Embracing chaos and persistence.
Those were the two main themes that arose from Athena League’s Techweek event Thursday morning.
Athena League worked in conjunction with Techweek to host Hailee Bland-Walsh, owner and CEO of City Gym KC, and Jill Minton, founder and CEO of t.Loft, to speak to a crowd of roughly 100 about their trials and triumphs in entrepreneurship. Athena League is an organization that focuses on providing a community of support to female entrepreneurs.
Both women highlighted diligence, among other things, while talking about how they started with their respective businesses.
Bland-Walsh said she was raised in a house of entrepreneurs and was told from an early age that if she wanted something, she had to find a way to pay for it. A babysitting business and a college degree later, she applied the same mentality to her company.
“Entrepreneurship is a personality trait,” she said.
Let go of the idea of having a work-life balance, Bland-Walsh continued. Instead she said that businesspeople need to find work-life alignment and embrace the chaos that results from owning their own business.
Minton shared with the crowd at Union Station the sacrifices she made when launching a business.
“I had a great career… and when I started to dream about going out on our own, we had to make a decision to downsize our lives,” Minton said.
Her resilience appears to have paid off as t.Loft now has three locations that make health food and drinks. The company is planning to open another location soon in the Country Club Plaza.