Kelly BryanKelle Bryan is the CEO of Advocate agency and former member of the UK’s biggest selling R&B girl band Eternal and is currently competing in ITV’s Flockstars. We caught up with Kelle to find out more and what inspires and motivates her.

What inspired you to start a business?

My manager Oliver Smallman sat me down and aptly gave me some pearls of wisdom.

He told me Eternal wouldn’t last forever and asked if I’d considered anything else I was good at. I said I was a good listener, liked helping people and was fairly savvy and willing to learn.

After doing a successful mastery course at ICAN and I went on to complete the first semester of my master’s degree in Professional Artistic Development.

The culmination of all these ideas and platforms for ingenuity gave birth to my media company Advocate Agency incorporated in 2000.

I basically found a way to develop and foster new talent, in particular those who were viewed as the underdog.

What is the greatest challenge and the greatest reward in being your own boss?

The challenges are many: balancing two children, marriage, my own ‘on camera’ career and the weight of responsibility of the careers of my clients and staff.

Living in an unpredictable economic and social climate with global instabilities to try and predict are the overriding factors we all face.

The greatest rewards are watching clients achieve their goals, realise their dreams, feed their families and become formidable and credible forces to be reckoned with.

What motivational tips can you give to our members about goal setting and managing both successes and failures

1. Feed yourself before yourself, little and often.

This means do not wait until you’re starving to eat. Make sure you have a regular in-take of positivity, educational product, motivation and inspiring diet. When trouble or disappoint comes (and they will) they will not take you out of the game. It may take a little time to recover but you will have enough on board to get you back on your feet.

2. Eliminate those that drain your energy or add nothing. If that person is a spouse or family member, it could be difficult to approach. Therefore, you should regulate the time spent with them and identify which types of conversations are healthy for you to have with them.

You can still be great friends but you don’t have to share your inner most desires and heart felt dreams with everyone!

3. Give yourself and break! Don’t be too hard on yourself. You had the balls to try.

4. Set the goals. A great way to give direction and focus to that infinite wonder of creation: the brain.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a business owner?

They are countless. However, I think it’s having the sheer will to go on.

How have you benefited from mentoring or coaching?

I have an excellent hand-picked business coach Carolene Thompson at GLE oneLondon.

She is ruthless, smart and compassionate. She lets me get away with nothing.

Carolene pushes me to what ‘I think’ are my limits and what she see’s as totally achievable. I have studied under Bishop Wayne Malcolm’s books and coaching for 15 years. I think mentoring and coaching are essential tools for success without them it makes a tough job even harder. Why would you use a razor to chop a tree down?

What advice can you give about the benefits of networking?

I would simply point you to two books here ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie and ‘Relationology’ by Matt Bird.

I think networking should come from a genuine place of commitment, friendship and mutual respect.

What are your tips for scaling a business and how do you plan for and manage growth?
  1. Firstly, why scale up or down in the first place? What’s the reason?
  2. Keep improving your systems first so that you will be able to handle the growth
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask the right questions
What does the future hold for you?
  1. Continuing to expand our books to a more diverse and unexpected client list.
  2. Double our turn over.
  3. Continue to develop our philanthropic exploits wrapped up in a bundle of fun with each step of the journey.

So far, the steps of my journey have been, at times, scary and uncomfortable, but with once I got to the other side it really wasn’t that scary after all.

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