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Starting a Web Business That Connects Designers with People

Chi explains, “It has been my dream to join the Team Management and Leadership Program (TMLP) at Landmark Education to create a business, so this is a dream come true!” And when her love for both fashion and business resulted in a fashion business with a cause — to support designers and enhance women’s beauty — the dream was complete.

In addition, Chi also holds a full-time marketing job. Just how does she do it all? “Without the team structure of TMLP and what I’ve learned from Landmark’s communication courses, this definitely would never have happened,” says Chi. At one point, Chi and her partner had not heard from the web developing team based in another country for an extended period and multiple project deadlines had been missed. Before getting this training, Chi reports she would have just written off this team and angrily started interviewing new firms. Instead, she was able to see things from the other’s viewpoint and scheduled a conversation during which she learned about what was going on with the design team, cleared out what was in the background for each of them, and agreed on how best to communicate moving forward and created an appropriate timeline.

A concrete result of this conversation is the team agreed to add a web designer to aid the coding team by preparing the html files before sending them to coders, reducing the team’s workload and offering more options to the site.

Things are now moving forward smoothly and they are keeping to the timeline created in their conversation. Chi shares “I had it in my head that the communication tools I learned only work with other people in Landmark programs — it was a huge breakthrough to take this into my life and have it work!”

Since completing the first year on Team, Chi set out to be a successful entrepreneur and she refuses to stop there. Drawing on the structures she learned on Team to create effective results, Chi incorporated them into her business. One of the structures she employs is to have a business coach listen in on her weekly call with her business partner, creating an environment where each partner feels heard and is committed to collaboration and partnership. This has transformed their conversations, allowing them to communicate without drama or making things up about the other person, while maintaining their joint focus on their promised actions and results.

In August, Chi will re-join the Team, Management and Leadership Program for a second year dedicated to the practice of empowering leaders in her business and building the leaders of Team New York. Now that Chi is consistently connected to her business team, she is able to flow with the work process and not feel frustrated or that something is wrong. “I’ve got enormous peace and freedom to do what I love to do — both with and in my full-time job,” Chi concludes. And that’s a beautiful thing.

Chi Le’s Business will be at:

Chi Le, Team New York

by Lisa Cerqueira, Team New England