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Sonia Petkewich, the founder of Taurean Consulting and Catalyst Mastermind Collaborative, shared her journey from being an unfulfilled claims adjuster to becoming a corporate headhunter, and eventually starting her own businesses. She discussed the challenges she faced while working within the existing company structure and discovered the importance of seeking out outside perspectives from experts and peers for growth and success. Petkewich also talked about her decision to diversify her business by adding an accounting and finance line of business, and the benefits of being part of a mastermind group, where members can openly discuss any issue confidentially. She emphasized the importance of accountability, delegation, and work-life balance in running a successful business, and how her success is helping others see what’s possible for them.

Interview Breakdown

00:00:00 In this section, Sonia Petkewich, founder of Taurean Consulting, shares how she became a recruiter and eventually started her own business. After feeling unfulfilled in her claims adjuster job, she visited a headhunter and was fascinated by the process of recruiting, eventually becoming a corporate professional headhunter herself. She fell in love with the job and enjoyed matching people with companies. However, she always knew she wanted to work for herself since she’s a rule breaker and didn’t like being told she couldn’t make something happen due to corporate limitations. After going through some self-growth and building her confidence, she eventually started her own business.

00:05:00 In this section, Sonia Petkewich and her interviewee discuss how Sonia bought the company she was working for in 2015. They talk about the challenges and frustrations she faced while working within the existing company structure, and how she felt like she hit a wall. She was constantly asking questions that people didn’t like, and the branch manager even told her that she was an “alpha female,” and that she would always piss other women off. Sonia then talks about how she worked on her own personal development, sought out a peer-to-peer group, and eventually found the right people to help her grow and succeed as her own boss.

00:10:00 In this section, Sonia Petkewich shares about how she learned to seek out help and support in the business industry through joining a peer-to-peer advisory group. She recognized that being a business owner can be isolating and that seeking outside perspectives from experts and peers is crucial for growth and success. She likens this philosophy to the AAA philosophy of surrendering to what is and reaching out for help when needed. Sonia also emphasizes that seeking help from sources other than a significant other is important for gaining different perspectives and avoiding making purely emotional decisions. She then briefly mentions her journey of buying out her partner and taking complete ownership of her company, Taurean.

00:15:00 In this section, Sonia Petkewich talks about her journey of buying out her partner in their company and the personal development lessons that came with it. She describes how she didn’t know enough to get a lawyer or put things in writing, and subsequently didn’t receive the equity she was promised. Through personal development and a change in mindset, she decided to buy out her partner, even though she didn’t have much support and ended up taking out loans. She later realized that she should have sought guidance and counseling sooner on how to be an owner-operator and delegate tasks down. Despite this, the company grew from one million to nearly five million and she recognized that the biggest thing about business ownership is experiencing it firsthand.

00:20:00 In this section, Sonia Petkewich discusses her perspective on business ownership and the importance of respecting each other’s reasons for being in business. She explains that for her, business means building an organization where others can come and work and better their lives. Sonia also discusses the importance of delegating responsibilities to a trusted team as she has done with her company Taurean, and how mistakes can help people learn and grow. Sonia acknowledges that it takes time to get to a place where as a business owner, you can confidently say no or that something is not working. However, the freedom that comes with this is an overlooked part of business ownership that is essential to achieve.

00:25:00 In this section, Sonia Petkewich discusses how she views parenting as a process of learning and making mistakes, and how this approach applies to her leadership style in business. She emphasizes the importance of choice, and how we can choose to react positively or negatively to things that happen in life. Sonia also talks about her business, Taurean Consulting, which provides IT staffing solutions for companies in the Las Vegas market. She explains how the company has grown and evolved over the years, and how she focuses on dominating in her industry and creating value for her clients and employees.

00:30:00 In this section, Sonia Petkewich discusses her decision to diversify her business, Taurean Consulting Group, by adding an accounting and finance line of business. Petkewich discovered the need for such a line of business during the pandemic. She had written the three-year business plan in 2017, which included diversification, but it was put on the shelf. However, during the pandemic, she found the plan and her business started to evolve. She recognized the gap between IT and accounting, which was not being addressed, and many of her clients started calling for help. She then hired a finance manager, Rochelle, and launched Finance and Accounting in January. Petkewich hopes to double her business in two years instead of three, bringing back the Taurean Consulting Group to where it was before the pandemic struck.

00:35:00 In this section, Sonia Petkewich shares how her frustration with the Mastermind group she had joined and subsequent shutdown during the pandemic led her to create Catalyst, an official Mastermind group focused on collaboration and accountability for small business owners. Catalyst meets every month with members sharing their opportunities or challenges and brainstorming ideas to overcome them while holding each other accountable for taking action. The group also hosts speakers and social events, creating a supportive community of business owners. Initially started for free, the group became official in December 2020 when members encouraged Petkewich to turn it into a business, which she did, now hosting in-person meetings and even a couples Catalyst retreat.

00:40:00 In this section, Sonia Petkewich talks about the benefits of being part of a mastermind group, where business owners can discuss any issue openly and confidentially. The group not only provides a space to discuss problems, but also to celebrate successes and keep businesses growing positively. Sonia also emphasizes the importance of accountability in a mastermind group, where members challenge each other and help each other to grow. Sonia goes on to talk about her own personal experience of delegating in her business and how learning to let go has helped her to grow.

00:45:00 In this section, Sonia Petkewich, the owner of two businesses, discusses her evolution as a business owner and the importance of having her business continue beyond her. She explains that she wants her foot to still be in the business, but she does not want to run it every day. Petkewich admits to experiencing guilt as the businesses are her babies and says that she wants them to continue beyond her. She acknowledges that there is patience involved in business ownership and that she is committed to always learning. She also recognizes the need for work-life balance and mentions her struggles in balancing her business and family life. Petkewich says that she is still learning how to balance the two.

00:50:00 In this section, Sonia Petkewich talks about how she balances her personal and professional life. She believes that there is no perfect answer to situations where a conflict arises between a work project and a family event. She handles this by having honest conversations with her family and finding alternative ways to make it up to them. Sonia also mentions that she focuses on the love language of her family, and tries to give them the attention that is important to them. To make her marriage work, she finds little ways to show her husband she cares, like cleaning the kitchen after cooking or putting away the laundry. Sonia believes that success for her business comes from the fulfillment of her team members who are serving others and expanding the realm of possible.

00:55:00 In this section, Sonia Petkewich, the founder of recruitment firm Catalyst, discusses how her success is helping others see what’s possible for them. She cites an example of a formerly unemployed tech worker whom Catalyst placed, and who is now a supervisor at the same company, five years later. Sonia emphasizes the importance of reinforcing good examples for her employees, and her encouragement that they strike a good work-life balance. She recalls the time when she had to compensate her employee for getting a career coaching certificate, which was a moment that remedied her initial self-doubts about being a coach. Sonia also touches on celebrating business achievements, stressing that business owners can take all the time off they want but that setting a good example of a healthy work-life balance is important for staff to learn from.