Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in professional development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kimberly Tilley, co-founder of Pivot Discovery Career Services, located in San Mateo, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our company is built on the belief that when you do what you are intended to do, great things happen! We offer 1x1 career coaching, YouMap coaching, designing and delivering corporate training, strategy, and related career services.
We work with companies to optimize their workforce by encouraging them to leverage their employees' unique strengths and abilities to ultimately retain their talent. We coach individual clients interested in identifying their goals and achieving their dreams by uncovering possibilities that align with their strengths, values, and skills. We help our clients understand and articulate what makes them unique and create a personalized strategy to achieve their individual goals.
Tell us about yourself
Alexandra Balestrieri and I co-founded Pivot Discovery Career Services in 2019. We have complementary skill sets and many years of experience in training, public speaking, and coaching. We’ve also done two seasons of the PIVOT podcast. In the first season, we profiled individuals who had significantly pivoted in their careers. In the second, we facilitated panel discussions amongst people who shared a strength (per CliftonStrengths, aka StrengthsFinder).
To choose one thing that motivates me, I love watching the change in people as they discover their talents and how many possibilities are open to them. It is beautiful to see someone realize how many possibilities are available to them, the talents they have (often misunderstood as weaknesses), and how much life still holds for them.
I gravitate toward working with mid-to-late career professionals who desire to do something new and feel discouraged and burned out with their current careers. There are always options! I help them discover, explore possibilities, and find roles where their experience is valued. I also enjoy facilitating virtual and live training.
Alexandra enjoys working with younger clients, who are in high school, college, recent graduates, and early on in their careers. She helps them channel their enthusiasm to identify an optimal career path early and target the right roles. She also manages our business operations.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Our happy clients are our biggest accomplishment. We keep in contact with many of them, and hearing about their success and happiness in their new roles is tremendously gratifying and motivating to us. Referrals and word-of-mouth business mean a lot to us. As entrepreneurs, it’s really fun to identify unmet needs and develop creative new products and services to meet them!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
If you work for someone, you know they will provide your regular pay, benefits, etc., and as a business owner, that security vanishes, and your success is up to you. That can be both invigorating and terrifying!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find ways to make life easy for your customers.
- Look at what you already do well - how can you grow that?
- Challenge the limitations you've placed on your life, your career, and your business.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We both have external creative interests. Alexandra maintains a creative practice as a visual artist showcasing her work at galleries and art shows and performs commission-based work for clients. You can see her art here.
I write historical non-fiction. My focus is on true crime from the turn of the century, circa 1900. I like to find forgotten crimes and bring them to light for today's readers. My books are The Poisoned Glass (2019), Cold Heart (2020), Has it Come to This? (2022). My fourth book, Grievous Deeds is coming soon! You can check out my Amazon author profile or visit my personal website.
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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