Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cynthia Heren, Founder of Inside Our Normal, located in Champaign, IL, USA.

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

Inside Our Normal is all about supporting families with "Outside the Box" kids and helping them find freedom in homeschooling to meet their diverse educational needs. I offer coaching and monthly workshops to help families understand and embrace their students' strengths and support their learning disabilities or other challenges.

Many families understand the flexibility homeschool provides to meet their child's different learning needs but are overwhelmed at exactly where to start and how to meet those needs as a new homeschooler. I can present curriculum options and help them find their routines. I help them understand how to accommodate and teach with the learning challenges. I love watching my families unlock success both in the classroom and life.

Tell us about yourself

My business has grown from my own experience of homeschooling my three kids since 2014. Each of them has a different learning disability. Across the family, we have Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, Sensory Challenges, and Giftedness, so learning can look a little bit outside the box, to say the least, at our house. Our early years of homeschooling were lonely as we found our way and discovered why certain parts were extra challenging. I want to share our story and knowledge with others so they can struggle a little less and know they aren't alone.

It isn't always easy to be a homeschool teacher as well as a business owner, but my kids have needed me to learn a lot to be able to teach and parent them the best that I can, so I want to share this knowledge with others.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Landing my first client and watching our conversations change their family and homeschool for the better. While they wait months for professional evaluations for their child's needs, I get to immediately provide strategies they can use to make their family life calmer

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

Having special needs and neurodiverse kids means needing to be very flexible. Our homeschool day can be derailed very quickly if something unexpected happens, affecting the time and energy I can devote to my business on a given day. Working ahead so there is a margin for meeting deadlines is key for me.

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

  1. Be Consistent: At first, I tried to fit my new business into my spare time, and I wasn't seeing progress, but when I made it a priority and worked consistently, I saw growth.
  2. Stay In Your Own Lane: Your business and its growth will be unique to you, so don't compare! Learn from others and build your business to reflect your priorities and strengths, and you will see success.
  3. Write down your Success and your Goals regularly: Early in my business, when my success wasn't always obvious, at the end of each week, I would try to write down my accomplishments or wins for the week as well as the projects I wanted to do next. Sometimes the wins were as simple as making a new business contact or hitting publish on something.

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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