Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with William Noce-Sheldon, owner of BE GREAT Co., located in Camas, WA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

The BE GREAT Co. is a company founded to help others to become the BEST version of themselves.

Close your eyes. Clear your mind. Relax. Picture to your right, 3 feet away, your future self in 3 years. This version of you has done all the cool stuff you have wanted to do, become the very best you, and maximized your potential.

This is the version of you that is waiting, desperately, to appear. Do you want this version of you to become a reality? If so, this is the YOU that will greet the world in 3 years. Make the decision right now, at the moment, to work for that YOU. Once you’ve decided, it’s time to put your strategy into place. That’s what BE GREAT is all about.

The BE GREAT Co. does both coaching and apparel. Nutrition and Fitness, Business, and Wealth coaching. We aim to help people improve their lives - wherever their starting point is. We engineer success. Our clients learn - not only how to get into shape or build businesses but how to show up in life confident, happy, secure, strong, and impactful.

What does it mean to BE GREAT? It means that each day you do the things required for you to become the best version of yourself. It doesn't mean that you’re there. It means you’re committed to the journey. And no matter what obstacles emerge, you WILL overcome them. BE GREAT is about consistency and trusting the only person that truly matters: YOURSELF. Because once you keep your promises to yourself, you are equipped to be the BEST version of YOU for the world. And that makes the world a better place. BE GREAT is about realizing your potential. And that’s different for EVERYONE. The BE GREAT Co. aims to SHOW you the process and GIVE you the tools you need to maximize your potential.

When you put on BE GREAT apparel, you agree to live up to the BEST version of you. Wearing your BE GREATs means that you’re going to have a truly GREAT day because you will have moved the needle one step closer to your BEST version.

Tell us about yourself

As a kid, I grew up with nine siblings, and I was 1 of a bunch, so I could get away with stuff. And just like kids, they get away with stuff and shirk responsibility. Growing up in Catholic school and playing sports, I had examples of discipline, but I was also intrigued by the troubles of the world and wanted to get into some trouble myself. I got in trouble for smoking and selling weed at 13, and I wanted to go to public school to continue my shenanigans, but my parents knew better and put me into private school. This was the swift kick in the rear that I needed.

The day before 8th grade, my best friend died. That day changed everything for me. Before, I was selfish. I didn’t take responsibility for myself, and I took and took and took from others. That day, I knew I must change. I knew I must be better. Seeing the sadness all around me within the community woke me up. I began to help others get through this tough time. I wept with his family and brought groups of our friends together to commemorate him. Essentially, I took a leadership role in the community. And I never looked back. I realized that life is what you make of it right now and that if you aren’t making good use of your time, you are wasting it. I promised myself that day that I would become a leader for my family, my classmates, and myself. I ran for student council president that year, began to take school seriously, and started taking responsibility for my life. That day, everything changed.

After 8th grade, I went to a new catholic high school, the first in Southwest Washington, and when I say new, it was not all nice and new. We were on the top floor of a dentist's building, with 108 students total, and we ate lunch on the floor. We had six classrooms total: no weight room, no fields, or fancy courts. But none of that mattered. We were passionate, and we loved our school’s mission and vision. As a leader, I helped start football, soccer, and basketball programs. I was in charge of recruiting and showing prospective students around the school, and I helped start the leadership club and the snowboard/ski club. I got involved in the student council again and even joined the theatre department. I was invested in the school, the community, and maximizing my own potential.

I went to college in Montana to play football. I was decent at best, a walk-on, and I had a lot of work to do if I wanted to see the field. Plus, I was much smaller and slower than I needed to be. I began to study how to get bigger, faster, and stronger. I began to implement the things I was learning, put on 40 lbs of muscle, and cut almost a full second off my 40-yard dash. Long story short, I earned my way to a scholarship. People took notice of my transformation.

Athletes from all over the school reached out to me to learn about my process. Soccer guys and girls, Volleyball girls, Basketball guys, Track athletes, Softball girls, and Football guys all wanted the secret sauce. They wanted to be great. And I wanted to help them. I did not charge a cent. I was creating nutrition plans, and weightlifting programs left and right. After about a year of doing this for free, I got the hint and became a certified nutrition coach and personal trainer. The crazy thing was that I was coaching our athletic trainers!

I began marketing myself as a fitness & nutrition coach and did a lot of collaboration work with fitness companies and lifestyle brands. I went to trade shows, fitness expos, and other events to learn and improve my craft. One of my former professors took a job at a credit union and left the school. She returned and recruited me to help her design their re-brand for their national expansion. This was a great experience for me to sharpen the knife and hone & apply my marketing and design skills. My coworkers at the credit union found out about my fitness/nutrition expertise, and soon I had a line of people asking me to help them with their nutrition and workouts. The CEO pulled me aside and asked me to give the entire company a nutrition presentation (he called it my TED Talk, ha!).

When I graduated, I started my coaching business. At this point, it had taken off, and I was busy with clients, and I had been selling Be GREAT socks (because who wouldn’t want to rock a pair of Be GREATs?). I decided to merge the BE GREAT brand with my coaching business pretty soon, so I titled my coaching business BE GREAT.

I quickly realized that the message of BE GREAT was much more than fitness, and so I established The BE GREAT Company, a Media Brand aimed to produce top-notch apparel and help others learn how to BE GREAT. The BE GREAT Co. has departments in multiple areas to serve people at large: we coach, teach and provide the resources for people to Be GREAT at #1 health and fitness and #2 wealth and business. We currently have: Be GREAT Fitness, Be GREAT Wellness, Be GREAT Wealth, Be GREAT Run, and Be GREAT Toolbox.

The Be GREAT Company is more than a media company/brand. The Be GREAT Company is a standard. We all have a choice to make when we wake up. We can choose to be good, or we can choose to be GREAT. I truly believe that we all have the potential to be GREAT. It starts with a choice to not settle for anything less.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been the success of my clients. Seeing my clients lose 15, 30, 50, and 100lbs+ is so special for me. Every win is a celebration for our team at BE GREAT.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I would say getting a hold of your schedule. One of my favorite lessons has been, "If you don't control your schedule, your schedule will control you."

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Here are the Core Principles of BE GREAT:

  1. Commit to becoming the ultimate version of yourself. Don't Settle. BE GREAT.
  2. Make Others Better. Leave every human you come into contact with better off for meeting you.
  3. Take Action. Repeat. The most simple framework for success: take action. Repeat. With enough repetitions, you’ll figure it out. You’ll learn & grow. You’ll make something GREAT. Repetitions are the steps along your journey. The more steps you take, the further you go.
  4. Work Hard & Have Fun. Fun is key. Enjoy the ride. When you’re doing what you love, you’re going to work hard at it. Work does NOT have to be terrible. It CAN be fun. It SHOULD be fun. Figure out how to make work fun, and you’ll find that success comes quickly and easily to you.
  5. Own mistakes & Improve. Failures and mistakes are necessary to success. They teach us. Do not fear mistakes. Society tells us to be ashamed of our screw-ups. But in fact, more mistakes are more moments of learning and lead to greater success. Once you realize your failures are your teachers, you unlock your superpowers.
  6. Raise the Bar. Greatness is an ever-moving target. Once you reach the top of the mountain, it’s time to look for the next thing. Continue to challenge yourself to use your abilities to impact the world. There’s always another mountain to climb.
  7. One step at a time. We realize there’s no shortcut to greatness. It takes a lot of steps to climb the mountain. The commitment of the GREATs is to take steps each and every day towards to summit. Plan, then Execute. Hard work without purpose is not enough. We need a plan to achieve success. Create the right plan for YOU to reach YOUR goals. Then execute it - mercilessly.
  8. Keep it Simple. Most solutions in life are simple. It’s the brain that complicates things. Screw up? Say sorry. Overweight? Eat less and exercise. Don’t know how to do it? Google it and begin.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

My #1 rule: Be nice to everyone.

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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