Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michelle Harding, Founder of School of Life, located in Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim, Ireland.

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

I am a qualified Etiquette and Life Skills coach. My customer base is unique in that it is every person from 10 years of age to 100+ years of age. My mission is to remove the established "stuffiness" associated with the world of etiquette and to make manners and respect work for us all, both as individuals in our day-to-day communications and within the world of work. I focus on the soft skills and the traditional skills that many of us were taught when we were younger and which are not taught as much now. I work with schools all over Ireland, and from Sept 2022, my tutorials are available online in the form of a subscription service at

Tell us about yourself

I am from Leitrim in Ireland. I have been working in public front-facing roles for many years. I have worked within the civil service and the hospitality industry, and now I travel to schools all over Ireland, helping students work on their communication, personal presentation, dining, and many other soft skill sets. I help them with their communication skills and soft skills for life and help them prepare for the world of work.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

The challenge of turning love and belief in a particular way of doing things into a successful business while simultaneously positively affecting the lives of many young people is, I feel, my biggest achievement.

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

Having an idea is one thing. Making it into a business is altogether different. You are the sole person responsible for the success or failure of your idea. The amount of time which is involved in the administration of the business is very challenging, and not coming from a business background is one of the biggest challenges. Specific to my business, getting my message out there and the area of marketing is also hugely important and an ongoing challenge.

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

Be prepared to work long, long hours and make and be responsible for your own calls. The local Enterprise Boards are a fantastic help to new businesses. Reach out to them. The help is there. Believe in your idea. Do your research. Be innovative and listen to others. That would be the advice I would give. It's hard but very worthwhile.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

The next step in my business is to move to the online world and bring my tutorials literally to the whole world. My message is one that applies to every person, in every country in every part of the world now, if that's not a good business idea.

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.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.