Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shawn Gibson, partner at Incito, located in Calgary, AB, Canada.

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

Incito is a premier leadership development firm that elevates executive and leadership team mindsets and creates hyper-effective, holistic leaders. Our clients experience a choiceful evolution of mindset that shifts their strengths and skills, allowing them to grow from reactive experts to strategic, future-focused leaders. Our clients are high-performing executives seeking new levels of personal achievement.

Tell us about yourself

I am a former senior executive turned strategist with experience building business and high-performing teams in startups, technology, and multinational manufacturing organizations. I enjoy the challenges of building business and value for customers and have a strong focus on team performance, continuous learning, and innovation. In my experience, I’ve seen that leadership teams often have aspects of their business strategy figured out and need support to fulfill their entire vision. I am inspired to support leaders building better organizations that build better businesses that create a better world for all of us.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

We work with executives across many industries and sizes of organizations. It's amazing to be a thought partner with a client, and they start to grin when they experience a new idea that never occurred to them before - that's gratifying.

Inside the business, we have transformed it from a solo-entrepreneur model to a partnership. It's a surprisingly significant change and requires shared alignment, new levels of communication, and legal structure. It's an accomplishment that enables us to serve more clients in better ways.

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

Small business owners need to find the right A-team of trusted support and contributors while also being skilled enough in multiple disciplines to fill in the gaps. For example, we rely on an external marketing agency, and it's not enough to have a team that is experts in marketing. We also need to have a high level of trust and shared values and enjoy working together to solve hard problems. It is also one of the most rewarding aspects of being a business owner.

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

  1. Find your A-team - people you trust that you can rely on for support, advice, encouragement, matter what.
  2. Develop a clear value proposition and business model - by develop, I mean draft something quick and check it with real clients. Adjust it as you learn, and dedicate yourself to the process of improving your value proposition.
  3. Find your purpose - for your business and for you. Be clear about why your business should exist and why you care about the purpose - this will motivate you every day, especially the difficult ones.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Leadership, culture, and emotional intelligence are often seen as complex, difficult to grasp concepts that are crucial to develop for the success of any business. They are also often overlooked compared to the urgency of bringing a product or service to market. They don't need to be a mystery. There are known ways to develop these critical skills to help run and especially grow a business.

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.