Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in coaching but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Christen N. James, Founder of Christen N. James, Mindset & Transition Coach, located in Scarborough, ON, Canada.

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

I help women-identified professionals feel successful in their small biz so they can confidently exit the 9to5 setting for good. In the process of taking them from employee to Entrepreneur, we work on starting or growing their side-biz and then creating a 3D Exit Strategy™ (Decide, Dedicate, Depart) that sets them up to go on the journey to submitting their resignation on their terms in their timing.

Tell us about yourself

I knew that I didn't want to be (or was meant to be) in a corporate setting for the entire working portion of my life, but I felt stuck because of the Employee Mindset (something that I now help my clients to acknowledge and break free of). When I decided that I HAD to make a change, I started talking about my departure with anyone that would listen, saying: "By the end of this year, I will be gone. I don't know what that looks like, but it's happening this year." I started doing research and reconnecting with valuable contacts and even wished to be laid off. And then, about halfway through the year, it was announced that our department would be closing, and we would be receiving our severance packages. I couldn't believe it! It has been THE best thing to happen to me, and the reassurance that I am now doing what I am MEANT to be doing because the Universe had conspired to make it happen. I am so committed to helping womxn push past this conditioning that we must settle for what is presented to us. Mediocrity is not an option when you have a gift to share with the world.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I launched a podcast in January 2021 titled The Shine to FIVE™ Method with CJ and set the audacious goal to interview a successful woman in business every week for the 1st year. Not only did I accomplish the goal and was able to connect with 50 incredible women in business, but my podcast has since grown to be another entity under the brand that I'm building (Shine to FIVE™), which helps to establish me as an expert in my field of coaching aspiring Entrepreneurs.

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

I tell every client about how hard it's going to be. I believe in being completely authentic, so I am not afraid to share the challenges as well as the successes. You will doubt yourself and question your skillset, and "comparisonitis" is a very real thing.

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

  1. Find your "people"! Entrepreneurship is isolating, especially when starting out and it can get discouraging. In my opinion, it takes a village to grow a business. There is so much value in getting the feedback and insight from others that are as invested in your success as you are.
  2. Be ready and willing to take the downs with the ups. There is no such thing as "Failure," just lessons, so reframe your thinking if/when something doesn't go according to plan and evaluate what you can do differently.
  3. The definition of "Success" is different for each person. Define your success so you can work towards goals that are aligned with your Values.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

We are our biggest critics, and our voice is the first and last that we hear. When you are being critical of yourself, pause and ask yourself: "Is this really true? Where did this come from?" There is always a story, and many we carry because we don't know otherwise. They are just that, though - stories. YOU started for a reason because you're an EXPERT in your field. It doesn't matter how many others are already doing what you're doing; they're not YOU. You are your secret sauce.

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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