Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Anna Eriksson, Owner, and CEO of Avalona - Executive & Teamcoaching AB, located in Stockholm, Sweden.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am the owner of Avalona – Executive & Teamcoaching AB, where I coach CEOs and managers in leadership.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Anna Eriksson, ICF Master Certified Coach from Stockholm, Sweden. When I started the company, I had already coached as an employee for 15 years. It was a good start for me – during those years, I increased my skills as a coach and became certified at the International Coaching Federation, ICF, the largest and oldest organization of professional coaches in the world. I achieved the highest master's degree not long after I started with Avalona.
I was reluctant to start on my own. Even though I was the best-selling consultant, I didn't fully believe in myself. Many others did, including my husband. So, I finally took the big step. It was scary, and I felt vulnerable. Right from the start, I hired an accountant, an old, confident, and wise lady who reassured me.
I soon felt the freedom and ease – to quickly do things how I wanted them. The final A in Avalona represents the feminine. I had decided that I wanted to run the company in a way, so I was also feeling good and having fun. No more rat races and chasing of bonuses. I also decided always to make sure I could invest in my own further development, so I set aside 10% of my budget for training bits. The opportunity to learn more about myself and contribute to others is what makes me love this career. Coaching is a wonderful way of working as it focuses on people's ability to create a life they love.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Now I celebrate ten years and feel very grateful as the company has been giving me a small buffer that made it possible for me and my husband to take our next step in life. We have sold our apartment and bought an ocean sailing yacht to live on and sail around the world. For the moment, we are halfway in New Zealand. I coach from the boat – it's so cool. I have had the time to write a book about my successful work coaching CEOs and leaders: Leading from Joy. How to Transform 9 Inner Challenges. Ultimately it is always satisfied customers that are the biggest accomplishment. It makes my day to see how people grow and take on leadership on a new level.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing in starting and running a company is also where the potential learning is. For me, it was to trust myself enough and to set up a system to attract my own clients. In the beginning, I used a lot of time to connect with potential partners until one day, I got that I was the one who needed to take care of my "baby." I hired a coach, and he really got me on track to get new clients.
Starting a business is an excellent way of training oneself to be a leader. I wish as many as possible will commit to being an entrepreneur. It gives you plenty of opportunities to get to know and share yourself. As your income solely depends on you, you quickly learn to be responsible both for outcomes and incomes. You also have to cope with the never-ending changes. It is another world. I am so happy I took this step in my life.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Trust your uniqueness and ways of wanting to contribute to the world. Take care of yourself and keep your spirit high even in tough times. When you evolve, the business will as well.
- Commit yourself to making it, no matter what. Find the higher value and reason, beyond money, to start on your own.
- Get help with the parts that you feel are hardest for you. Building a business includes many roles and skills in addition to the service you offer.
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.