Let’s get the basics out of the way. Who are you? Where are you from?I am Lanel Taylor of Hayden, Idaho. I am the Founder and CEO of Lanel Taylor Business Solutions, www.laneltaylor.com .
When and why was your business started? I started my business ten years ago in August of 2002. My business began as a favor to a former employer who needed some help cleaning up a mess his previous bookkeeper had made. From there I realized I enjoyed what I was doing and pushed forward. My business allowed me to fulfill a dream of going back to school. It also allowed me to move from the area I grew up to north Idaho.
What do you love about being a female entrepreneur? I love that I have control of my success and where I go with my business.
How did you launch your business and/or dream? My business kind of started by accident. I enjoyed what I was doing and God put all the pieces together leading me down that path. I realized I liked what I was doing so I pursued it into a full-time gig. I’ve recently transitioned from a solo-bookkeeping firm to having a team which allows me to focus on business coaching with other female business owners. To pursue my passion of helping other female business owners I’ve brought on some team members to assist me with my bookkeeping clients to allow me time to focus on marketing and creating my new programs.
How do you stay inspired? Organizations and the people I work with in them help keep me inspired. Working with other people and supporting other people in their businesses inspires me to keep moving forward.
What are the biggest challenges you have overcome as a female entrepreneur? Thinking I’m now worth what I really am worth. I have a tendency to think I “charge too much”.
What is your BIG DREAM for your business – what do you hope will happen? My dream is to focus more on coaching and mentoring other female entrepreneurs. That is where my passion lies and what brings me satisfaction. I am confident it is where God has led me and helping other women achieve their full potential is very important to me.
How do you incorporate your faith into your business? I run my business the way I live my life. I am open about my faith and strive to live be an example.
What are you favorite biblical parallels and verses that encourage you? Why? Proverbs 22:1 “Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.” This verse has really been the basis for how I run my business, my reputation is what has built my business for the last 10 years. I will most likely never have my dream home but I do have my reputation and that’s really what matters the most.
A few other verses that really help and keep me going are Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” and Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
What one woman epitomizes (for you) a picture of Christian Entrepreneurial Leadership? One woman that inspired me to be a strong business woman was my grandmother. She also taught me some of the things I didn’t want to be as a business woman and made me realize that my reputation was more important that financial success. As far as a Christian female entrepreneur Diane Cunningham has been a huge influence on me. After meeting and working with her I realized that I hadn’t had many strong Christian business women in my life. The biggest Christian entrepreneurial influence though has actually been my brother. We have worked together since he began his business 12 years ago. Over the years he has taught me a lot about business and, most importantly, what it means to be a Christian businessperson.
How do you promote/market your business? I market completely online. My programs and everything I have done with my business have
What is the biggest risk that you have taken in your business? Has it paid off?
In my ten years in business I have taken two big risks. Seven years ago I started the process of moving 1,000 miles from the where I grew up. Which also meant moving 1,000 miles from where my clients were located. I felt God calling me to move and trusted that he’d make it work. It did, I took my business completely virtual and it has been the best thing that happened.
About a year ago I took my next big risk, I decided to change my focus from what I had been doing to business coaching and mentoring. I realized that while I made the income I was completely unfulfilled in what I was doing and with a lot of urging from the Lord and a big push from one of my business mentors I moved forward with that. Has it paid off, yes and no. I’m still in the process of making establishing myself in this new area but every step of the way I’ve felt God confirming that I’m on the right path so I keep moving forward. I have achieved finding something that I’m passionate about so, I guess it has paid off.
What risk do you need to take now? I need to keep moving forward with the programs and events that I’ve been planning. I need to keep my focus on the new path I’m on and make it successful. I need to not take the easy road and trust that if I’m doing what God created me to do then I am doing the right thing.
What tips would you share with a friend setting out on her own entrepreneurial adventure?
1. Keep going! Even when the road gets tough (and it WILL get tough), keep going!
2. Failure isn’t a reason to stop. Failure is inevitable, if you’re taking risks you will not always succeed. But, don’t stop. Look at failures as a fork in the road and keep going — often it will lead to something better.
3. Be couragous! Courage is not the lack of fear, courage is accepting that you’re afraid and doing it anyway.
What resources and books would you recommend—the ones which have best helped you? One of my absolute favorte books that I recommend to every business person I work with are Gettting Things Done by David Allen and Get Clients Now! by C. J. Hayden. My second recommendations is to get administrative and/or technical help. Finally, hire a mentor or coach — find someone you respect and trust and work with them. If hiring a one-on-one coach is out of your budget then start with a resource group or group coaching.
What do you have coming up? Events? Book Signings? I am currently working on the kick-off of one of my group coaching programs. I’m excited for it to start. I’ve been doing this program for a while but I have changed the format and believe this new format will be even more beneficial to those that participate. I’m also in the midst of planning my first big retreat. I am planning and will facilitate a 2013 Kick-off event in New Orleans in early January. It will be open to a small group of women who want to spend a few days working intensely on goals and plans for the year. I’m really excited about this event!
Tell us about your family and your support group? Personally I’m single with two amazing dogs and a cat. My family all lives nearby and we’re very close. As far as my business support group that would be my brother and some amazing colleagues and friends that I have met through my business networking. Lately my biggest chearleaders and support have come through my MasterMind group (see — one reason I recommend coaching, either one-on-one and group).
Who were/are your mentors? I have had a number of mentors in my business life. One, I mentioned, is my grandmother. She really taught me that it’s OK to be a strong woman. Second, my brother, we have worked together for 12 years. We’ve debated, discussed, planned and pushed each other over the years and each of us has made our own success. Third, a good friend Candy, she has really helped me to see my ability to succeed in my business.
[graybox]Lanel Taylor, 10-year business veteran and creator of the Success Solutions programs utilizes her decade of experiences as an entrepreneur to help other small business owners succeed in their businesses. Lanel teaches a back-to–the-basics approach for getting your business in order so you have the foundation in place to succeed. From there we work to move your business above and beyond so you can find your personal Success Solution.[/graybox]