The business world is no longer a boys club; women-owned businesses have been steadily increasing since the beginning of the 21st century with noticeable growth in the last six years alone.
The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) reports that as of 2019, women own 11.6 million businesses, and women of color own 5.4 million of those businesses.
The transition from employee to entrepreneur is difficult and frightening, especially for women of color, as access to capital and support can be a hurdle. Fortunately, there are people out there willing and able to provide new women business owners with coaching and inspiration to set themselves and their venture up for success.
One of those people is Coleen Otero, founder of CEO Chick, a Network and Brand created to help couch women entrepreneurs. Not only is this Queen running her brand and empowering other women to run their ventures, but she’s also doing it all with style while being an author, Wife, and Mom to her four boys and bonus stepdaughter.
This week in continuing her work with couching other CEO Chicks, Coleen Otero hosts FREE virtual masterclasses November 11-13 to help fellow women entrepreneurs finish the year strong. Coleen took some time out of her schedule to answer some questions that we at The Queen Sessions had.
What inspired you to host this event?
Coleen Otero: The CEO Chicks network, agency, and nonprofit are all about empowering women business owners. Our team of outstanding coaches comes together to help clients, members, and nonmembers collaborate, create, and dominate in their respective businesses. This has been a challenging year with the pandemic, and we’re continuing to do our part to help our fellow sisters in business finish the year strong. We introduced Fempire this summer and gave away business grants to five Black women business owners, and provided direct support to some of our members who needed additional funds and direction.
We see an increased number of WOC entrepreneurs; what do you think is causing this shift or career wake up call?
Coleen Otero: Minority women own nearly half of all women-owned businesses; we don’t often have the same resources as our counterparts. I think this year was a wake-up call for all of us in some way. Those of us who were already in business had to pivot and come up with new ways to be successful; those who have been on the fence about starting a business have decided to go for it. This is why our free Fempire masterclasses this week (November 11-13, 2020) are important for women entrepreneurs who are serious about building and maintaining lucrative brands. You can find more information and register to attend at https://www.ceochicksonline.com/fempire.
How can business owners partake in mentoring or supporting young women to pursue their path in business?
Coleen Otero: I’m really big on helping to empower the next generation of women business owners. We must all do our part in taking someone under our wing, providing mentorship and guidance. This is what our network is all about. We help so many young women by providing them with resources and real-world scenarios based on our experiences. We want to ensure that they’re able to win from the start and hopefully avoid some of the challenges many of us faced when there weren’t as many resources as we provide with CEO Chicks.
Which tips would you suggest for bringing on the right team to build with you?
Coleen Otero: One of the things I tell our clients and members is that they must not only have the right people, but they have to put them in the right positions. You can’t bring all of your friends and family along for the ride in business. Everyone serves their purpose, and you have to realize what people’s strengths are and how they can benefit your business. Having the wrong team may be worse than having no team at all because it can hinder your growth.
How do you stay motivated in trial and error times, and do you have any tips you can share for the future generation of entrepreneurs?
Coleen Otero: One of the most important ways to stay motivated is to take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. Your business can’t run properly if you aren’t your best self. I take mental health breaks to ensure that I’m in the right state of mind at all times, and I consider mental strength as one of the four M’s that entrepreneurs should have mastered before going into business and even as they continue. That’s part of my M-Factor, which also includes Magnetism, Manpower, and Money Flow. You can read more about this in my book, Brand To Bucks.
To sign up for these workshops and learn more about Coleen Otero’s Fempire, head to her website for more.