Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stephanie Slocum, Founder and CEO of Engineers Rising LLC., located in Port Matilda, PA, USA.

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

I am on a mission to normalize women as leaders in engineering and STEM by solving the female retention problems that plague those industries.

Tell us about yourself

I am an engineer who worked in the field for 15 years before founding my business in 2018. I became an engineer to make a difference in the world, and having the maximum impact on the industry is what drives me today. My start in business was the side hustle of writing and self-publishing my category best-selling book, She Engineers.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is to see my clients happy and fulfilled when they've redefined success on their terms. Helping someone overcome burnout, discover their superpowers, tell their boss no on the unimportant stuff and then get a promotion or raise while working and stressing less, helping women lead their companies...all those things light me up and make me excited to come to work every day. I am doing exactly what I was put on the earth to do, I'm in my zone of genius every day, and I feel every client's success as if it were my own. I help each of my clients feel that level of success for themselves.

Some of my more tangible accomplishments include winning the 2020 Connected Women award for my work empowering women in the technology fields and having directly spoken to more than 5000 technical professionals in the last two years alone through my presentations and workshop training.

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

I love being a business owner, but at the same time, it can be draining to be the ultimately responsible party for every decision. There are also infinite possibilities, which can be both an opportunity and a curse.

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

  1. I don't care how smart you are; find mentors that emulate the lifestyle and business type you want to have and listen to what they say. Invest in programs, take them to lunch, and ask for help. This was my biggest mistake early on; I thought I could figure it out myself since I know my market extremely well. I have two engineering degrees, have always been business-savvy (at least for an engineer), and being personable enough that I've often been greeted with surprise when I tell people I'm an engineer.
  2. Decide on your client and talk to them about their URGENT pain points before you start trying to build something to sell. "Build it, and they will come" is an excellent mantra if you want to go bankrupt quickly. Also - don't believe you have a viable product until someone actually pays for your service, program, or item. Many people will say, "that's a great idea," to avoid hurting your feelings, you haven't actually got a viable product until someone has paid for it.
  3. The name of the game when you start is experimentation and rapid iteration to find a minimum viable offer. If you can't iterate fast enough, you're likely to run out of money (this is the reason I believe most businesses fail).
  4. If you ethically can do so and have the capacity, start your business as a side hustle (that's what I did). This helps you build confidence and takes the pressure off immediately, generating income to pay your bills. For many new businesses, it can take 2-3 years to take off (longer if you're not investing in business mentors). Set yourself up for success by starting small and giving yourself the chance to experience if being a business owner is for you.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

The sky is the limit for you! Don't let someone else's failure of imagination hold you back from getting started if you want to be a business owner. Also, if you are in a technology or professional services field and are currently on or aspiring to an ownership or entrepreneurial track, please reach out!

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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