Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kate Jaeger-Thomas, Owner of KJT Coaching, located in West Orange, NJ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a business strategist and self-belief coach for solo business owners. My clients are brilliant and ambitious but feel super overwhelmed with running and growing their own businesses while handling all the other aspects of their lives too. Some are building side hustles; others are nurturing breadwinner businesses, and still, more are creating movements to change generations to come. I help them simplify and streamline so they can run and grow their business with confidence.
Tell us about yourself
I didn't expect to have my own business. I was in my dream job, which simply did not jive with my life as a new mother. I needed more time. But flexible or remote work was not an option (this was long before COVID changed the game for us all). Preserving my own well-being, I quit. While it was a terrifying move, it showed me that brilliant things come when I say no to all the impossible expectations placed on me and center myself and my own needs.
That moment planted the seed of my work as a business strategist and self-belief coach for solo business owners today. I want to help my clients make what it is they want to make. For me, that was a career that supported my ambitions AND my family. Since then, I have supported over 150 small business owners by helping them identify and build the structures that will support them best and by connecting with their self-trust as leaders and business owners. It's an absolute honor to do the work that I do.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Honestly, I think my biggest accomplishment is staying with it through all the ups and downs. I've been in business for myself for over ten years, and while it's far from easy, I have stayed with it. Sometimes it's had to take a back seat, and other times it's been front and center, but it's no small feat to be in business ten years later!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner is navigating the self-doubt that inevitably comes with it. There's this expectation that you're going to be 100% confident all the time, and that's just not possible. Most of the time, business owners are navigating new territory - that's just the nature of being in business for yourself. It's bound to bring up doubt. Learning how to navigate within the discomfort of uncertainty is key.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start where you are. You don't need all the fancy bits of having a business to start a business. You can just start right now with a simple conversation with another person who needs what you have to offer.
- Find your people. Gather a group of entrepreneurs with whom you can be real about the highs and lows, celebrate and find comfort, and generate ideas for each other. Just because you're a solo business owner doesn't mean you have to do it alone.
- Trust yourself. Know that you are exactly the right person to be running your business. You don't need to attain something or become someone else to be a brilliant business owner. While it is an immense personal development journey, and you will learn and grow more as a human because of this endeavor, you are already exactly right for it.
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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