It's now or never...” and I started my own business. I began with a hypothesis: that other smart, go-getter individuals around my age (i.e., startup founders) would want to work with me. And I was right! Now every day, I remember that I was given a second chance at life and that my dream of creating a more peaceful world starts with each person I get the opportunity to work with.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Currently, it’s publishing my first book, The New Middle: Using Heart and Mind to Collaboratively Disagree. It’s the roadmap I use with my clients to reframe their behaviors, open their hearts, and give them tools to find new ways of communicating across differences. It also became the #1 new release in the Business Conflict Resolution and Mediation category on Amazon, which was pretty cool. 🙌🏾
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Depends on the stage of the business. In the beginning, startup costs/having enough capital to grow can be difficult. Once processes and systems are in place, scaling and developing your team is the next challenge. Then, and this is where I find myself: making sure to get out of your people’s way while delegating tasks that simultaneously develop their skills and challenge them accordingly.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Get clear on your why – and double down. Every business will have its ups and downs. But finding what your deeper why is will help you get through it, which no one can then take away from you.
- If you are teaming up with someone, ask yourself these 20 questions to see if there is alignment between you and your potential business partner/co-founder. Ask yourselves the hard questions early on to make sure conflict doesn't ruin a good partnership later on.
- Niche. Niche. Niche. Then scale. Whether you’re selling a product or offering a service, it’s important to validate your business proposition first (create that MVP). Then you can venture out to other products or service offerings once you’ve had that initial success.
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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