Juggling the responsibilities of being a full-time mom and business owner can get overwhelming, but the fearless Patrice Cameau, owner of Commun Public Relations, is able to do it without breaking a sweat.
IP: Start by telling us more about yourself and your business (educational background, hometown, age you started your business, how business came about, etc.)
I’m the founder and CEO of Commun Public Relations, a DC-based boutique consulting firm that executes strategic communications for a host of corporate, entertainment, sports and nonprofit clients. I began consulting in 2006, when I realized that I was a great writer and could use media to help businesses reach their target audiences. It all started while I worked an entry level job at Ketchum PR in New York City, when I was remotely handling PR for a few local promotion companies. After consulting part time for 5 years, I left corporate America to focus on my business full time in March 2011. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Communication/PR from University of Maryland College Park and a Master of Arts in Public Communication from American University.
IP: Quote that keeps you motivated?
“Fear cancels Faith”. I look to this saying on a daily basis. I believe whole-heartedly that if you live in fear, you are inadvertently blocking out any ounce of faith that you may have… in yourself, your abilities, your dreams! It’s natural to be scared and apprehensive when doing something new, but you can’t let that fear stop you. All too often, people put their dreams on hold because they are afraid of things that may not even be real factors. They are afraid of failure, they are afraid to lose… If you continue to let fear stop you, you’ll never be the person you dream of being.
IP: What has been your biggest obstacle being a young entrepreneur and how did you overcome it?
It’s really easy to get caught up in the “right now”. So much so, that sometimes, I forget that all the hard work will pay off in the long run, maybe 6 months from now, maybe 5 years from now. I don’t think that’s really anything you overcome. I just keep working and building a strong foundation and network.
IP: How has age factored into your success?
I don’t pay attention to age. I’ll be 29 this year and I really don’t think I’m one of the “young ones” anymore. I just work hard and try to stay abreast of what’s going on. I’ve worked with people 10 years my senior who don’t have my same skill level, and I’ve worked with people 10 years younger who are more talented that I could ever imagine.
IP: Describe a day in the life of (company name)?
My days vary. I’m up sending emails around 6am, then I wake up my son and get him ready for school. Once I drop him off around 9am, I get my day started – meetings, conference calls, tweeting, planning, etc. Once I pick up my son from school around 5:30pm, I turn off work mode so that he gets my full attention. He’s usually bathed and in bed by 9pm, and I get back to work until midnight or so. It’s a constant grind, but I love it. If you see me out, I ALWAYS have my laptop nearby. Its how I’m able to get things done in any place and at any time.
IP: Where do you see your company in the next 5 years?
In five years, I’d like to have a few account managers, account assistants and interns working for the company. I eventually want to build a team that works as hard as me, so that I don’t have to be in the office everyday. I should be able to trust and know that they will get the work done at an exceptional level and with the same attention to detail that I’d give. I have a few personal business ventures that I hope to launch this year, so hopefully those entities are also flourishing and adding to my portfolio. I’m dedicated to giving back and will continue to host and sponsor initiatives that help people and communities. One year, five years or ten years… I want to continue to be in a place of peace. I plan to never stop working because I love what I do, and that’s definitely a blessing. Wherever this road leads me, I know that it will be a journey worth sharing.
IP: What advice would you give up and coming entrepreneurs?
If you want it, go after it. But, don’t do it for someone else. Do it because you know that what you have to offer is great! Don’t get caught up in hype.. that all fades. Just do great work, respect your clients and hold yourself accountable. Lastly, keep really good financial records. That’s extremely important… Oh, one more thing… ALWAYS be humble.
IP: What blogs and publications do you read to get guidance as an entrepreneur?
Essence, Black Enterprise, small business articles… anything that helps me better understand building and sustaining a business.
IP: If you could pick a celebrity to be the spokesperson for your company/brand who would it be and why?
The cool people that I have and will work with are my spokespeople. The work we’ve done for them speaks for itself.
IP: Outside of your business, what are your other interests?
Family is first! My 4 year old son is a ball of energy and I invest a lot of time into making sure he grows into a respectable human being. I love to eat, travel and exercise. Discovering and learning is vital and I try to embrace new things.
IP: Anything else you would like to add? (pictures of merchandise or logo, additional facts about your business, links, upcoming events/promotions, etc.)
To commemorate Commun Public Relations’ one-year anniversary and National Women’s History Month, we will be kicking off the inaugural HERstory event series in March 2012.