The inspiration to start a business can come from a variety of places. In Caytie’s case, it was born of a desire to create a better life for herself and her kids.
As a single mother of two, she was trying to find a way to be an income earner, manage the kids and not go crazy. So start a business, right??
But that’s exactly what she did. The LaClare Group, a global meeting planning services company, started in 1997 in her basement working part-time, evenings, and weekends until she could let go of her day job. Caytie had held a variety of positions in sales for a conference center, as well as hotel and meeting planning.
“I was going crazy trying to get me ready, get kids out the door (then ages 4 and 6) and not be late for pick-up at daycare,” she said. “It was a constant race against the clock...and God forbid if one of the kids got sick!”
In her “desperate attempt to get control over my life,” she was able to quit her day job just six months in. Dang, girl. She was bringing in enough income and able to stay home with her kids.
“This past year, we’ve all become so accepting of the work-from-home situation. It became the norm. But back then you really had to keep it on the down-low. I had a P.O. box and prayed the dog didn’t bark when I was on the phone with a client.”
Caytie says she didn’t have a grand plan. But as the business began to grow she started taking the natural steps of hiring a part-time position, then a full-time, and a few more after that. Along the way, they carved out a few niche areas such as the medical device industry.
And while things definitely slowed down during the pandemic, they were able to pivot the business to virtual meeting productions which allowed them to broaden the scope of businesses they could serve.
The pandemic also allowed Caytie to focus on another long-time passion of hers: Better Smarter Stronger, a new concept that focuses on helping people evolve to become the best version of themselves. “I wanted to provide inspiration and a ‘community’ to support these efforts.” Click here to learn more: https://www.bettersmarterstronger.com
That’s the thing about entrepreneurs...they are almost never out of ideas!
Her advice for other women? “My advice is to Trust Yourself! There will be 100s of people telling what/how to do it. Trust yourself and bravely move forward.”
Agreed! Thank you, Caytie. It’s been a pleasure working with you.