Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in career development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ryan Dickerson, Founder of Good Fit Careers, located in Durham, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I help proactive professionals prepare to find a new job that is a good fit for them. My customers are corporate professionals with more than ten years of experience who have worked for the same company for several years. Most of my clients have technically complex roles, where they are both subject matter experts and team leaders.
I help my clients think through their professional positioning (resume and LinkedIn profile); I teach them about the hiring process, how to work with recruiters and executive search firms, how to find appropriate opportunities, how to prepare for interviews, how to tell their story more effectively, and how to negotiate their compensation and total rewards packages.
Tell us about yourself
I started my career as a student entrepreneur at Syracuse University. After completing graduate school, I became a Technical Recruiter with an Oracle Systems Integrator in Atlanta that was acquired by Deloitte. I was recruited away to work with Korn Ferry International as a member of their Global CIO Practice. After Korn Ferry, I served as a Talent Partner with a pre-IPO advertising technology company, where I had the opportunity to implement and configure the company's Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and hire the enterprise Chief Technology Officer. After a successful IPO, I served as General Manager of a staffing firm in Austin, Texas, where I led a team of 18 technical and executive recruiters.
For the last four years, I have been coaching executives in transition, helping them prepare to find and land a new role that is a good fit for them. I love this work because I have the opportunity to help people who are amazing at their professions translate their complex career history into a clear and understandable story. The AHA moments as we work through the coaching process and the outcomes these professionals achieve are inspiring. I love working with proactive, capable, and accomplished professionals who are struggling to communicate their experiences. The opportunity to spend one-on-one time with these experts, listen to their entire professional history, and help them synthesize their professional narrative has been a reward in itself.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I am most proud of the outcomes my clients have achieved and continue to achieve. From a business ownership standpoint, my biggest accomplishment is that the majority of my clients come from referrals from other clients. I am also delighted that I've been able to build a business that has thrived in these challenging times while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
As much fun as the last four years have been, I am most excited about the next four years. Scaling from one on one coaching to helping a more broad audience is going to be an adventure.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The business decisions I make and the outcomes my business achieves are mine and mine alone. I am responsible and accountable for the success or failure of the business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do it. Get started. Fail quickly if you're going to fail. Keep your overhead low and do the work.
- Focus on the outcomes your clients can achieve with your help. Your clients are much more important than you are and will be your best salespeople if you help them achieve their goals.
- Provide products or services you are obviously qualified to provide and skilled at delivering.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I'm thankful for this opportunity to share my story! I will be launching a series of new offerings this fall and early in 2023; if you'd like to stay in the loop, please sign up on my website and follow me on LinkedIn!
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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