Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lisa Ryan, founder of Grategy, located in Cleveland, OH, USA.

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

I help manufacturing and industrial trade organization members keep their top talent from becoming someone else's through "gratitude strategies" or Grategies. I do this through my keynote speeches, breakout and training sessions, and consulting services.

Tell us about yourself

My speaking business started with a gratitude practice that I started in 2009. When I saw the results of this practice, I knew that this was the message I was supposed to bring to the world. I am a full-time professional keynote speaker and love working with my clients and audience members.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Through sheer determination, persistence, and many investments in myself, I built a successful speaking business from the ground up. I get to travel the country and bring a message to audiences that they resonate with and that I love doing.

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

I find that many new business owners "buy hope." They feel that if they invest in "one more training," "one more coach," "one more product," etc., that that's all they will need to be successful. Success comes from doing the work, not trying to find shortcuts.

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

  1. Don't quit your day job! Make sure that you have at least 12-24 months' worth of savings put away that you can live on while building your business.
  2. Hang out with people who support you in your efforts. Most people in traditional work roles have no idea what it takes to be an entrepreneur. They are not great at supporting something they don't understand.
  3. The only way that you can truly lose is to quit. Persistence - and being the last person standing - is what you need for success.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

It's also important to have a marketable message, product, and service that people will pay money for. Otherwise, you will starve.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.