BBW VIP MEMBER INTERVIEW: Kelly Thompson, Founder & CEO of Ethos Administrative Group

What is your name?

Kelly Thompson

What is your title?

Founder & CEO

What is your business name?

What is your website URL?

www.ethos-admin.com

What is your LinkedIn URL?

How long have you been a Boston Business Women member?

1 month

Where are you based? How did you end up there?

Attleboro, Ma. I am from this area!

Tell us more about your company! What do you do and what pushed you to start?

Our company is a veteran and women-owned virtual assistant service, specializing in providing top-tier executive support. The inspiration to launch this business stemmed from my 12 years of experience in executive support roles, during which I observed a significant gap in the quality of services available for executive professionals. Recognizing the vital role an administrative assistant plays in a team, our mission is to bridge this gap by offering unparalleled support to our clients. We are committed to delivering excellence, understanding the nuanced needs of executives, and ensuring that our services enhance their operational efficiency and effectiveness.

How have you grown within your personal and professional life due to the success of your business?

In terms of personal growth, running a virtual business has brought about significant changes in my life. The flexibility inherent in managing a virtual enterprise has allowed me to achieve a much-improved work-life balance, harmonizing my professional commitments with personal time. This journey has also been instrumental in building my resilience and enhancing my problem-solving skills, as I've navigated various entrepreneurial challenges. Furthermore, the success and the critical decisions I've made along the way have significantly boosted my confidence and self-assuredness, affirming my capabilities as a business owner.

My professional development as a virtual business owner has been deeply rewarding. I have gained extensive knowledge in technology and innovation, especially in AI and digital communication, keeping my business at the forefront of technological advancements. Managing a diverse virtual team has enhanced my leadership skills, teaching me to create a unified and productive work environment. Additionally, this experience has sharpened my strategic thinking and decision-making abilities, essential for navigating the dynamic market trends and challenges faced by my business. These skills have been crucial in driving the growth and success of my venture.

What is your definition of success? How do you know when you’ve reached it?

My definition of success is multi-dimensional, encompassing both professional achievements and personal fulfillment. Professionally, success is about achieving the goals set for my business, such as client satisfaction, financial stability, and continuous growth and innovation in our services. It involves creating a positive impact on the lives of our clients and employees, where our services not only meet but exceed expectations.

Personally, success is about finding a harmonious balance between my professional responsibilities and personal life. It's about feeling content with my contributions, both in my career and in my personal relationships and pursuits.

I know I've reached success when I see tangible results in my business – like positive feedback from clients, a motivated and thriving team, and meeting financial targets. On a personal level, it's when I find myself able to allocate time and energy to aspects of life outside work, like family, hobbies, and self-care, without feeling overwhelmed by professional demands.

Ultimately, success to me is an ongoing journey rather than a fixed destination. It's about continuous growth, adapting to changes, and consistently striving to improve both as a business owner and as an individual.

Tell us about your most transformational moment as an entrepreneur?

My most transformational entrepreneurial moment was at a conference for veteran business owners. This event brought together entrepreneurs who had transitioned from military to civilian life and then into entrepreneurship. The camaraderie and shared experiences with fellow veteran entrepreneurs were deeply inspiring. A key session focused on leveraging military skills in business, offering invaluable insights and strategies. Hearing the diverse yet relatable stories of challenges and successes from these veterans was a powerful learning experience. It highlighted the direct applicability of military skills like strategic thinking and leadership in the business world. Seeing others who had successfully navigated this path boosted my motivation and confidence in my own business journey. This conference was a significant personal and professional milestone. It not only expanded my network but also reaffirmed my commitment to my business, enriching my entrepreneurial journey with a renewed sense of purpose and direction.

What was one of your biggest challenges in business?

One of the biggest challenges I faced in my business was during its earliest stages, particularly in balancing the demands of the business with my personal life. As a parent of young children and a new entrepreneur, I found myself in a constant juggle between family responsibilities and the burgeoning needs of my startup.

This period was a real test of my time management, prioritization skills, and resilience. I had to quickly learn to delegate tasks more effectively, set realistic boundaries, and find a system that allowed me to be productive in work while being present for my family. It involved tough decisions, like turning down certain opportunities that didn't align with my work-life balance goals.

Overcoming this challenge taught me invaluable lessons in balancing entrepreneurship with personal life. It forced me to be more disciplined, to trust my team, and to understand the importance of self-care. The experience not only strengthened my capabilities as a business leader but also brought a new level of harmony to my personal life, making me a more rounded and grounded individual.

How has being a Boston Business Women Inner Circle member positively influenced your life + business?

Being a member of the BBW Inner Circle has had a profound influence on both my personal life and my business. The Inner Circle, a community of like-minded, ambitious women, has provided me with an invaluable support network of peers who understand the unique challenges and opportunities faced by women in business.

1. Empowerment and Confidence: The BBW Inner Circle has instilled a greater sense of empowerment and confidence in me. Seeing other women achieve remarkable success and break barriers in various industries has been incredibly inspiring. This exposure has encouraged me to set higher goals for my business and to approach challenges with a can-do attitude.

2. Networking and Collaborations: The connections made through the Inner Circle have been instrumental in the growth of my business. Networking with fellow members has led to collaborations, partnerships, and new business opportunities. These relationships have also provided me with access to a wider range of resources, knowledge, and expertise.

3. Personal Development: The Inner Circle has played a significant role in my personal development. Regular workshops, and networking sessions have expanded my skills and knowledge. This continuous learning has directly contributed to my growth as a business leader.

4. Support and Guidance: Perhaps one of the most significant impacts has been the sense of support and guidance I've received. Being part of a community where members are eager to offer advice, share experiences, and provide emotional support has been invaluable. This has helped me navigate the ups and downs of entrepreneurship with greater resilience and optimism.

5. Diversity of Perspectives: The diverse backgrounds of the Inner Circle members have enriched my perspective. Engaging with women from various sectors and walks of life has broadened my understanding of the business world and enhanced my problem-solving skills.

In summary, the BBW Inner Circle has been a catalyst for both personal and professional growth. It has not only aided in the development and expansion of my business but has also contributed significantly to my journey as an entrepreneur, equipping me with the tools, confidence, and support network necessary to thrive in today’s competitive business environment.

Tell us about your most proud moment in your career.

One of the proudest moments in my career came when I realized the profound influence my entrepreneurial journey had on my children, inspiring them to aspire towards entrepreneurship. This realization occurred during a family discussion where my kids, full of curiosity and enthusiasm, began asking detailed questions about running a business. They wanted to know everything from the initial challenges of starting up to the day-to-day operations and long-term strategic planning.

What made this moment stand out was when my oldest son, reflecting on the conversation, expressed a desire to start his own business one day. He talked about the values and lessons he had observed through my experience—resilience in the face of challenges, the importance of innovation, and the dedication required to build and grow a business. Seeing his excitement and understanding of these concepts filled me with immense pride.

This moment was more than just a personal accomplishment; it signified a passing down of knowledge, values, and a spirit of enterprise to the next generation. The realization that my entrepreneurial journey had not only contributed to my personal and professional growth but also served as a source of inspiration for my children to embrace the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship was incredibly fulfilling. It was a confirmation that my efforts had a broader impact, influencing the aspirations and mindset of my children.

Who is the woman behind your business? What does she like? How does she spend her free time? What does she value?

The woman behind my business is someone who values family time, personal health, and active living as much as professional success. Outside of the business world, I am deeply devoted to spending quality time with my husband and our three children. This family time is precious to me, and I treasure the moments we share, whether it's playing sports together, enjoying outdoor activities, or simply relaxing at home.

As a lover of physical activity, I find joy and relaxation in running and playing various sports with my kids. These activities not only allow me to stay fit and energized but also provide a wonderful opportunity to bond with my family, teaching my children the importance of health and well-being from a young age.

In my free time, I also enjoy exploring new hobbies and interests with my family, ensuring a well-rounded and balanced life. This blend of professional ambition with a strong commitment to family and personal well-being reflects in my approach to business, where I emphasize a healthy work-life balance, not just for myself but also for my team. My lifestyle choices and hobbies are a testament to my belief that personal fulfillment is just as important as professional achievement.

What makes you stand out from others in your field? What do you do differently?

What distinguishes me in my field is the incorporation of military core values into my company's ethos. These values shape our approach and operations, setting us apart in several key ways:

1. Discipline and Precision: My military background ensures a disciplined and precise approach to our work, leading to high-quality services for our clients.

2. Leadership and Teamwork: I apply military leadership skills to foster teamwork and a positive work environment, enhancing our efficiency and productivity.

3. Adaptability and Resilience: Drawing from military experience, our business is marked by adaptability and resilience, allowing us to effectively navigate challenges and adapt to market changes.

4. Integrity and Accountability: Integrity, a core military value, underpins our operations, ensuring transparency and accountability in all our dealings.

5. Commitment to Excellence: We strive for continuous improvement and innovation, driven by a military-inspired commitment to excellence.

These military-inspired values not only define our company culture but also give us a distinctive edge in the market, appealing to clients who value reliability, excellence, and integrity.

Where can we keep up with you? What social media platforms do you use the most?

www.ethos-admin.com & https://www.linkedin.com/in/kthompson0923/

1 Comment
  • Paula Haag
    Reply
    January 23, 2024

    Congratulations Kelly. So proud of you!

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