Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michael Sonbert, Founder and CEO of Rebel Culture and Skyrocket Education, located in Merrick, NY, USA.

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

I'm the founder and CEO of two companies. At Rebel Culture, we coach business leaders to prioritize Culture Over Everything to increase employee buy-in, alignment, and profits. At Skyrocket Education, we coach school leaders and teachers in urban school districts around leadership and teaching best practices.

Tell us about yourself

I spent a lot of years focused mostly on myself. I was pretty self-consumed. When I saw an opportunity to make a difference for others, I took it. I became a teacher. I loved that work, but really, I just love coaching people. That led me to start both my companies. What motivates me is the opportunity to make people better every day. This is really exciting.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I'd love to say it's that we've coached leaders in over 100 cities and eight countries around the world. But really, it's that we have an incredible, aligned, passionate, no-politics team that supports each other.

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

Every decision is on you. Even if you didn't make it. There's no passing the buck. There's no one else to point to. I love this most days. But some days, I have to take a few deep breaths before starting the day, knowing that this is my reality.

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

  1. Prioritize impact over income. When you're clear on your impact, the income will come.
  2. Don't just create a vision and values. Ensure they're embedded in your company's DNA.
  3. Hire the best people, not just the next people. Bad hires are hard to come back from. Ensure your hiring process makes clear what working for you will be like. No surprises!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Don't give up when it gets hard. It's supposed to be hard. That's how it weeds out the people who aren't serious.

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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