With Thanksgiving three days away, it is only appropriate to feature someone who I am thankful for. Melissa K. Jones fits the bill. I met Melissa a few months ago when I attended her Creative Chics, Coffee and Collaborations networking event, and not only has this group changed the way in which I think of – and run – my business, but has also introduced me to a group of 100+ creative, intelligent women who own businesses, as well. Melissa is innovative, savvy and encouraging, and I am thrilled to share with you everything she does and what inspires her to run her two businesses.
If you are new to CoChic Cool Chicks, every Monday I feature a woman entrepreneur who inspires me, who I am lucky enough to have in my girl boss network. These women are doing great things and whether you aspire to be an entrepreneur or not, I hope that they inspire you to do great things, too. I encourage you to check out their businesses, websites, and social media. And reach out to them, ask them questions, say hello. They’d love to hear from you!
What are your businesses?
· theCEOffice – A boutique coaching and consulting firm for women entrepreneurs and small business owners
· Creative Chics, Coffee & Collaborations – A community of creative entrepreneurs who empower and encourage other women through events for education and networking
What made you decide to start your businesses?
I started theCEOffice because I saw there was a need for leadership coaching in the creative entrepreneurial industry. I have a passion for creating strong teams and helping others perform at their best. With 13 years of leadership experience in various capacities it was the perfect opportunity to start my consulting business. I am based in Chicago and serve clients nationwide.
I started Creative Chics because I desired to surround myself with women entrepreneurs and small business owners that were positive and ambitious. Since the community was founded in Chicago in January of 2015 it has organically grown as members have invited their friends and colleagues. We host events nationwide in 7 different markets with more to come in 2016!
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
I love the opportunity that it creates for personal and professional growth. Being a small business owner many times you are navigating unchartered territory for the first time. The thrill of taking risks, learning, overcoming challenges, and sense of accomplishment are so rewarding!
What is the most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur?
The most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur is refining your services and internal processes. Many times you are creating and learning along the way. However you have to go back and refine in order to allow room for new growth.
What is your best piece of business advice?
Choose respect over being liked. It is so easy to get caught up in popularity, likes, and pleasing people. When we do that we lose ourselves, others, and what is important to us. Know who you are, what you stand for, and be confident. When people respect you, you will go farther and your influence will be greater.
Do you have any tricks of the trade you could share with us?
Organization is everything. Have systems in place to manage your appointments, emails, projects, and tasks. It makes it easier for you and your team to operate successfully. It also shows that you respect other people’s time and efforts.
How would you describe your personal style?
Timeless. Simple pieces that can be mixed and matched. I love black, white, and grey separates for everyday. If it is a special occasion then I prefer a jewel toned dress.
What does being CoChic (comfortably chic) mean to you?
It means being confidently stylish. It means wearing what works well for your body and not always following trends.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Invest in great clothing and take care of it. Sometimes you must pay more to get better quality. If it is a trendy accessory then I won’t spend that much on it since it will only last the season. If it is something that I want to wear for several years then I will pay more. I always think of it from a cost per number of wears perspective.
If you are interested in being featured as a CoChic Cool Chick or know someone who would, comment below or contact me!