Bar the Door | Startup Story with Katee Van Horn

In celebration of National Small Business Week (April 29th – May 5th) we sat down with five members from Hera Hub locations across the world to hear about their story, passions, impact, and businesses.

Our fourth member to be featured in this Startup Story interview series is Diversity & Inclusion Speaker, Coach, Author and Strategist, Katee Van Horn. She is the Founder and CEO of Bar the Door Consulting & Coaching, where she helps organizations design a practical solution for their hardest diversity and inclusion challenges. She partners with them to implement strategies that build amazing cultures. 

She has been a member of Hera Hub Phoenix since they opened their doors. 

What was the inspiration behind your business?

After working for many years in HR and seeing the impact that can be made to the culture of a company, I knew I wanted that to be the focus my work. I was asked by different companies to help them think about inclusive cultures where everyone can be themselves and do great work. A light bulb went off in my head when I realized the larger impact I could make if I was able to work with more companies. From there, Bar the Door Consulting & Coaching was born!

Who are your clients and what do you do for them?
My ideal client knows that culture is the place to start when you want to drive better results. Whether you sit in the C-Suite, Human Resources, or Accounting- I want to help. I start by getting to know your team so I can give you the right strategy to achieve results. We will work together on a practical plan that makes sense for your business.

What are your business’ values? How do they align with your personal values?

The three values that I always try to keep in mind are fairness, consistency, and impact. Fairness means to always drive for a fair shake for everyone. Consistency means that everyone gets the same opportunities to grow their career and knows the rules of the road. Impact has a two-fold meaning to me. First, being able to impact more people is what drives me. And second, I always remember the impact of my words and actions on others.

These three values are closely aligned with my personal values. I have to be true to who I am personally for my business to be a success. If something does not align with my values, it isn’t right for my business.

How/Why did you choose your business name?

I have had the nickname of Katee Bar the Door throughout my life. When I finally figured out what it was from, I liked it as a company name. James Whitcomb Riley’s poem When Lide Married Him, 1894 was about a new couple who had eloped and may have had a few folks who did not support their union. Katee had to bar the door to make sure they were prepared for possible trouble. That’s what I do for companies. Bar the door and prepare leaders and teams for anything they may face.

What does that look like? I drive business innovations through the implementation of diversity & inclusion strategies for teams and organizations.

What do you love most about your work?

There is so much to love! I love being able to work with leaders and teams to create awareness. I love being able to watch one of my ideas come to life for an organization. I love being able to work from anywhere- a beach in Hawaii or a coffee shop in Berlin. My work has already given me the opportunity to enjoy adventures and I look forward to even more. And lastly, I know that this work is important to current and future generations. This isn’t just about work, it is about humanizing individuals and creating dignity and respect for our differences.
What is the biggest challenge in running your own business?
The biggest challenge for me has been wearing all of the different hats that come with being a business owner. I am CEO, accountant, business developer/sales, PR/marketing, content developer. . . the list goes on. But I also kind of love it! Creating space to focus on each of these roles throughout my week has been so helpful in keeping myself focused. Challenge accepted!

What are your/your business’ goals for the future?

I set my goals at the beginning of the year using the “Best Year Yet” by Jinny Ditzler. I had a few aligned with my business. I wanted to work with three companies to help build their inclusive culture. I wanted to achieve my financial goals. I wanted to travel to somewhere new. And I wanted to publish my first book. I have achieved the first three- and working on publishing the book now.

Since I have achieved most of my 2018 goals within the first 6 months of this year, I have decided to do a half-year planning session to lay out my goals for the second half of the year. It will be growing and building more of the same and will also focus on measurements for impact and reach.

What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?

Do the work. It’s that simple.

Enhance the culture of your company by working with Katee. Check out her services, and ‘Like’ Bar the Door on Facebook

Katee Van Horn’s interview is part of Hera Hub’s Small Business Week Feature. Hera Hub is a coworking space a business accelerator for female entrepreneurs. Find a location near you.