Meet Kena Fuller, the Mompreneur of two children, ages 17 and 6. Kena founded Fuller Management from her kitchen table, next to homework and everything else. From this, Kena built a company where she helps grow client revenue by more than $1.25 million dollars each year.
Fuller Management Corporation is a business development firm based in Long Beach, California. The company specializes in the development of entrepreneur-owned and operated businesses, as well as that of large organizations and higher education institutions(universities).
"The support of women in business is everything to me - I am all about any platform that supports our growth and development!"
Kena Fuller’s company is all about making a way for others to live out their dreams, supporting goals, seeing ambitions come to fruition. She believes strongly in vision and in having faith in self.
Sharing her story on Women On Topp to motivate others; bearing scars, showing off how it can be done and that “you” are not alone.
In Kena Fuller’s personal and professional life she has endured tribulations, as so many women have. Kena has learned to shine a light on the possibility of “what-if” and build upon the past as learning blocks toward my overall growth.
1. How did you get into the world of business consulting and developing?
The industry of consultancy and development is one which sort of happened upon me.
Stemming from decades of experience and a love for my work, I chose to start Fuller Management Corporation, not knowing exactly what it could be or would become.
For me, the driving force is a deep interest in helping people. As an entrepreneur, I understand the many ups and downs. I also understand the challenges of trying to do it alone or with limited resources.
Being that I am a woman in business, believing I am equipped and able in every sense of what I do professionally, I chose to design my company’s services in a way that every client business type and size would have access to the (customized) business development it needed to launch, sustain, and successfully scale at any point in business!
2. How have your entrepreneurial motivations changed since you first started?
What I couldn’t have imagined in the beginning is of all the ways my business would change as the years progressed.
I’ve learned so much as an entrepreneur and business developer. I have to say, I have enjoyed learning and gaining insight to the many ways I can improve upon my business model, and of the many ways I can enhance my work.
In terms of any lessons learned; I realized early on that resources are limited, if not scarce for women in business. And, rather than allowing this to hinder my progress or someone else’s, I chose to integrate a level of service for women in business by launching The 50/50 Program for women-entrepreneurs in addition to our newly launched development platform for business professionals -ProCoach™.
If the sky is the limit, I say go for it. In support of women in business, Fuller Management is dedicated to doing all it can to enhance opportunity and access to resources for those women who go for it! Quite simply said, empowered women empower women, and we believe together is better!
3. Which of Fuller Management Corporation services do you recommend a woman who just decided to start a business, and why?
What’s awesome about how Fuller Management is structured, is that all of the services we offer are part of our complete business development model.
I say it proudly every day, we are not a one-size-fits-all company. Each client we serve is provided with complete business development services, each customized to meet the exact need of the individual business. I created this structure to ensure each client has all the components needed to be successful.
If I had to state one component that is highly valued, one we advise toward regularly, it would absolutely be Strategic Planning. As a business developer, I always coach my clients in preparing for success. Yes, having a business plan is an important step; from my perspective it is equally important, if not more, to ensure the plan moves forward by accompanying the theory of a business plan with the action of a strategic plan.
4. Describe to us the most exciting minute of your entrepreneurial journey.
Oh, I love this question. My most exciting minute was when I signed my first contract.
There is something extra special about taking the leap of faith. When you do so and are compensated for it; that elation is priceless! This “exciting minute” was the first of many exciting moments for me. When you’re starting a business there really is no exact set of rules. Yes, there are countless books about the subject, but how will you know what a win looks like?
For me, as a heart-centered entrepreneur, I choose to pay close attention to how an opportunity makes me feel. I knew I was headed in the right direction when I set out on this journey, and nearly ten years later I constantly find myself happy for believing I could it, proud of myself because I am.
5. What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?
Family is everything to me. My children keep my husband and I very busy. Outside of family and work I enjoy reading and working out as often as I can. I firmly believe that it takes all of me to stay on my path – mind, body, spirit. Spending time with my family fuels my heart, reading and seeking knowledge feeds my intellect, fitness is like therapy; a great escape in the form of a healthy habit.
6. As an entrepreneur do you have innate qualities, or is it something that you learned?
I believe we are all a culmination of our upbringing and experiences. As a child, I was a serious athlete. At one time I was an Olympic hopeful. The level of “win” and competitiveness that is in me comes from both of my parents and from my years of competing. Growing up my parents called me “The Golden Girl”. Though it sounds a bit silly, they taught me to be strong, confident, that I have a limitless ability, and that I could and should pursue everything I was passionate about. Because of my strong foundation and hard-working, supportive parents, I have to say that I believe qualities are both innate and instilled through support and value in every stage of life.
7. Any great stories from working with a client?
Years back, I remember a client telling me they paid themselves for the first time in more than a year. This was an amazing moment for me.
When my company started working with the client their business had been around for many years but was struggling to break out of a rut.
Employees were dissatisfied, revenue was lacking; everyone seemed so stressed. What I appreciated about this business was their willingness to work with us, allowing for a new implementation, taking recommendations and truly adapting to a model they were unfamiliar with. At Fuller Management we always say “with and not for”. Because the client allowed us to become a part of their team, giving us an opportunity to work with the business, we were able to assist in stabilizing revenue, enhancing employee morale; reorganizing the business in a way that created a steady stream of income for the client’s business. I am very much a heart-centered entrepreneur. My work gives me an opportunity to be of service to other entrepreneurs, to help people. Whenever I have these types of moments they always add fuel to my fire, keeping me focused and doing great work with great people!
8. What is your life motto?
I have to love it to live it!
My company works with everything from single person businesses (solo-preneurs) to large public universities. Because we are a small business, I am very particular about the types of organizations we take on as clients. I learned early on that I am passionate about my work. This also means that I carry the workload with me regularly. Whether I am in the office or onsite with a client, I am in the business of making business better. Because of this, I made a promise to myself many years back – if I am not excited about a business or of what the business has to offer its consumer, if I am not willing to take it home with me, if I don’t love it, I happily pass on the opportunity, trusting that the right types of organizations will always come my way. In sticking to this motto I have inherently placed a level of importance on the integrity of my work and on the value of my happiness and satisfaction for my work.
9. How would you describe your work style during the days?
Time management is essential. Owning a business can pull a person in many directions, especially in the beginning.
Years back I implemented 90-day working cycles. This means that I map out my calendar year in quarters, managing the hours of my day for both personal and professional purposes.
I am an early riser who enjoys getting the day started. Admin in the morning, emails, remote operations, etc. Then I am off to client appointments or conducting teleconferences. Lunch usually happens in the later part of the afternoon. I manage client accounts daily, ensuring progress of strategic plans and projects being maintained, wrapping the day within operating hours.
My working style is relatively organized, while allowing for flexibility as needed, checking in with my teams, progressing client goals and objectives.
For me, the flexibility aspect is important, it’s probably my most valued advantage of entrepreneurship. Living my life and loving my work go hand in hand.
10. If you had one piece of advice to our readers to those just starting out as a business owner, what would it be?
Do it, go for it, trust in yourself and attach a strategy to each goal! The way I see it, there is only one you.
Each of us are uniquely designed for a purpose. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, but for those who choose to dive in, those who choose to pursue their passions, these are the people I love doing business with! In the beginning, it tends to feel a bit hazy, know that this is normal for you and for everyone else. You don’t have to have it all figured out in the beginning.
Food for thought; where you’ll be in ten years certainly isn’t where you’ll start, but you’ll never know unless you jump right in.
Trust in your ability to create something amazing, YOU are truly amazing. There is a whole world waiting for exactly what you have to offer.
And, when those moments of doubt come looming, ask yourself “‘why not me?!” Now is your time!