Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Taylor Torres, CEO of Chanel & Lee, located in Houston, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a systems consultant, and Dubsado® Certified Specialist focused on elevating entrepreneur's client experience by offering backend tech installation, launch support, and systems education for the modern, multi-passionate CEO. I serve service-based entrepreneurs, educators, and the creative industry. I primarily work with small teams, agency-style businesses, and solopreneurs who especially market to their audience online.
Tell us about yourself
I first dipped my toe into entrepreneurship in 2012 when I started my photography business. For many years, positions and versions of myself later, I found myself working as a social media manager at a boutique agency in Houston, making less than $12/hour managing over 30+ accounts. I was pregnant and desired a position that would give me the freedom to work from home and scale my income once my first child was born. In early 2019, I started a side hustle as a virtual assistant while working my full-time agency position. By October 2019, I took a major risk and leaped to take my business full-time and quit my agency job while only two months post-partum. Within just a year, I scaled my virtual assistant business to 6-figures and found a niche in working with systems. In 2020, I created Chanel & Lee and began working with higher-level clients in operational roles, systems build-outs, and consulting. In just under 4 years, I've made half a million in revenue and continue to expand my brand as an icon and authority in the niche of the entrepreneurial system. Not only do I work for clients in this capacity, but I also speak, educate, and train other systems virtual assistants on how to scale their businesses.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My greatest accomplishment as a business owner was building a profitable business in the midst of a global pandemic. My business had only been operating for a few months before the entire world shut down, and I was terrified my business would fail. Little did I know the pandemic was the fuel to the online business world. I watched my clients and income skyrocket during the pandemic when many businesses were taking their skills online and needed support from someone like me to make it happen.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is creating a balance between work and personal life. When you're the boss, the marketer, the creative, and wear all the hats in business, it's challenging to "turn off" business mode and set boundaries in your business, especially when you have kids. I've had to learn how to balance both and set strict boundaries around when and how I work so I can be present in my day-to-day life.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Paint a picture of your dream business. What do you want to do? Who do you want to work with? What do you want your business to feel and look like? How do you want to work? When you have a clear vision of where you want your business to go, it's easier to create an actionable plan to work towards each day.
- Focus on being YOU. When we try to mimic someone else's version of success, we get lost in the process. When we stay true to who we are in business, we can create a more aligned business giving us the space and freedom to pursue and build it with clarity and confidence.
- Embrace the mistakes. Running a business is hard work, and you will make mistakes. Learn how to navigate mistakes with humility and use those uncomfortable learning moments to be better, move differently, and grow.
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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