Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in coaching but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Darnell Brown, owner of Bulletproof Hustle, located in Huntersville, NC.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
As a growth strategist, educator, and designer, I help aspiring entrepreneurs and today's leaders save time, brand better, and impact lives with clarity, empathy, and strategy gumbo. My clients and students get these outcomes through the content I offer, such as courses, programs, podcasting, writing, and consultations.
Tell us about yourself
As early as middle school, I was set on the entrepreneurial path when I started getting paid to draw my classmates during lunch breaks. Then I began selling pecans and mowing lawns.
The most significant shift happened in the summer of 2008. I peeked quickly at my graphic design job and started looking for employment elsewhere, but couldn't land an interview anywhere, much less a gig. I thought either my resume sucked or I was unworthy.
One day, I had an epiphany just to hire myself rather than wait for someone to do it for me. That was when I decided to become a freelancer, and I haven't looked back. This journey has evolved from design to branding, and now, to growth.
What motivates me every day is that I don't know all I'm capable of, yet I know I have value to share with people. I'm motivated because I know someone out there needs to see me do it first before they're compelled to try it. It's embracing the fact that *anything* can happen and that I will never have tried everything I could to accomplish a goal.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I'm fortunate to have several highlights, but I'd probably say the biggest one is that I mentored and coached a colleague through an incredible transformation over a short period. This guy went from earning basic pay from a cubicle at an unfulfilling job to becoming a six-figure in-demand talent in a totally different career. Now he's on the verge of serial entrepreneurship, as he's in a position to fund his own projects such as media output, apps, and a school.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I'll give you two: accountability and follow-through. It's *extremely* tough to be left to your own devices in both starting and sustaining a business.
When you're so used to schedules and deadlines being imposed onto you by employers, it's not easy at all to set them onto yourself, *from* yourself. In the beginning, if it's just you running the business, you're responsible for your schedule, goals, timelines, taxes, etc. - in addition to actually growing your business. We have to set aside space and bandwidth to take care of those administrative elements ourselves that we took for granted before this life chose us.
Follow-through simply means finishing what you start. Many of us are great at getting motivated to begin something, only to drop it when things feel sluggish, or something more exciting comes along. That's how we end up being pulled in so many directions, yet not really advancing our business.
Recognizing that these are fundamentals we must master and/or assign to others is the first step in addressing them. Then we have to cultivate the proper habits to take care of them just as much as we care for the things we like about our business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
1. Identify a problem you're passionate about and uniquely suited to solve. Use it as the north star to build your business around.
2. Confirm whether enough people also have that problem and whether they'd pay to have it eradicated (spoiler alert: they would).
3. Figure out how to use your *current* skills and resources to solve at least part of this problem and bring that to market. When your customers respond favorably, your idea is validated, and you can build out other features/products/offerings.
Bonus tips: 4. Budget your time *better* than you budget your money. (Money's replaceable, time isn't.)
5. Increase your mental, creative, and emotional bandwidth by removing or limiting time-wasting distractions.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Entrepreneurship chooses you; you don't choose it. You have to be wired differently than most. The road can be challenging, lonely, and long. Yet you're compelled to keep going because of the allure of what awaits you and the impact you could have.
When you fail - and you will - remember that failure is not the end of your story. It's simply the *first* step in success. You don't get to Step 2 without going through Step 1, aka failure. View failure as "feedback" to inform your next moves. Therefore, it's never really a failure if you learn from it. Secondly, appreciate that failure, for it will undoubtedly improve your eventual success story. We love underdogs, and we love hearing about how people overcame adversity. Give us a new story to absorb and to model.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.