After 13 years as a Procter & Gamble employee, Karen Hite had a future there. But she left her human resources position to work in marketing and public relations with another company, then in 2002 took the entrepreneurial leap, forming NewHites Marketing and Administrative Solutions. Her company teams with a variety of service providers to give small and medium-size businesses the support they need, from accounting to marketing. She also serves on the board of the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST RISK YOU HAVE EVER TAKEN? My biggest risk was starting a business. My family went from two incomes to one. I started in my basement, and I had to train myself to work while at home. I succeeded because I would get up every morning, get dressed in my business attire, take the kids to school, go to the basement and, on my way down, turn and lock the door to my living space upstairs. This was how I disciplined myself to work from home. In August, we celebrated one year in our office space at One North Commerce Park.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO FUTURE ENTREPRENEURS WHO ARE THINKING ABOUT STARTING THEIR OWN BUSINESS? My advice on starting your own business is that you must first have taken the time to write a business plan. Make sure to have at least six months salary saved up. Surround yourself with people who are making positive deposits into your life. Let go of those who are tearing you down. Make sure to put money into your marketing budget. Very few start-up companies survive due to poor cash flow, the pressure of having to wear too many hats, and not enough"”or any"”marketing dollars set aside.

IN TERMS OF YOUR BUSINESS, HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS? I define success in my business by knowing that the project had a positive impact on my client's business, that we met or exceeded our customers' expectations.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT RUNNING YOUR OWN COMPANY? The fact that NewHites has had such a great impact on so many businesses in the Tristate in just two years of full-time business is exciting to me. However, what is most important to me is that I get to attend my children's sporting games and school functions, and spend time with my husband. My family means everything to me.

WHAT ARE THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT LIFE LESSONS YOU HAVE CARRIED WITH YOU IN YOUR CAREER EXPERIENCES? The most important life lessons of my career are to keep God first in my life; be persistent, never give up; and always treat people the way you want to be treated.