Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Laura Amigone, Founder of Rudder Coaching, located in New Rochelle, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
As a College Success Coach, I offer virtual 1-on-1 coaching for college students who want to make the most of their college experience. By teaching skill-building around time management, career design, and confidence building, my college clients get clear on their goals, build their success plan, and confidently start taking action - and have more fun because they feel on track. A small amount of change will lead to a whole new destination - hence naming my company Rudder Coaching.
Tell us about yourself
After 20 years working as a high school teacher, college admissions counselor, and then most recently as a college counselor, I've worked with so many students at the unique transition from high school to college, adolescence to pre-adulthood, as they prepare for real independence. Many of my former students were struggling to find their paths and felt confused and isolated, even though they were chugging along through college. I remember my college experience and not knowing what I was going to do, and continually thinking that I'd figure it out later.
I decided that I was going to create my own coaching business specifically to help college students who want to make the most of their time and tuition but need to up-level their skills to meet the demands of college life. I am passionate about helping my clients believe in themselves, trust their ideas and intuitions, stop procrastinating, and get working on their dreams. College is such an opportunity! Each day I'm motivated to go find another college student who wakes up knowing they are capable of more but don't know where or how to start making changes.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Definitely thinking of myself as a CEO! I had no problem coming into the role of coach, educator, or even entrepreneur, but to shift into the next level of CEO thinking, was really important - to make long-term strategic decisions, consider advice from others, but continue to trust myself. Having no business experience before and getting to this mindset is huge for me.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The self-doubt is relentless! I truly have to practice what I teach my students - to problem solve, keep trying new strategies, and manage the emotions that come while pressing on (and not eating chocolate whenever I feel like giving up!).
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- You don't have to have all the details worked out from the start - the HOW will unfold. Just get started, somehow.
- Bring your family along with you - especially if you have kids - talk about what you're doing, what you're feeling, why you're doing it, what you plan to accomplish, and all the failures along the way - this is the BEST training for them for life - regardless of what they go do, and how your business goes. My kids get to see me going for my dreams and getting tougher with every setback.
- Expect the negative emotions to come, and plan accordingly for healthy ways to manage them - not quick and easy, as you will have another set of concerns to deal with, and your problem-solving energy will be drained. Planning an actual day off once a month (not a weekend day), not thinking about work on purpose, and doing something FUN for me has helped to give the constant business brain chatter a planned day off (not an "I don't feel like working day off"). I try to make the FUN include other adults so I can feel connected to people, as the solopreneurship part is lonely sometimes!
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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