Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cheryl Clark, Founder of Clark Strategies, located in Mississauga, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is people. I have two adventures on the go, and no matter which one we discuss, my business is people. Some businesses say they are health and wellness, others say they are coaches, others share they sell candles - all of them should be saying their business is, in fact, people. People are clients, marketing partners, referral sources, recommending advocates, and lessons, who we learn from and grow from and because of. My business is people. Who are my customers - now that question I can get specific with. In the case of Clark Strategies - my customers (the ones who utilize the services we provide) are home-based businesses, entrepreneurs, and those who label themselves as 'small business owners.
Tell us about yourself
My business has evolved. Why? Because I am evolving. I started my business close to 20 years ago, and back then, it was all about 'marketing.' Businesses are being seen and heard. As I learned and grew, I now say - we need to see and hear others, and when we do, the reciprocation is we are seen and heard as well.
What motivates me daily? Some days frankly, I am not motivated! However, I know the importance of showing up, and that feeling is not a dependable marker - they change. I know others need me to show up. There is an accountability that comes with being a business owner, and often we think, "oh, I own my own business; I'm only accountable to me" - I disagree. You are responsible for yourself and how you are seen, but you are accountable to those seeking your services and products - they need you.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is I'm still going. My biggest accomplishment is my showing up and doing what I know. If we all just showed up daily for others - not even for ourselves but for others every day can you imagine the impact??
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Prioritization and Focus. When you show up to serve others and be the best you can be - you see so many avenues you can work, be part of, and share in - picking and choosing priorities can be difficult. With picking priorities working, your focus goes hand in hand. What do you want to be known for? What years from now will be a legacy for you? What is your focus?
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Serve - It's NOT about you - it's about others, and when you serve the rest falls into place.
- Feed what you want to grow. Stay away from negative confrontations and emotions - feed the vibes you want to surround you and focus on those.
- Get up - I don't care how you feel - get up! Action changes the mindset, and on those days that you can't seem to dig in to do it - do it anyway, and then your mind will shift and be proud of you for doing something.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I was detained for 295 days by the United States Immigration system. This detainment was so rich in lessons - one that stands out is - upon release, I had to 'start over' there is no timeline, time frame, right or wrong - there only is. And as you are reading this - that moment just passed, and you are already into a new one. And another new one and yet another new one as you keep reading. Each moment matters, but each moment is new and unique embrace that.
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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