Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in consulting but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Julie Savaria, Founder of Bindia Savaria Consulting and JEDI Kids, located in Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Bindia Savaria Consulting is all about human connections and conversations. I define myself as a JEDI Designer (JEDI not for Star Wars, but for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion!). I help organizations and individuals develop more equitable, inclusive, and antiracist initiatives through training, strategic design, and JEDI coaching. I work with a wide variety of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to social enterprises to nonprofits. I want to help organizations and their people go beyond the fad of diversity and inclusion and evolve towards just and more equitable practices for the world and the next generations.
Tell us about yourself
Julie Savaria is the founder of Bindia Savaria consulting and defines herself as a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion designer, an Equity facilitator, and a global citizen at heart who wants to be part of solutions tailored to local and global challenges.
A biochemist by training, Julie worked in clinical research for five years before completing an MBA degree from McGill University. She then deepened her expertise in social impact and human-centered design thinking, and the intersectionality of the public, private and social sectors.
Julie worked for innovative and Fortune 500 organizations and public institutions to help them further their conversations around racism and implement a sustainable strategy dedicated to all their employees. She founded Bindia Savaria Consulting to help organizations start, deepen or establish their JEDI strategy or program. And JEDI Kids, a platform dedicated to helping caregivers and anyone raises the next generation of inclusive and (racially) mindful children. She is also the Co-chair of the B Local Québec chapter, focusing on Collective Impact and Activism.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Having an impact on how organizations foster more just and inclusive practices and make everybody feel like they belong and can be themselves fully. There is something special to witness the shift in perspectives in individuals when they realize when they may have been an oppressor or may have been an ally or co-conspirator and move forward with their learnings to become better humans. I also feel incredibly privileged for the trust and vulnerability of my clients when it comes to their own lived experiences of racism and discrimination. It is an honor to hold space for them and be present for them.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Not being able to help everyone. To honor my own boundaries and mental health, I need to choose who I work with. And sometimes, this means not working with organizations I love.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
So many to share! But here are my 3 top tips:
- Be extra clear about WHY you are starting this business. Is it because there is a problem you want to solve? How do you want to go about it? How important is it to you?
- Don't do this alone! Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed. It doesn't have to be hiring, but it can be partnerships and/or collaborations. Do not underestimate the power of partnerships and collaborations! Referrals are GOLDEN when you get started.
- Create good habits that will be the foundation of your business practice. Sign up for accounting software. Hire a lawyer to draft your agreements and contracts. Open up a separate business bank account. Cover your bases (with handclaps in the middle).
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Owning a business is hard. You won't always feel motivated to go about it, even if you are passionate about the topic. But having clarity around your why, covering your bases, and having a plan will ensure that you stay focused and disciplined for the world to experience your gift. The best is yet to come, and I love all parts of this journey, including the lows. Have fun and be awesome out there!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.