Ky Toure knows how to take a chaotic situation and clear it up. Faced with a divorce after her daughter’s health issues forced her to quit her job, Ky took a plunge into the unknown and started KayCee Enterprises. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based entrepreneur is using her own life experience to help other female entrepreneurs organize their businesses and their lives with carefully crafted project management techniques.
Toure’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
I always wanted to start a business. But I was in successfully rising through the ranks in the another career and was afraid to leave that. However, when my daughter was born with severe food allergies (to loads of food, heat, pollen, animals, etc), head to toe severe eczema, and severe asthma her paediatrician and allergist informed me that she could not go to daycare or have a babysitter – so really I couldn’t go back to work. My husband at the time didn’t believe that I needed to stay home with her so we headed for divorce. With no income and a new baby, I was forced to face my fears and start a business.
My definition of success is never failing and never giving up at trying to attain my goals. Once I’ve given up, I’ve failed – I’m done. Success in terms of family life is being able to balance my business and my family and time for myself, in a healthy, stress-free manner.
My biggest success is just getting myself out there; speaking, writing, and actually having the guts to run a business as a woman and a minority. I know many people feel that their biggest success is hitting a certain income figure, but I’m just humbled that I’m able to run a business without failing in the first year. This year my goals include online marketing consistency (oh my Gosh I’m so horrible at this), new product development – bringing business organization systems to online business owners, and building my own speaking platform.
My biggest challenge is marketing. I am not an expert in sales or marketing but any standards and that’s always been something I’ve struggled with. After trying it on my own though, for a number of years, I finally buckled and enlisted the help of a very good coach, Claire Mitchell, who has helped me scale my business to where it is now. The second biggest challenge I’ve faced is discrimination due to my gender, religion, and even the fact that I don’t look my age (so what can I teach someone?).
I had to become aware that, when dealing with myself and my business, my mind was a scattered mess. I could fix everyone else’s business, problems, organize the heck out of their systems but for some reason I couldn’t do it for myself. I realized my life and personal space were out of wack and I had to take time to get that situation in line first. Once I was able to face that and fix it, I was then able to set up systems in my business to continue its upward trajectory. Learning this about myself, I’ve also incorporated it in my consulting because I know there are other women out there like myself – who are completely blind to this situation holding them back. You have to have your mind organized and ready for success first, before you business will follow.
My role models change as time goes on. My mold for a role model (as I don’t just look at one person) is any woman who has come from hard times, from people not believing in her – to persevering and attaining the goals she’s set out to accomplish. Women like Oprah, Michelle Obama, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and many more.