Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dwayne Castle, owner of Buckeye Workforce Development, located in Galion, OH, USA.

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

The ability to engage effectively isn't about clicks, likes, and shares
it's about truly seeing and hearing the people you encounter while on your journey. Those who can connect genuinely with others find the opportunities to serve them in ways that are meaningful, lasting, and mutually beneficial.

At Buckeye Workforce Development, we teach people and teams how to do that with a principles-based framework that is profitable for all involved- professionally and personally.

Tell us about yourself

About 25 years ago, as a newly promoted supervisor, I discovered that my employees weren't as professional (or as "adult") as I believed they should have been. My responses to those instances caused me to respond unprofessionally and landed me in my HR Managers office, one time too many. On one of those visits, I was given the challenge to find a better way to engage with others, and I accepted the challenge by eating up everything I could regarding leadership and effective engagement seminars, videos, books, and anything I could get my hands on.

Between that and thousands of hours of one-on-one conversations, I discovered some commonalities in people, myself included, that tend to create barriers to healthy connections with others. I also discovered a set of principles that aid in overcoming those barriers. Now I spend my days helping to make lives, businesses, and communities better- one connection at a time. Best. Job. Ever!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Anytime a client tells me that something I've taught them has changed their view of self and others for the better, I add that to my list of accomplishments.

However, a CEO recently told me that the work I'm doing for him and his staff has helped save his business. He and his team serve individuals with developmental disabilities, and their work impacts not only the quality of life for their client group and their families but dozens of staff members, affiliate organizations, and the community as a whole. That's probably my favorite/biggest accomplishment.

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

One of the hardest things about owning a business is believing in the vision even when it's not obvious to others. I've always said that if I was making and selling widgets, I would be on Easy Street. Instead of widgets, I'm selling an idea that leads to culture change, and that isn't something that everyone just "gets." Success takes persistence in the face of rejection and ignorance.

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

  1. Believe in your business. If your only motivator is money, you'll hate the journey. If you are working for something larger than yourself, one with a vision that requires others to get on board, you'll find fulfillment even when the finances are a bit more scarce.
  2. Network. Get involved in your business community. Many of my best ideas, opportunities, moments of clarity, and times of encouragement have come over coffee with a stranger or new business acquaintance. Intentionally expand your base of people and commit to helping them along the way, and you'll advance yourself in the process.
  3. Develop your ability to engage with people. Too many people are "open for business" but close their doors because they lack the people skills necessary to connect well with customers and staff or to even navigate their own personal relationships- which most definitely impacts the success of the business. Leadership, customer service, teamwork- every aspect of business- hinges on your ability to engage effectively.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Be prepared to wear a lot of hats. I'm my own bookkeeper, appointment setter, schedule keeper, content creator, marketing and outreach specialist, etc. Learn how to do what needs to be done, and when you're able, pay someone else to do those things you don't like to do or don't have time for.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.