Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Pauleen Ward Brown, Founder of Perhaps Coaching, located in Breezy Point, NY, USA.

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

I am a Management and Personal development coach working with top-level management who want to develop their leadership, management, and human resource skills and those who want to be promoted or transition to another career. I also work with individuals who want to be 'just happier,' have fulfilling relationships and live a more balanced life. Clients include Senior executives, entrepreneurial Owner/Operators of the private sector, and non-governmental service providers, academics in leadership/management roles, high potential/capability individuals searching for a career ‘map’ to intended goals or destinations, and those encountering ‘roadblocks,’ ‘detours,’ cross-purposes or crises of confidence at any stage. Apart from my paying clients, I work with an organization called The Coaching Fellowship, coaching pro bono young entrepreneurial women who want to make a difference in the world. It is my way of giving back for all the wonderful gifts I have received.

Tell us about yourself

I live next to the beach, own a sailboat, and sail in our bay, and in the off-season here, sail in the BVI or Bahamas. I have 3 cats which give me great joy. I love gardening and have a typical English garden here in NY, along with a fish pond with waterfalls. I tap dance and appear in our local show dancing and singing and although just an amateur I absolutely enjoy it. I am a Mate in our Sea Scouts, ship 343 Patriots, and I love working with our local children. After a decade of successful roles in the catering industry, I realized I was neither challenged nor enjoying my work. Discussions with others led me to an opportunity to teach catering and catering management, and in doing so found the challenge and enjoyment I desired.

Later, in academia, teaching management, and human resource management, and in private industry as an internal management consultant, I found the wider application of these interests and commensurate satisfaction. When the dot com bubble burst in 2000, I worked in an English telecoms company as a management development consultant. Along with the CEO and a couple of thousand associates, I was ‘let go. It was a scary time as my twins were in university. I had a home, a mortgage, and the usual bills. I decided to start my own business doing what I love – training and coaching. I love helping people find that “ah ha” moment when they realize they are standing in their own way, and all they have to do is step aside – that has me jumping out of bed each day to work with my clients.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Teaching my first Self Esteem course in NYC! As the song says, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!” and helping many clients reach their goals – the Finance Director who was constantly late with his reports – had nothing to do with tardiness but a self-belief that he was stupid so he checks, double checked and triple checked his work to ensure he didn’t look stupid – thus him missing deadlines.

Quote from a marketing manager “Pauleen has helped me regain confidence in my abilities as a professional. Her intuitive nature, combined with years of business acumen, have made her the perfect support for me as I develop the career and life I want to lead.”

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

At the beginning getting the leads and clients to pay the bills. Each week I celebrated when I achieved the week’s financial goal.

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

  1. Have a very clear goal – write it out along with an elevator speech.
  2. Be clear about your marketing plan – who are your clients.
  3. Then keep detailed financial records ready to do your taxes - there is nothing more debilitating and demotivating than scouring through a year’s worth of records to do one’s taxes.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I love what I do - I think that is the secret of success and what keeps one going when it gets tough!

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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