Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Angela Maiers, Founder of Choose2Matter, located in Parker, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
In June 2011, I gave a talk at TEDxDesMoines called "You Matter." I talked about how these two words can change minds and change lives if we know how to use them in the right way. The video went viral and has now been viewed half a million times. The talk ignited a global movement, so I founded Choose2Matter – a call to action that invites people to make "mattering" a way of life. Now, I work with schools, organizations, and brands on igniting change and spreading hope through the science and practice of mattering.
Tell us about yourself
I actually went to school to become a doctor. In order to put myself through college, I worked four jobs. And every one of them involved working with children. And one day, one of my professors asked me about my passion to be a doctor. For as long as I can remember, my passion and my mission have always been to educate. So I decided to quit med school, and when I went back home and announced that I'd found my passion and wanted to be a teacher, it was met with a lot of resistance. But no matter how much resistance I was met with, I knew my passion was education because the act of not educating was not breathing to me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I'd have to say that my biggest accomplishment is seeing the impact of the #YouMatter message on people every single day. If we really deeply believe that we matter - our ideas, our experiences, our voices, our stories, ourselves - and that our actions matter and are counted on by other people, everything changes. Learning changes. Lives change. The world changes. And that is a beautiful thing to witness.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Part of a business owner's struggle is not a lack of vision or ideas but surrounding yourself with the wrong people. The reason that so many start-ups fail is not because of ideas or funding; it's because they haven't found the right team. The people you surround yourself with shouldn't always be people who are like-minded and in the same field. You need people who are different from you and who will challenge you.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Self-awareness is key to success as a business leader. If you aren't self-aware, you can't lead, you can't innovate, and you can't make the impact you were meant to make.
- The world we live in is unpredictable. There's no such thing as "best practice," so we must have brave leadership. We can't have people waiting. We need to have people trying and not being afraid to fail.
- It's our job as leaders to create spaces where people don't want to be hidden. Where people feel a moral obligation to share their gifts. Where people are heard, valued, and know that they matter.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Two words: You matter.
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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