Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Paul Micallef, Founder of Autism From The Inside, located in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The business delivers autism-friendly courses, coaching, insight, and connection by people with lived experience. Our customers are mainly adults who either grew up knowing that they are autistic or received their autism diagnosis later in life. Parents of autistic children and partners of autistic adults also reach out to us and avail of our services.
Tell us about yourself
I am Paul Micallef, Founder of Autism From The Inside, and I discovered I was on the Autism Spectrum at age 30. I am an aerospace engineer and founder of Autism From The Inside, formerly Emotions Explained. People would say I don’t look autistic, and that made me create my YouTube channel because I want to share what Autism looks like in real people and share my insights into what’s happening for us on the inside. Hence the name “Autism From The Inside.”
I started this business aside from my YouTube channel because it gives a platform where we can gather as a community, and alongside professional expertise, I aimed to bridge the empathy gap so people would “get it” on an emotional level.
I also have a passion for teaching and the topic of emotional intelligence. So this business is very personal to me because I aim to educate about neurodiversity and emotional intelligence in a supportive, neuro-affirming way while using a structured approach. I want autistic people to have an intuitive understanding so they can embrace their neurodiversity and become empowered individuals. Our vision at Autism From The Inside is for autistic people to have the confidence to live an authentic life with a strong sense of identity, inclusion, belonging, and social connection.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Growing a YouTube Channel to 200K subscribers who are always so engaged and always free to share their experiences. I want the channel to show relatable content to the subscribers, and seeing their comments prove that. In addition, it is an accomplishment to lead an online Annual Global Event that reaches tens of thousands of people.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The most challenging part of being a business owner is having to be an expert in everything while also expecting the unpredictability that comes with a business. An example would be the times when we expect some products to be very popular and yet do not perform as well as expected.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My first tip is to always start by asking yourself “Why” because you need a reason so good that even if you fail, it is worth trying. My second tip is to always be very clear on what you do and whom you’re serving. Lastly, be yourself. Don’t try to copy other people, and you will find your unique contribution.
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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