Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Zhou Fang, Founder of Intersectional Group LLC., located in Portland, OR, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am the Founder and Principal EDI practitioner at Intersectional Group, an equity, diversity, and inclusion practice that focuses on intersectionality, empathy, and curiosity. Our customers are companies and organizations, as well as individuals/leaders, that are interested or committed to the work of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Tell us about yourself
I am an immigrant from China living in Portland, Oregon. Through my 12 years (and counting) in the U.S., I have experienced racism, sexism, subtle erasion, micro-aggression, anti-immigration, and other discriminations that are dehumanizing and diminishing.
Every day, I am motivated by the idea that I can use my experience and knowledge to make a meaningful impact on equity and social justice.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I am not sure if this is the "biggest." I am, however, very proud of the Pay Transparency Report, my team and I produced this year (2022).
The report highlights the importance and benefits of pay transparency and equity. It also calls for more legislation effort from states that don't have proper pay transparency laws yet, including Oregon.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, it is time management. Have you seen the movie "Everything Everywhere All at Once"? It feels like that every day. I need to do a better job setting and keeping boundaries and not letting work take over my whole life.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Mental Health - is absolutely our priority. Without it, we can't go very far. Take care of your mind.
- Curiosity - as founders, we will think that "our way is the best way." Don't laugh. We all have thought that way. The truth is, our way is probably not the best way. Be curious and open-minded, listen to others, and think before speaking.
- Gratitude - it is a gift to be able to do what we do, to have a chance in this world, and to do something good. At the end of the day, gratitude and humility will help us reset, keep us grounded and move us further in our journey.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
In the beginning, things may look like they are not moving fast enough. However, as founders, we are planting seeds. It may take a while for a seed to pop. With time and patience, we will see our business grow, as well as our growth as a person.
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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