Interested in starting your own freelance business, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with full-time coach for creators and small business owners, Melissa Wong, from Melissa Wong Coaching based out of Oakland, CA.
Tell us all about your business...
I am a coach and community builder. I am really open to coaching anyone who is hungry to make a change in the way they orient their time to what they really care about.
I especially enjoy supporting people move from scarcity/security mentalities to one that feels braver to be expressive and creative. My clients are people who make big moves - a cross country move, landing a dream job at the NYTimes, launching their creative practice by renting out an art studio, and starting sharing their creative work more regularly and publicly.
What's your background and motivation to grow as a small business owner & coach?
Between my love of getting to know what motivates people and spurs them into intentional action and receiving consistent feedback from friends and colleagues that I should consider being a therapist or coach, I decided to begin training as a coach in 2019 and I haven’t looked back since!
Founding and running an event space in Brooklyn (New Women Space - still up and running today!) was a formative experience in hosting gatherings, creating safe spaces, and supporting leaders and creatives.
Coaching lets me live into my belief that people have bigger potential than they think and with concerted thought and directed energy we can all surprise ourselves with what we are capable of.
As a coach, what does success ultimately mean to you?
Success for me is being proud of the quality of service I give others and having trust that it is high quality based on the impact I see it having on people moving toward their goals. It is walking the walk - which means that if I am encouraging others to live in alignment with their values to change the world with their life purpose in mind, I better doing the same.
Success as a business owner is also finding a sustainable rhythm, where I have a healthy relationship to work/life boundaries and am making enough money to live a comfortable lifestyle. It is being able to have agency and choice in whom I work with and what I spend my time doing.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a solopreneur?
Knowing how to prioritize your time. For me, there are so many things I want to do. It requires me to step back and really assess if something is worth starting or investing in before I sink more time and effort into it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a small business today?
1. If you're inspired but scared, just start.
2. Iterate. Be responsive as you get new inputs.
3. Be kind. Create ethical practices toward others, the planet and yourself.
If there was one thing you could do repeatedly to help grow your business, what would it be?
Have really powerful conversations with people, to show them first hand how impactful it can be to have a good coach in your corner.
What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance and to keep it all together?
No phone when I am with loved ones. No notifications on my phone. Sleep. Eat. Exercise. The basics!
Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs and best business resources/books?
I have always admired Tina Roth Eisenberg and Seth Godin. Both have created small ecosystems of businesses that enable them to express themselves creatively through different channels. They also build connection between tribes and communities of people and have missions to get people to see and act more creatively.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I have had the privilege of having a business partner in a past business who I really enjoyed working with. If anyone has an opportunity to work with someone that they have a hunch they work well with, I found the experience gratifying to have someone else setting goals with me, with skin in the game like me, and who could complement my skillset.
Where can people find you online?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a small business owner or coach that you'd like to share then email email@example.com, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.