Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Catherine Nkonge, Owner of Hazina Career Coaching, located in St. Louis, MO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a career coach and owner of Hazina Career Coaching. Through my coaching practice, I serve career changers. This includes those who desire to move on from a career they no longer want to be in because the work they do leaves them feeling stressed out, unmotivated, bored, unhappy, or frustrated.
I help career changers discover and clarify what they want to do so that they can find their fulfilling career, make a successful career transition and live fully through the work they treasure.
Tell us about yourself
My career transition started when after about 10 years of working as a social worker in youth programming, I knew in my heart it was time to move on. I didn’t know, though, move on to what. Did I want to make a career transition? Look for another job working with youth. I was clueless.
During the last year and a half of doing this work, I started noticing I was no longer excited about going to work. In fact, my last summer program session was one of my worst experiences.
So, when it ended, I made the decision to resign from my position. I did not have a job that I was walking into, nor did I have the faintest idea of what I wanted to do next. I just knew it was time to move on.
My resignation led to my career transition journey, which took a little over 15 months. I had quite a few things to work through. Through self-reflection and coaching, I was able to navigate to my next career, which led me to where I am today.
I created the Career Transition Coaching Program to help motivated career changers discover what they want to do so that they can find their fulfilling career and make a successful career transition.
Over 9+ years, I have coached clients who want to make a career transition. I have developed and fine-tuned the three-phase process I use to successfully help my clients figure out what they want to do so that they can find their fulfilling careers and make a successful career transition.
I have a MEd in counseling with a focus on career coaching, and I am a licensed professional counselor (LPC).
I love what I do! I AM LIVING IN MY PURPOSE. I want to help you do the same.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is getting on this entrepreneurial path and staying the course. I have developed my coaching practice from scratch. I now have a one-on-one 10-week Career Transition Coaching Program, and I've just launched my first self-directed online mini-course - Discover What You Want To Do. I also have a youth career exploration program called Young Professionals.
Our careers are such a big part of who we are. I want to help people discover work that allows them to express who they are and so live fully through the work they treasure.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is having to wear so many hats to run and grow your business and be successful at it. Along the way, I have learned that I can't and shouldn't want to wear all the hats. It's important to build a team; even if that looks like a virtual team, you can delegate certain tasks and duties.
Another hard thing is the isolating factor of being a business owner. One spends a lot of time working on their own, so it's important to join and be part of a community of like-minded people for support. You definitely don't want to go it alone.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Don't just jump in. Do your due diligence to be clear that this is the path you want to pursue. This does not mean you won't have doubts. That's part of the course.
Having said that, don't let fear get in the way of you starting your business. Fear never shuts up. Fear never goes away.
"Both faith and fear may sail into your harbor. But allow only faith to drop anchor." Author Unknown
Success in business is not linear. It looks more like a squiggly line with loops that go up and down. It requires being willing to deal with uncertainty and the ups and downs. Having a good support system will help you weather through this.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
It's not an easy ride, but I've to say it is well worth it.
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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