My Working Day – Kadian Pow – Founder of Bourn Beautiful Naturals
As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example, to lead and inspire a team of individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But how do these business leaders go about their daily routine? Business Leader spoke to Kadian Pow, Founder of Bourn Beautiful Naturals and Lecturer in Sociology & Black Studies at Birmingham City University, about her working day.
What time do you wake up?
What do you have for breakfast?
I drink two large coffees that have been blended with a tablespoon of butter. The energy boost is incredible!
What is your mantra for your working day?
Create a list and stay calm. If my anxiety flares up, my productivity is diminished. In 2019, I made a committment that I’ve stuck to: turning off as many phone notifications as possible. This way, other people are not in control of my time – I am.
As a business leader, is it hard to separate your business and personal life?
Absolutely. I run much of my brand from my home, as well as working remotely as a university lecturer when I’m not in the classroom. In fact, I have given over half my house to the business! Delineating ‘personal’ rooms from ‘business’ rooms allows me to draw boundaries when necessary. My firmest rule is no work in the bedroom.
What advice would you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Progress and consistency beat perfection every time. Don’t wait until you have all your ducks in a row to start, otherwise there will always be an excuse. I was told to ‘put off the business thing’ until after I completed my PhD. I’m glad I did not listen. I did both!
Who is your business idol? Why?
Shonda Rhimes is an incredible businesswoman who centres on women in her creations. Her media empire is based on her writing the kinds of stories she wanted to see, ones that did not exist. It turned out that there were tens of millions of people who were also interested. I have taken the same approach to making haircare and skincare products that place Black women at the centre of the formulations. But everyone benefits.
What motivates you?
Being able to positively impact people’s lives, even in a small way, keeps me going.
How do you persevere through challenging times?
In the beginning, my naiveté protected me. But now that I have made it through Covid and the tumultuous first year of Brexit, I’ve built even more resilience. I now know challenges don’t mean ‘the end’.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a female entrepreneur?
Because our focus has been Afro/curly haircare and skincare, there have been times we’ve been said to be ‘too niche’, with a limited audience. That has made getting access to capital more difficult. In fact, it is nearly four times harder for Black women-owned businesses to get lines of credit or funding. It is especially hard if your business has little to do with tech.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
“Be kind to Kadian”. That’s from my wife, who has to remind me sometimes to switch focus in order to renew my spirits.
Are you hopeful about the future of female entrepreneurship in the UK? Why?
Yes, women are incredibly resourceful problem-solvers, especially in challenging times like the present. There’s a reason why the saying goes ‘necessity is the mother of invention.’