Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Zoe Hawkins, Director of In Good Company Uk Ltd., located in Clevedon, North Somerset, UK.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is a Coaching Training and Leadership Development Company. Our customers are High Achieving Leaders, Human Resource, and Change Professionals who are interested in furthering their leadership skills through coaching or training to become independent coaches.
I am also a Leadership Coach supporting Leaders and Founders to develop their Impact and Influence whilst maintaining their well-being so they can have a bigger impact on the world without sacrificing their own needs to do so.
Tell us about yourself
I always imagined having my own business. I was that strong, independent child that always wanted their own way - freedom runs through my veins, so in many ways, entrepreneurship was well suited to me! It wasn't until I was pregnant with my first child that I decided to take the leap. My husband was in the military and deployed on operations, and at the time, I was doing a lot of international travel with work. I wanted to be there for my family, so I decided to leave, and it was at that point that my business partner and I formed In Good Company.
As well as the desire for freedom and flexibility, I am also a learner. My profession - coaching - has ample opportunity for learning. You're never 'done' as a coach; there is always more opportunity for learning and growth. I also love the challenge of learning to grow a business and experimenting with different ideas and approaches to see what works.
My work is my passion; I love seeing others grow, develop and make an impact on the world in whatever way they choose. I love working with leaders and other entrepreneurs because I see the ripple effect of their leadership throughout their teams and businesses. At the heart of what I do is a belief that we need more compassionate and courageous leaders to solve the complex problems that the world faces, and coaching can play a pivotal role in that. Every day I look forward to coming to work and have made many lifelong friends through my business and the work that I do.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I am fortunate to have a business partner and a growing team. I think being a solopreneur is tricky. Not every day will see success; there will be times when business is hard, sales are slow, or momentum feels like wading through treacle. It's these times you need to keep going and having my business partner has meant that we can share in both the successes and failures. We can focus on learning and keep going. The hardest journey of all, though, is the mindset journey. As a business owner, you'' be faced with all your inner gremlins. "Is my work good enough?" "What if no one buys?" - ultimately, you'll face your fear of failure, rejection, not being good enough - you name it, dormant, unhelpful beliefs will rise to the surface as you step out to grow your business. Suppose you're like me, though - it's all part of the learning journey and can be hugely fulfilling if you're ready to rid the wave!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- I think many people will tell you to have a business plan, and whilst that's sound advice, I'd also say I don't try to plan everything. Getting started is more important. Plans will change as you learn more and more about what works and what doesn't work. My business partner and I have built our business around a combination of firm goals and intentions. We work a lot of it out as we go.
- Prepare to invest. It took us seven years to work out how to run a business. It doesn't have to take anyone that long. Prepare to invest in mentors, coaches, and courses that can fill the gaps for you. Sales and marketing are core pillars of a successful business. If you don't have skills in this area, invest in your learning. I believe that whenever you invest in yourself and your business, it will pay back time and time again. Yes, it's a cost, but most importantly, it's an investment.
- Don't believe everything you read. There are no overnight successes. Consistency, commitment, and courage are three core ingredients of a successful business. Courage - Set yourself massive goals, ones that scare you and ones you're prepared to fail at. If you fall short of these, you'll still have traveled further than you might have otherwise done. Consistency - The biggest thing that shifted our business was sharing weekly highs. Value content. Every week without fail, we'd release a coaching video in our Facebook group. We did this when the group had ten members, and we do it now - albeit in a different format - now the group has 3000 members. We have never missed a week, and we're now known for our high-value, educational content. This draws clients in and means people recommend us over and over again. Whatever it is you choose to do for your client attraction - be consistent. Commitment - be committed to your mission. Have something you care about so much that giving up is simply not an option because there will be times when you'll consider giving up.
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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