Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in coaching but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Angela Knight, Founder of Angela Knight Coaching, located in Gloucester, VA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm your go-to coach for Leadership and Change Agility! Over the past 30 years, I've witnessed the evolution of retail and corporate environments and arrived at a moment of questioning... How will we as leaders and organizations sustain in this ever-changing marketplace environment if we cling to the past without the agility to evolve with the times? I recognized that mindset development is the link between an aspiring agile organization and one that is truly agile in practice.
Tell us about yourself
Once upon a time, I dreamed of working my way up the corporate ladder to become a District Manager. After a lot of hard work, my dreams came true, and I found myself working for some of the best & most well-known retail brands in the industry. I was making a great salary and had the job I had always hoped for. On the outside, everything seemed perfect, but on the inside, I was longing for more; I knew that there had to be something better out there waiting for me.
Everything changed when I invested in my first coach! I felt stuck, trapped by the "golden handcuffs," lost, and if, I'm being honest, a little guilty. I had a great job, a great salary, and all the benefits and perks that came along with it, but deep down, I knew that I was meant for more; there had to be something else out there for me, but what? If I was going to figure this out, I knew I was going to need some help & reached out for help. I was so blown away by the process that I knew down in my soul that I had found my next career path: becoming a coach.
I immersed myself in my training to become a certified professional coach. During that process, I was introduced to the coaching community filled with so many incredible people, each with a different story, background & reasons for what led them to coach. But, I instantly knew that I had found my tribe, and I've never looked back.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Giving myself permission to try, stumble, fall, get up again, and repeat. Changing my own mindset to celebrate progress over perfection. (MUCH easier said than done, trust me!) I've recently had the realization that I was building a business in a Niche that I had somewhat outgrown, and I'm in the process of rebuilding it with a focus on Leadership and Corporate agility.
Studies have shown that 88% of C-Suite Executives say that their customers and employees are changing faster than they can change their business, and less than 80% of CEOs believe in their employee's ability to communicate their strategy to others. My mission is to help shorten the gap between the vision and execution by empowering leaders with a shift in mindset needed to overcome resistance to change and supports a rapidly changing and adapting business environment.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being a Solopreneur is HARD! After spending my entire career as a high-powered executive working in the largest & most successful retail organizations in the world in team environments, it has been a HUGE adjustment working independently and anything but high-powered. When I finally joined the "great resignation" group, I was constantly second-guessing myself and in search of the "magic thing" that was going to help my business to take off. Every small success or win seemed to be followed by a setback that led to a lot of self-doubt and questioning if I had made the right decision. I learned that I was on the fast track to burning myself out, which is one of the reasons that I left the corporate world, to begin with!
As someone who has always been energized by my team and peer group, some days can feel very isolating and lonely. I've learned to build new relationships within my local business community and reach out to my new peer group of fellow coaches to collaborate with. I just need someone to talk to or bounce ideas off of those days. Sometimes just talking with someone who has walked the same path and come out on the other side is just enough inspiration to keep going and remember why I decided to become an entrepreneur in the first place!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Invest wisely! In the beginning, when you are just starting out, invest in the foundation and quality of your product or services, not the superficial things like a fancy website.
- Hire a business coach or consultant who specializes in your type of business. The investment upfront will save you a LOT of time, frustration, and resources in the long run, I promise!
- Focus on progress, not perfection! Celebrate small wins and keep moving forward.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I'm in the process of changing my Niche, so my website still reflects my current Niche of women who feel stuck or trapped in their current jobs and don't know what they want to do next. I should have it updated within the next 6-8 weeks to reflect my new Niche described in the comments above.
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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