Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jinnie Lee Schmid, Founder and President of Change Navigators, LLC., located in Atlanta, GA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My customers are high-achieving women leaders and business owners who have too much at stake to stay stuck in grief! In other words, they realize that their grief is impacting their productivity and performance at work, as well as their satisfaction in life, and they don't want that to threaten their relationships or their careers/businesses. They are the kind of women who are willing to invest time and money to solve a problem.
Tell us about yourself
My biggest motivation is that I know what it feels like to be a professional woman in grief - it's not fun, and the potential impacts are very serious. I was both raised by my grandmother and was her caregiver in the last decade of her life. When she died, that left a very tangible hole in my heart and in my everyday life because I spent a lot of time with her as well managing her affairs. I was deep in grief (but trying harder and harder to pretend everything was fine) for about nine months. When I finally stumbled on The Grief Recovery Method, it literally changed my life - so much that I decided to get certified so I could deliver it to other women who need the same healing.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I look back and realize there have been several phases in my growth as an entrepreneur. I'm really proud of all the times I stepped into whatever it was I needed to learn, try, or solve at each stage. I'm also a certified coach, and it reminds me of the saying, "from every breakdown, you get a breakthrough." One of the things I admire about entrepreneurs (including myself) is our determination to work through every obstacle that comes our way in order to keep doing what we feel we're meant to contribute to the world.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, it's been mastering the art of keeping the pipeline filled! I've been cycling through various approaches and haven't yet achieved the sustainable, reliable pipeline that I've been looking for. But I keep plugging away at it! I realize it's the biggest question that I still need to solve in my business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be realistic about how long it will take to become financially self-sufficient. If you don't have enough savings to cover it, be open to creative ways to bring in some baseline income while you're growing the business.
- Invest in credentials...wisely. In some industries, you need to be certified in order to be credible to your clients and stakeholders...if so, I'm a firm believer in making that investment, as it demonstrates your commitment and professionalism. In others, your clients may not care at all...and it's possible you're seeking credentials just to boost your confidence. If you can afford them, go for it...if not, work on your mindset and confidence instead while you experiment to determine whether or not they're really necessary.
- Invest in yourself...wisely. Don't be afraid to spend on a coach, community, or other kinds of support and training...but please do your due diligence before making a commitment. Make sure it's the right support you need (not just "close enough") and that you can sustain any financial commitment you make without taking away from your financial growth plan. Compare several options, including the fine print about what minimum services will be delivered and whether/how you can leave the program if it stops meeting your needs.
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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