Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sheela Gonsalves, Advisor and Fractional Operations Officer of Prism Brand Advisory, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.

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

I provide business coaching and Fractional COO services to help small businesses and startups understand where they make money and where money is stuck in systems and a lack of process. I provide deep insights into data and financials that no one else can see. With this knowledge, they make more informed decisions and grow their business quickly.

Tell us about yourself

I used to be a corporate drone. I had a great job in the entertainment industry, but I was miserable. I had no money problems, but I wasn't happy and forcing myself to fit in.

Then one day, I realized that if I didn't do what made me happy now, when would it ever happen? So I left that industry and moved on to something that gave me more freedom and flexibility—and more fun! But my family and friends didn't have it. They thought I was crazy for leaving such a "safe" job to start my own business. And they were right: starting up was hard.

What I found is that when I didn't plan consistently and used numbers to help make decisions, my emotions drove the bus. And if my emotions were in a sour mood? Well, then, my actions didn't take me far. When I get to help other business owners who feel lost and alone feel grounded and supported, I feel encouraged to help others.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I believe we are all leaders, but most of the time, we have to re-learn how to become one at the moment and situation we are in. For me, this journey has been messy, filled with many failures and a lot of self-doubts, even after a previous accomplished career. But through each failure and through each mistake, I have learned what works for me and what doesn't work for me.

I have also learned that life is not always easy and there are going to be many challenges along the way but what matters most is that you take those challenges head-on and learn from them!

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

The hardest part of being a business owner is the silence. When you're on your own, it can be easy to let your mind take over and start spinning out of control. And while the subconscious can often be helpful, it has a tendency to create problems that you're unaware of until they become insurmountable. That's why having a coach or a community is critical to help you get past the hurdles you are unaware of, so you can stay focused on what matters most: moving forward with confidence.

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

  1. Focus on providing value to clients first before you set up a brand, pricing, or even think of a logo.
  2. Keep it simple and stay consistent. Start with one idea and iterate until you can do it in your sleep, or better yet, hire someone to help you.
  3. Be inspired by others, but build your business on your terms.

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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