Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shane Pearson Founder of Design Your Life Coaching, located in Durrow, Laois, Ireland.

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

My business is called Design Your Life Coaching, and my mission is to educate and empower people who know deep down they do not realize their potential by aligning with their purpose and authentic selves. My main niche is helping trained coaches make the transition from being qualified coaches to running a thriving coaching business.

Tell us about yourself.

I left school not knowing what I wanted to do, so I said no to college and returned to the family farm and the life that was laid out for me. About ten years later, I got to a point where I knew I was not doing what I was here to do. I attended a 4-day self-development seminar, and this was the kickstart I needed. It gave me the confidence, courage, and clarity to make the leap into the unknown. It also opened me up to transformational change and inspired me to train in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), a form of applied psychology.

A day into my first NLP training, I was hooked, and I then spent over a decade training to the highest level as a Master Practitioner and then Trainer of NLP. I sought out the best trainers in the field, including two of the co-founders, and traveled around the world to learn from the best. I continued to build my private practice, helping people create positive transformations while up-skilling and honing my craft. I later studied nutrition for four years to bring a more balanced mind-body approach to well-being and human potential. I then trained as a health and wellness coach and found coaching was the key to bringing all the pieces I had learned together "under one roof" to help people create lasting change and realize more of their potential.

My fight is for the individual, and my passion is to help people who have been conditioned into believing they should be someone other than their true authentic selves. We live in a homogenized world where individuality has been repressed, and conformity has been honored. I strongly believe we are all different, and that difference is beautiful and should be respected and nurtured. People who have been treated like "round pegs that must be shaped to fit into square holes" can suffer greatly from this and never get to really flourish and live rewarding and satisfying lives.

What gets me out of bed each day is knowing that I can play a role in helping people find their spark again, break free from their conditioning, and design a life that is true to them. This brings me great joy and energizes my mind, body, and soul.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Winning the Lifestyle Coach of the Year award from Prestige Awards for two years in a row in both 2021 and 2022. Having said that, as a coach, it is in my DNA to believe that the goals and transformations that I help my coaching clients achieve are my greatest accomplishments.

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

When you are a small business owner, you usually have multiple roles to play. You are often responsible for everything from managing finances to admin, customer service, marketing, sales, and so much more. Most entrepreneurs will have an existing skill set in some of these roles, but running a business means you are constantly learning, adapting, and up-skilling to keep pace with the growth of your business.

Outside of your business, you may also be playing many other roles, such as being a parent, a spouse, a son or daughter, a friend, and so on. It can be a heck of a juggling act until you master these roles, install systems, or can afford to bring in others to help you run the show. This requires the right attitude, resilience, and a willingness to learn and work on your weaknesses as well as your strengths.

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

  1. Know your why! I can guarantee you that if you want to own, run, or grow your own business, then at some point in the future, you will experience some tough times. It just comes with the territory, so when you are up against the wall and facing a crisis of some sort, there will be times when you will need to dig deep within yourself to make the hard choices or to persevere. Having a strong sense of meaning and purpose behind what you are doing and why you are doing it will help give you the energy and resilience to keep on keeping on when you feel like quitting. The comfort of a "normal job," the safety and certainty of a "regular paycheck," and the temptation of ditching your responsibilities and not having to think about work once you "clock off" will all become far more enticing when adversity comes knocking on your door. Victor Frankl, a WW2 holocaust survivor and founder of logotherapy, said that those with a strong why could survive almost any how. So find your why? Know what is most important to you and why your business means so much to you. It will give you that extra grit and determination when the chips are down, but it will also make your life more rewarding and satisfying in the good times.
  2. Master your own energy management skills. Would you start, run, or grow a business without making some kind of financial plan? Too many entrepreneurs naively start a business without ever stopping to consider how they are going to manage their own energy in a sustainable way as the marathon of running a business begins. Your body, and particularly your brain, require good management to ensure that they can continue to support you by working optimally over an extended period of time. It is too easy to find yourself getting busier and busier and starting to "withdraw" more energy than you can replenish. The end result is you can become a "busy fool" or, even worse, burn yourself out. Blaming your body for packing in under extreme pressure with limited resources is simply not good management. Remember that the future of your business ultimately depends on you, so build in some "non-negotiables" to protect yourself from your own success. Have strong boundaries to ensure you get sufficient sleep, time for yourself and with family, etc. Stay hydrated, eat well, get regular exercise, and get lots of fresh air. Learn how to manage your mind; it is not designed to be in top gear all the time.
  3. Play the long game. We live in an age of hype and instant gratification, and there are many voices out there that will try to convince you that they have the secret formula that will bring you overnight success. Recently, my wife and I were sitting on the couch, and in our discussion, a book that I loved came up. I went to the bookshelf to find it for her, but before I could retrieve it to give to her, she pulled out her phone and downloaded the audiobook onto her phone! I am sorry to say that running a successful business is not as easy as "click and download." So I would suggest you ignore the hype and knuckle down to play the long game. Sure, some people have been lucky enough to start the right business with the right product at just the right time. Imagine starting a business selling face masks just before COVID hits! However, these "instant success" stories are the exceptions to the rule and usually rely on luck rather than good business acumen. If you truly believe you have a product or service that has a lot of value and believe in yourself and your ability to be successful, then just trust that. Rome wasn't built in a day, but it was built brick by brick, and building your business will be like that. Have a plan, know where each brick has to go, and then just keep laying them one by one. In time, your business will grow, and you will be surprised, even amazed, at what you can achieve over time.

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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