Katie Valade is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Cambridge, Ontario. She is an Independent Consultant and Group Director with My Steeped Tea, and we are excited to share her Success Story!
What is your business/company all about?
I love that my business is about the art of relaxing! We connect friends, family, and neighbours back together again over great conversation and a beautiful cup of tea. I love educating women on providing healthy, incredibly delicious iced tea for their family to replace juice, as well as doing lattes at home to save you even more money! Every day, I get to make tea, relax, meet new people and celebrate not just the versatile world of loose leaf tea, but the ones that we share it with in our lives.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I was never looking to become an entrepreneur – this is the job that I never knew I wanted! I only became an entrepreneur because I was tired of living paycheque to paycheque and I knew that it seemed like the thing that moms did – find another part-time job that can be done in a very flexible way! I quickly realized that being an entrepreneur was in my spirit and it was perfectly meant for my life and my future. I could see the aspects of my personality that were thriving in the role of an entrepreneur, and the ways that previous jobs had showcased entrepreneurial roles and I had really gravitated towards them. When I began as an entrepreneur, I thought that I had stumbled upon this whole new world of business, but in reality, the world of entrepreneurs was meant for me!
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
I am absolutely in love with the incredible opportunities that I have in owning my own business! I think that the flexible nature, the ownership of my schedule, and the personal growth are the greatest surprises in this job. I love that I can both rock out a sales day, meet with clients, do a coaching call, go to the gym and volunteer at my kid’s school in the same day. I love that no what matter time of day my kid is going on a field trip, I can be there! I love that I can take my kids with me to some meetings, that I can do coaching calls while they are napping, that we can do facebook live videos together to promote a new product, and that as I host team meetings in my home, my kids can be a part of what I do and get excited for the opportunities that have.
I love that I am in control of my schedule! I can volunteer every Wednesday night and no one gets to tell me to go to work. I can work the first half of the month heavy in sales to meet goals, and then focus the second half of the month on coaching and customer service. I love that I get to make the decisions about how fast I grow my business, how busy my calendar is, where I travel, who I visit and how I allocate my time and money. I love that I get to grow my leadership through making the big decisions, but that I also get to be part of a bigger picture in my company where I am learning and growing alongside other like-minded, driven people.
Can you describe a typical day?
Every day, I work to balance my life between being at home with the kids and working from home. I have two young children that deserve my attention, and yet I also need to teach them how to have a strong work ethic and push themselves to achieve their goals! I take this responsibility very seriously and I try to include them in anything I can with my business. With that in mind, I often get about 1-2 hours of work done each morning, 2 hours in the afternoon and 2 hours in the evening. I work in spurts, and try to divide my tasks logically, so I can work on certain areas of my business at a time to keep me focused and effective. When I have no appointments outside of the house, my day is broken up into chunks where I rotate between work and kids all day. It is a learned quality to stay focused on the task at hand so that when I’m working, I am effective, and when I am with the kids, they get my full attention. For the sake of my family life, consistency, and keeping our schedule manageable, I aim to have no more than 3 out of the house appointments each week.
Who do you count on for help?
I have some key people in my life and business that I wouldn’t be able to function without! My mom has always been a stay-at-home-mom and continues to be a blessing to me in that role. It is not easy growing a successful business with young kids and no car during the day, but my mom has been so gracious in being both babysitter and providing transportation throughout my five years in business, so that I can take advantage of opportunities that come my way. My husband is my biggest cheerleader and constant encourager and motivator. I don’t think he realized exactly what would change in our family life when he lovingly encouraged me to give this entrepreneur thing a try, but through every leadership retreat, appointment, team meeting, conference and everything else, he has allowed me to grow and go after any opportunity! My sweet hubby has even cheered me on as I went on two incentive trips without him!
Without my family, I wouldn’t have a business at all, but as my business grows, I count on my team to keep me going. As I meet new people and see them grow and change and embrace new things, they spark a creativity and drive in me to keep going and push forward for them! I am so thankful to all those entrepreneurs, both in my company and otherwise, that have supported and encouraged me and spurred me on to greater things!
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
Recently, I missed my son’s kindergarten graduation for my company’s National Conference. I know that for many people, this is not a big deal – it’s only kindergarten, after all. I always imagined that I would be a stay-at-home-mom, and I always appreciated how supportive my mom/parents were and how we could count on my mom to be there for every occasion. I never imagined that working from home would factor into my life, but here we are! I had a few people express to me that they were sad for me that I wasn’t going to be able to get to the graduation. I had to come back to them with this response, “I can’t be content in my work if I am constantly sad about the things that I miss because of work!” Being an entrepreneur sometimes means that I miss things as I work to grow my business, but it will also mean that I get to be incredibly more present in the life of my kids.
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
I wouldn’t still be in business after 5 years if I never took a day off! I am notoriously bad at taking on too much in my life and business, but I am learning how to both say ‘no’ and take time for myself. Usually, days off are taken so that I can spend a full, uninterrupted day with my kids or family. Other times, my day off is a much-needed day for organizing my house and doing meal prep. On the rarest of occasions, a day off is just for me and involves working out, having tea with friends and getting a massage.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
The future is so bright in my business! I am so thankful for everything that I have learned in the past 5 years. I feel like I am finally getting into a better groove of what is needed for consistency in my personal business, how to help my team grow, and how to balance it all with my family and kids. I am incredibly proud to be on the verge of having a ‘million dollar team,’ in the next year or two, earning more incentive trips and helping more people!
Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
Just start! Take time to consider what you are passionate about, and then find an opportunity that will allow you to share your passions! Give yourself at least 6 months to 1 year in the business before you even consider moving on – it takes time to build consistency, get support, grow in your knowledge specific to that business, and build your confidence. Become a student of your business -learn from the best, learn from everyone, and truly take the time to study what it takes to be successful in the business that you chose. Finally, use your God-given talents, skills and abilities and always find a way to have fun and be creative using your gifts. Find the ways that you can set yourself apart as unique in your field, and always provide excellence in customer service! When people work with entrepreneurs, they expect and deserve a personal touch. I could go on, but I won’t – the bottom line: just start and commit to learning!
What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
My ‘why’ has changed over my five years in business. It started as this secret, unspoken desire to be able to stay at home with my kids. I fully understood the opportunity in front of me, and I didn’t know if I could make more than a couple hundred bucks a month, but my soul ached for the day when I could leave my day job and I worked every single day with that in mind. After achieving that major goal, my why has progressed and changed to creating a better, more stable life for my family. My ‘why’ now is to erase our family’s debt, save for my children’s education, and purchase a trailer/cottage for my whole family to use. I am so thankful for the opportunities that I have been given and I am so excited and glad that I get to dream big dreams like these!