Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Claude Cote, Founder of GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!, located in Montana, Bulgaria.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I help people Achieve Excellence On The TOEFL iBT Exam. My customers are students and professionals who come from countries where English is not the native language and who need to take The TOEFL Exam for entering university, obtain scholarships, as a requirement for employment in an international company, or for immigration purposes.
Tell us about yourself
I first started working as an ESL teacher back in 2009 and soon after began specializing in The TOEFL Exam. After my first full course of teaching the TOEFL Exam, my students who obtained scores much higher than they expected told me that I should write a textbook on The TOEFL Exam since I taught it in a way that was much different than all other available textbooks. Publishing a textbook was not feasible at the time, so I created an online training system for The TOEFL Exam.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner was actually finishing the creation of my training system and getting it online. It has been a solo effort since the beginning. And what started out as a very big "side project" has become more than a full-time job.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The thing that I have found to be the hardest is having to "wear all the hats" in the business. As a solo entrepreneur, one is forced to learn and become competent in a lot of things that one may not have any interest in and which may not be very pleasant. But until one becomes successful enough to hire a team... there is no other way.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Just start! There will never be a perfect time.
- That thing that you "don't know how to do"... If you just do it, the knowledge of HOW to do it will come.
- Other people's path to success is not the same as YOUR path to success. You do not need to copy what other successful people are doing for YOU to be successful. Modeling others who are successful is a very helpful tool. But if your "thing" is unique... you might just have to be a "trailblazer" and do things your own way.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
A common axiom in business that I find to be very helpful is: to not measure one's own success against the success of others.
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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