Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Darleen Santore, Founder of Performance Meets Purpose, located in Scottsdale, AZ, USA.

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

Performance Meets Purpose is a coaching and consulting for high-level CEOs, entrepreneurs, and professional athletes seeking to optimize their life game in their business/profession and the world. Through the coaching and process of increasing human capital, individuals can increase the capital within their own companies and team. My business optimizes and pours into my clients so they can, in turn, pour into others within their professional and personal lives. When you are able to learn how to invest in and optimize the people around you, your business will increase. Through the process of tapping into our mental edge, we tap into life’s edge that allows us to win not only in our work but in life 24/7.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Darleen Santore, also known as “Coach Dar,” a licensed, board-certified occupational therapist, a globally sought-after motivational speaker, an executive, and the CEO and founder of the coaching firm Performance Meets Purpose Consulting. Known for my mental conditioning work with athletes in the NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, and NFL, I served as the mental skills coach for the Phoenix Suns. In addition to professional athletes, I coach and advise Fortune 100 executives, world leaders, artists, and entrepreneurs. My approach helps my clients dramatically improve their performance and purpose by helping them to awaken to their greatness and to show up with a higher level of EQ and excellence.

My mission is to wake up every day to inspire and awaken greatness. I feel that it is my calling and mission to serve others in my life. I am driven by this enormous opportunity as it allows me to help others optimize their lives.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I have been blessed in my life to be able to serve so many individuals to win in their life and continue to grow every day through my coaching. I was given the opportunity to be the Phoenix Suns Mental Condition Coach. This opportunity allowed me to be the first occupational therapist serving in a mental conditional coach role in professional sports, which was a major accomplishment for other professionals in my field and me. In addition, I am being honored this year with the Diamond Excellence Award in Coaching for Women in Professional Sports. Alongside this honor, I will be releasing my first book called The Art of Bouncing Back. It is currently available for presale at

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

One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is the balancing act of overseeing and physically running the business while being the person that is doing all of the advisings. I have learned A LOT over the years, one thing especially though, understanding the importance of surrounding myself with the right people who can excel at managing the day-to-day details of running the business and address the things that are most challenging for me so that my focus can truly be on advising my clients.

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

When you want to start something, start with writing down and understanding your gifts, skill sets, and the things you are most passionate about. Take those skills and talents, figure out where the world needs them, and apply them there. I like to use the phrase, “Go ugly early” when starting out, as it will never be perfect. The first pass at anything will never be your best but be sure to position yourself to be as prepared as you can at the time to jump into the game and go. Circle yourself with the right people, seek mentorship, and never stop learning. It will get hard, that is how life works, but when you believe in the service you give, it makes the hard work worth it.

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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