Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lynne Bell, Principal Consultant of Next Level Development, located in Culpeper, VA, USA.

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

Business consulting and strategy. My customers are non-profit board members and leaders, and for-profit business owners.

Tell us about yourself

I served as a CEO for three different non-profits over 16 years and saw common weaknesses in each organization that needed to be addressed. I am motivated by seeing increased efficiency, stability, sustainability, and impact in organizations through mission-minded decision-making and clear processes and policies.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Helping organizations establish and achieve their financial and impact goals--money raised, awards received, service goals, quality goals, etc.

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

Knowing that even though you bring experience and open-mindedness to every customer, not every customer will be open to your suggestions and findings.

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

  1. Identify and make every decision based on your unique value proposition, values, and mission.
  2. Form a team--don't try to do everything yourself--hire a reliable bookkeeper as the first member of the team.
  3. Always look ahead and keep in mind the big picture
    if that's not your skill, hire a coach or consultant to help you maintain that elevated forward view.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Realize that NO ONE knows everything. Starting and running a business is a multifaceted commitment that few are prepared for. Being open to collaborative expert advice is key to success in areas where you feel weakest. Creating an accountability group, either in the form of advisors or a leadership team, will provide a more solid and well round foundation for success.

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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