Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in safety training, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Erin Burns co-owner of Active Training Consultants from Michigan, USA.

What's your business and who are your customers?

I co-own a safety training and consulting business. We save people from their own mistakes!

Tell us about yourself

My husband and I had an interesting background combination - he had the safety knowledge, and I had a business degree. We were both unhappy in our work lives, and he mentioned it. Within a few months, we got started part-time out of our home and were able to grow it to a full-time business within two years. It continues to grow and thrive, and I enjoy the challenge of that, along with knowing that what we do saves people's lives

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

That's an excellent question and I'm not quite sure how to answer it! I think, for me, the accomplishment in it has been that we've been able to support our family for the past seven years by working for ourselves. That, in itself, is amazing - but the fact that it comes with the freedom to schedule as we see fit so we don't miss all of those little milestones with our kids - that's the REAL payoff. Doing this together has allowed us some quality time with our kids that we'll never have again, and that means everything.

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

For myself, the toughest thing is drawing the line between work time and home time. It wasn't as difficult when we first started and were very part-time, but as we grew into a full-time business it got more difficult. We'd talk about business all day and all night - it seemed that we were more business partners than life partners for a while. Once we realized that's what was happening (thanks in part to our two boys) we took a step back and learned to set boundaries, and things have flowed much more smoothly since then.

What are the top 3 tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

First, do your research. Make sure you aren't entering a market that's already saturated in your area. Second, do something unique! This goes hand in hand with the first tip - you want to make sure that what you're doing is different, or at the very least that you're doing it uniquely from your competition. And last - BE A GOOD HUMAN. The biggest reason we have been able to continue and keep growing is that our clients trust us. It's their faith in us that keeps us growing. Once you have that trust, the benefits will continue for years.

What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance?

We schedule our time, being sure to put limits on business talk during the day so we can have a home life at night. I take days off to accomplish things in my home and do things with my husband and kids. We have family meals at least 4 nights a week, and we don't talk about business during family time. I've also hired an administrative assistant to help us and give us a little more flex time, and we plan to hire another trainer within a year or two for the same reason.

Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs and why?

It's not going to be a traditional answer - but there isn't a specific individual for me. I tend to follow successful women and try to use their philosophies and advice in my own business. I especially love stories of women who have succeeded in roles that are traditionally male-dominated - they seem to have an insight that comes from pure grit and determination. Those are the ones I'm interested in. I read articles, follow them on social media, and absorb. I never stop learning. THAT is the biggest key to ongoing success. Step away from your ego and realize that you have unlimited resources all around you, and constantly be willing to inhale that atmosphere and use it to your advantage.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share then email, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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