Meet the Tribe - Mary Beth Henderson
Are you an Early Bird or a Night Owl? Early bird. I’m up a good two hours before anyone else in my house...including the dogs.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Roll over to snuggle with my bearded manbeast and furbabies.
Favorite place to getaway from it all? These days? My CrossFit box. Nothing works out self-doubt and gets me in touch with my inner Wonder Woman better than throwing a barbell around.
If you could get an extra hour today, how would you use it? I could really go for a glass of wine from Stems & Skins right about now...
Do you consider yourself more of an Introvert or extrovert? A super-verbal introvert.
What's your favorite food? Wine. Or ice cream. Or wine WITH ice cream.
I'm on a mission to... Serve as the marketing and communication Swiss-Army Knife for small business.
How did your awesome business come to be?
I had been with a tech start up for a couple years (not for the faint of heart...) when I got a call in the middle of the night that the company was imploding like a dying star. I was out of a job with a ‘maybe’ on getting my final paycheck at the end of the month.
Scrappy and scared senseless, I started shaking the trees to make ends meet – taking on any blog post or email draft someone would give me. A couple months later, bills were getting paid and my clients started asking for standing retainers.
Real talk, although I had sought out and juggled marketing side hustle for years, I was too much of a chicken shit to take the leap into entrepreneurship until the universe gave me a swift kick in the ass.
Who inspired you to pursue entrepreneurship?
My mom. A California bombshell and career educator, she swapped coasts to be with my dad in small town Georgia. When it was time for her youngest ginger hellion to start school, she knew this particular poltergeist couldn’t be tamed by the local daycares. If she wanted another option for family, she’d have to build it...so she did.
The woman, the myth and the legend started the St. Simons Christian Montessori school out of the fellowship hall of a church with a whopping six students (yours truly included). When I graduated in 2006, 300+ children were enrolled with a multi-year waiting list.
Have you ever had a mentor? And how did they help you?
I had pixie dust sprinkled on my forehead at some point because throughout my adulting journey, from government internships to corporate stiletto sprints, I had advocates who both challenged and supported me along the ever-winding way.
Melissa Allen-Boatwright is my professional champion, but adopted big-sister is more accurate. She took me under her wing when we worked together at Motley Rice – my first big girl job out of college. An Air Force veteran turned Silicon Valley tech executive, Melissa showed me grace under pressure, genuine character as a leader and pure, unbridled gumption. I may not always get it right, but I try my hardest to follow suit.
How do you define success for yourself?
Still figuring that one out... I have a habit of moving my own goal post mid punt.
Right now, I’m focusing on leaving people better than I found them and creating a life I am in love with on my terms.
We all love failure & flop stories! Tell us about something you tried in business that didn't work, and how you moved beyond it.
Just after I first filed the paperwork for Front & Center, I signed on for a gargantuan project with a client that never fit our model from day one. I was nervous about striking out and felt the need to say yes to any opportunity that came my way. Although everyone made it out alive, that one endeavor demanded significant time and resources that didn’t align with our business and, I suspect, set us back by a month or two from building a client-base with those who were right for Front & Center’s portfolio.
Lesson learned here was to stick to my guns about who we are and what we do. Stay the course, and if a prospect comes along who isn’t a fit then graciously direct them to the right place.
What is a recent success that you're super proud of accomplishing?
Front & Center just renewed a contract with a client who started with us in 2016 for three times the initial retainer value. Not only am I grateful for the relationship we have built, but as they are growing and enjoying success they are choosing to grow with us. This dynamic exemplifies what I want with all our clients and it simply makes my shepreneur heart happy.
What is your superpower?
Order from chaos. I have a way with boiling big, amorphous ideas down into concrete execution plans. I also give a stellar pep talk in a pinch.
What is the least sexy part of your job?
Accounting and taxes. I loathe them. Numbers hurt me.
What do you hope to learn from this community of your peers (ie. Hatch Tribe Members Circle)?
My tribe (family, friends and network) was critical in helping me cling to sanity and see success with Front & Center. I want to continue learning from and contributing to this group as we educate, support and encourage one another. I am confident that we are more powerful together and Hatch Tribe is a hub for getting more ladies at the helm in both business and in life.