Charrise McCrorey is the founder of Emergence Business Coaching and co-founder of CoQuora, both coaching and consulting firms.
She is the very first member of HeadQuarters at Ignition Park. Charrise moved to Elkhart, Indiana in 1991 and has been a Hoosier ever since. Most people know her by the purple in her hair, but we know her as someone who is passionate and strives to make the world a better place!
We hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we have. Now it’s time for the fun part, the Q&A session….
What made you decide to open your own business? I was a ‘job hopper’ who loved change. I moved from job to job and eventually landed at the Elkhart Truth. The short story is the stress of that job almost killed me and then I got fired. I couldn’t imagine working that hard for someone else’s dream ever again, so I started my first business.
As a business owner what is the biggest obstacle to overcome? For me it’s managing the cash flow. Cash is king and learning how to manage the flow of cash coming in and out of the business is key.
Why did you choose HeadQuarters? I have a flexible business which allows me to work from anywhere. I’ve leased my own office space three separate times over the past 10 years, and decided I was giving too much energy to maintaining my space. I’ve also worked from my home but found various distractions. I was ready to simplify. I love how HeadQuarters offers zero stress and worries. I can come in, set up and get right to work with zero hassle.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs? Establish a great support system, whether it’s a business coach, a mentor or friends and family. Hire someone who can be your thinking partner, someone who has different strengths than you have. There is no substitute for having someone in your corner to share the joys and challenges of entrepreneurship. You don’t have to do it alone.
What is next for you? I’m working on several projects, including a new interior design startup. Everything I do is related to making lives better, whether it’s building community, designing space, or designing a life. I use my creative problem solving talent to execute conscious solutions to some of the world’s stickiest problems.
Charrise McCrorey is someone to watch, as her work in positive change, creative entrepreneurship, and design is making a significant difference in the lives of people and communities. For more information check out www.coquora.com and www.coachcharrise.com.
I had the honor to sit down with one of our founding members Angie Anderson, owner and event coordinator of Belle Behind the Ball, to discuss what it’s like to start your own small business.
Angie moved to South Bend from New Jersey in the fall of 2006. It seemed like the stars were perfectly aligned to make the move for Angie. She and her brother sold their trucking company in New Jersey and she married the man of her dreams who happened to be from South Bend. New to the area and no job, Angie with the support of her husband decided to follow her dreams and start her own event planning business.
Angie started Belle Behind the Ball in April of 2007. She knew that event planning, especially weddings, was something that she loved and had always dreamed of doing. Wasting no time at all, Angie started networking and getting her name out there. She knew that not being from the area was going to be a huge disadvantage, but knew that with hard work and dedication she could accomplish what she needed to do.
Now time for the fun part, our Q&A…
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start their own business?
It is HARD. Starting your own business is hard, take how hard you think it’s going to be a multiply that by a hundred. Now having said that, the stress, blood (not literally…yet!), sweat and tears is completely worth it at the end of the day. But knowing that you made it through the day doing something that you love and something that you have fought so hard for is worth it. Make sure you stick with it and remember that your dream is worth every hurdle you will ever face.
What hurdles have you faced as a small business owner?
Starting Belle Behind the Ball in 2007 when the economy was down was definitely a big hurdle to overcome. Another big obstacle that I had to face was being new to the area. Not being from the Michiana area proves to be difficult when you are trying to start an event planning business.
How did you overcome these hurdles?
I put myself out there and networked A LOT! Not being from the area I had to leave my comfort zone and really put myself out there to achieve my dream. I also made sure to stick with everything, even when things got difficult, I knew I had to keep pushing forward.
Why did you choose HeadQuarters?
HeadQuarters was the perfect solution for me. I was not looking for a full time office (I’ve tried that and it just wasn’t worth it for me). I was looking for something where I could separate work life and home life. I needed a professional, unique space that was eye appealing just like my weddings. Having the ability to choose how many hours a month I want to use the space just made sense for what I was looking for.
Anything special you would like to add?
Follow your heart, if starting your own business is something you want to do, jump in and go for it. It is worth all of the hurdles and ups and downs. I have been lucky to work with some of the most genuine and sweetest people. It makes doing what I do worth it.
We are honored to have Angie as one of our founding members and we cannot wait to watch her business continue to grow and thrive. Please follow Angie on Facebook (www.facebook.com/BelleBehindtheBall.com) or check out her website at www.bellebehindtheball.com and keep an eye out for the launch of her Virtual Wedding Planner, coming 2017.
For the past two months, HeadQuarters has had the pleasure of being the homebase for the students and mentors of St. Joe CEO. The St. Joe CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) program is designed for high school seniors to immerse themselves in the basics of conceptualizing, starting and running a small business.
The program is open to any St. Joseph County high school senior. Students apply to the program through a written request, letters of recommendation and an entrepreneurial profile. Submissions are reviewed and selected by a board made up of representatives from businesses, community and education. The board looks for students with a good work ethic and students who are trustworthy.
The class is yearlong and meets Monday thru Friday from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM at different business throughout the year. The class provides students with four high school credits along with the opportunity to obtain six dual credits through Ivy Tech.
This years class has thirty-four students and some amazing mentors. Mentors for the program come from all different aspects of the business community. The job of the mentor is to immerse the student into real life learning experiences along with the opportunity to take risks. The program asks mentors to meet with the students outside of the classroom and to review their individual business plans. The job of the mentor is to share their time, experience and expertise with these like minded young entrepreneurs.
This program is in year number two here in St. Joseph County and will be around for many years to come. As a community we should all be showing our support for this amazing group of kids because they truly are our future.
To get more information on how to get involved, whether it’s being a mentor or providing a meeting space for this great group please check out their website at www.stjoeceo.org.
The holidays are quickly approaching and that means that even the most productive and focused people tend to get distracted. The holidays tend to shift our focus to family, traveling and well presents! With the recent success of coworking spaces, being able to get work done during the holidays is now just a little bit easier.
Coworking spaces allow for entrepreneurs to leave the distraction of the holidays at home and “plug and create” at a space that is not only professional but also innovative. Professionals like to be around like minded people and coworking allows for that to happen in one easy and convenient spot.
Here at HeadQuarters we understand that professionals travel and let’s face it we all travel a little more at the holidays. But we also know that work does not stop because the holidays are here and we are traveling. So we partnered up with the Indiana Coworking Passport to help make travel and work just a little easier (and we wanted to be a part of such a cool and beneficial organization).
The Indiana Coworking Passport allows for members of HeadQuarters at Ignition Park to work one day a month at other participating coworking spaces for FREE, that’s right FREE! You think our space is innovative and resourceful , you should check out some of the other spaces throughout the state of Indiana. To see all of the participating spaces please check out their website at www.indianacoworkingpassport.com
A huge thank you to the Michiana Partnership for featuring HeadQuarters Coworking as their property highlight. There are a lot of great things happening in the greater Michiana area and we are excited to be one of those great things!