Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chris Reilly, Founder of Financial Modeling Education, located in Denver, CO, USA.

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

I help finance professionals build awesome FP&A and private equity financial models (in Excel) -- taught in a relatable, simple style -- I take out all the usual jargon and frustration that comes with building a model like this and distill it down into its most basic components for easy understanding.

Tell us about yourself

Working for myself was something I'd always wanted to do. By 2020, I felt like I had the skills and network to go out on my own, so I just went for it. My primary motivation is to spend more time with my family -- I no longer have to commute, have "face time" requirements, and can work on my own schedule.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Using LinkedIn to turn my business into a lead-generation machine. I post on there daily, and it continues to provide plenty of online courses and consulting leads, which keeps me optimistic about the future.

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

As a Solopreneur, it can be lonely sometimes without co-workers, and everything falls on you. You don't work? You don't get paid. You also have to sell the work, close the work, do the work, and then collect payment for the work. It's a lot!

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

  1. Start for free by just posting your expertise on social media (obviously, I prefer LinkedIn) -- if there's something you can talk about, unrehearsed, for 30-60 minutes, you're probably pretty good at it. Start posting and see if you can get some traction and build a small following.
  2. Use that initial following to promote consulting services for free in exchange for a review. It will let you see if (a) you're good enough to go out on your own and (b) if you actually enjoy the challenge.
  3. After a few reviews, begin charging for your consulting service. At the same time, listen for common problems from your consulting clients and turn that into an online course. It doesn't have to be long or fancy -- just 45 minutes using a basic screen recorder. Now, you have a "passive business" (your course) you can point people to, as well as an "active business" (your consulting), and just like that, you're on your way. Last thing: just start. Just start. Just start. Don't stare at the wall and wonder. You have to start.

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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