Emily Thompson is an entrepreneur and business owner based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. For 7 years she has run Being Boss, which is a resource and community for creative business owners. And the Being Boss podcast is a top-ranked and award-winning show with over 10 million downloads. Emily has also published a book, Being Boss: Take Control of Your Work and Live Life on Your Own Terms.
In addition to Being Boss, Emily owns Almanac Supply Co. with her life and business partner. Almanac Supply Co. is a retail brand focused on making and curating products that help people connect with nature and embrace seasonal living. They opened their first brick-and-mortar store in July 2021 in Chattanooga.
Emily describers herself as “a mom of a teenage daughter, lover of food, and avid rock-hopper.”
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How did you get to where you are today?
I got to where I am today because I question everything and I rarely want to take the easy path. Plus, I got bitten by the entrepreneur bug early. While in college getting a degree in Geography, I had the odd opportunity to buy a tanning salon, which I did. I ran it for a few years, sold it when I was 20, and knew then that it would not be the last time I owned a business. Then I started my next business when I was 22, this time in the world of online business, and I haven’t looked back. I love business, and I love helping non-business-minded folks do business – because I believe we all deserve the ability to make money doing work we love.
What do you think has helped you the most with your success?
I credit innate curiosity and my willingness to teach myself new things, along with a good dose of just plain stubbornness. Also, my community. I have been lucky to be surrounded by other business owners for many years, and their encouragement, experience, and high fives have certainly helped me continue to show up and do my work.
What has been the biggest challenge you have overcome in order to achieve your goals?
My biggest challenge will always be myself. I often say that entrepreneurship is a potent spiritual journey. You discover your strengths and weaknesses, and you have to learn to wield and overcome them. It’s a journey of constant growth, of creating new habits while releasing old ones, of working on your mindset at each phase, and of getting to know yourself, every step of the way. It’s hard work, but I love that it’s so closely related to my outward journey as well.
What are you most proud of?
These days, I’m most proud of my network of peers. I love that I know folks in so many industries, doing such cool things. I’ve had conversations with thought leaders and industry experts, with legit famous folks who are doing big, cool things in the world. Some of them I have the honor of calling friend, and otherwise am surrounded by people who are committed to following their passions and making an impact in the world.
What are three pieces of advice you could give to our readers?
- Stop overthinking and just start doing. The sooner you can get out of your own way, the faster you’ll find yourself marching towards your version of success.
- Speaking of your version of success, invest the time and energy in getting to know yourself. Journal, meditate, get a therapist. You can’t work towards your version of success until you connect with what that even is. And you can’t do that until you know what you value and what your priorities are, now and in your life as a whole.
- Get out of your hole and connect with others. Make new connections, soak up different perspectives, and learn to ask questions and listen to the answers.
You inspire us, but what/who are YOU inspired by?
I’m most inspired by “everyday” bosses in my community who are living and working in ways that feel good to them. They may not have multi-million dollar companies or whatever, but they’re happy with the work they do, they’re living and working their values, and they’re feeling great while doing it. I’ll always find that way more inspiring than anyone’s Insta highlights or TV reels. But also, if I can be a little expected: Joanna Gaines. But only if what I just said applies to her too.
How do you reward yourself when you’ve reached a goal or a after a hard day of work?
A piece of chocolate! And for big high-fives, a dinner out with my partner or with friends, or a piece of jewelry, so I can wear my achievements around.
What is one sassy saying or quote that inspires you? Why?
As an entrepreneur and 2x business owner, I often have to be sassy with myself and remind myself that “I chose this.” It’s a little mantra I learned years ago from Lisa Congdon in an interview for the Being Boss podcast. I repeat it to myself often. It reminds me that I’m here for the hard times, as well as the good times, and the hardness of it all is totally worth the benefits that I get from the work that I do.