Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Laura Katen, founder of KATEN CONSULTING, located in Harrison, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Enhance Your Chance for Success! KATEN CONSULTING is a NY-based professional development training company that specializes in helping individuals to communicate with confidence, clarity, and credibility in 4 core areas: Executive Presence, Communication Skills, Presentation Strategies, and Business & Dining Etiquette. My team and I provide Keynote Talks, Group Training Programs, and One-on-One Coaching Sessions to leaders, employees, and students across the industry, geography, and position.
Tell us about yourself
I am the Founder/CEO of KATEN CONSULTING. My father worked in the World Trade Center, Tower 2, on the 97 floor. He survived 911. In celebration of his life, we ran the NYC Marathon together the following year. It was also a quick reminder of how short and unexpected life is. I realized I wanted to have a legacy, make an impact, and make a difference in the world before I died. I learned while working in Finance that really smart, talented people often didn't realize that they were undermining themselves when communicating. I knew I could help increase their self-awareness around key communication areas, such as: realizing what their body language was communicating, establishing more of a visual or verbal presence, avoiding undermining words/phrases and, understanding more diplomatic alternatives, understanding how to tailor content to be most impactful to the listener, and supporting their success as they communicated and interacted with others who may have a different style or "language." That was it - I started the company and recruited my dad to join me. Every day, I get to work with incredible individuals - both consultants and clients. Many of the individuals I've worked with often post or write me about the immediate and long-term impact of our Programs and our working together. I am beyond honored to have a job that I love and get to do every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is that people see the value in our services and want to work with us. People can work with anyone - when they consistently choose to work with us and recommend us to others and write about their experiences - that is a compliment we truly appreciate and for which we are incredibly grateful.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner, when you love what you do, is balancing being able to work all of the time (because it doesn't feel like work) with making sure you take time for yourself. It's also incredibly tough to wear every hat until the opportunity arises when you can bring others on board to help.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- If you believe deeply in your idea, in the words of Nike - just do it. You'll figure it out.
- It's better to fail than to spend your life thinking coulda, shoulda, woulda tried to start this business. Also, we often learn from pain, not successes. Many business owners struggle the first time around and then become hugely successful (look at Jeff Bezos and Amazon).
- Find a great mentor, trusted advisors, and sounding boards as you go on your entrepreneurial journey - that is key for the questions that will come up.
- If you can do a part-time job that provides healthcare while you start your business - it will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
So much :) We will be celebrating the 20-year Anniversary of KATEN CONSULTING next year, 2023! I was giving a Keynote Talk, and the editor of McGraw Hill saw me speaking. She approached me and invited me to write a book. I did. It was published during COVID. The Communication Habit contains all of my best practices and strategies. My hope is that it supports and progresses the success of others.
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.