Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kanika Watson, Founder of Kanika M. Watson Consulting, located in Washington, DC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am the CEO and founder of Kanika M. Watson Consulting, a career and leadership development company dedicated to women's advancement and empowerment. I help ambitious women take command of their futures and bring their vision of success to life. I inspire these amazing women to step boldly into their power and become authentic leaders that make a meaningful difference in the world—one career, company, and community at a time.
My clients are working women and mothers from all over the world—especially women of color—ranging from career professionals to C-suite leaders and entrepreneurs. I also work with companies, organizations, and their leaders to prioritize and increase their investment in women's advancement and empowerment.
I create powerful programs and solutions to help women transform themselves and their teams and organizations. I offer a range of 1:1 and group executive coaching and mentoring experiences, career and business milestone-focused intensives, and highly customized corporate development programs for building greater diversity and inclusion.
I am also a keynote speaker who inspires audiences and leads interactive, story-driven workshops and team-building experiences for leaders, professionals, and teams. I speak on topics ranging from women's career advancement and inclusive company cultures to personal branding and effective communication.
Tell us about yourself
I am a firm believer in the power of purpose. It provides deeper meaning to everything I do and inspires me to be the best version of myself as a mother, wife, and businesswoman. Purpose also ignites my energy and passion for empowering women to lead the change they want to see in their careers, companies, and communities.
Living my purpose means channeling my 20+ years of lived experiences and knowledge into impactful strategies and solutions to help women professionals to reach their full potential. Most of my clients are climbing long and often "winding career ladders" and encountering the same workplace challenges I traversed. I know firsthand what they are experiencing. Many of these brilliant leaders, emerging leaders, working mothers, entrepreneurs, recent graduates, and other incredible talents may feel stuck despite reaching success levels.
The common thread is that these incredible women want to feel "seen and heard" and want a mentor and support system to help propel them forward. That's where I come in. I empower women to discover their purpose and achieve their boldest vision for success. I find fulfillment in seeing that my work transforms my clients' lives, personally and professionally. They are why I do what I do, and the impact our partnership brings about is the cornerstone of my company's mission.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment was launching my company while juggling a full-time job and home life—from my son's schooling and family activities to deadlines at work and business priorities.
People often ask me, "how do you do it all?" I respond that every day is a "purposeful balance that takes a village." My village, also known as my community network, includes my amazing parents, husband, sister, tribe of sister-friends, and strong women mentors. None of my career and entrepreneurial achievements would have been possible without their enduring support and collective wisdom to motivate me to be something bigger than I ever thought possible.
Most of all, throughout my business journey, I continue to be inspired by my 8-year-old son, my biggest supporter, who keeps me grounded, balanced and focused on what truly matters as a working "power mom" who is successfully managing it all.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a leader, business owner, mother, and wife, it is not easy to make time for myself, a common challenge many working mothers face. I enjoy my work and building my business, and I love spending quality time with my son, which leaves me very few moments to spare for "me time." This past year, I focused on ways to reclaim my power and design a balanced life. I learned that neglecting self-care can lead to burnout, exhaustion, and stress. So, I centered my energy on creating a balance between being my company's CEO and the "CEO of my life." Owning the CEO role of my life has helped me prioritize my health and wellness and meet my needs and, ultimately, my family, work, and business owner obligations.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Starting a business is a goal that requires purposeful planning because, as we all know, a goal without a plan is only a dream. Instead of three, I have four tips for anyone looking to start, run, and grow a business. Consider leveraging the tried-and-true strategic planning RPIE process (research, plan, implement, and evaluate). I have used it for many years as part of my strategic communications and business planning initiatives. It is the go-to "choreography" or technique that I leverage all the time to build a solid roadmap to success.
- Research – To be successful, your business planning must be rooted in research. Research helps define the problem you're solving when establishing a business and identify the customers or investors you want to reach and how to influence them. Without a research foundation, you are just flinging ideas at the wall and hoping something will stick, and that's not effective or good for your business.
- Plan - No matter how big or small your business ambitions are, it is essential to carefully define measurable goals, objectives, audiences, and targeted strategies. Organizing these components into a clear business plan and companion marketing strategy will help you establish a strong foundation and allow you to reach your customers on multiple levels.
- Implement – This is where you put the work detailed in your business and marketing approach into action. Be sure to carve out a realistic timeline that describes the specific dates aligned to key business milestones. It is also essential to determine who is responsible for completing the tasks outlined in your plan and adhering to your budget. These actions will help keep you on track.
- Evaluate - Although evaluating your progress can often be overlooked, it is one of the most critical actions you can take in business building. It helps you determine whether your business plan actions fulfilled your desired purpose and goals. Examples could include assessing your core business activities and monitoring business website traffic and customer satisfaction surveys.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Are you thinking of starting your own business? If so, I encourage you to be bold and take the next step in your entrepreneurial journey. Or, if you're already navigating business ownership, congratulations. Whatever your opportunities or challenges, I am here to help you thrive. I can be engaged in the following three ways:
- Programs for Ambitious Women - Women entrepreneurs and professionals at all levels can choose from a suite of career and leadership development programs with built-in coaching and mentoring to accomplish their next major career or business milestone.
- Solutions for Organizations - Companies and organizations can bring my full suite of career and leadership development programs in-house to empower women professionals and teams and help leaders understand how to be allies.
- Keynotes and Workshops - Companies and organizations seeking an engaging speaker or facilitator to inspire their audiences can invite me to keynote or lead interactive, story-driven workshops for leaders, professionals, and teams.
- Contact me and learn how my customized programs and solutions can help you achieve breakthrough success. Visit www.KanikaWatson.com or contact me at Kanika@KanikaWatson.com.
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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