Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alan Patterson, Founder of Mentore, located in Fond du Lac, WI, USA.

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

I am a specialist in leadership and organizational development. My clients range from Fortune 500 businesses to coaching individual executives.

Tell us about yourself

I began my consulting career with a group that specializes in behavioral-based leadership programs. In the early 1990's I joined two colleagues in a training and development practice for organizations like Anheuser-Busch, the US Navy, Johnson and Johnson, and Hewlett-Packard. In 2008 I established Mentore, a solo coaching practice that I continue to do.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

The creation and implementation of a nine-month leadership development program in conjunction with another consulting organization in Boston and a community technical college in Wisconsin. It was a kick, and many of our participants went on to bigger and better roles.

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

Managing your time is the hardest part for me. It's day and night if you have no off switch.

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

  1. Build relationships. The business will follow.
  2. You never know who you're talking to on vacation. They could be your next client.
  3. Your success in life and in business should be one and the same.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Help others succeed, and you'll have a job for life.

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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