Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jennifer Abrams, Founder of Jennifer Abrams Consulting, located in Palo Alto, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My customers are primarily educators (administrators, teachers, and operational staff (finance, admissions, advancement, tech, etc.) who work in pre-K-12 education both in the USA and internationally. I have been invited to work with schools worldwide, from the USA to Africa, from Asia to Europe, from Australia to South America, and from the Middle East to Canada. I describe myself as a group facilitator, coach, speaker, author, and communications consultant who helps schools and educational organizations on developing collaboration skills, have hard conversations, and create healthy, professional work cultures.
Tell us about yourself
I learned as a teacher that educators have credentials in how to teach their grade levels and subjects, yet we don't have credentials in how to talk effectively with adults and that work is too essential not to study as well. So I started a consulting business helping those in education with what we don't know as well - how to talk to the other adults in schools - our colleagues, supervisees, supervisors, staff, and the parents we partner with. I help people find their voice around what matters - in a classroom, in a supervisor role, or on a team.
I am motivated to do this work because I care deeply about students and the school cultures in which they grow and develop. I work with the adults in those school cultures to become better educators and bigger human beings because the students are watching us.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
One of my biggest accomplishments as a business owner is growing my business to have an international presence. It has stretched me to my edges! I have had some wonderful opportunities through my work to develop my international mindedness and global awareness. It's been a terrific journey to work with educators in so many countries and to adapt my work to many cultures and contexts.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
If you don't have focus and discipline, the work is more challenging. As no one is there to push you - you have no boss or supervisor - you better be a self-starter, and you better be good at getting yourself going.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I would suggest that if you want to start a business, you think about the following three things:
- What topic do you want to think about for a long time? You will be exploring this idea for a long time at the macro, and micro levels, so consider the topic or the product with some discernment.
- Do I want to do this thinking with other people and run a business with employees, or do I want to be a solo entrepreneur? Both have pros and cons.
- Who do I want to help through your work? Everyone? Those in a specific profession or field? Knowing if you want to be a generalist, it'll require one way to look at your work, or with a specific field, it'll require different expertise. Neither better nor worse.
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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