On this week’s Feature Friday, we invited Felena Hanson to share her inspiring story. Felena was pushed into being an entrepreneur after getting laid off from her high tech corporate job in San Diego. Check out more of her story below.
(PS. Do you want to be featured next? Find out how at the bottom of this post!)
My father has been an entrepreneur for over 40 years and I was able to witness first-hand the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship. I knew that venturing off on my own would be a struggle but I also knew it was something I had to do.
Hera Hub grew out of my personal need for flexible work, meeting, and event space.
I found myself pushed into entrepreneurship after being laid off from a Marketing Director position with a San Diego based high tech company in 2003.
I launched a marketing strategy consulting firm and found it convenient and cost effective to work from home. Yet, after a couple years I found working from home to be, at times, distracting and isolating. Shortly after launching my consulting practice, I took on a leadership position with several professional women’s organizations. In these roles, I found myself consistently challenged to secure cost-effective, fitting event and workshop space for monthly meetings.
I was turned on to the concept of coworking in 2010, when I hosted a networking event at San Diego’s first coworking space, the Hive Haus. It was just a couple weeks later when I was triggered to take action after seeing a banner ad on www.LadiesWhoLaunch.com for an “all-women” workspace in NYC. I began to really study the model, visiting coworking spaces in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. It took me approximately 12 months from the time I decided to move forward with the launch of Hera Hub to the point where I completed my business plan, secured financing (which came from my personal savings and a loan from a close family member), and solidified my first location.
In the business of coworking, location is key. The commercial real estate process was much more complex and challenging than I ever imagined. I had two strikes against me: a new business and a new concept… no one wanted to take a risk. After six months of negotiation and two failed lease negotiations (both in the eleventh hour), the third time really was a charm! Through the help of my strongly built network and my tenacious broker, I was finally able to secure close to 5,000 square feet in a very desirable location. Tenacity and my support system really made this business get off the ground. Don’t ever give up on your (strongly vetted) ideas…be patient and trust that good things will happen.
Think BIGGER. I often hear “I just want to make enough money to pay my bills and provide for my family.” While I think that is a wonderful and legitimate goal, I encourage entrepreneurs to think bigger which means sustainability through scaling. It’s crucial for entrepreneurs to think about the big, hairy, audacious goal and build a business around that idea from the very beginning. It sets the tone for your thinking, building, and innovating. Very few entrepreneurs truly understand scale; this is something I have learned and adopted through our expansion.
Scaling isn’t just something for entrepreneurs, it’s for traditional employees.
Scaling is all about building something large; sometimes that means your thought leadership vs. starting a business. This is a vital component to your professional journey, no matter what path you’re on.
Hera Hub is a spa-inspired, shared workspace for female entrepreneurs. This flexible work and meeting space provides a productive work environment for women who primarily work from home. Hera Hub members have access to professional space to meet with clients and to connect and collaborate with like-minded business owners, thus giving them the support they need to be prosperous.
PS. Want to be our next featured woman entrepreneur? Click here to submit your feature story!
Are you ready to build a business you love and just need a step-by-step plan and a supportive community to help you get there? Join the Young Women Entrepreneurs Club now!