Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Leslie Bailey, Co-Founder and CEO of Indy Maven + Maven Space, located in Indianapolis, IN, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Indy Maven is a media company for women, by women, that creates content, community, and curated events. Maven Space, Indy Maven's sister company, is a coworking space and event venue designed to uplift women.

Tell us about yourself

My background is in journalism, and it became apparent while working for our city's largest publications that women's stories were rarely told—especially the positive stories or those about women of color. My co-founder and I wanted to fill that gap that we saw in storytelling for women in our market. We launched in 2019, and as a result of COVID the following spring, it became apparent that women were craving even more connection than ever and, in a post-pandemic world, would need a safe space to connect with one another, build businesses, and in general receive the support women so badly need and deserve. Walking into Maven Space every day, I'm able to see firsthand the magic that happens when women support one another. That's what keeps me motivated to do what I do.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Despite being named in the first class of the Forbes Next 1000 list and one of Indiana's Most 250 Influential leaders, among other accolades, my biggest accomplishment as a business owner has simply been to sustain a business that launched right before a global pandemic and raise two toddlers in the process. Nothing beats that.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Knowing what to prioritize, personally and professionally. I'm an enneagram 7, so I'm wired to want to do allllll the things, and it's simply not possible.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Do you want to keep doing the thing you do now, or do you want to run a business? Because they're two very different things.
  2. Know your numbers. Love them. Don't avoid them. If you do, it will come back to haunt you. You should live and breathe your numbers as a business owner.
  3. Take time to enjoy the wins. All of them. And be sure to celebrate the people who helped make them possible.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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