Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Laura Foster, Founder of Laura Foster Coaching and Consulting, located in South Pasadena, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I speak, coach, and consult for individuals and companies. I mainly work with leaders and their teams who want to fall back in love with their work and find more synergy in the workplace. I also lead a six-month group coaching program for leaders.
Tell us about yourself
I'm passionate about changing the way founders and employees interact with their work because I used to hate a job I worked for years to earn- my dream job as a fashion designer. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and was forced to reckon with the fact that my dream job wasn't a dream at all. In fact, it had taken over my life and left little room for anything else.
After taking some time off for treatment, I went back to work, convinced that I had changed and had the tools I needed to interact with the role differently. That did not happen. In a matter of weeks, I was right back to miserable. When I decided to pursue coaching as a career, I started with a Masters's Program in Spiritual Psychology at The University of Santa Monica in California simply because the leaders of the program said, "If you come to do this program, in two years you'll have a different job. You might sit at the same desk, and you might work with the same people, but you will change so much inside that your job will be different."
Now, I knew that would be useful to me, so I did it. And that program completely changed my life. The truth is, if self-development doesn't include how we are in the office, it isn't sustainable. I did several more programs at the University of Santa Monica, including their coaching certification program. I made the jump to full-time coaching in 2017.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I surpassed my corporate income pretty early in my business. I was terrified to leave the safety and security of a day job, but I had no idea how much working for someone was stifling my earning potential.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things is knowing where to stop! I love what I do so much, and I mainly work from home, so it's been important to set boundaries for myself around work and to be intentional about how I spend my personal time.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do your research. I talk to so many people who think they want to be life coaches, for example. The first thing I tell them to do is to go out and get a client. Until you know what it's like, it's all fantasy. Support yourself by learning as much as you can before you start.
- The better you treat your clients, the more successful you will be. Happy people will talk about you. They will tell their friends all about you and your business at dinner parties. You can't buy that kind of marketing.
- Get support. Hire a coach, get an accountability partner, or join a group for entrepreneurs. Starting your own business can be isolating. Create your own community.
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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