Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ursala Garbrecht, Owner of Resume Horse, located in Portland, OR, USA.

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

I'm a Resume Writer and Job Search Coach who uses a collaborative approach to help my clients connect with their accomplishments and articulate their unique strengths to potential employers. I work with job seekers across industries, sectors, job roles, and professional levels to navigate the transition and land satisfying jobs more aligned with their current needs and values.

Tell us about yourself

It all started in high school when I was asking too many questions in my Economics class. My teacher put me on a special assignment going into the community to interview students doing work study on the job with local business owners. I would interview the business owners about their business, background, and mentorship approach and ask the students what they were learning and what they planned to do after graduation. I would also take photos and then write articles about them for our local town newspaper. I have literally been asking people about their job skills, motivations, and what they enjoy doing since I was 16 years old!

In college, I learned the basics of running my own business selling education books on the East Coast. After college. I landed a job in higher education coaching, which gave me a solid foundation in coaching skills that paved the way for a coaching business. The final key piece was working with a mentor, Career Counselor, and Marketing Coach, Vicki Lind, since 2011. She taught me about interviewing clients to help set expectations, how to write resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles, job search coaching, career transition, and interview preparation.

What motivates me every day is knowing I'm helping people navigate the transition to a more fulfilling job and/or career path. Every call, email, or recommendation I receive from people who just got that salary increase, offer, or even interview helps me know my work makes a difference.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

This year I achieved two big milestones. One was having the opportunity to work with an organization to update all of their consultant resumes within brand guidelines. The other was achieving one of my highest grossing months without feeling burnt out.

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

One of the biggest challenges I experience as a business owner is working alone and having to juggle all the different aspects of the business, including but not limited to marketing, sales, service creation, and delivery, managing client relationships, accounting, and visioning for the future. Another challenge is the ups and downs of income. There are definitely industry and year-over-year trends to evaluate that help me plan for this fluctuation.

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

  1. Do your market research to align your business services or products with current actual needs and ensure they are distinct enough that you’re not headed into a saturated market. Create a savings cushion and start part-time.
  2. Get a mentor who already has a successful business doing what you want to do. This can help you pinpoint areas to watch out for and create a plan to navigate them, gain valuable industry insights, and work through your creative process. It’s important to have a trusting mentor, colleague, and contractor relationships to support you through business ownership.
  3. Be mindful of your thoughts and the input from people around you. There will always be naysayers, so limit your interactions with them and focus on the impact you would like to make with your work. I find that the more focused and positive I am about my work, the more people show up to work with me.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Get started. It takes time, and you will learn a lot along the way.

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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