Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in professional development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Catherine McLean, founder of CM Career Coaching, located in Dracut, MA, USA.

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

CM Career Coaching provides resume, cover letter, LinkedIn, and interview prep services. I work with early to mid-career professionals across all industries who are looking for support in their job search. A lot has changed, and the modern job search can be overwhelming! Working with a coach can boost your confidence and help you reach your goals faster. I pride myself on listening intently to past experiences, identifying key themes, and then creating job search materials and interview responses that capture the unique value my clients will bring to an organization.

Tell us about yourself

I have always had a passion for career and professional development. I started out in human resources, then switched to higher education, working in career services at Harvard Business School and the University of Massachusetts Lowell. I started CM Career Coaching to help job seekers who are eager to find their next position but feel completely lost in how to get started. I love helping people navigate the nuances of the search because my expertise allows them to offload any doubts and focus their energy on finding the best fit.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Satisfied, confident customers! Nothing makes me happier than hearing someone say, "I am ready to get out there and start my search!" Being able to give someone the push they need to get started is extremely rewarding. I work very collaboratively with clients, so it's not just the transaction of writing a resume or prepping for an interview. We dive deeper to ensure the career story is relevant to where they're headed next and that it incorporates key strengths. I really value these relationships, so I'll check in throughout the search and, of course, love to celebrate with them when they land the offer!

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

Time management can be tricky for a business owner. In addition to completing the actual work, you're also responsible for core business functions, including accounting, marketing, content creation, growth strategy, etc. Block time on the calendar for specific tasks and stick to them as best you can. If you have time blocked off for marketing, stick to marketing items only rather than using it to catch up on other things. I also block off the last 30 minutes of my day to run through my inbox and respond to emails.

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

  1. I highly recommend talking to other entrepreneurs regardless of industry. Find out what worked for them, what they struggle with, etc.
  2. Be prepared to pivot. You are flying the plane as you build it, and your process will continuously change. This encompasses everything from pricing, marketing, target audience, etc. You don't have to wait until everything is perfect to launch, but you do have to be ready to learn and adjust as needed.
  3. Embrace imposter syndrome. We all experience it, so accept it as something you must work through to grow. While I do recommend observing others in your space, there is also more than one way to be successful. Don't let what others are doing drown out what makes YOU and your business unique.

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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