Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Taryn Stejskal, Founder of Leadership Institute (RLI), located in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

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

After conducting two decades of original research on resilience, mental health, and wellbeing, I developed the only existing empirically based framework to support individuals, teams, and organizations in enhancing their resilience, The Five Practices of Highly Resilient People. Today, I am the Founder and Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) of Resilience Leadership Institute (RLI) and am recognized #1 international expert on resilience, mental health, and wellbeing. RLI's mission is to positively impact the lives of 1 billion people by 2030 through sharing the practices of resilience that not only enhance hope, healing, and health; they create enhanced leadership skills and consciousness. LA Progressive magazine calls me "the go-to person" and "a secret weapon" for people who want to find and maintain their edge as well as rise above the competition. Our customers are anyone who would like to harness and enhance their resilience!

Tell us about yourself

I have always been fascinated by how people effectively navigate the inevitable challenges, changes, and complexities we experience and what allows some to flourish while others fold in these moments. Early in my life and along my journey, I have faced my own series of adversities, including a learning disability, PTSD, and nearly having my life ended in an abusive relationship.

For the last two decades, I have interviewed hundreds of people from all walks of life and reviewed thousands of pieces of data, like books, articles, podcasts, films, interviews, etc., to guide others in effectively facing a challenge, change, and complexity in both leadership and life. My work is informed by my research, and I have gotten to use my own experiences with challenges as a case study.

I am motivated every day to provide others with the playbook to effectively face a challenge so they can enjoy fuller and more beautiful lives, as I have.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Every person we get to reach through RLI, who feels uplifted, inspired, and excited about life because of the knowledge and perspectives we have shared is an incredible accomplishment!

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 being a business owner. It means carrying the vision and mission of the company, ensuring profitability, nurturing the brand, and of course, leading many aspects of the business, at least early on!

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

  1. Focus on being graceful, grounded, and true to your authentic self, no matter how much success you enjoy!
  2. Work with people you admire and love and treat those people VERY well!
  3. Recognize that every obstacle is a teacher and every difficulty is an opportunity to grow.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I would also share that as a business owner, you must believe in yourself relentlessly. The business owners that are the most successful aren't necessarily those with the best ideas, but those that believe in their vision and mission, along with having the courage and conviction to pursue their passion. Not everyone will understand what you are trying to create. Learn from the perspectives of those who doubt or don't understand your vision and surround yourself with people who believe in making your vision come to life.

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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