Zooming Toward the Top: The Catalyst Center Honors Top Entrepreneurs
Lori Connors | Huntsville Business Journal | & Team Bailor Group
Launching Just Before a Pandemic, Sonya Bailor Recognized as Top 3 Finalist for 2021 Entrepreneur of the Year.
n an interview leading up to the 2021 Entrepreneur Awards, hosted by the Catalyst Center, Sonya Bailor, CEO of Bailor Group LLC answered some great questions about her entrepreneurship journey, the obstacles she has had to overcome, how does she pay it forward, and several more.
You can see the answers below:
The Catalyst Center: Tell Us About Your Journey as an Entrepreneur.
Sonya Bailor: I came from the corporate world, moving up the marketing executive ladder, then becoming a fractional marketing executive after departing from corporate. After leaving my last fractional contract, I had a tough decision to make; go back to the corporate arena as a marketing executive or use my diverse industry experience and package the processes I had used to make the greatest impacts in my career and launch a consulting practice. I chose the latter.
I made my decision public on April 15, 2019, not long before the COVID Pandemic started across the US. I was working with my first client just one month later, in May 2019. I was immediately blessed to be able to begin working to help companies uncover the blockages they had to growth, identify external opportunities for growth, and build their internal capabilities to capture that growth. To be a catalyst for their companies, especially amidst this pandemic timeframe in our world has been the most fulfilling work I have ever done. And I haven't looked back! The proof is in the massive growth we are already making happen for our clients in these much needed times. I am excited for the future growth of my consulting practice as well , which only comes as we help our clients that we partner with grow first. This is the best way to do business.
The Catalyst Center: What Obstacles Have You Had to Overcome?
Sonya Bailor: The biggest obstacle in front of me to overcome was launching a company right before a national pandemic began, and businesses started closing, downsizing, or all of the above. However, one thing I knew is that the best time to move ahead and grow can be during the worst times in the market. And that I would absolutely succeed and grow, if I could show companies how to go on the offense, instead of the defense during these times. This timeframe could possibly be the single greatest opportunity to grow in their marketplace! I have quickly helped my clients capture massive growth and have in return been experiencing growth of my own. My formula for overcoming this obstacle is: 'Success comes as you help others succeed.'
The Catalyst Center: What Does Your Future Growth & Sustainability Consist of?
Sonya Bailor: The future growth of Bailor Group LLC consists of hiring a team of project managers for assisting on high-level projects, each holding specific skillsets for each phase of work we serve, as well as an office support staff. We will also create a ‘Growth University’, including workshops, training manuals, templates, etc. to help smaller businesses with smaller teams and budgets be able to receive the same type of growth help at a fraction of the cost. I have a growth focused planner in the works, as I am a big of a planner-junkie, and still haven't found just the right one.
Having just relocated to Huntsville, AL from the Nashville, TN area, I am excited to get grow my company in the Huntsville area. I am looking forward to bringing more jobs and being a part of growing the economy here locally as well as getting involved in the community. I am grateful to be able to serve my clients with the experience I have built throughout my 20+ years making a substantial impact for companies.
The Catalyst Center: What Personal Growth and Lessons Have You Learned?
Sonya Bailor: To me, the mark of a true leader is how well you serve others, including your team, and your clients. I learned last year to overcome my personal insecurity – one that many people felt at the beginning of this last year – of 'marketing & selling' my services when so many are hurting. With the words of one of my mentors that told me, “It would be selfish NOT to help people and businesses if you know you can be of service to help their businesses grow right now.” That gave me the push to take this jump and launch my businesses! And that fact still fuels me every day to do my absolute best work. That knowing by doing so, helps others get to stay working, and not only keep their staff, but get to point of needing to hire more staff to help manage their growth. Which helps our economy recover, rebuild, and rebuild stronger than before.
The Catalyst Center: Do You Have Plans to Pay It Forward?
Sonya Bailor: Absolutely! My current “pay it forward” causes are: I have accepted a position on the newly established board of directors over the JNB Academy (James N Burgess Trade Academy), which is an upcoming alternative school for the underprivileged currently in its launch phase. I have also aligned with The Catalyst Center for Business and Entrepreneurship as a volunteer business coach to offer some my growth consulting services to the community businesses, as well as giving free workshops for their client base. Previously, I have served on several boards including RASAC (Rape & Sexual Assault Center), The Star Gala (Education Fundraiser), Prevent Child Abuse TN, and have volunteered additionally with March of Dimes, Camp Horizon, Inc. (Oncology Children's Camp). I am also a graduate of The Young Leaders Council - Alumni Class 50 (several month training course to serve on the boards of non-profits). I also personally mentor several up-and-coming businesspeople.
The Catalyst Center: What is Your Company's Mission Statement?
Sonya Bailor: We strive to unlock maximum personal and business growth, align organizations, and inspire positive change for companies desiring to scale to the next level.
The Catalyst Center: And Lastly, Where Can the Public Find You Online?
Sonya Bailor: They can go online to my website at: https://sonyabailor.com to find out more about my company. I am also on all social media platforms as @sonyabailor for my personally or @bailorgroup for the company.
You Can Read the Featured Article about the 2021 Entrepreneur of the Year Award Recipients through the Huntsville Business Journal Linked Below:
Zooming Toward the Top: The Catalyst Center for Business & Entrepreneurship Honors Top Entrepreneurs of 2021.