Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Marie-Christine Williams, Author and Motivational Speaker of based in Saint Peters, MO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am an author and keynote speaker. I share my life story at companies, universities, military bases, and other organizations.
Tell us about yourself
For the first seven years of my life, I lived with my grandmother in France and had a good life. That all changed at the age of 7 when I went to live with my father in Rwanda. He was very abusive and was a biracial child in central Africa in the 80s and early ’90s. I was not accepted by my peers, so I was also bullied at school. When I thought things couldn’t get worse, the Rwandan Genocide began in April of 1994. For 100 days, I ran for my life. After it was over, I couldn’t walk and had scars all over my head, face, and body. The next four years were spent physically recovering, and it took much longer to recover mentally.
One day I met a woman who encouraged me to tell my story to a group of young abused girls. After speaking to those girls and hearing the impact, it had on them. I started speaking to other groups. Everywhere I spoke, people would come up to me and tell me how much my story impacted them and gave them hope. Spreading the message of acceptance and hope and witnessing the positive impact it has on others is what motivates me to share my story with as many people as I can.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
To me, my biggest accomplishment is the impact I have on others. I've had multiple people tell me how my story changed their perspective on life. A few said they were thinking of suicide, but hearing about my life gave them hope.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
At the end of the day, you are responsible for your own success. You can have people help you, but ultimately it is up to you, regardless of what else is going on or how you are feeling at the moment. If you want to have a positive impact on the world, you have to push yourself even at times when you don't feel like it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Tip one is to have a plan. Really take some time to think about where you want to be in one year, five years, and your ultimate goal. Then come up with a plan to get there.
Tip two is to focus on your plan and be persistent. Don't give up!
Tip three is to be flexible. Sometimes obstacles come up that require creative solutions, and other times opportunities come up that can get you to your goal quicker. You have to focus on your plan but also be open to changing it when it makes sense.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
As long as you don't give up, you cannot fail.
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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