Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Steve Fiksdal, Founder of Fiksdal Strengths, located in Auburn, WA, USA.

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

I offer a collection of workshops that help participants identify their subjective strengths. These are the strengths that we most identify with, ones that we have relied on this early childhood. As these strengths are personal, we encourage students to use words that have a particular meaning to them. My audience is entrepreneurs who not only wish to succeed but also love what they do. I also have a background in real estate, so is being well an audience that can see the benefits. Teams can also achieve better results when they focus on the strengths of their members.

Tell us about yourself

For 25 years, I managed real estate companies that marketed the new home for builders. Then ten years ago, my vision began to change, and I was, in fact, legally blind for about five years. This brought a career to a halt where travel by car and reading fine print was a necessity. While working with our state's blind VR agency was exposed to a process that encouraged participants to look to past positive experiences and, from those, identify the strengths that made that experience memorable. I was so impressed by what you had learned that I became certified as a facilitator and am now focused on helping others, through a subjective process, identify their strengths and find love in what they do. Because I have been unable to work traditionally and have survived on a limited budget, I've learned how to create a business with few resources.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Simply getting started, or getting to that point, has been a triumph. It's not easy to create a business on a shoestring. As of this writing, I have not yet launched but intend to do so by January 1, 2023, if not a little sooner.

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

Self-discipline. Especially as a solo entrepreneur, your answer only to yourself. Self-talk and doubt can get in your way. Ironically, my vision loss has necessitated that I step outside the box and comfort zone to move past all the obstacles that rear their heads.

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

You know, it's interesting; my vision loss is one of the best things to occur at this stage in my life. Had I not had to negotiate my way through the challenge, I probably wouldn't be where I am today. Some of my tips are probably ones we have all heard before but are worth repeating.

  1. Don't listen to the neigh sayers. Others will have to advise, some good, some not so. Do as you see fit. Only you have to live with yourself.
  2. Be prepared to make some difficult choices, especially if you're starting on a limited budget. Participate in all the webinars you can, but know when to let go and get to implement what you have learned. Respect the time of those you offer free courses and resources. You, hopefully, will one day be in their shoes.
  3. Don't give up. It's your dream to fulfill; only you can fulfill it. Listen to the advice of others, but know it's your decision what advice to keep and what to toss. You are unique; celebrate it and change the world.

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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