World Reimagined

How This Woman Is Helping Other Entrepreneurs Embrace Their Role as a Leader

Grace Blacksea

Grace Blacksea, CEO and Founder of Quench Co., is building a community and education platform for the modern leader and entrepreneur. 

Grace started her career climbing the corporate ladder, working tirelessly to obtain the “dream” job that society preaches. Grace eventually left her that role to embrace her life’s mission: to provide every leader and entrepreneur with the resources, support, and connection they need to win at life and their career. Through building Quench Co., Grace has been able to tap into her true desires, empowering her to take control of her life.

We asked Grace about how her experiences have shaped her entrepreneurial pursuits, the biggest lessons she learned since starting her company, and how she defines success.

Q: Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

A: I don’t know if I always knew I’d be an entrepreneur, but as I peeled away the layers of how I genuinely wanted to experience life, entrepreneurship revealed itself as the most aligned path. There have been many times throughout my corporate career that I felt different. I’ve often wondered why I’m constantly feeling the pull toward new and exciting opportunities. There was judgment around my way of navigating my career, yet each step was such an essential part of my journey. I don’t regret any step I’ve taken along the way. In fact, no matter how “off-course” the job was, it still greatly contributed to how I navigate entrepreneurship, leadership, and the nuances in community. 

Grace Blacksea

Q: What are the most difficult and most impactful lessons you’ve learned starting and running a company?

A: In the many careers I’ve had before becoming an entrepreneur and building a community-centered business, I was exposed to a variety of leaders. While I didn’t resonate with all of them, there were a handful who I pulled a great deal of respect, admiration, and inspiration from. 

When I first started Quench Co., I treated myself as an employee of my own business and not the leader. It wasn’t until I made the intentional shift in pulling from those past examples and experiences that I was able to create my own leadership philosophy. In doing so, my business flourished. I believe so much of owning one's business is taking accountability for it. And one can only do so when you view yourself as the leader you’re meant to be. 

Q: Have you struggled with self doubt as an entrepreneur?

A: After five years of running my business, nothing has ever made me want to give up on Quench Co., and it’s that feeling that’s acted as my North Star. While I feel I’ve found my forever path, I am not immune to the overwhelming feelings that come along with entrepreneurship. Weekly, if not daily, thoughts of self doubt, overwhelm, and challenge creep into my world. Admittedly, I’ve let those feelings get the best of me many times. However, I believe that we must practice being knocked down by those feelings. I don’t believe there is a cure for self doubt, overwhelm, or imposter thoughts. However, I think as entrepreneurs we’re given a unique opportunity to practice resiliency regularly, and, in doing so, we’re able to find a deeper sense of self-trust and alignment within ourselves.

Q: Has your definition of success evolved throughout your journey as a founder? 

A: The thing that’s changed the most in my entrepreneurial journey is how I measure success. It started with societal standards, revenue and statistics. If the chart was pointing upward across all categories, I was happy. After my second year of business, I closed at the end of the year with my highest numbers yet. But I didn’t feel a deep sense of fulfillment and I am not sure the community did either. It took some time, but re-defining what a successful community looked like to me was essential. Then, leaning into the community and hearing how they defined a successful community was extremely eye-opening. When I was able to find alignment between the two, everything shifted. We’re now able to celebrate our successes together and it comes with a deep sense of alignment for everyone. 

Grace Blacksea

Q: How have you grown as a leader since starting your company? 

A: I like to reference my journey of leadership as one of discovery. What it started out as is most certainly not where it is today. Taking an intuitive approach to leadership has been a guiding light for me. It’s allowed me to follow my gut at times when data and reason don’t give me the guidance I need. Over the past two years, I have realized that putting accountability and responsibility at the forefront of my journey is not only important, but essential to leading with authenticity. In the past year, my leadership has been challenged in big and small ways. When that’s happened, it’s my community and support system I lean into; not a group of people who tell me I am right or stroke my ego. I’ve realized the journey of leadership is just that—a journey. I feel grateful to experience what it brings to me every day. 

Q: What would you tell your younger self if you were to start your entrepreneurial journey all over again?

A: I would tell her that a full calendar doesn’t always equate to happiness. Instead, trust the process, leave room for magic, and always choose to take the leap. There is a good chance if you’re being called to it that it’s meant for you.

Q: What’s next for you and Quench Co.?

A: In March 2022, we're releasing our long-awaited membership!

Grace is a member of Dreamers & Doers, a private collective that amplifies the entrepreneurial pursuits of extraordinary women through thought leadership opportunities, authentic connection, and access. Learn more about Dreamers & Doers and subscribe to their monthly The Digest for top entrepreneurial and career resources.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Gesche Haas

Gesche Haas is the Founder/CEO of Dreamers & Doers, a private collective that amplifies the entrepreneurial pursuits of extraordinary women through visibility opportunities, resource exchange, and collective support.

Read Gesche's Bio