Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Natalie Garramone, Owner of ONE EIGHTY, LLC, located in Richmond, VA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We built ONE EIGHTY to help companies invest in resilience, retain their talent, and create workplaces that make meaningful progress on their stated goals.
Tell us about yourself
My 15-year-old stepdaughter says I 'help people talk to each other,' and, honestly, I couldn't be more proud of her take on my work. It's actually exactly what I do: clear emotional debris so individuals and teams can figure out what people care about and what motivates them so they can build trust and create safe spaces to have conversations that contribute to fulfilling, profitable and productive workplaces.
My personal + professional philosophies:
- There is - more often than not - a better way; we just might be too close to the issue to see it.
- Action is better than inaction.
- When people, structure, and products align, companies are at their best.
And: at the end of the day, when you take away the devices, the buildings, and the titles, we're just a bunch of people trying to do good work.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Growing a company based on my ability to build trust-filled partnerships, deliver results, and bring people together is beyond fulfilling. Because balance is one of my personal values, being able to find professional success by doing what comes naturally to me is the biggest accomplishment I could hope for.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
In my experience, great freedom comes with being the one ultimately responsible for the successes and the failures. I'm not someone to shy away from accountability when things don't go as expected, so being able to examine and learn from my business decisions is something I really appreciate being in control of. That said! It can be really challenging to be in a constant state of learning and growing as a business owner, especially when there's always something that can be done better. Deciding what to focus on and how much of your attention to dedicate to all the issues that pop up on a daily basis is incredibly difficult AND incredibly important to find balance with.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First: Know what you're good at. (And what you're not good at!) Do something that comes naturally to you. It's tough to become successful when you're doing work that doesn't make you feel good about yourself.
Next: Get yourself a brain trust - your own 'board of directors' - whatever you want to call it. But make sure you're surrounding yourself with people who will be honest with you, who will tell you when you're being ridiculous, and most importantly, who will cheer you on when you're crushing it. Even the most difficult times are usually more fun and productive when you have the right people in your corner.
Finally: Get over yourself. I mean that in the kindest way. No one is thinking more about YOU than they are about themselves in any given situation - I promise. And for that reason - if you have an opportunity to make money doing or selling something you're proud of and good at - do it. Make the videos, attend the networking events, schedule the coffee meetings, and get in front of the investors. Always be thoughtful and diligent in how you put yourself out into the world, but do it nonetheless.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I actually never thought I'd work for myself, and now I can't imagine it any other way.
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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