EDGE Spotlight Series: Stayton Solutions

Have you been considering starting your own business? Are you curious about entrepreneurship? 2021 Communications Co-Chair Amanda Stayton shares her experience starting her government affairs firm, Stayton Solutions, LLC.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: 

My Name is Amanda Stayton, and I am the President and founder of Stayton Solutions, LLC, a public and government affairs firm, focused on federal, state and local issues, ​specializing in federal healthcare policy. ​

Prior to starting Stayton Solutions, I worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC as a Legislative Assistant responsible for strategically implementing legislative priorities on a wide range of policy areas, including healthcare, education, economic development, telecommunications, and more. Prior to working for Congress, I worked in the private healthcare industry as a legislative representative advocating at the federal, state, and local levels. Having worked in both the public and private sectors, I bring a unique perspective to my work. 

I am an alumna of California State University Long Beach where I graduated with University Honors and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and minor in Communication Studies. I grew up in Elk Grove, CA and currently reside in Sacramento. I was so happy to come back to my hometown to launch my firm. 

I joined EDGE in 2020 and am currently the Communications Co-Chair. 

Describe what you do: 

As the owner of a government affairs firm, every day is a little different, which keeps it exciting. Stayton Solutions is a boutique, client-centered firm, offering businesses, nonprofits, and everyone in between a hands-on approach to navigating the political and policy atmosphere while advancing their organization's unique policy priorities. Stayton Solutions’ practice areas include: effective advocacy, strategic communications, coalition building and healthcare policy. 

When did you start your government affairs firm? 

I started Stayton Solutions in 2020. It was an odd year to be building and dreaming of the future, but I thought if my business can get off the ground in a year like 2020, then I don’t think anything can stop it. 

What made you want to start your own business? 

I have always wanted to own my own business and be my own boss. My personality fits well with entrepreneurship. I am structured and organized and comfortable with the risks associated with owning a business. 

What is your work style? 

I bring a straightforward, solutions oriented approach and client-centered commitment. While I do most of my work from home, I enjoy collaborating in person when possible.

What is the best thing about having your own business? 

Aside from being my own boss, which is awesome, I love the unexpected opportunities and collaborations that have presented themselves. It’s a very special feeling to create something that didn’t exist and watch it grow in an unexpected, but exciting way.

What challenges have you faced as a first-time business owner? 

I did not go to business school, so I have had to learn how to run a business as I go. I love learning new things and I feel like I’m giving myself a business degree on the job. I don’t know what I don’t know, so I’ve had to lean on mentors and other business owners to navigate entrepreneurship. Another exciting challenge for me was learning to switch between being the creative policy professional delivering for clients and managing the day-to-day business operations for my firm. 

What has helped guide you to where you are professionally?

Mentorship and personal drive. Early in my career, I realized I didn’t need to “be” anything. I just needed to show up, listen and soak up as much as possible. I had all the tools inside me to be successful – that was a critical shift in my professional development. 

What is entrepreneurship to you? 

To me, being an entrepreneur is about having a dream and desire to create something and knowing that no matter what challenges come at you, you will be able to navigate through them, and that any worry you have is outweighed by your determination. I’ve found that when I take risks, support shows up because people want to see you succeed.

What advice do you have for those interested in your field? 

I have found it very helpful to have both public sector and private sector experience in government affairs. Working for elected officials is also an experience I cherish and would recommend to anyone in this field or other fields of interest. In respect to entrepreneurship, with great risk comes great reward. I have found it helpful to understand and learn to navigate calculated risk. Lastly, I recommend getting involved in community organizations.

What do you do for fun? 

I enjoy running with my dog, Abby, reading and traveling when I can. I love checking out the new wine bars that keep popping up in town. I recently picked up golf and have enjoyed learning something new. 

Connect with Amanda via her website, StaytonSolutions.com, on LinkedIn or Instagram @StaytonSolutions.