Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in career development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jess Wass, Founder of Jess Wass Coaching & Consulting, located in Brooklyn, NY, USA.

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

I am a Career Coach, Consultant, Facilitator, and Speaker who helps overachievers who feel 'stuck' at work find lasting satisfaction in their careers and learn to achieve with intention. With expertise in high-performance environments, I help high-achieving individuals craft intentional career paths, and high-performance organizations cultivate people-centric work cultures. With my individual clients, I offer individual and group coaching services and digital products to help them navigate their careers more effectively. For my organizational clients, I lead a variety of workshops designed to help them create sustainable work cultures by creating a culture of communication. It's my hope that, in the long run, empowering great employees with these skills will force organizations to pay attention to what drives their workforce.

Tell us about yourself

My work stems from a desire to help people define success on their own terms–detached from external pressures and the 'shoulds' that so often keep them in situations that don't feel right. Why? Because I've been there. After many positions that left me feeling limited, misunderstood, improperly managed, or just plain disrespected, my understanding of my particular gifts crystallized during my time working at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Leading a corporate transformation effort, I uncovered a gift for leading groups and individuals through periods of change.

Today, I'm committed to helping my clients break out of that rut and find a new understanding of the word "career." A career is more than an impressive resume: it's what interests you and keeps you motivated to learn. It provides you with the lifestyle that makes you happy (yes, happy!)–all while cultivating your varied talents and building something. While a career is just one piece of the happiness puzzle, it's a crucial one. I became a career coach to help others avoid the pain of ill-fitting jobs and find their path to a fulfilled, balanced life. Seeing my clients achieve their "aha moment" is the best reward I could ask for. Knowing that I am finally using my strengths to work in a way that works for me and has a huge impact is the greatest job in the world.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

There are two big accomplishments that I am proud of. First and foremost, the fact that I can support myself through my business is a huge achievement as so many Coaches struggle to build a sustainable business. Hitting six figures in not just revenue but actual profit was a huge accomplishment. And then second, being featured in the NYTimes as an expert for an article about the great resignation was a huge "pinch me" moment (

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

The hardest part about being a business owner is defining what you want out of your business and the strategy you will use to get there. You can do anything you want, and sometimes that is the hardest part, figuring out what exactly I want to do.

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

First, set realistic goals for yourself as to what you can achieve in Years 1, 2, and 3 of your business. So many of us compare ourselves to established businesses when we start out or have expectations that don't take into account the building of the business, and that leads to disappointment.

Second, make goal setting your friend. It's so easy to get distracted by all the things you could do that you need to really focus on. For me, it helps to set goals every year, quarter, month, and week so that I am intentional about where to spend my time.

Third, if you are going to work for yourself and give up the security and benefits that come from employment elsewhere, design your business to work for you. I mean, really design it around how you want to work. I work way less hours than I ever did working for someone else, I arrange my schedule in a way that works for my energy, and I do it on my terms. If it's not going to fit the way I want to live and work, I might as well go back to working for a company and get my health insurance and 401k.

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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