To honor the many women in the LGBT community who possess a fearless entrepreneurial spirit and keen business acumen in executing their ideas and dreams SheWired has launched the Women in Business series of interviews with female business owners from producers to restaurateurs to retail business owners.
Meet Jessica Kizorek, a self-proclaimed badass in business who launched Badass Business Women.org “as a way to empower women individually by infusing their personality into their work, and communally by bonding powerful women together for greater results.” The company seeks to inspire women’s entrepreneurial tendencies and to inform them on how to build jobs for others. Kizorek, a charismatic and inspirational figure -- who also founded Two Parrot Productions with her father Bill Kizorek, producing micro-documentaries for charitable organizations – runs web seminars and annual gatherings for the Badass Business Women out there.
Kizorek’s informative video intensive website features five distinct categories; Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Consultant. Plus there’s a section that features all of Kizorek’s business endeavors including Two Parrot Productions, The Viral Pulse, Badass Business Women, and “Make Them Beg”, a home study program that teaches small business owners to stop selling and start seducing with their irresistible personal brand.
Kizorek chatted with SheWired about her personal business style and just how she got to where she is.
Why were you inspired to launch your own business?
Taking orders from a boss was just too painful. Watching my father run a successful company of his own for 20 years inspired me to make it on my own.
What attracted you most to the business you’re in? Was it practicality, passion or a little of both?
Quite simply, I wanted to do business with edgy, vocal and sassy women. So I started a business called Badass Business Women, which is now a magnet for the exact psychographic I was after. Funny what a little strategic planning can accomplish.
Explain some of the challenges you faced in kick-starting your business.
Getting clear about my revenue streams. In my old business models I sold my time – video production, consulting, and speaking. But this new model will be product-based (apparel, online self-study courses and books). It’s a huge leap to go from a service-based business model to a product-based model.
How did you develop your business plan?
Many, many, many years of careful thought, research, and crowd-sourced feedback. I was also inspired by Tim Ferris and the 4-hour work week. I want an operation that can run without me overseeing the day-to-day dumb stuff. So I strategically orchestrated the team I need to make that happen.
Was it difficult coming up with start-up capital after you had the initial great idea for your business?
I’ve bootstrapped this entire mission. I’ve taken all the money I make consulting and poured it back into developing the brand and infrastructure to build an empire! But after two years, it’s time for some major capital infusion to solidify the money-making revenue streams. It’s time for major growth, and I can’t do that with my bank account alone.
Before launching your company were you aware of the formalities of tax filing, employment taxes and withholding? If not, how did you become familiar with those aspects of ownership?
Yes. Luckily my Dad taught me most of this. He taught me to have a great bookkeeper, accountant and lawyer that had my back.
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Do you have lawyers, business advisors or a team to offer advice or guide you?
Yes! Otherwise I’d be in big trouble. I’m terrible at details and I rely completely on my team to make sure I’m compliant.
Explain some of the rewards and drawbacks – if any - to owning your own business as opposed to working for someone else.
You have to hunt. You have to be willing to go out on a ledge and chase down what you want. When it’s good, it’s really good. When it’s bad the stress levels are insane as you fight to survive and adapt.
Now that you’ve owned your own business would you ever go back to working for someone else?
Are there challenges that are specific to being a female business owner? Or do you think men who launch a business face equitable issues?
Female business owners struggle with rejection more than men do. We take things personally. We are quickly labeled a bitch when we ask for what we want, whereas a man is seen as powerful when he asks for what he wants.
What sort of ingenuity has helped to keep your business thriving during trying economic times over the past few years?
I’ve diversified revenue streams and planned for the future. I know what brings me money now, yet am building something (Badass Business Women) with gigantic earning potential. It’s all about having solid cash flow so I can keep investing in what’s next.
What is the most rewarding aspect of owning your own business?
I can travel whenever I want to, surf whenever I want to, make calls whenever I want to… Freedom and flexibility are core values, so owning a business is consistent with that.
How do you see your business growing over the next five years?
Right now we’re focused on preparing for a huge growth spurt giving our participation on a reality TV show airing this fall. We’re preparing to capture email addresses with a free give-away on our site, then monetize on the back-end with automated sales funnels. It requires complex infrastructure, manufacturing, and some seriously good persuasive language, all of which will come in time as we streamline the organization and focus on delivering what the audience wants.
When you take time away from work to splurge, how do you like to treat yourself?
Exotic vacations with my fiancée. I love to disappear off the grid and turn my cell phone off for a week straight.
Do you have advice for young entrepreneurs? What are some tips or pitfalls to avoid?
Focus first on making money. I don’t care how you do it. But cash will give you the power to invest in yourself and your company. Without cash, it won’t work.
Check out Badass Business Women.