Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in leadership development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michaele Downey, Founder of Downey Success Academy, located in Rio Rancho, NM, USA.

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

At Downey Success Academy, we help Training Managers and Corporate Trainers train new leaders through The First Five Skills of Leadership™. In my years as a supervisor, manager, and trainer, I have found that there are five common skills needed by all leaders. They already have one of these: Job Expertise – that’s probably one of the reasons they were promoted in the first place. There are four other qualities and skills that need to be developed to become effective leaders.

And leadership is not just for supervisors and managers. Leadership traits can be used by people at all levels of an organization. Improving leadership qualities in the staff will also help managers and supervisors recognize a future supervisor or manager.

Tell us about yourself

As a Corporate Trainer, I was able to help some people improve their skills. I founded Downey Success Academy because I wanted to help more people. Now, I help people all over the world. I have always loved teaching people new things and helping them improve their skills. It’s a thrill to hear someone say I made a difference in their life.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is being able to help people all over the world. I have been able to go from being an in-person trainer to being able to train online and keep it interesting. I strive to create helpful, interactive activities that relate to the topic being discussed and keep my students interested.

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

The hardest thing about being a business owner, especially as a sole proprietor, is the lack of accountability. Nobody tells you to get up and go to work every day. There is no one to give you time limits. You are in charge of your own business. You are the one who sets the goals and creates the deadlines. If you do this properly, you are well on your way to being a success.

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

  1. Do what you love. Pick something that excites you. Something that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning.
  2. Set goals for your business. Be sure they have deadlines. Remember, a goal without a deadline is just a dream.
  3. After you set those goals, take action. Without action, nothing gets done.

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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