Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Steve Cadigan, Founder of Cadigan Talent Ventures, located in Menlo Park, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I focus on helping leaders and organizations design and build compelling talent strategies to allow them to scale and thrive. My customers range from small entrepreneurs to major Fortune 50 companies, to universities, to Chambers of Commerce in cities and countries. I have advised cities around the world on talent strategies, and I speak with college students about career paths. I sit on the board of directors for four companies and formally advise about a dozen other companies (see my LinkedIn profile for more info)
Tell us about yourself
There is no greater art than the art of helping people build something great together. This is the art that I love. I got started in this work because I discovered very early in my career that everything I love about sports I can find in the work I do today in the domain of talent and leadership.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Receiving feedback from leaders around the world, "wow, I never thought about it that way," or feedback like, "those are some of the freshest ideas I have heard on this topic." Opening my mind and helping people navigate talent complexities is where I find deep satisfaction and joy. In recent years, publishing my first book and launching vibrant followership on TikTok at my old age have made me proud. That said, I don't see myself as a "business owner" - I am just out in the world doing my thing and trying to help others be better, and I love doing it.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I don't know that I am the right person to ask this. I hit success in the corporate world before age 50 - financial independence and this set me up to allow me to do whatever I want. I came to this work with nothing - I did not have a plan that I was going to build my own business. I was tired and worn out and burnt out and just wanted to stop working, frankly. Then...I started to be flooded with inquiries and requests for help - people who saw the culture I built on LinkedIn and who wanted to learn from me. So about 10yrs ago, I started to invest more time in helping others, and over the years, I have learned a lot and become more focused on who I help, how I help, where I help, and so forth. I cannot say this has been hard.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure you are offering to help BIG PROBLEMS that need your solution.
- Be prepared for lots of doubters - even in your own family - prepare yourself as others will question why you are doing what you are doing, and it will surprise you and challenge your resolve.
- Surround yourself with tons of people smarter than you - to coach and mentor you.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
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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