Interested in starting your own journey in a non-profit organization, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amelia Quinn, from BeLoved Atlanta.
Tell us about yourself
Hi, I'm Amelia, and have been running BeLoved Atlanta for nine years now. The systems we currently live under keep certain individuals down based on their race and socio-economic background. Forced prostitution is a direct result of this and I believe everyone should use whatever influence they have to create more equitable systems. The women I have the privilege of working with every day motivate me to continue this work. The staff shows up in innovative, kind, and caring ways that remind me we can create change without losing ourselves or the humanity we see in others. I constantly learn from the residents of the BeLoved Program, as they are funny, strong, and passionate about fighting for their freedom.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
This may be lots of people's answers right now but one of my biggest accomplishments is making it through the past year and a half. Running an organization virtually was a complete shift for BeLoved. We were able to maintain all our staff, never dipped into our financial reserve account, and continued to offer the services we provide to women. This took the entire organization and in no way can I solely claim credit for it. I am proud of how we have and continue to face such uncertainty.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I care deeply about the people I work with and with this comes big responsibility. I want to create a culture that empowers others to grow and thrive. I want to meet a need in our city while looking at innovative ways to make a larger impact. I want to raise the standards in the nonprofit world. With all of this comes a constant weight. I constantly have to remind myself, this does not rest on my shoulders but trusts the talented people around me.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Running a business will challenge everything you know about yourself, find a good therapist, and regularly meet with them. You are only one person, find your team. Be honest with them and listen to them. Running a business is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself so you are still here to enjoy it in a few years.
If there was one thing you could do repeatedly to help grow your business, what would it be?
Staying centered is the most important aspect of growing BeLoved for me. Voices are coming at me from all directions, offering helpful advice that I’m so grateful for but it is essential not to lose my vision in the process. Staying centered has looked like taking walks, going to counseling, or taking a minute to breathe. Mostly it has been finding the balance of trusting myself while never believing the lie that I have all the answers.
What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance?
Work-life balance is hard. I like to give myself a lot of grace around this - it is not something I am going to achieve but something I am constantly working towards and re-evaluating what works for me. The big ones for me are taking a vacation and truly unplugging when while away. I try not to work on the weekends. I also acknowledge there are seasons I work more than others and take advantage of both seasons.
Where can people find you and your organization?
If you like what you've read here and have your own solopreneur story that you'd like to share then email email@example.com, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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