Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in organizational development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Noemí Jiménez, Co-Founder of qb. consulting, located in Austin, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We're a small women-owned ESG strategy and communications firm. That means we work with companies across industries to build resilient organizations that put people first. Our clients include rapidly growing tech companies, established global Fortune 500 brands, and recently public businesses looking to build their ESG practices from the ground up.
Tell us about yourself
I started my career in the non-profit space working at Sesame Workshop. I didn't know it at the time, but bringing Sesame Street's annual report to life confirmed my love for storytelling with a purpose. Later in my career, I was working at a boutique sustainability and corporate responsibility consulting firm and was struck by the lack of diversity in our space, as well as the lack of flexibility (especially in the pre-pandemic world) for parents and caregivers.
My entrepreneurial journey started almost by accident after my entire office was laid off at the beginning of 2017. During a serendipitous trip to San Francisco a couple of weeks later, Sam (my co-founder) and I had breakfast and realized we were seeing some of the same issues and were in complete alignment on the values and vision we had for a firm that threw "business as usual" out the window and centered diversity, equity, collaboration, and continuous learning.
I'm still motivated by the incredible partners I get to work with every day and their energy and passion to invest in communities and fight for our planet. Truly still have to pinch myself on a daily basis that I get to do what I love with people who inspire me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Shifting from proactive business development to exclusively fielding incoming requests. Our reputation has created a positive buzz (pun intended) in the space that has afforded us the luxury of choosing who we work with. Building a thriving business while also making and raising humans fills me with pride.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't be afraid of failure - it's where you learn the most. If you let fear stop you from taking risks or going with your gut, you'll never know what's on the other side of that wall, and you'll never make it to the next level.
- Create free content. I can't stress this one enough. Start putting your thought leadership out there, whether through social media (LinkedIn is currently our preferred platform), a newsletter (even if you start with two subscribers and one is your mom), or a blog on your website. As a small business, people are buying YOU, so if they have no data points to assess whether they trust you to get the work done, it will make the decision murkier.
- Be kind to everyone. Quoting Maya Angelou: "People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel." New opportunities will come from the places you least expect them - make sure people only have nice things to say behind your back.
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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