Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health & wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Louis Stockley, Founder of Operation: Dream Big, located in Brandywine, MD, USA.

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

My business is Online Health Coaching in a "nutshell." My customers are plain and simple "heart-centered" people who are typically kind to a "fault." They care so deeply about making an impact in their business, families, careers, lives, etc., that they always put their mental and physical health on the back burner.

Tell us about yourself

I am a husband (married for 14 years since I was 19 years old), father of 3 crazy kids, Army veteran, IT nerd, and anime nerd. What first got me started was the night my life came crashing down before my eyes. I had achieved what would be the measure of success for most people at the age of 26 as a high-level IT executive at a government agency.

All the while, I was and still am addicted to the most unlikely vice: video games. I would play non-stop and only pause to maintain my career. I ignored my family, responsibilities, friends, and employees. My wife caught me hiding the enormous spending for the games I was playing at 30 and kicked me out. That would end up being the best thing that ever happened to me.

Video games were how I handled stress from my deployments in the Army and my life in general. That night, sitting in the hotel, I was forced to admit I had a problem. I went home the next day and stopped all gaming completely (I haven't played for the last six years now). I went to my basement and started working to fill the enormous void left.

I still wasn't indeed a coach until a Veteran friend who was wracked with mental health issues from 10 years of rough deployments fell on to hard times and came to stay with us over the winter holidays (NOV-JAN). At the time, I would get up every morning and work out in the basement, listening to motivational content and podcasts. He decided on his own to start getting up with me. I began to train him, motivate him, and help him heal. By the time he left, he was in shape and went toward his goal of becoming a police officer.

That was one of the many times I helped and coached people. I helped many others over the years and realized that I was a coach along the way. I did this without even making a single dollar for many years all because what motivated me was watching people's lives change and watching as they pursued dreams they thought were not possible.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is hard to quantify. But it would be that I know through my life, business, and social media reach out and change lives every day.

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

The hardest thing for me was that only I could see the vision. The people closest to me couldn't understand it and would instill doubts in me daily. I would shut down for weeks every time I made progress.

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

  1. I know some will say "follow the money," but that's BS. I tried it that way and had five different failed businesses. Not because they weren't viable but because I got burned out forcing myself to work on something I had no passion for. Follow your passions and find a way to solve a problem with them.
  2. If it feels right, tell everyone who is doubting you to back up and give you the space to figure things out and pursue them. Shut down the negativity before it begins.
  3. Look at your network. Often, we look for resources for our business all over the place and need to remember that we usually have a friends list full of people that could help.

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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