We had the good fortune of connecting with Kay Gravesande and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kay, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I view risk as a necessary action. Although it is common for us to shy from it, we must learn to embrace it in order to grow and find comfort in being uncomfortable. I try to take calculated risks over blind risk, but I understand in entrepreneurship that is not always possible. Sometimes you can weigh your options, look at history and go for the most reasonable. Other times, you just have to take the leap and bet on yourself.

Like most things in life, there are two sides to risk – people focus so heavily on failure and that often hinders them from ever taking the leap in the beginning. Why not focus on success? Since I have chosen to focus on success, I believe I have been able to create more opportunity for myself professionally and personally. Instead of running from risk, I have learned to make friends with it. I’m not saying I’m a dare devil, but I tip comfortably towards “aggressive” than I do ‘conservative” if we are talking investments.

As I move forward, I will continue to make educated decisions. I arm myself with knowledge, realizing that I can’t just jump into something without data and some understanding of what I’m dealing with. However, part of moving forward is trusting the process, so if I have 75% of the puzzle, I can take the risk that the remaining 25% will fill in over time.

Part of being an entrepreneur is connecting with people and marketing your brand – this is super risky. We are taking a shot at new relationships daily. Rejection is common, but if we don’t do it, we will sit in our hermit shell, unknown to the world, making no money. Network to your net worth – risk rejection to make a sale.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I opened Career Kay llc in 2018 as a business etiquette coaching service. We have since evolved to offer HR Consulting to small businesses, Executive Coaching to leadership and Career Speaking services. I love the space we operate in now. We are serving businesses and professionals nationwide.

We were able to expand through networking and referrals. I listened to my client’s needs and boom! It was not an easy transition, but definitely one worthwhile. Now, most of my clients are small businesses needing HR Consulting. This could be anything from hiring and training to general HR guidance, policy creation/revision or employee workshops. Whatever the need is, I work with my clients to create custom plans to meet their needs. HR is my specialty – I worry about complaince while my client focuses on running their passion.

My greatest lesson I have learned so far is be a niche. At one point, I was offering everything and spreading myself way too thin. HR Consulting and Career Speaking keeps me plenty occupied. Executive coaching services are limited, as my schedule is usually pretty full. Those interested must apply to my program and be selected.

As Career Kay LLC expands, one constant is our Core Values. We believe in empowerment, building relationships, creating happiness and innovation. I want my clients (past, current and future) and the world to know the reason we focus on top tier customer service and long term relationships is because of the overall experience. I’ve seen too many people miserable in their career. My business is seeking to uplift professionals during every interaction with us.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in Cincinnati and I’m a hermit so this is a hard question. Ok, well we would probably chill in the house most of the day honestly. I’d cook a really good breakfast – buttery pancakes on the griddle topped with a berry compote. Turkey bacon, scrambled eggs and homemade homefries. We’d binge watch something – maybe Bob’s Burgers or The Flash. I might schedule massages for us at Woodhouse Day Spa or mani and pedis at my nail salon. If not, we could hit up Newport on the Levee, which is a strip of bars and restaurants on The Banks of the Ohio River. If it’s warm, we can grab lunch there.

We’d head back to my house and kick off game night with some cocktails and order in Wingstop or Island Frydays – a carribbean joint on UC’s campus. After the drinks hit, we are sure to start singing to our Tidal playlist and end the night to My Lottery Dream Home or Caribbean Life on HGTV.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am so grateful for every woman of color who walked this journey before me. From those we know to those unnamed, I can attest to the struggle of being a first generation college graduate, workng in Corporate America and being the only black person in the building. There is so much pressure on minority shoulders to succeed, I applaud those who paved the way for me and it is why I do what I do.

Minorities are underrepresented in suburban classrooms, managerial positions and PTO meetings. Black women are statistically the most educated in America, yet still make 64 cent to the white male dollar and are underfunded as black business owners, despite being the majority of business owners and sole income providers in a home.

The past motivates me to push forward. I am grateful to also have a very strong support system, My cousin Lovely is my accountability partner. My husband, Way, is also a business owner and pushes me to be a greater version of myself everyday. My friends Dr. LaFrance and Krystal also keep me grounded and sane.

Website: www.CareerKay.com

Instagram: CareerKay

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kay-gravesande

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/career-kay-blue-ash?osq=career+kay

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