By Dailey Albino
In Katie’s third “Lessons Learned from Starting a Business,” I was able to inquire from an outsider’s perspective on how Campo came to be, and how Katie has learned since becoming a business owner.
#1 - Starting a Business is like being on a Roller Coaster
A lesson learned is that starting a business “is a rollercoaster.” While forming Campo had it’s highs, Katie said there were a fair share of lows that tagged along with her early successes. Unexpected and unforeseen roadblocks came up in the beginning, and challenges continue to present themselves as Campo grows. Yet Katie said that the ups and downs come naturally when starting a business, and dealing with the highs and lows from the beginning is practice for the future. In Katie’s words, the rollercoaster is “an exercise in resilience and adaptability,” and she has only become better equipped for future challenges.
#2: Prioritize to Move the Company Forward
Another lesson Katie learned along the way is to “organize and prioritize.” Katie said that “figuring out what the most important thing is will move the needle forward.” Yet not only has Katie had to pinpoint her priorities for Campo, but she has had to maintain organization across her entire team, to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Katie measures her constant efforts to stay organized with her Battle Board. This is Katie’s cumulative Campo project plan that is set up in front of her desk in order to define the direction of the business, and to keep track of progress. While taking precious time out of the day to organize and prioritize on her Battle Board, Katie says payoff is much greater than trying to give 100% to every project she has going on at any given moment. This organizational tool helps Katie and the team determine priorities, and stay accountable of Campo’s goals.
#3: Empower others
Katie’s final lesson she has learned is to “empower others.” Campo was built as a social enterprise, so it has the responsibility of enabling others to promote similar, positive change within its community. Because this is such an important responsibility, as the solo founder, Katie has learned to get help from her family members and her interns. From an intern’s perspective, Katie gives us the tools and knowledge to be successful on our own. With the lessons and experiences that Katie has shared with us, we use acquired media skills from Campo’s online community that marketing classes can’t always teach. Every person Katie works with is able to carry on with awareness of the community and lead successfully.
Finally, I asked Katie what she could have told herself two years ago, when she was just starting to build her business. Katie admitted that she was too hesitant in the beginning and would have advised herself not to fear being bold and brave. Katie said that she couldn’t find the “perfect” time to launch her brand, yet the timing didn’t necessarily matter in terms of Campo’s success. The faster a business can be launched, the faster it can learn, receive feedback, and adapt. Ultimately, Katie would give similar advice to someone starting their own business; “don’t be afraid to be bold!"