Business Bobcat Entrepreneurs: Kelly Weber (’03)
Tuesday, November 7 2017 12:00am
Get to know Business Bobcat alumna Kelly Weber, owner of The Wander Project and Found Staffing Agency. Learn about her journey as an entrepreneur.
Kelly Weber BBA ’03 is a proud bobcat and owner of two businesses based in the Pacific Northwest including The Wander Project (Wander), a woman-owned executive coaching and leadership development practice and Found Staffing Agency (Found), a women-owned change staffing and strategy-based management consulting firm.
1. What inspired you to develop your companies Found Staffing Agency (Found) & The Wander Project? How did your businesses come to fruition?
I am most energized by developing others and have always been highly motivated by autonomy. Even when I was young, I knew I would eventually start my own business. Although, I never said anything about starting multiple! Both of my companies, Found Staffing Agency (Found) and The Wander Project (Wander), were born out of my pursuit of fulfillment, not achievement. The rewards are substantial and of no comparison and I feel like I’m just getting started!
2. What's one obstacle that you’ve faced as an entrepreneur. How did you overcome it?
Only one?! There’s been so many. One lesson I would share is accepting the fact that it will be messy. Period. Starting, owning, and running a business is a series of big, unexpected waves that you must get on and ride, otherwise they’ll crash right through you. You overcome “the waves” by surrendering to them rather than forcing, fighting or trying to figure out how to do or control it all. It’s not going to happen. You have to work with what comes your way, not against it. The reality is, you don't do entrepreneurism, you practice it.
3. What motivates you to have an impact on others every day?
Whether I’m coaching, consulting or speaking, what motivates me is knowing that what I create with others has a cascading effect on the bigger picture, not just the individual. When coming from a place of authenticity, my work with others can impact a person’s family, friends, peers, organization, and the communities that they serve. Bottom-line, we are always having an impact on the whole, whether intended or unintended. The key is being aware of and intentional with our impact.
4. How did your experience at OHIO prepare you for entrepreneurship?
My time at OHIO was such an incredible learning experience and I had so many opportunities to explore what I wanted to do to determine the right fit for me. Whether it was through ongoing support from my professors, community groups, peers, or the Athens community, the collective positive energy allowed me to get closer to who am and ultimately, what I am here to do.
5. What are three tips for success that you can share for aspiring entrepreneurs?
1. Get to know your “leader within”. This requires you to really get to know yourself and be willing to look at the deep dark scary spots as well. It’s important to get curious about who you are, where you keep yourself small, and where you have opportunities to play big. The sooner you realize that you are in control of only one person in your life, yourself, the more you’ll be able to tap into your leader within and better align to your purpose in this world.
2. Focus on your strengths and chase what brings you energy. Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean it’s a strength of yours. If it sucks the life out of you, it’s not a strength as a strength should make you feel strong! The more attention you put into nurturing and growing the things that light you up and bring you energy, the more fulfilling and meaningful your life and work will be.
3. Mind who you’re being while doing. Growing up in a large family, I was always such a doer and restless hyper-achiever, however it never served my authentic self. Now I spend far more time and energy focusing on who I am being while doing and it has made all the difference. It’s not about getting it right, or doing it perfectly. It’s about being authentic and fully expressed while you are doing something. As Joseph Campbell so eloquently put it, “the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
6. What is your favorite place to visit at the Ohio University Athens campus?
To this day, there’s still something quite nostalgic about driving up to OHIO from Richland Avenue where you see the entire campus in all its glory. It feels like coming home.
The Center for Entrepreneurship will welcome Kelly Weber to campus in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Don’t miss her keynote speech “Leading from Your Strengths” on Tuesday, November 14th from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.