Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mercedes Swan, Founder of Led by Passion Career Coach, located in Gainesville, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a career coach who empowers Black Women to embrace their passion, leverage their gifts, and transition into careers that fulfill them! I help them overcome mindset and job search barriers that can keep them stuck in a job that is no longer in alignment with their dreams and goals so that they can land the job they daydream about! I have the opportunity to work with very talented, invaluable, and highly skilled Black Women who have faced toxicity, systemic inequities, and discrimination in the workplace, as most have.
My mission and journey are to ensure that, despite this, Black Women have the knowledge, resources, and confidence to transition away from those environments and workplaces into career opportunities where they are valued, supported, generously compensated, and able to do the work they love.
Tell us about yourself
I have been in the Talent Acquisition field for my entire Human Resources career and loved every second of it. My passion for positively impacting the workplace by hiring the best talent is really what led me to launch my career coaching business! Every day, I would screen resumes and interview applicants who missed out on amazing opportunities because they didn't understand how to package and sell their skills and abilities. It would break my heart because I could tell they had amazing potential but just hadn't received the coaching or skills necessary to show up as their best selves in the recruitment process.
My business started on the simple premise that I could share the knowledge that I learned as a recruiter to help other Black Professionals and specifically Black Women, advance their careers. It's my greatest joy to see Black Women who have all of the right skills and abilities successfully transition into a career they are passionate about with a little career coaching support!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My clients and their wins are always my biggest accomplishments! The amount of joy I experience when I hear that she accepted an offer for her dream job is immeasurable.
My clients want to have a career that is led by their professional passion, and often they are in industries like healthcare, higher education, human resources, and non-profit. It is exciting because when they are doing amazing work in those fields, I didn't just help my client land a job they are passionate about; I helped an organization understand how much value, experience, and the impact she could make on their employees, community, constituents, or patients.
The impact of Black Women working within their gifts, talents, and strengths is so far-reaching that each Black Woman that I have the honor to support on that journey is the greatest accomplishment!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a solo-prenuer, I had to learn everything! I had to learn how to set up a business website, how to sell my coaching services, how to edit a video, and how to use social media as a business. I had one business, but I had to learn 15 jobs. Since I was learning so much, I also had to learn to give myself some grace as an evolving business owner. I launched my business in 2018, but I had no idea what I was doing until 2020.
The hardest part was, and continues to be, taking in all of the information out there about building a successful business and using that knowledge to grow my business in a way that feels authentic and inspiring to me.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- You don't have to have everything figured out when you start! Your business will evolve naturally, and so will you.
- You don't have to do what all of the business coaches and books tell you. If you build a business that feels good and authentic to you, then you'll find success!
- Spend more time doing than thinking. I've wasted so much time thinking about my next program, social media post, or marketing email instead of trying it out and discovering what works through trial and error.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Diversity and representation in business and the workplace are so important! When we have the opportunity to live in alignment with our passion and talents, it inspires others to do the same. I truly hope that my story has inspired other BIPOC entrepreneurs and professionals to pursue the careers or business that inspires them and taps into their gifts!
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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