Chanel Hampton is a born-and-raised Detroiter who returned home from St. Louis, Missouri after impacting the educational sector on a national scale all before the age of 26. With such an impressive resume, it comes as no surprise that her Detroit-based entrepreneurial endeavor, Hampton Consulting, is crushing growth projections and expanding rapidly within its first 18 months of business.
Chanel’s impressive roster of clients includes powerhouses such as: Michigan Department of Education, Skillman Foundation, and Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Hampton Consulting also made headlines in November by bringing nearly 2,000 boys and young men of color, 40 employers, 300 volunteers, and hundreds of community partners together in Detroit when executing the Pathways to Success: Boys and Young Men of Color Opportunity Summit in partnership with My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, the City of Detroit, and Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.
If you’re thinking of launching your own business venture, here are five battle-learned lessons from Chanel that may be helpful in achieving your entrepreneurial goals.
ACTUALIZING YOUR VISION IS COMPLETELY IN YOUR CONTROL
What’s holding you back from achieving your goals? We all have obstacles to overcome, fears that hold us back, or dread the uncertainty, yet Chanel is adamant that those limitations are completely within your control. “I was truly the only thing holding myself back from launching a company. I could either continue to be comfortable in my already established and thriving career or I could take a leap of faith and stop making excuses.” When Barack Obama is essentially a client of Hampton Consulting by way of My Brother’s Keeper and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, motivation to deliver is at an all time high and it’s the outpouring of successes and confirmations that drive her to continue to succeed.
REMAIN AUTHENTIC TO WHO YOU ARE
Forever the community servant, Chanel constantly raised her hand to implement initiatives, strategize solutions, and execute programming. Thorough delivery and impeccable work ethic constantly led to praise and pro-bono clients stating, “we would actually pay you to do this for us!” So, Chanel took a leap of faith and Hampton Consulting was born, giving said clients the opportunity to do just that. “Hampton Consulting has built a small empire off of passion, excellence, and integrity.” By remaining authentic to Chanel’s core values, Hampton Consulting continues to attract dream clients - mostly through word of mouth referrals or indirect work experiences - and exceed growth projections.
YOU'RE ONLY GOING TO BE AS GREAT AS YOUR TEAM
Rampant growth is one of the few problems that start-ups hope to endure and Hampton Consulting was fortunate enough to exceed projections early on. “Before Hampton Consulting’s website was built or a formal launch announcement, I had three client contracts!” It was then that Chanel realized how deeply her choices in organizational development would impact the inaugural successes of her business. With an unexpected influx of new clients, it was the tenacity of her team that allowed Hampton Consulting to crush deadlines and deliver phenomenal customer service that secured repeat business. Staffed by contractors and consultants who are impassioned by their contributions to the mission-driven clients, Chanel emphasizes that Hampton Consulting’s successes were made possible by having such an amazing team.
How does one meet 18 month projections within the first 6 months? A wondrous strategy that clients have dubbed the #HamptonHustle. In the weeks leading up to the My Brother’s Keeper and Campaign for Black Male Achievement job summit in Detroit, Chanel pushed through on just 2 hours of sleep a night -- and sometimes less. “It’s critical to take care of yourself, yet simultaneously, when you are building a company from the ground-up, the hustle is more real than ever. You eat what you bring in. Lucky for me, I’ve built a company based on people, communities, and work I am extremely passionate about--mission-driven work and clients. The people and the impact fuel me, that’s what really fuels the hustle...and holds me accountable.”
While she largely cautions against sleep deprivation, Chanel also stresses that many parts of entrepreneurship are far from glamorous and may include 20 hour sleep weeks and 20 hour work blocks. She also leans on her efficiency and organizational tendencies to achieve goals and maximize her thoroughness, especially when executing initiatives for high profile clients.
MAXIMIZE YOUR NETWORK
Hampton Consulting counts word-of-mouth referrals, previous partners, and returning clients as the largest drivers of new clients. And from an entrepreneurial standpoint, Chanel values personal growth through diverse experiences and constantly puts herself in positions to evolve. “Relationship building is key.” Organizations such as Detroit Young Professionals have expanded Chanel’s network by positioning her to source local vendors for contracted services through Hampton Consulting and have provided opportunities to socialize her professional endeavors.
“The ability to meet so many great young professionals here in Detroit who are also building and leading companies, experts in their field, and ignited by opportunity is invaluable. DYP adds to my rolodex of contacts. If I need a service, such as a videographer for our Proud Michigan Educator campaign with the Michigan Department of Education, I can tap into connections from DYP. This endless rolodex has been invaluable not only for me, but for my clients.”