Felena Hanson is a long-time entrepreneur and marketing maven. Her latest venture, Hera Hub, is a spa-inspired shared workspace and community for female entrepreneurs. This as-needed, flexible work and meeting space provides a productive environment for growing businesses.
Hera Hub members have access to a 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.
The company has three locations in San Diego, one in Washington DC, and continues to grow nationally via a licensing model. Her goal is to support over 20,000 women in the launch and growth of their business by 2020.
Felena and Hera Hub have been featured in Inc Magazine, the BBC News, Forbes, and the New York Times. She is a published author and international speaker. Her book, “Flight Club – Rebel, Reinvent, and Thrive: How to Launch Your Dream Business” is available on Amazon.
In this entrepreneur interview, Felena shares her experiences while running a successful coworking space and community for passionate entrepreneurs. For a close-up on how she makes it happen day-to-day, be sure to follow her on Twitter!
In your own words, what is Hera Hub?
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. Cost-effective monthly membership options are suited for freelancers, independent consultants, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and authors.
What does your company do that makes it better than the rest? How did you find your competitive edge?
At Hera Hub, we pride ourselves on being much more than just a shared workspace; we are a community of several hundred entrepreneurial women who find the additional resources, such as special classes, workshops, and one-on-one support, essential for their business growth.
Did you have a hard time starting your business? How did you handle time and resources constraints?
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.
What does a typical day look like for you? Is there something you make a point to do each day?
One of my favorite aspects of entrepreneurship is that no two days look alike (and I would consider that an understatement). A lot of my time now is dedicated to our expansion (http://herahub.com/expansion/) and working on business development for future locations both nationally and internationally.
This includes many different speaking engagements, meetings, and building my global tribe. However, I still prioritize splitting my time between each of my three San Diego locations each week, making a point to connect and be there for both our members and the Hera Hub staff.
One thing I make a point to do each and every day is to connect with a new member, find out what they need, and see how I can support their continued success.
What is the biggest business mistake that taught you a powerful lesson? Would you mind sharing how it changed your business?
The biggest business mistake I made was hiring someone to help them out when they weren't quite a fit for the role. It's great to help a friend but not at a detriment to your business. I had to do a LOT of extra hand-holding and my productivity and the community suffered for it, as did our personal and professional relationship that had before been so strong before.
Since then, I've really honed in on the type of employee that is the best fit and have hired based on factors - and not my past relationships. Mistakes like this always remind me to adapt, find a new way of looking at it, and keep going. Cheers to your own failures. May each one bring you closer to success!
For keeping your business finances under control, do you have an accountant, accounting software, or both?
We have an accountant, part-time CFO and use Quickbooks.
When times get tough, what would you say motivates you to keep going?
I've hit a lot of bumps in the road as I launched and grew Hera Hub. I remind myself that every business goes through challenges and that keeping the big picture in perspective is my primary focus. Surrounding myself with an amazing group of like-minded women keeps me moving forward every day!
I strongly believe in reading. Do you have a book that you highly recommended Startup Savant readers and I grab a copy of?
I read the book "Ready, Fire, Aim" a couple years ago and it changed the way I look at entrepreneurship. I think women are often times timid to really "go for it" and it puts us at a disadvantage in the broader business world.
Earlier this year, I also published my first book, Flight Club: Rebel, Reinvent, and Thrive: How to Launch Your Dream Business, which shares the journeys of women who "leaned out" of corporate to launch their dream business and also takes readers through a step-by-step process on how to have their own lean out journey. It's so needed to have those tangible stories to convince ourselves that we, too, are capable of big things!
What are the top 3 pieces of advice that you would give someone starting a business in Nevada? What do they need to know from the beginning?
- Know your "why."
- Find support.
- Cut yourself some slack...perfection is the enemy of good.