Claire Collis is our first Entrepreneur in Residence
Since I decided to open this coworking space it has been my mission to connect female entrepreneurs with the help and support that they need to start and scale their businesses. I am always coming across women who have the exact skillset that other women I know need to help move their business forward.
It was after a discussion with Claire Collis, who I run The Tribe Online membership with, that we decided to launch a new initiative. Starting this month we will have an Entrepreneur in Residence here at The Tribe. I’m not talking literally, they aren’t going to live here of course. But much like an artist-in-residence we will recruit a person with a specific skill or attribute to provide advice and support for our community within their area of expertise.
This will provide our community with access to trusted sources of knowledge and experience at a preferential rate. The entrepreneur in residence will put together a bespoke package aimed at serving the needs of The Tribe community.
In return, they will get to be an integral part of our community whilst in Residence. They will get exposure to a whole new audience who may not already know about them. They will get to build trust with our members. It’s also a pretty impressive thing to put on your CV!
For this first round, Claire has agreed to be our Entrepreneur in Residence while we test out the process out and nail down exactly how it will work to maximise the return for everyone involved.
Claire will fill the position until the end of 2020. After this, we will be looking for our next Entrepreneur in Residence. If you feel that you have something of value that you can offer to the community, please get in touch.
I have quizzed Claire for everyone who doesn’t know her through The Tribe Online so that you can get to know her a little better.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi, I’m Claire. I am from and live in Torbay, but in normal times I would be spending most of my time travelling, going on adventures, working from my laptop in coworking places, coffee shops and quite often from my bed. I read a lot, enjoy scuba diving (in warm places), eating (pretty much anything) and am looking forward to my crazy cat lady early retirement plans.
And a little about your career journey?
My career journey to date is probably best described as ‘varied’. It might seem a little bit random to most people. I originally trained in Environmental Science and Law. I ended up moving to the education sector after falling into a sewer. It’s a long story but I believe it was a shove from the Universe. I then spent about a decade working as a teacher, teacher trainer and learning technologist; creating online courses, an internal training platform and teaching English as a Foreign Language.
So what do you do now?
Now I run my own company, supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners to showcase their knowledge and expertise by creating online courses and books. A lot of the work I do is around strategy and people’s mindset blocks. I coach people through the resistance they often feel about being ‘the expert’.
How long have you been an entrepreneur and what made you decide to go down this route?
I’m not sure when I started my first entrepreneurial venture. There’s been a range of ‘somethings’ outside of work that I’ve been working on for years. But I left my full-time job to focus on my own business in 2018. The dream of having more freedom in my work was what finally made me take the leap.
What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?
Utter chaos usually! Not really. Sometimes it does feel a bit chaotic trying to be all of the things. But it also means that I can spend my time as I choose. I can focus on what’s important to me and that I get to work with the most amazing clients, in ways that truly help and support them. I think that idea of freedom and choice, combined with the opportunities for creativity are some of the best parts of entrepreneurship.
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt so far since you started your own business?
There are so many lessons, most of which are things that I didn’t see coming when initially I headed down this route. One that surprised me was just how isolating starting a business can be. I wish I had known to make finding a network of support a priority, early on. There is absolutely no reason why anyone needs to do it all by themselves. But this isn’t something I would have listened to when I was starting out!
What is the biggest challenge you find in running your business?
For me, this is always focusing on the right thing, right now. I am great at delegating to my future self and getting stuff that isn’t a priority done first. Neither of which help me achieve much.
What is your business superpower?
I hate this question. It can be so difficult to get perspective on yourself. I am good at spotting opportunities and connections between ideas. Also because I read so much, I have a fairly broad knowledge base. This is useful in all kinds of ways.
What does success mean to you?
What success means to me has changed so much since I started my business. Right back at the start, this would have been tied to how much I was earning more than anything else. Now, the fact that I can take time off when I want to, schedule in nap time and choose who I work with all make me feel pretty successful.
As our first Entrepreneur in Residence, how will you be able to help our community?
Well thanks for having me. This community means a lot to me so it is great to be able to give something back. I’m offering low-cost business coaching to the community because having someone to talk things through with is invaluable at many stages of business development, and sometimes hard to come by. I’ll also be offering a reduced rate on my About Page copywriting service because most of us are terrible at showcasing ourselves but as a small business owner or freelancer our stories are how we connect to our customers.
What should people know about working with you?
I was struggling to answer this question so I asked my Mum. She said that I am “friendly and supportive and very knowledgeable, have a vast amount of experience and expertise and that I won’t let people avoid the hard stuff if working through it is what’s going to move their business forwards”. Take that to mean what you.
If you would like to be considered as our next Entrepreneur in Residence, please email Stacey
If you would like to find out more about the support that Claire is offering to our community over the next few months, please click below.
Stacey Sheppard is the founder of The Tribe, a small community-driven coworking space in Totnes that caters to creative, growth-oriented female entrepreneurs by providing an inspiring working environment designed to foster collaboration, connection and community.