The First Episode of the Badass CEO podcast is LIVE!
Tara Dowburd is the founder of Make-up Therapy, a luxury, on-location business that boasts an award-winning team of 18 high-level make-up artists and hairstylists. Tara and her team’s work has been flaunted down countless red carpets, viewed on numerous TV shows, and featured in dozens of magazines and beauty & fashion blogs. Based in Los Angeles, they are a preferred vendor for some of California’s finest venues & luxury properties.
Tara became an entrepreneur, turning her passion for make-up and fashion into a go-to Hollywood Beauty Collective, and she shares her lessons learned in this episode.
What does it take to become an entrepreneur?
Number 1, patience. It will take some time for your idea to take off. It took Tara two and a half years to be like, “okay, this is good.” Believe in yourself and know all the hard work is so worth it.
Not everything will always go your way. You need to be willing to fail and have the tenacity grind through the tough times.
Find your passion. In a perfect world, you are passionate and excited about the business you start. For Tara, doing people’s make-up was a hobby. She didn’t realize that it could become a career as a make-up artist and then lead to having her own company with a full team. You never know until you try. Make your passion happen.
Networking in a nutshell
Think about networking as making lasting, personal connections rather than just collecting as many business cards as possible. Try going into networking events to meet three people. Tara’s trick for remembering people is making tons of notes on her phone about something that stands out or something she has in common with them.
Building your team
Tara started her team with two make-up artists she had worked with for years before that she trusted. This piece is critical! The people you hire are a representation of you and your brand. Once you hire the right people, you need to step back as more of an observer, as Tara said. If you are too controlling, then people won’t have the opportunity to be creative. It’s also helpful to build a team with different skill sets. For example, Tara isn’t super tech-savvy, so it was a quality she looked for when hiring a studio manager.
Being your own boss
Making your own schedule is a blessing and a curse. It is on you to be accountable for finishing your work. Some people might assume you can get lunch in the middle of the day or happy hour at 5 pm because you are an entrepreneur. But the truth is, Tara said it perfectly, “When you are working for yourself, you have never worked harder.” Tara stays organized and on track by blocking out her schedule and focusing on one thing for a set amount of time. For example, I set a timer for 45 minutes and go through my emails, and then another for two hours to plan out my social media for the next two weeks. But don’t forget to give yourself breaks and don’t feel bad about taking them. Like everyone else, you need time for yourself. As a mom of 5, taking a walk is my favorite way to reset, get my steps in, and escape the noise for a bit.
Last two pieces of advice
Having a mentor to guide you as you start your own business can help you avoid mistakes is more valuable than you might think. Tara loves it when people reach out to her for advice. She kind of wishes she had a mentor, and even after 12 years of having her own business, Tara thinks there is still more she could learn. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone. You don’t have to do it alone to be a success.
Lastly, set boundaries with your clients in the beginning. If you answer questions at 9 pm on a Friday repeatedly, your clients will expect you to do so every time. Even though you are probably on your phone and email regularly, try to set business hours when people can expect to reach you. Your clients will understand, and you will be able to have more balance in your life by setting these boundaries.