A Journey From Executive Suite to Entrepreneur

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Dreaming about starting your own business is a sign that you’re a natural for entrepreneurship. An individual is destined to create a new corporation when thoughts turn to better ways of serving a market. This is when you are ready to take the step from using your talents in an executive suite to being your own boss.

Sometimes entrepreneurs simply utilize general business knowledge in a field of interest. You don’t have to possess experience in a specific industry to have ideas about how to improve it and succeed.

Nicole Oden was in the financial industry as a Senior Vice President at securities brokerage firm Smith Barney. In 2003, she decided the time was right to create for others the experience at a spa she had always desired. Nicole purchased an 11,000 square foot building in Delray Beach, Florida, and launched Eleven Spa.

She originally expected to build her vision of what a spa should be and then return to work. When a maternity leave intersected with the spa’s construction period, Nicole realized that her departure from the executive suite should be permanent. Her new business kept her active in learning the nuances of spa operations, hiring personnel, and providing staff training.

Eleven Spa was fully operational by November 2004 and launched its own line of skincare products in 2008. A Las Vegas location opened in February 2009 but the stress of the local economy resulted in its closing in July 2010. Despite the unforeseen poor timing and location of the expansion, the original Delray location continues to thrive.

The best part of the entrepreneurial journey is that new expansion opportunities are always under consideration. Eleven Spa has a partnership with PLUM TV, a media network that targets luxury consumers in communities with high-income residents and vacationers.

Nicole Oden discovered that starting a business frees you to implement your visions. Not all of your experiments will succeed. But you gain knowledge from the experience and progress in ways that are only possible as a business owner.