Catharine Montgomery Better Together
Catharine Montgomery, founder of Better Together. (Credit: Courtesy of Better Together)

Catharine Montgomery wanted to make a positive impact on the world, and decided the best way to do so was through a socially responsible business. In 2022, she left behind her job to launch marketing and PR agency Better Together, which works to uplift members of underserved, underrepresented communities. Through storytelling, Montgomery and her team work with organizations and nonprofits that advocate for these communities, to share their messages with the world and drive real change on issues such as voter rights and climate justice. Today, the Washington D.C., founder is growing a team that is up to the challenge – while also battling all-too-familiar imposter syndrome. 

Here’s our lightly edited Q&A, from The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project.

How is your business different from others in your industry?

We use data-driven solutions to address problems – because Better Together is constantly looking for new and creative ways to solve pressing social issues.

For example, we are presently tailoring a communication campaign by using data to reach underrepresented women who have breast cancer. This allows us to identify the best methods of communicating with them. We believe that by taking this innovative approach, we can drive meaningful change and make a lasting impact on social issues.

Tell us about your biggest success so far. 

Securing the backing of a reputable venture capital firm for my business. This has allowed us to not only scale our operations and expand our reach, but also gain access to invaluable resources and expertise.

Beyond the financial aspect, I am proud that we have been able to stay true to our core mission of working only with clients who share our values. From the very beginning, we have been committed to building a business that not only drives profits, but also makes a positive difference in the world. I am proud to say that we have been able to do just that.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?

Finding the right people to join my team. As a leader, I know that having the right people in certain roles is crucial to achieving our goals and delivering high-quality work. 

To address this challenge, I first established clear job descriptions and advertisements that highlight the specific qualities we are looking for in candidates. Secondly, I have expanded our recruitment channels, to increase the pool of potential candidates. And, I have developed a rigorous interview process that includes behavioral and situational questions, to better assess a candidate’s fit.

Have you experienced any significant personal situations that have affected your business decisions?

As a Black woman in a leadership role, one of the biggest challenges is overcoming imposter syndrome, and constantly feeling like I don’t belong. This is compounded by the systemic barriers and biases that Black women face in the workplace.

However, by embracing my identity, building strong relationships with allies and mentors, and continuing to educate myself and grow my skills, I am confident that I will continue to overcome this.

What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs? 

Stay focused on the big picture, and do not get bogged down by the day-to-day challenges that come with building a business. When I first started up, I found myself getting overwhelmed by all of the tasks that needed to get done – from managing finances to building a customer base to developing new products. It was easy to get lost in the details and lose sight of the long-term vision. What I wish I had known earlier is that staying focused on the big picture can help you make better decisions and avoid getting sidetracked by distractions.

Another important tip: Build a strong support network of mentors, advisors and peers who can provide guidance and feedback along the way. Starting a business can be lonely and challenging, but having people who understand you can make all the difference.

How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?

By focusing on the positive things in my life and seeking out sources of encouragement and support. This could mean talking to a close friend or family member, reading inspirational quotes or stories, or engaging in activities that bring me joy and fulfillment.

What is your go-to song to get motivated on tough days? 

“You’ve Already Won” by Shane & Shane.

Who is your most important role model?

My dad. He has always been a great source of inspiration for me, both in his personal and professional life.  Growing up, I saw firsthand how hard my dad worked to provide for our family and pursue his goals. He always pushed himself to be the best that he could be. But at the same time, he never lost sight of what was truly important in life – his family, his friends and his community. ◼

Threads: @bettertogether
LinkedIn: @bettertogether

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