Samantha Kris is the Queen of bosses! Founder of the Bossing Up movement, she’s all about helping people find their inner boss. With her marketing background and years of experience in the corporate world, she has helped entrepreneurs grow their companies into successful businesses. Her book Bossing Up talks about creating opportunities and overcoming obstacles by finding your inner boss. International speaker, author and success coach, Samantha knows what it takes to become successful. This week, she took some time to answer some of our questions about how she did it all and what is truly means to find your inner boss.
BWR: What inspired you to launch your own business?
Samantha: I love the corporate world. I enjoy the structure, the team environment, the validation and growth that comes from having a boss. However, I noticed there was a need in the marketplace, one that I could help address. I was working in a fast-paced, high growth market and I was working directly with the executive team. Although they were well established, seasoned professionals, I saw that they too had doubts. They questioned their direction and were trying to do their best with the skills they and their team had.
You know the saying “it’s lonely at the top”? Well, that was very much what I observed. They had a hard time asking for help and seeking advice because they were trusted by their employees to have the answers and therefore felt isolated.
I knew there was an opportunity for me, but I wasn’t quite sure what it was. It was only when I thought about my past experiences did I see it all come together. I am passionate about helping people overcome their obstacles and am a self-proclaimed dot connector. So, I thought about ways that I could do that as a career and launched my practice as a success coach and corporate consultant.
BWR: On your website, it mentions that you got five promotions in just five years and managed to double your salary in the process. How did you manage to do that?
Samantha: A lot of hard work! I worked just as hard on myself as I did for the promotions. I worked long days and late nights. I broadened my skill set by taking courses and getting certified. But above all, I consistently delivered value. I saw where there were areas for improvement within the organization. So, wherever my expertise would allow, I was proactive in proposing a solution. I did not wait for opportunities to show up, I created them. This helped when it came down to salary negotiation. I did not ask for a chance and a wage that seemed fair. I proved my worth up front and with every successfully completed project and every certification, I became more valuable.
BWR: What are some of the challenges you face on a daily basis and how do you overcome them?
Samantha: I try not to stay stuck. I’ve found that stepping out of my comfort zone and into a place of vulnerability is the best way for me to move beyond anything that’s blocking me. For example, a couple of my talks have been recorded and when I looked back at them I felt that my face looked a little stiff and I could benefit from loosening up a little. I am so focused on delivering a good talk that I sometimes forget to have a little fun, and it shows. So I thought of ways I could practice letting loose, let go of my perfectionist tendencies and use my voice at the same time.
BWR: What is your biggest accomplishment in your business? What’s one thing that you are most proud of?
Samantha: Among my biggest accomplishments is writing my book, Bossing Up and doing my TEDx Talk. Both were bucket list projects for me and strategic decisions for my business that have yielded major returns. They have opened doors for collaborations. They have allowed me to go overseas to speak and through them, I’ve met so many incredible people. I’m most proud of how my proprietary way of goal setting, the REAL goal methodology, is enhancing the lives and businesses of people who use it. It has been instrumental to my success. To see it contributing to the success of others is a dream come true.
BWR: You’re the founder of the Bossing Up movement. Why do you believe it’s important to empower your inner boss?
Samantha: Because if you don’t believe in yourself no one else will. When you treat yourself with respect, you command the respect of others. When you listen inward and hear what your mind, heart, and body are telling you, you gain the ability to better listen to others. When you create opportunities for yourself and others, others will create opportunities for you too. If you’ve got something within you – whether that’s potential, curiosity, hunger – you’ve got to nurture it for it to come to the surface, that’s what Bossing Up is all about.
BWR: What advice would you give women who are aspiring to become entrepreneurs?
Samantha: First, just start. Life has a way of getting in the way and we have a tendency to justify a million reasons why now is not the time. Take one step closer to making it a reality every week. This will help you to gain momentum and help bring your vision to life, one step at a time.
Second, ask for help. There’s no reason you need to stay stuck. Often times, getting unstuck is easier than you’ve hyped it up to be. Join a Facebook group, attend an in-person meet-up, find a mentor, hire a coach, whatever you do, ask for help. Stop imposing impossible standards on yourself. Accept the fact that you will need to be taught certain things and you will need practice, and that’s okay.
Lastly, have a plan. There are simply too many things that can pop up and easily derail you if you don’t have an idea of where you’re going.
BWR: At Boss Women Rule, we focus on women entrepreneurs. They are very limited compared to men which is why we focus on the success and struggles that they face. Can you tell me what it’s like to be a woman entrepreneur?
Samantha: I wholeheartedly disagree that women entrepreneurs are very limited compared to men. I think we face different challenges but we are not limited. We have access to the same education, are eligible for the same grants and loans and we are just as capable. I’ve actually found that being a woman entrepreneur has opened more doors than closed them. It is an exciting time, where consumers are conscious of the people behind the brand, where authenticity matters and where the next generation of business owners are on a mission to shake things up. People have trusted me with their projects, hired me to speak and have contributed to my success because I’m a woman.
Being a woman entrepreneur has been a very positive experience for me and it feels like I’m playing on a very even field.
Now, I think we have a long way to go in establishing equality and inclusion in the workplace. We certainly need to see more diversity among leadership teams and ensure that women are being paid a comparable salary to their male counterparts. But even then, I wouldn’t say women are limited. I’d say there is work that still needs to be done to ensure women don’t feel that way. An opportunity exists, we just have to be willing to see it, brave enough to act on it and bold enough to create it. If an organization doesn’t empower that mindset, then it’s up to the woman to recognize her value and take it elsewhere.
BWR: Where do you see your business going in the next 5 years?
Samantha: In five years my goal is to have an international presence and to have made the bestseller list. I genuinely want people to succeed. The bigger platform I have, the more people I can bring up with me.