Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in coaching but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lesa Edwards, Founder of Exclusive Career Coaching, located in Tallahassee, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Exclusive Career Coaching helps high-achieving, mid-career professionals land their dream job. We prepare clients' marketing documents (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, bio) and coach them on job search strategy, interview techniques, and salary negotiations.
Tell us about yourself
I started this journey in 1990 when I accepted a position as a Career Coordinator at Columbus State University in Columbus, GA. Since that time, I was the director of two university career centers before transitioning full-time into my business in 2011. What motivates me each day: I get to support amazing clients as they land great jobs with great compensation packages!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Getting the help I have needed at various points to push past existing limitations. I think one of the biggest challenges of being a business owner is a) recognizing that, while you may be able to do it all yourself, that isn't the best way to scale your business, and b) being willing to relinquish parts of the job that don't have to be done by you (and can probably be done better by someone else). The help I've gotten over the years has included 1:1 coaching, hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) and podcast editor, and one-time help from specialists (i.e., tech people).
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, it has been being willing to look at my business objectively (often with the help of a coach) to determine where I'm missing the mark and how to fix it. Also - being willing to look at myself and my role in the business as I am scaling so that I am doing the things that only I can do and delegating the rest.
What I see from many others: It's the shift from a highly structured work environment to now having complete control over your schedule. If you aren't self-motivated and able to structure your time, this is a huge challenge.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Have an affinity for the product/service you are providing. You're going to be spending A LOT of time with your product/service and with the kinds of people who buy your product/service - you had better like both.
- Get coaching! You'll need different kinds, from different coaches, throughout the lifecycle of your business.
- Be FEARLESS. You're going to need to try lots of marketing strategies, products/services, and business models even - no room for timid wallflowers here. Don't think of it as winning or losing - think of it as winning or LEARNING.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Decide this is what you want to do - then decide you've made the right decision. In other words, don't waffle or second-guess yourself once you decide to start a business.
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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