Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in consultancy but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with John Linderman, CEO of NorthStar Partners LLC., located in Wilton, CT, USA.

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

NorthStar is a long-standing business development consultancy focused on innovation acceleration for clients both large and small. Our primary focus is on health and wellness and disruptive technologies for the automotive aftermarket. Our definition of innovation addresses a range of expert capabilities from consumer insights to scientific, clinical, regulatory, and path to market opportunities. Basically, we help clients identify undermet commercial opportunities and accelerate the time it takes to bring innovation to the market.

Tell us about yourself

I have been involved in packaged goods marketing and innovation for 30 years. While my early training was in a marketing capacity with leading CPG companies, I quickly realized the amount of great ideas that simply fell to the floor due to organizational capacity dynamics. I wake up each morning excited to help solve complex scientific or technical issues based on the input of a team of subject matter experts within my organization. Being able to not only shine a light on underleveraged or new business requirements while at the same time breaking down barriers to moving forward is extremely gratifying. While business strategy is the foundation of our work - converting the strategy to implementation is what sets us apart.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

We have successfully created several new businesses by creatively managing commercialization efforts to validate the business potential for ideas that might not be intrinsically available within the organization. By outsourcing these capabilities, our clients can validate the business potential and ramp-up capabilities while building market presence for the ideas. This approach accelerates the time to market while also significantly reducing the investments required to support the initiative. Once these new business ideas are validated and the critical financial mass has been nurtured through the outsourced model, the business can seamlessly fold into the existing business infrastructure.

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

Focusing time on winning the opportunities in front of us while being creatively distracted by the new opportunities that emerge each day. Balancing the practical dynamics with the potential requires constant focus and support from the entire team.

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

  1. Do something you are passionate about - and skilled in.
  2. Create a value proposition that differentiates you from the pack.
  3. Invest in the team - Bring great minds together and celebrate success with all.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Creating "spin-off" businesses that turn into very successful opportunities is the best way to enter markets, as you can leverage the client organizations to open doors.

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.

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