Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jen Lawrence, Managing Director of Process Design Consultants Inc., located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I run a training and development company that helps organizations manage change and develop their people. I also have a business-to-consumer coaching brand that helps midlife women discover their transferable skills so they can find careers they love.
Tell us about yourself
I started working in training and coaching decades ago as a summer student. I launched a coaching practice during the pandemic to help midlife women cope with major change. I'm passionate about helping talented people and good-hearted organizations connect.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is contributing to the conversation around creating work that values employees of all ages and does not contribute to burnout.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing is to do so much work on my own, especially in this post-COVID world. I'm glad that conferences and presentations are being done in person again since there is nothing like being face-to-face with peers and collaborators.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- You need a strong "why" to help you get through the hard stuff. For me, it's helping create the kind of people-centered companies I wish I'd been able to work for early in my career.
- Find people who you respect and meet with them once a month. It's so easy to get lost in the details, and it's good to have a roster of people you admire who can act as mentors, cheerleaders, and sounding boards. If the relationship is reciprocal, that's ideal.
- Create firm boundaries around fees. When you are starting out, there will be a lot of people who want you to work for free. As a coach, I did not offer free consultations even though that's the industry standard. I gave out lots of free content through articles and podcasts, but I wanted to set a very clear boundary around the value of my work.
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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