Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Jann Freed, a leadership development consultant, located in Des Moines, IA, USA.

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

I am a leadership development coach, speaker, and author. My focus is on helping people navigate change and transition in work and in life. Clients are seeking to live life on purpose and with passion.

Tell us about yourself

I spent 30 years in higher education as a professor of business management and leadership at a liberal arts college. After the publication of my book Leading with Wisdom: Sage Advice from 100 Experts, I transitioned into my current role so I could practice what I had been teaching and learning. Since I taught undergraduate students for decades, I now teach a graduate leadership course. This has been rewarding because of the work and life experience they bring to the course. But what motivates me on a daily basis is to help myself and others make the rest of life the best of life.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

When my clients succeed, I succeed. Every time clients are able to have the conversations, courage, and confidence to make the decisions needed to improve their lives; I celebrate with them.

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

Marketing. As a sole business owner, I am responsible for all aspects of the business. While I can outsource a few aspects, I find marketing my business to be the hardest part. I want to spend my time coaching, speaking, and writing --these are my strengths. Since there are only 24 hours in a day, marketing is a constant challenge. The key question is this: What is the best way to spend my time and money on marketing efforts? Referrals are gifts.

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

  1. Be prepared to market yourself and your business.
  2. Be intentional about how you spend your time and money on marketing.
  3. Be ready to answer the questions: Why should I hire you? What value do you add?

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

To learn more about me and what I do, please refer to my website: I host a monthly podcast called "Becoming a Sage," where I interview thought leaders about wisdom. On my website, you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter, where I share what I am learning. My forthcoming book is titled "Breadcrumb Legacy: How Great Leaders Live a Life Worth Remembering" (Routledge Publishing, 2023). To give you a "taste" of my concept Breadcrumb Legacy™, you can subscribe on my website to a FREE mini-course. I also wrote a column for Training Magazine (both online and print) called "Leading Edge."

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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