Dynamic Foundations Institute Presents The 2020 Entrepreneur Showcase featuring Female Founders
Welcome to DFI’s interview series, featuring female founders. Today our interview focuses on Bri Crow, a multiple business owner based, in Dallas, Texas. Bri is a powerhouse of an entrepreneur taking the world by storm. Read on and learn more about Bri’s businesses and how she is navigating the issues facing many entrepreneurs, including Covid-19.
DFI: So, tell me about yourself? What is your background or passion that led you to start your business?
BC: I am originally am from the Austin area, I graduated from Dripping Springs High School and then went to Texas Tech University where I got my Bachelor’s degree in Photojournalism. When I moved to Dallas in 2011, I was just beginning my professional journey without much clarity of what was in store. I had a hard time envisioning what my life would look like – much like a lot of my peers who entered the workforce during a national financial crisis. In particular for me though, I couldn’t picture myself working in a corporate enterprise environment but I didn’t understand why. When I look back though, my grandfather was a successful business owner and I can think of several family members who had their own business or “side hustles” – my parents included. But, being an entrepreneur was never something I had planned! Little did I realize how natural the transition would be to go from, “dedicated hard worker with big ideas,” to, “business owner,” would be.
Before starting my business(es), I’m grateful for the years I spent honing my skills, building trusted relationships and a foundational understanding of the technology industry, as well as staffing and recruiting. Now, my passions collide between being a catalyst, connector and creative working in tech, entrepreneurial and diversity and inclusion ecosystems. Over the years, I came to realize there is a big opportunity to transform the way that small to medium-sized businesses recruit, interview and hire tech-savvy talent for long-term sustainable growth. Today, my business ventures mirror a combination of my hobbies, passions and professional experiences to serve both small and medium-size businesses, as well as well-known individuals.
DFI: What do you think your unique skill(s) is/are that has/have helped you become successful?
BC: A willingness to put in hard work and insatiable curiosity – that’s it, truly. I think I am still on an upward trajectory towards success, there is a lot more I want to do before I’d say I’m successful but I think to have even gotten to where I am today…it took taking calculated risks, putting in the time and effort, and constantly trying to not only learn about the industry enough to identify gaps/opportunity but also learning from those who I surrounded myself with.
Today, my business ventures mirror a combination of my hobbies, passions and professional experiences to serve both small and medium-size businesses, as well as well-known individuals.
DFI: Based on your experience during this startup time, what wisdom could you impart to other upcoming women entrepreneurs?
BC: Your ability is your stability. And by ability, I really mean…trusting yourself. Having trust and confidence in your abilities is what brings stability (and peace of mind), especially in what may feel like scary, risky or uncertain times. Working hard and believing in myself is the single most consistent habit that has helped me stand-out and it’s something we all have access to. I saw this quote on a t-shirt the other day I loved it, “Confidence is a habit, not a trait.”
Starting a business, becoming 100% self-employed, was absolutely terrifying…but also wildly exciting.
DFI: What is your business offering during its normal operating state?
- Human Dimensions: Serves SMB’s by bringing a multi-dimensional approach to inclusive recruiting and hiring of technical talent for sustainable growth.
- Bri Crow Creative Studios: Serves business and individuals with original and authentic photography, copywriting, brand elements and on-air personality.
- Local & Thriving: Serves an audience interested in an #InclusiveEconomy through weekly live video sessions and podcast episodes featuring local business owners, community leaders, and subject matter experts.
Your ability is your stability. And by ability, I really mean…trusting yourself.
DFI: What does the business currently look like, in terms of customers and product or service offering, now that we have a pandemic that has shuttered businesses?
BC: Since COVID entered our lives, it’s been a whirlwind of working to understand where our clients are. Are they busier than normal, being able to maintain as normal or slower, if not stopped entirely, than what is considered normal? I would say the pandemic has instilled even further the importance of diversifying your sources of income and revenue streams.
My photography business came to a halt as photoshoots were put on hold – luckily, none were canceled though (it’s worth noting the type of photography I do would not traditionally be labeled as a “luxury” and instead is mostly a “necessity” type). In late May and early June, I’ve seen that come back to life and we’ve updated operating procedures and implemented necessary precautions.
For Human Dimensions (formerly TBO Ventures), I had some clients place a hold on all hiring decisions until they could suss out their needs and new-normal. Other clients who were able to pivot quickly and actually saw an uptick in business, continued to interview and hire even for executive-level positions.
There have been several overall noticeable changes during this time ranging from: identifying new service offering opportunities, spending time to work on things that had been on a to-do list for far too long, and most importantly getting closer to clients by truly making an effort to serve them whether it was offering pro-bono services, discussing price concessions or sending them surprise treats.
I would say the pandemic has instilled even further the importance of diversifying your sources of income and revenue streams.
DFI: All businesses will inevitably face some financial hardships. What steps have you implemented in your business to guard against these hardships?
BC: Of, this is still very much a work in progress for me – it’s intimidating honestly, but also very satisfying when you make a decision or gain clarity where you didn’t have it before. There’s something I found value in doing after listening to Tim Ferris (Bestselling Author, Podcaster, Entrepreneur, Investor) where he talks about “Fear-Setting”. It’s something I apply in my life, business and especially financial conversations.
Recently though, I’ve tried to focus on identifying and understanding: the opportunities through different loan options right now, where to invest time and energy when it comes to applications, and the different approaches banks, CPA’s, and financial consultants take so I can determine who is right for me to work with. So, continuing with lot’s of exploratory conversations and attending webinars for me!
Though I’ll also re-iterate, I think diversifying sources of income is something that has definitely helped me guard against financial hardships.
DFI: What does the future look like for you and your business?
BC: So many things I’m excited about! New websites to be launched soon, hiring contract resources to help scale from an operational standpoint, and hopefully seeing the results of hard work over the last 9 months that has brought about clarity, consistency and brand elevation.
All of that to say though, every day right now is a grind…it’s hard to stay motivated, focused and excited when there is so much pain, turmoil, public health issues, and uncertainty…but, I am trusting the process and making a conscious effort to take care of myself, educate myself and grow as a human so I can be a better business owner.
Dynamic Foundations Institute is a place where all entrepreneurs, regardless of education level, business experience, financial status, or whatever, can receive assistance to make their companies grow. Large companies typically have tons of money to hire external experts to help them start new companies and sources for information. Small businesses don’t have that luxury. This is where DFI can help. We know how to help small businesses because we are a small business. We provide high-quality services that fit within the budget for small and medium-sized businesses. So regardless of the type of business you have or intend to start, we all need a foundation. This foundation needs to be strong yet dynamic. We are here help provide institutional learning and consultation services in a welcoming environment. Review our courses or contact us regarding consulting services today!