Ever dream of starting your own company? Amanda Boleyn didn’t just dream, she started Boleyn Consulting two years ago, and has been working with Fortune 500 clients ever since. We talked to Amanda about becoming your own boss, Boleyn Consulting, and the female entrepreneurs she admires.
Please tell us a little about Boleyn Consulting.
I started Boleyn Consulting 2 years ago this May. I initially started out working on various projects for other consulting companies whether it was for sales, customer service or employee engagement trainings. This experience allowed me to work with companies across the country and globe from AT&T, Weight Watchers, Kansas University Medical to UBS Wealth Management.
More recently and over the past 6 months I’ve been implementing strategies that I’ve learned in the first year and a half of the business and leveraging them to work more with individuals and organizations locally whether it be facilitating workshops, speaking engagements or one-on-one coaching.
What are the challenges of working for yourself?
As an entrepreneur, when you work for yourself the two biggest challenges that you have to immediately figure out a plan for is first, the influx of income. Not having a steady income was my first challenge. I had to budget and determine what my monthly salary I would pay myself from the business account. This took a few months to flush out because you want to be smart with your money.
Secondly, is what type of routine do you get yourself on. Having ultimate freedom of choosing when you work to when you want to workout, to when you eat lunch sounds great yet it can also be paralyzing and unproductive. You have to set boundaries and learn what works best for you; when you schedule calls, what day of the week you meet people to not checking email until after 12:30pm in order to be productive and not get distracted.
What are the benefits of working for yourself?
The benefits of working for yourself far out weight the challenges! I am someone who strives off the autonomy the world of working for yourself lends. When you work for yourself you can schedule when you want to work from the time of day to the days of the week to the weeks out of year. You have complete and utter control of what you do with your life and what you want. Working for yourself can be one of the most empowering experiences. I am blessed to love getting up every morning and love what I do.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start their own business?
Surround yourself with the right people. My friends and mentors have been a huge help to my business – I don’t know what I would do without them. Do research; understand the differences between entities whether it might be a LLC or an C-Corp, understand your tax codes and structure. Be organized from the get go. Don’t wait. Define what it is that you want to do and do it. Have no fear, only gumption. Lastly, never stop asking questions, always be open to learning.
Which female entrepreneurs do you look up to?
Sara Blakely, Founder of SPANX is one. She started her company at the age of 29 and had spent the two years prior researching hosiery and invested her her entire life savings of $5,000 into the company. She was not afraid, she was bold and took risks.
A local Chicago Celebrity is Corri McFadden. I watched her speak at Go Blog Social this past July and was blown away. Her story is absolutely incredible and demonstrates dedication to the time it takes for a company to evolve and grow successfully.
What is your advice to women looking to get out there and network?
For as long as I can remember ever since I was a child my mother always told me, “It never hurts to ask.” Know WHAT you want and don’t be afraid to ask for it.