Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Andréa Hawkins, CEO and Founding Partner of Leading Culture Solutions, located in Glastonbury, CT, USA

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

Leading Culture Solutions is a boutique strategic planning consulting firm that puts people at the center of all we do. Our mission is to guide organizations to bravely reimagine their potential through transformational change, activating the leader in every person. LCS provides guidance and support to ensure organizations have the skills they need to make meaningful change and are prepared to continue the momentum to sustain the work. We help our clients and their constituents continue toward their desired future direction.

Our customers include growing small to mid-size, for- and non-profit organizations that are embarking on Strategic Planning, Culture Transformation, Interim Leadership, and other organizational enhancement journeys.

Tell us about yourself

After spending 20+ years working for various companies, I decided to take my interest in understanding what motivates people to do their best, coupled with my experience helping organizations create meaningful change and identify their North Star. I launched Leading Culture Solutions in August 2019, so I could lean in and focus more on incorporating Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) across our practice areas. I strongly believe that you can serve your customers better and be seen as a contributor to the community if your strategic plan and your culture embody DE&I guiding principles; they improve everything you do. Bringing that concept to businesses and the work we do motivates me every day.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I’d have to say my biggest accomplishment was launching LCS seven months before a pandemic, losing every one of our clients (due to the pandemic), then recovering quickly—sadly, due to the murder of George Floyd, when many companies were having their own reckoning around their identity internally and within the marketplace. They all knew they could do better, and many set on a journey to do just that; luckily, we were on the list to call.

My daily accomplishments happen when Leading Culture Solution’s methodology, such as our 4L Journey to Inclusion©, 4A Agile Strategic Planning©, and our Leading with S.O.U.L. Executive Coaching Model©, transforms and improves our clients and their organizations. I do this work because I know it has the potential, if adopted, to build equity, which will benefit everyone within our client organizations, and extend to the broader community and world. We are honored that our clients value the premise which helps us realize our vision for the future of humanity, where every person thrives everywhere.

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

Navigating today’s workplace landscape is more complex than ever. Sustaining a business during the last couple of years has been challenging as we all contend with an ever-evolving global pandemic, economic uncertainties, divided politics, and mental health challenges as the result of these issues and other factors. Being agile, pivoting to meet the changing needs of businesses that are addressing these and other issues, and finding ways to operate differently—and keep employees engaged allows us to use our experience and expertise to address current issues like “the great resignation,” return to the office, and succession planning that businesses are currently facing, while managing their core business while remaining competitive.

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

  1. Start now—and be willing to learn. Goals are achieved when entrepreneurs embrace continuous learning. When entrepreneurs are open and curious, willing to fail and learn the lesson—growth happens.
  2. Dream big. It is easy to get laser-focused on solving one problem
    being able to look at the big picture while focusing on what lies ahead is key to success. Be open to imagining what the business can achieve when goals are met and the business is thriving.
  3. Build a strong, “diverse on purpose” team. Find people who share your vision and can help achieve the organization's mission and bring a diversity of thought and perspectives to the organization. Surround yourself with people who have different lived experiences and can bring divergent thinking that fosters creativity and innovation, which helps bring unique solutions.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

It has been an exciting few years. We have grown significantly and created methodologies and frameworks to help companies overcome their most challenging issues. As we evolve, we plan to bring our capabilities to the web to allow for self-service support.

We look forward to continuing our partnerships with leaders and organizations to help them bravely reimagine their potential through transformational change, activating the leader in every person. We are devoted to serving our clients and will work rigorously to ensure that our services fully address their unique needs. The future is bright!

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.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.