Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tom Henschel, President of Essential Communications, located in Van Nuys, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm an executive coach. Primarily I work with vice-presidents and above in Fortune 500 companies.
Tell us about yourself
I began as a corporate trainer helping people develop their presentation skills. Almost immediately, I was asked to work one-on-one with three division presidents. I loved it because I got to work with these leaders for months instead of delivering a one- or two-day event. And they grew. Well, two of them did. It was exciting to watch. Helping, teaching, and coaching that's what get me up in the morning. I've always been a teacher, even when I was young. I've gotten good at it, and I love it. I get people promoted. I make their lives at work better. And a lot of time, I make their lives outside of work better, too!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Growing my business for over thirty-plus years. I'm not a business person, and I'm not a numbers person, so staying afloat all these decades is quite an accomplishment. And not just surviving, but growing and thriving. I've built an international clientele by showing up every day and networking my ass off.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, I've had to learn to handle all the administrivia. I've learned to pay attention to details that aren't easy for me. I've learned to double- and triple-check my work. For me, that's been hard.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Nothing is quick. Figure you'll plant a hundred seeds, and five will grow. That's number one. Give yourself a long runway.
- Ask for help. Get advisers and mentors and people who will help you succeed. That's number two. Don't work alone.
- And three -- which is the most important of all -- network. Help others. Let people experience your superpowers. That's number three. Give away your gifts. Abundance gets rewarded.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Talk about yourself and your business without apology. Be proud. I don't mean boastful; I mean factual. Talk about how you help people and how you add value. Don't be shy about stating your value.
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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