Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Andrea Johnson, Owner of AJ's Steps of Alchemy, located in Detroit, MI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business, AJ's Steps of Alchemy, is a personal development business with an emphasis on Life & Wellness Coaching. I help women, women-identifying, and non-binary individuals overcome life obstacles such as feeling stuck, self-sabotage, transitioning into a new career, or taking on new life dynamics. In short, I help people pinpoint their desires, come up with an action plan to attain them, assist in holding them accountable, and ensure that their mindset and habits can actually sustain these changes for the long term.
Tell us about yourself
I have always been interested in the mind; picking up my first psychology book in the 6th grade (it was my Mom's college book, and I was bored and looking to discover something new), it was love at first read. From there, I delved deep over the years and thought I wanted to become a Psychiatrist. However, when I started studying the field, I realized that although I love many aspects of it, I wanted to be more forward-focused, among other things. So after making the decision to focus on acclimating to the general workforce, life had gotten the best of me and became quite overwhelming.
I went into a very dark place in my mind and desperately wanted to get back into the light, so I started looking into the self-help world and quickly fell down the rabbit hole. I was able to overcome that darkness that has attempted to encompass me at various points in my life and grow from it. From there, I made it my mission to help other people do the same and be the person that I would have needed when I was in that space. I eventually discovered Life Coaching a few years after being a personal development content creator and "Mindset Guide" I then enrolled in courses, became certified, and am pending accreditation from the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
I have also become a mentor to several young students in partnership with another amazing company and am so fulfilled. The chance to help people around me improve the quality of their mindsets and lives keeps me so energized and motivated every chance I can get. These days, we all need help; we are a collective species (meaning we need each other). So it is truly my pleasure to do my part in making this world a better place!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The impact I'm able to make on people's lives takes the cake as my biggest accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Learning how to play multiple roles and be patient. As a business owner, you have to start from somewhere, and most of us don't start with the resources to support staff. So we have to learn all of the components of starting and successfully sustaining a business. This is NOT easy work. That, combined with having patience with myself, the process and prospecting can be difficult; however, I have learned so much and have grown exponentially. I believe this is necessary as a business owner.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Have a plan! Plan your financials, the impact you intend to make, what your business stands for, a plan to scale in the future, inevitable mishaps in the process, etc. Plan as much as you can, however, don't become so fixated that you cannot pivot. Pivoting is VITAL to owning and running a business.
- Collaboration is amazing! Please do not shy away from collaborating and networking with other people in the same field as you. We are stronger in numbers than by ourselves, and there are more than enough people who would love the value we have to offer them. Collaborating with people can bring more business to you and the other party, and you never know what kind of amazing ideas you can come up with together. At the very least, you have people around you who understand your situation and struggles within your industry.
- Just do it! There is never a "perfect time" to start except RIGHT NOW. There will always be an excuse that you could use to procrastinate but to the detriment of your dreams. Start with what you have right now, even if it's a cell phone, 30 minutes, and terrible lighting; get started. Utilize all of the free resources you can find online. Join community forums to get advice, find a mentor in your field, and get a coach! (:D) Don't let the glam life and instant gratification that people on the Internet tend to feed us about business life. Everything doesn't need to be perfect. We just need to be genuine, have the drive, and create value. And most importantly, be grateful for the opportunity to do so!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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