Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Becky LeBret, Founder of Lotus Launch, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
If we could use one word to describe our business, it would be growth. We provide valuable on-demand courses that show business owners how to build profitable companies without starving themselves and their families. Entrepreneurs make incredible sacrifices to get their businesses off the ground. We recognize that - we've been there and back - so we teach entrepreneurs how to make smart sacrifices and equip them with tools and tactics to grow. We do this by focusing on what matters most to young companies: sales, marketing, and systems. Right now, we have one ecosystem that serves all real estate agents and a second community serving all female entrepreneurs. Our content is best for a company earning between $200K - $1M a year in revenue. We always stress that it is not only about how much revenue you are making but also how much you are taking home for you and your family to build the life you deserve.
Tell us about yourself
I've succeeded, and I've failed, yet I am still here to tell the tale. I love to teach both of those experiences so others can make informed decisions about weathering storms. Personally, I came through the corporate route. I've worked at Disney Corporate, giant corporate law firms, insurance companies, consulting firms, and, notably, Zenefits, a Silicon Valley unicorn. I hold an MBA and MS in Human Resources and idolize Peter Drucker as a management guru who uses business as a force for doing well and doing good.
I've built six-figure and seven-figure companies, and I respect anyone who embarks on the entrepreneurship journey. Whether you are a shop owner, you sell online products, or you are building a real estate practice, it is hard. Through my experiences, I've learned how far I can go; I've made some mistakes, and yet I still managed to build new things. If I can take all the positive and negative things from my experience and help fellow entrepreneurs grow their businesses, I'm 100% in.
It's not all business. On a personal note, I'm passionate about trauma-informed yoga, my family and four-year-old son, and gardening. I am committed to sustainability which is why I recently earned a Green Realtor designation. I teach master's level business courses at a small university in Los Angeles called Pacific States University. In everything I do, my aim is to do some good.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Launching a concept that everyone said was impossible. We opened the all-girls tuition-free boarding school for underserved youth in 2018. Almost everyone said it was impossible, and yet there we were in 2019 with our first class of students who lived at our boarding school in San Diego. While we had to close because of the pandemic, I still reflect on the immense energy it takes to build something from nothing. Our girls were at risk of dropping out of high school, and a couple of months ago, we found out one of our students was applying to college! Helping others is always the most significant part of success.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
It never happens as fast as you think, is always more expensive, and pivoting is painful. When you are the tip of the spear, everything is new from week to week, sometimes day to day. It can be overwhelming, but I know in the end, it will work out. Uncertainty is common to all new projects, but it always feels new. Early on, there is the challenge of having to wear all the hats all at once. Then, almost out of nowhere, you have a team, and you're responsible for the employment of people. Think about that you ensure other people can pay their bills. That's some pressure to perform right there.
Another difficult area is discovering who your business is. Once, we had a salaried employee who did not have much faith in the company mention how it felt like a cult. At first, I took offense to that, but then I realized that cult feeling comes from what we all call culture. You must build the culture with a purpose to create something out of nothing. This is not an easy task. As Peter Drucker famously said, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." So if it feels like a cult, you might be on the right track.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Carve out time to learn your craft. Business ownership is complicated, and it can be easy to fall into the trap of working all the time to produce. If you don't also spend some time working on yourself, you will never really grow. So keep reading books, go learn from your community of fellow entrepreneurs, and put yourself in places where learning happens.
- Profits should come first. Another area entrepreneurs need to improve is investing all revenue back into growth. You deserve to be fairly compensated for your efforts along the way. Don't wait till you've "made it" to pay yourself. Your business and family will also suffer if you are underpaid and stressed about covering your living expenses. It might feel like you will only grow quickly if you invest everything back into the business. Your business will grow quickly if you have the right operating systems, good people, and the energy to make it happen.
- Create a plan, but be flexible enough to pivot. Yes, you have a great idea, a product, or a service, but remember, businesses are built on providing something the market wants. Take a step back and ask yourself if you are building what you think people want or what people actually are willing to pay for. A plan helps you move along your growth path. Your company values, mission, and vision should guide your business, freeing you up to change the plan mid-stream. This is why investing in learning how to grow a business is so important.
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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