Interview with Coleen Otero, founder of CEO Chicks
Find out how recovering from a low point, during which she lost her homes, cars, business and assets, inspired Coleen Otero to launch the CEO Chicks network.
What’s your career background?
I have over 20 years of experience in the Beauty and Branding Industry, as a licensed Cosmetologist and Certified Life Coach.
I am a Celebrity Beauty Expert, Branding Strategist, Educator, Motivational Speaker, Author, Entrepreneur, Wife, and Mom. My work has been featured on networks like Bravo, BET, NBC, CBS and more.
How did your career change after having children?
Things progressed in my business after becoming a mother, especially after my second child. I became more particular on the type of clients I worked with. I rebranded to focus on a higher paying clientele in order to increase my service dollars per customer while lowering my amount of customers served.
The quality over quantity approach was a game changer for me. I later started my second business venture when my fourth son was three years old, which is my primary focus today, The CEO Chick Network.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
Many of my business ideas come from looking for solutions to problems. After years of searching for resources, information and affordable business coaching I found myself building a Facebook online community called Get it Girls (GIG) in 2012.
In the midst of recovering from the recession, after losing my homes, cars, business and assets, I found myself at lowest point, but with a determination to rebuild I focused on my faith (my Christianity is important to me) and GIG community.
As time progressed I noticed more and more women with an entrepreneurial spirit like mine began reaching out for advice on how to build and grow their businesses and this is how I started the CEO Chicks network.
How did you move from idea to actual business?
In short you have to create a plan and execute on it.
In 2015 I designed my first CEO Chick T-Shirt, which is my catchphrase to describe for my GIG Community and sold out immediately, I then changed the name of the group to CEO Chicks and the brand was born.
What’s your USP?
The CEO Chick Network focuses on educating, empowering and encouraging women to collaborate, create and dominate in their sphere of influence. Our team offers 1 on 1 coaching, group coaching, downloadable content, virtual courses, live events, networking and more.
Who’s your target audience?
Women between the ages of 25-55, they are savvy, bold and fearless. Women who are leaders in the market place, focused on creating additional streams of income, builders of non profit and for profit organizations, innovators and creatives.
We have an amazing tribe! CEO Chicks focuses on action points and not shortcuts to success, by building a network which empowers women but particularly underrepresented women, Black women and women of colour. We want to address the imbalance of investment and growth across all sectors that women face.
How do you spread the word about what you do?
We spread the word through marketing, social media, live events, and good ole’ word of mouth. Relationship building is key! We’ll be launching our first event in London September 2019 and we cannot WAIT!
What’s been your most successful marketing strategy?
Our free webinars have been very successful! People have a chance to log in at no cost and learn! It has served as a great lead magnet.
What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?
Letting people go when they are not a fit for our organization. Though this is still difficult for me, the process has taught me how to better communicate the needs of our organization and to better vet candidates.
And your proudest moment so far?
My greatest achievement professionally was the launch of my first book, Brand to Bucks, on my birthday August 28, 2018. I was in Europe celebrating my 40th, and my book hit #2 on Amazons Hot New Releases List. It was amazing!
Why is work so important to you?
Women are natural care givers, we have an innate ability to cultivate and multiply what we possess only to share it with those within our reach. I know for a fact that as more women lead, our world will be in a better state.
It is my lifes’ purpose to partner with as many women as I can to help them achieve their goals.
Who inspires you?
My parents who came to the US from Jamaica to build a better life for our family.
How do you balance your work with your family?
Team work! I could not do what I do with out the support of my husband, my parents, siblings, and staff! It truly takes a village!
What are your three top pieces of advice for someone wanting to do something similar?
- Identify your gifts and talents, take the time to master them. Research to understand how they can serve the needs in your market.
- Don’t miss hitting your goals trying to beat your competitors. I had to coach many in this area. It is easy to compare your business with others in you field, the pressure to duplicate what they are doing, how they are doing it can take you off course. Do not waste time attempting to impress your customers that you fail to impact them. Which leads to my third point…
- Listen to your customers. Do not lose existing customers because you are so focused on getting new ones. Master the art of retention, serve your customers.
Find out more about CEO Chicks on their website.