Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tiffany Jameson, PhD., Owner of Grit & Flow, located in Laguna Hills, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Grit & Flow is a boutique consulting team focusing on creating workplaces for employees to thrive. Our practices are rooted in organizational psychology, disability studies, and lived experiences of individuals with various cognitive diversities enabling Grit & Flow to see the workplace through a unique lens. We help guide organizations in creating employee experiences that focus on person-centered management and engagement throughout the full employment lifecycle.
Tell us about yourself
When my son was diagnosed with autism when he was two, and I was on bed rest with my daughter, I embraced the community of neurodivergent and disabled youth and families. As my son and daughter got older and more independent, I decided to go back to get my MBA. During my capstone project, I learned of the 85% unemployment rate for autistics and the lack of understanding of why employment was such a monumental challenge for this group.
From this point, I decided I would start a company to address this situation. To do this, I realized I needed to do research, so I found a Ph.D. program in Organizational Psychology. Through the work we have done to change companies and guide them to embracing differences like autism, I see lives being changed every day. With each person we empower to be more inclusive, it ignites my drive to wake up every day and be better, do better, and do more to change the employment experience for all people.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is having people who want to work with me! To have the trust of individuals to employ them, give them purpose, and want to spend a significant amount of their week with me is a considerable accomplishment, and I treasure this most.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being a business owner comes with many challenges. The hardest thing is all the risk and responsibility, and everything ends with me. I own it all, and it is all on me if things go wrong. It can be a lonely experience, and only those in similar situations understand how heavy all this can weigh on a person.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Expect it to take five years at least to get your business "kind of" stable.
- Managing employees and all that comes with that is much harder than you can imagine. Be careful who you hire and make sure you have defined what you want the new team member to contribute. Turnover of employees, in general, is expensive, but for start-ups, a few bad hires can put your organization out of business.
- You must be passionate about what you do and the people you serve. It's hard work, and you can't just do it to do it. Passion and purpose will get you up every morning and keep you up balancing checkbooks at night!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
You will need much more money as seed money than you think. Even with a well-done business plan, the economy is in an odd place, and so is the state of workers. New and existing businesses need to plan for the unplanned - I know it sounds silly, but it is hard to tell how pandemics, stimulus checks, and people not wanting to work will impact your industry.
When we went remote in 2020, I could build my credibility because people globally were more accessible around the room through Zoom. I was able to use "pandemic" time in some good ways, but getting people to sign contracts and checks is extremely difficult in these turbulent times.
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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