Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with David Domínguez, an Executive Coach and Amazon Bestselling Author, based in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm an executive coach and an Amazon Bestseller Author. My clients are driven, high-performing entrepreneurs and directors who want to perform to the best of their abilities.
Tell us about yourself
Well, my background is quite broad. But, if you think about it, all of it has to do with productivity, performance, and efficiency. I joined the Spanish Marines when I was 18. I stayed there for around 11 years. Then, I voluntarily left the Corps to "try" the corporate world at 29. I started as a sales rep for a SaaS (software) company and did well. I was promoted to COO in less than three years of being in that company. I'm pretty sure that the main reason was my work productivity approach and insistence on getting up early. I focus on working on these two aspects, among others, with my executive clients.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Probably, surviving for my first year after taking the decision of leaving that company where I was a C-level executive without having much more than some savings and my growth mentality.
Apart from that, I'd say that my biggest accomplishments as a solopreneur to date are having published two books in 2022; I'm especially proud of my newest one: "How to wake up at 5 AM even if you hate getting up early," and being able to work with amazingly effective people that count on me to be even better at achieving goals.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Respecting your own decisions and being accountable for them. When you're an executive, even if you're very high in the corporate hierarchy, you're working inside a structure that helps you to maintain yourself focused, motivated and effective. You have working start and end times, people to rely on, and some kind of unofficial support system. But some of us, those with an entrepreneurial mindset, can feel suffocated with all this. That is why we break with the traditional and try to create our own path as business owners.
The problem here is that it takes time to adapt. Getting used to daily uncertainty, and accepting that you're directly responsible for almost everything that happens to you and your business, takes time and, in some cases, a bit of external help. Believe it or not, one important part of the entrepreneurs who approach to work with me needs to create a structure for themselves that allows them to perform "like in the good old days" when they were part of a corporate system.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- You have to have to be very clear that it is going to be difficult. And that, precisely, is part of the magic of entrepreneurship. So prepare for that and embrace uncertainty because that's the natural environment for every business owner out there.
- Create a support system as soon as possible. Seek help from your family (especially those living with you), from your colleagues and work contacts, and consider hiring a professional to help you with your executive function.
- Do not fall in love with your idea and give the market what the market asks for. Listen to it, because it's always speaking. What I've found is that the most profitable and successful business owners out there have something in common: their flexibility. You have to find that "sweet spot" between giving up too quickly and insisting too much.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I can work in English and Spanish, and you can find my new book, "How to wake up at 5 AM even if you hate getting up early," in both languages. You can find the English version here.
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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