On Taking Entrepreneurial Risks: Aimy Steadman
Leading up to our Winter ‘19 iteration of WORK, we'll feature select interviews with some of our conference's speakers and thought leaders. In this interview, entrepreneur Aimy Steadman explores taking risks. Click here for a look at Winter 2019’s conference schedule.
Aimy Steadman is the Co-Founder and COO of BeatBox Beverages. She is a double-Longhorn, earning both her B.S. in Advertising and M.B.A. at the University of Texas at Austin. Aimy co-founded BeatBox while pursuing her MBA in entrepreneurship. Her past experience includes working in online marketing at agencies and in-house at the Central TX Food Bank, running her own online marketing agency, and helping run the UT-based start-up incubator Texas Venture Labs.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Loving, ambitious and efficient.
How do you approach concepts of "work-life balance?" Does that term mean anything to you?
My goal with being an entrepreneur was to be able to be myself all day, instead of clocking in and out of being myself. That said, I work all the time, and my personal life weaves in and out of my work all the time. My boyfriend and I make fun trips out of my work travel, I walk my dogs during conference calls, and sometimes I have to work all weekend doing boring stuff for work—and it sucks. But I'm lucky to have a really great support group. My business partners are my best friends. Many of my other friends, my parents and my partner are all also entrepreneurs, so my people get what I’m going through.
How do you approach working with others?
With empathy. I try to treat internal and external audiences like customers. I come from an agency background so that's something I brought with me.
What advice do you have for starting/switching career paths?
Take people to lunches and coffee and ask everyone about their jobs—don’t be embarrassed to ask tons of questions. Just get going. If you do it now, in five years you'll be five years into it. And five years goes fast!
Have you ever experienced a form of career uncertainty? If so, how did you overcome it?
I think it's pretty much assumed at this point to me that change will happen, so just pick a direction and head that way, and learn along the way. My biggest uncertainty was whether to do BeatBox or be a co-founder of another startup that already had funding, customers, and a built in 6-figure salary. I chose BeatBox because we had just gotten some traction and I wanted to see where it would go. I chose the riskier option because I recognized I was in the season of life to take bigger risks. (And it sounded more fun.)
What makes you resilient? (Resilience is the ability to withstand tough conditions and recover when things are difficult.)
Self-compassion and a supportive community—and a lot of practice going through hard times and making it through. That has built confidence for me.
About WORK: WORK is a biannual pop-up space, designed for sharing new ideas and approaches to creative and entrepreneurial work. The event's panels, workshops and speaker sessions explore personal and professional curiosity, storytelling, diversity and equality, business management and creative entrepreneurship. Our next conference pops up in July 2019 at Rowling Hall in Austin, Texas. ✨Click here for more information.