Meet the Founder of Breanna’s Business Boutique Breanna Bortner
Breanna Bortner is the Founder of Breanna’s Business Boutique a Chicago-based company that provides online business management services for female entrepreneurs. Her support in the areas of launch planning, project management, and content creation helps multi-tasking business owners eliminate overwhelm, late nights, and caffeine-filled days so they can find balance in their business.
Since the inception of Breanna’s Business Boutique in 2020, Breanna has helped many female entrepreneurs launch courses, memberships, and other programs to scale their income with ease. She loves fusing her creativity with her business mindset to help bring projects and ideas to life.
Prior to starting her business, Breanna spent 5 years in corporate human resources and analyst roles where she support organizations through talent acquisition, employee training, and client relations.
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Here we sit down with Breanna, to know a bit more about her journey as an entrepreneur.
Q. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Breanna: Something deep inside of me always craved something more, although it took a lot of souls searching to decide what type of business I wanted to start.
I was inspired to be an entrepreneur because I wanted to be a larger part of the bottom line. I wanted to see things from beginning to end. In a larger organization, I often felt like I was a small piece out of a million-piece puzzle. Now that I am working directly with solopreneurs (business owners who run their business themselves) I feel like my contributions are now highly visible and have a massive ROI for the businesses I support.
I wanted to be part of the change and see the impact that my skills and services provide and since becoming an online entrepreneur I have been able to do exactly that.
Q. How did you get started?
Breanna: First, I made the bold decision to leave my corporate job. I knew that I needed the headspace to really think about my next career move strategically.
During this time is when I stumbled across a YouTube video that explained how you can build a business by contracting out your skills to other business owners. It really opened my eyes to this whole online business world that I never knew existed. I had always dreamed of being a remote worker that could work anywhere with a wi-fi signal. As I watched this video that unveiled the steps to becoming an online service provider, I realized that this is exactly what I had been looking for.
I fell in love with the idea of choosing what skills and services I wanted to offer and building a business upon the things that I loved to do. So, I built a portfolio of the skills I’ve acquired over the years and started to network online. I dove in headfirst to the industry, as I had my last day of work on a Thursday and officially started working with my first client (who I still support) the very next day. Thinking back to the early stages of my business still makes me smile.
Q. What was your biggest startup challenge? What steps did you take to overcome it? What did you learn?
Breanna: In order to keep start-up costs low, I initially decided to do everything in my business myself. This meant I built my own website, managed my own social media, did all of my own lead generation, developed my own marketing strategies, etc.
A few months into business I came to this breaking point where I realized I was placing a lot of pressure on myself. Thinking back on this time, I felt like I had to “own it” and do everything alone. I then slowly realized the power of having a business coach and joining networking groups to build community. This decision to invest in professional guidance led to even further expansion in my business. It led to more opportunities which then gave me the funds I needed to contract out work to others to create more balance in my life.
I’m so glad that I learned this lesson early on in my business. Through these difficult times where I felt like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders, I’ve found how powerful it can be to invest in coaching and professional development to help guide you through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. It’s all just a big cycle, you invest, you expand, you invest, you grow. No matter what stage of entrepreneurship you are in, I believe that everyone could benefit from coaching to help you see things in a different light.
Q. What is the Most Memorable Thing You’ve Done Since you Started your Business?
Breanna: The fondest memories that I have had so far are the times when I had the amazing opportunity to meet clients, contractors, and others in my network in person. When you are transitioning from having coworkers to a place where you work for yourself out of your home, things can feel isolating.
I’ve been able to get coffee with one of my clients from Florida, go out for drinks with my client from Arizona, meet one of my clients from Michigan downtown Chicago for a retreat, and even host one of my clients at my house for an annual planning session.
I feel very fortunate to have clients from all over the world and eagerly look forward to the day when I can meet them all in person. These opportunities to connect with online business owners in real life have helped make this huge online space feel so much smaller.
Q. What is one book you recommend, and why?
Breanna: One of my favorite books, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, talks about the four core things that you need to follow to experience freedom in your life.
I truly believe that if everyone read this book and put into practice what the author speaks on, the world would be a brighter place. The world would be better because we would understand each other more, we would always put our best foot forward and we would focus more on positive, open communication.
My favorite agreement of the four is “Don’t Take Anything Personally” and it’s something every business owner needs to fully embrace. As your business grows and you come across many different people and personalities, the art of not taking things personally really gets put to the test. This chapter has helped me a lot with my own self-growth. I feel as if I could read this chapter over and over and still have new takeaways new each time.
Q. What are your top 3 favourite online apps, tools, or resources and what do you love about them?
Breanna: The three apps that I need to support my clients and keep my business running smoothly are Google Workspace, Asana, and Later.
Google Workspace has been an essential platform in managing my business. I have learned so much about the various tools that Google has to offer. I use Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Calendar on a daily basis and I love how easily I can collaborate with others as well.
Asana is my favorite tool for project management. It’s where I hold myself and my clients accountable for project timelines and recurring tasks. I plan everything from launches to social media using Asana and have loved getting my clients on board with this amazing tool!
Later in the main scheduling system that I use for my client’s social media. It’s a great site that allows you to schedule your social media across various platforms. It’s simple and easy to use and helps take the hassle out of posting on behalf of your business.
Q. In terms of legacy, what is the mark you’d like to leave on the world?
Breanna: I’d love to leave behind my story of leaving corporate America as an inspiration for others. At one time, I too felt like my corporate career was my only option. I want to let others know that it is possible to venture out on your own and do things that you enjoy while also simultaneously making a living.
Q. In one sentence, what’s the best advice you’d give to someone just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey?
Breanna: Surround yourself with a community of people that can understand and support you.