We are so excited to be kicking off our “Off the Clock” Professional Spotlight series with none other than Brittany Woitas, the Founder + Managing Principal here at Kovly Studio. This series will feature leading professionals in Mankato and its surrounding areas that inspire us as well as those around them. Today, Brittany shares a look into her own personal career journey along with some very sound (and appreciated) advice.

Why did you start your business? 

Two main drivers gave me the courage to take that entrepreneurship leap. First, I grew up on a family farm in southern Minnesota, and the gap in access and resources that small businesses seemed to have in our area compared to metropolitan areas was evident. I felt passionate about creating that access here in our area to allow purpose-driven business owners to connect with their customers and clients.

Second, and more personally, I wanted to push through the glass ceiling and grow my career without external barriers holding that back. Unfortunately, I experienced gender inequity firsthand. I became passionate about doing what I could to make necessary – and long overdue – changes to the hurdles women often must overcome despite their expertise, drive, and work ethic. This business was founded with purpose, intent, and a commitment to creating a space where all professionals can excel, grow, be challenged, and feel fulfilled.

If you could go back in time, what’s one thing you would change about your business?

Dare to dream bigger. My goals and aspirations were extremely conservative for the first few years of the business. That limited the impact the firm could have on our community. Over the past couple of years, the business has felt incredible growth, and we’ve been able to support so many more businesses as they launch, grow, and transform. This is what it’s all about.

One quote that sticks with me is, “Be comfortable with being unsettled. This is the fuel for growth.” I’ll be honest, I’m still not “comfortable” with the excitement and challenges that come with growth, but my mindset has shifted, and that shift has fueled me to learn, to push, and – most importantly – to be fully present and grateful for each step in this journey.

What’s the most recent book you’ve read?

Making a Manager by Julie Zhuo. (A must-read for anyone in management!)

What does success look like to you?

As a team, we always talk about how success is comprised of three components: Our clients, the firm, and each team member, plain and simple. These three elements are interconnected and rely on each other to truly thrive.

What do you daydream about? 

Honestly, feeling comfortable and balanced. Business ownership has been the most rewarding and challenging thing I’ve ever done. It’s so fulfilling, and I can’t imagine doing anything else, but it’s also all-consuming. Every detail, every team member, every client; it’s something that I take very seriously, and – even after seven years – I often feel like I still have everything to learn; so much to develop to be an impactful, empowering leader.

One of my main goals over the next couple of years is to develop a business structure and team that supports our firm’s continued growth in a way that’s truly sustainable and allows me to do what I’m best at while leaning on a team that has diverse strengths and skill sets.

What do you think is the most essential professional skill?

Sales, hands down. The ability to confidently communicate with others, to ask smart questions, and gain the necessary information to be able to provide thoughtful helpful advice and guidance and the skill of helping people get to a desirable conclusion are all instrumental aspects of “sales” that can benefit every individual regardless of their career.

Do you think self-care is important? How do you practice self-care?

It’s not important; it’s crucial. Even doing the things we love, it’s imperative to take moments to breathe, to pause. These breaks – I believe – are one of the essential tools to accomplishing our goals. For me, self-care is travel, fitness, and daily reflection. Without these, I lose perspective and am not able to approach my work objectively and with focus. Self-care, whatever that looks like to each individual, needs to be a non-negotiable to reach your full potential.