Bold Broads highlights women founders and creative [read: BADASS] small business owners about how they really deal with the ups and downs of running a BOLD business. These women share honest wisdom and tough lessons to support you in collectively making good shit happen in your own women-led startup or small business. Meet Jordan Lacenski, the brilliant mind behind Brand Boss Creative and the co-founder/Alpha of the SheWolf Collaborative.
Let's meet her, shall we?
1. STARTING A BUSINESS IS HARD AND SOMETIMES LONELY. WHAT THE F*CK MOTIVATED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
I have always been an "I'll do it myself" kind of person. In past positions, I found that I would step on toes and share unwarranted ideas on how we could do things better. That type of thing tends to go over better when you are your own boss. I always had big career dreams, even from an early age. I didn't have entrepreneurs in my family, but I had some seriously hard-working women to look up to. I pictured myself in LA with a sweet apartment and a big dog, with a creative career I lived for. I don't live in LA (although I would love to), and I have two rescue pups, one is a Great Dane, so I've checked that box. I have a sweet, supportive husband which wasn't in the original plan, but I'm so glad it is now. And I definitely have a career I live for, but it wasn't until age 30 that I figured out what that was. Entrepreneurship is one of the hardest things I have ever done, every. damn. day. But I can't imagine doing anything else? There is always something to do, always a way to grow, always something to improve, and I love that. The more I am in my own business, the more I am motivated by it. The more I see other people's success, the more I want to succeed.
2. HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED TO KEEP THRIVING IN A CREATIVE SPACE WHERE EVERYONE SEEMS TO ONE-UP EACH OTHER?
I watch what other people are doing, for sure, but I think we have been so much more successful doing our thing, filling in spaces that were once empty. For example, SheWolf Collaborative was created to combat that one-up bullshit. We work together. Instead of trying to be the best web development firm on my own, I work with the best web developer I know. By creating a circle of trust and a go-to team for all things creative, we all learn from each other, and we motivate each other.
3. SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES ARE OFTEN QUIETLY SUPPORTED BY A COLLECTIVE OF WOMEN MENTORS, FRIENDS AND BUSINESS OWNERS. WHAT COMMUNITIES AND RESOURCES HAVE BEEN MOST PIVOTAL TO YOUR OWN BUSINESS SUCCESS?
We created our own collective, SheWolf. We work together on projects, but we help each other with our individual business needs and questions too. We have women all over the U.S. with different levels of experience, different specialties, and different perspectives to help us all make better decisions for our individual businesses and collectively. Outside of that, I look into every woman-owned business networking group and see where my people are. Ellevate has been instrumental. I am surrounded by strong females, but I have also made it a point to have 2-3 successful men in my tribe. They think differently and they help me separate the emotions from some of the business decisions I need to make. They challenge me in a different way. With that said, there is no replacement for my ladies, the ones I call to vent, cry, scream, ask questions. I have also tried to surround myself with ladies who are very different than me, strategic thinkers, contemplators, challengers, those who are on the opposite end of the spectrum when in comes to personality tests and work styles. You have to allow yourself to be challenged.
4. NO BULLSH*T; WHAT'S THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS? AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT; HOW ARE YOU WORKING TO OVERCOME THIS?
Brain capacity. Sounds crazy, but I am running out of space up there. I have to schedule days based on when my creative brain is in full-create mode and I have to schedule blocked out time for admin, and definitely at least one day a week where I don't have meetings. You can have meetings all day and get absolutely nothing done. It's important to work on your business and in your business and delegate the things that are taking up valuable time. I have also realized that for me to work on the big picture stuff, I have to free up my mind to think that way, and to step getting lost in emails or smaller tasks. I've also realized I don't know what I don't know, and I need people to tell me that. Capital is absolutely necessary to start a business. I bootstrapped for the last two years and this year I put the big girl panties on the business by hiring consultants, interim CFO's, and professionals to take me to the next level.
5. SHARE THE MOST HELPFUL PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'VE EVER BEEN GIVEN.
It's either Hell YES, or NO.
My dear friend Lauren Caselli says that, and it has really been a gamechanger. If I don't have the passion or capacity to do something 100%, then I shouldn't be doing it. I have started saying no to things that don't deliver back to the business, or to me. It's been freeing and honestly, it has been better for the business. When I say no to clients that aren't a good fit, I free up time for one that is.
I UNAPOLOGETICALLY OWN MY BOLD BROAD BADASSERY BECAUSE...
I don't know any other way. I tried to hide my tattoos, and write eloquent emails, and compromise on pricing and it didn't work. Since I have embraced my brand and narrowed my audience, I have had more of my dream clients inquire...and SIGN with us.
I am a badass because of the pack that hunts with me. SheWolf has been a magnet for the most amazing chicks. We truly believe the strength of the pack is the wolf and vice versa.
My work matters because we are breaking the mold, breaking the glass ceiling, and breaking the rules all at the same time, and we are encouraging others to do the same.
BOLD BROAD BONUS***FAVE APP OR WEBSITE?
So, I love basecamp, but I'm not sure my team would echo that sentiment. For me - it keeps everything super organized, allows me to assign tasks, share schedules and documents. When I am assigning 100 tasks at 11 pm on a Saturday night, my team gets a little overwhelmed so I have to work on that, but I use it for every project and for internal communication. Our team is remote, so it's super important to all be on the same page. I really love Planoly, the blogs alone are SO worth it. I mentioned Ellevate, which is an amazing resource with a global reach. Lastly - all things google. Google sheets, docs, mail, drive, presentations - life saving.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
When Jordan Lacenski enters a room, you’ll know it. Her personality is magnetic, her energy palpable. Quick wit and a ready flash of smile will draw you into conversation, and before you know it, you’ll feel like you’re already “in the fold.”
Jordan is the “Boss” behind BrandBoss Creative, a brilliant strategist and motivator, and consummate entrepreneur. Her passion for building businesses through innovative branding and marketing is rooted in the desire to support her fellow entrepreneurs and find ways to change the world.
Fueled by morning coffee and a kickass playlist, Jordan’s energy and vision is contagious. She describes her relationship to digital marketing in terms of feeling and connection. “I love branding because of the potential it has to reach people. If done right, your brand can connect with the human heart, tell a story, humanize your business.”