Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alex Cukier, a learning & development consultant, designer, and facilitator based in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I help small and medium-sized companies offer their leaders, managers, and employees high-impact learning experiences to develop the skills they need to succeed. This can include custom workshops, e-learning modules, career programs, and cohort experiences. I also specialize in designing pain-free performance management processes.
Tell us about yourself
After spending nearly 15 years doing in-house Learning & Development at companies like Meta, VICE, Eileen Fisher, and more, I decided to make a leap into the freelance world. This transition has allowed me to offer my unique skills and expertise to a broad range of organizations while doing the work that I love. I'm passionate about creating learning experiences that improve the experience of work and drive change within organizations. Corporate learning presents a unique opportunity for companies to engage with and support their employees. My approach to learning design incorporates elements of human-centered design, adult learning theory, and coaching leadership principles, plus a healthy dose of creative experimentation (read: plenty of trial and error).
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Once I made the decision to start my business, I knew I would need a website, but I had a huge mental block around it. Instead of pursuing perfection, I gave myself a window of time to work on it and a firm deadline for when I'd hit publish. When it came time to go live, the finished ("finished") product far exceeded my expectations. Plus, I proved to myself that I can set and stick to a deadline even when I'm the only one who knows it exists.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Staying away from a scarcity mindset. When it comes to learning (and most things in life), there is enough work to go around. Other small businesses in my field are my colleagues, not my competition.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Lean on your network. I've been surprised by the interest, generosity, and support I've received from both my professional and personal networks.
- Set kind goals. It's important to have ambition, but it's also important to be kind to yourself and set yourself up for success.
- Focus on what you can control - even when it's not a whole lot!
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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