Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Haley Johnson, Founder of Haley E Johnson LLC, located in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

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

I work with values-driven service providers in two main ways. The first is through the Marketing Roadmap, where I work with clients to map out their customer journey and create a marketing strategy that guides their clients through with the most value and least friction as possible. I want my clients to feel that they are serving their prospects as much as they are trying to sell to them because I find that this approach helps sales feel a lot less scary and come a lot more naturally to my clients. After we create the Marketing Roadmap clients, typically keep me on to write the copy for their website, email sequences, or opt-ins – basically, do what needs to be done to bring the roadmap to life! The second way I work with clients is in LinkedIn strategy and lead generation. Focusing on the same type of person, my team and I help our clients build a LinkedIn lead generation and thought leadership strategy to support their marketing and sales!

Tell us about yourself

I got started in business somewhat by accident. After graduating college, I struggled to find a job and picked up creative gigs wherever I could. After about a year, I realized that I was basically a full-time entrepreneur, so I might as well commit to it! I now have a Master's Degree in Strategic Marketing and Advertising and could not imagine a world where I don't work for myself and help a variety of clients who want to do the same. I love the challenge of approaching a new client's marketing strategy and figuring out the best combination of copy and outreach to help them reach their goals. Every client is like a new puzzle, and I love working hand in hand with my clients to put their puzzles together.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I think that the flexibility and uncertainty of revenue and not knowing where your next paycheck is coming from is one of the scariest parts of being a business owner, but over the years, I've developed the confidence in my ability to go out and get new clients and find more work, so I think getting over that fear of uncertainty and learning to embrace it and get excited about the possibilities instead of being afraid of the unknown has been a really great mindset shift that I'm proud of myself for accomplishing.

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

I think you reached a point where you have to decide if you want to hustle or if you want to ask for help. When I reached that point, I decided that help meant hiring an employee to be a part of my business with me. Learning how to take that kind of responsibility and ownership over someone else's performance and the way that they can provide for themselves or their family was a really big lesson that I needed to learn, and taking the time and energy to grow as a leader was really difficult because it isn't easy and it doesn't always feel like its paying off right away, but I'm so glad I took the time to do it because now I feel confident in my ability to grow my business in whatever direction I want to because I can lead a team to support that vision.

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

  1. It doesn't have to be that deep. If you want to start a business, pick a service and get someone to pay you to do the service. When the project is over you can reflect on the experience, tweak your service, and change your prices based on what you learned. Someone can come in and tell you what to offer, what to charge, and how to run your business, but until you take the time to actually experience it and make your own educated decisions about how to proceed, you'll always feel like a beginner.
  2. Don't be afraid to put your foot down if a client isn't treating you properly, but also, don't be afraid to keep working with a client you don't like because you need the money. A lot of advice online is about firing bad clients and putting boundaries in place to protect yourself, but sometimes you literally can't afford to say no to work, and there's nothing wrong with that if it means providing for yourself and your family. Not everybody has the luxury to say no to client work, and that's not something to be ashamed of.
  3. Treat everyone you encounter with love and respect. You never know what connections will turn into something else down the line, so even if people are choosing not to work with you, make sure they remember you and stay in touch for the future because when you're in a bind, your network is your best asset for advice, referrals, and more.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I have a podcast called Messy in the Middle, all about the many, many ups and downs that come with being a business owner. I'm always looking for more guests and love to connect with my listeners, so head on over to to take a listen and send me a DM on Instagram if you want to pitch yourself to be on the show!

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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