Answers By: Katy Tynan, Managing Partner, MindBridge Partners
How long have you been in business?
I’ve been working for myself for nearly 10 years.
Why have you chosen to dedicate yourself to this particular business/industry?
I launched a consulting firm to help companies and educational institutions leverage technology and people to do great things in a flexible, cost effective way. I have always loved technology, and I see the power that it has to offer in terms of allowing people and businesses to do great things. But there is still a lot of anxiety and lack of understanding around how to use technology efficiently. I realized that I had found the right business for me when clients responded to my work in such a positive way. Being able to help craft solutions that are flexible, creative, cost-effective, and that make people’s lives easier in incredibly rewarding for me.
What makes business/product unique?
I have two projects that I work on, both of which are unique. The first is MindBridge Partners, which is a consulting firm that helps businesses and educational institutions leverage technology to do innovative things. We are unique because we have a team that includes great technology consultants, as well as subject matter experts in areas like higher education administration, content creation, business strategy, etc. We also have a full stack software development team. So we can not only help clients figure out what they want to do to advance their organization, but we can help them execute on those strategies in a really practical way.
My second product is really a labor of love more than a revenue product. I run a website called indieworking which is a community for people who work for themselves. I find resources, talk to smart people who are working independently, and list communities where people who want to work for themselves can find support. It’s something I wished existed when I started my business, so I do it because I still love being part of that community of independent professionals.
You could have worked for anyone and would have been successful, why become an entrepreneur?
I’m a terrible employee. I realized that about myself about 10 years ago. I never want to just do my job, I always want to get involved in every part of an organization. I don’t like job descriptions, and I always end up feeling restricted and limited when I try to fit myself into an employee mindset. So for me it’s not that I became an entrepreneur, it’s that I realized I had always been one and I reached the point where I could do that as my “job”.
What was your last, “why did I go into business for myself” moment?
Any time I feel frustrated with working for myself (and there are moments), I always ask if I would rather go back and have a job. The answer is always no. I could have a job anytime I wanted to go look for one. But the truth is that even with ups and downs of revenue, or days when I work long hours or have a tough conversation with a client, I still prefer the independence and the variety to having a job.
Every female entrepreneur should have:
A support network of other entrepreneurs, her own personal bank account, and a solid understanding of how technology works.
If you could steal some business mojo from another mogul, who would it be and why?
I think it’s truly important to understand what you do best, and then surround yourself with people who bring other perspectives and talents to the table. With that said, I’d pick Richard Branson as the person I’d most like to work with. He has such a positive attitude about entrepreneurship and life, and I would love to collaborate with him.
If you could give other entrepreneurs three tips, what would they be?
- Have a plan along with your idea (ideas are great but they go nowhere without solid execution)
- Don’t be surprised when the plan doesn’t work
- Think up a new plan.
Has there been a piece of technology or software that has been a lifesaver to you?
I love technology in all its forms. I think the best things that have happened over the last 5 years are low cost cloud based backup solutions, and inexpensive high bandwidth internet access. These two things are helping more entrepreneurs get things done than ever before.
What is your goal for the next year?
I am looking forward to finding new ways to bring people and technology together, especially in the education space. I truly believe that we are on the brink of a change in lifelong learning practices, and I’m looking forward to being part of bringing learning opportunities to more people through technology.
When someone is telling their friend about your business, what do you hope they say?
I hope they say “you should talk to Katy, and if she can’t help you, she’ll find someone who can”. I don’t mind if my business is not the right solution for someone. I always want to help people connect with the resources and support they need. I think everyone should have the chance to see their idea become successful, but it takes hard, hard work, a great network, and a lot of support. Did I mention hard work? But creating something, especially something that helps other people, is more rewarding than any other work you can do.