Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rusty Gaillard, Founder of Silicon Valley Dreambuilders, located in San Francisco, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
You were taught that success comes from being smart, hard-working, persistent, and right most of the time. Then why aren't you achieving your goals? Because smart, successful people try to do more when they aren't making progress, but the answer is less.
I help entrepreneurs and tech executives elevate their performance and achieve success without sacrifice. If you're already doing everything you know how to do, there is no room for doing more. I help you uncover the answers to achieving more by doing less.
Tell us about yourself
I became a coach because of the transformative power of deep conversation. Growing up, my family didn't talk about challenges, feelings, or setbacks. We were a "get up and go" kind of family. That approach served me well for many years until my marriage fell apart. I was navigating the most difficult time of my life, and I had no one to talk to. Even if I did, I had no skills to talk about the challenges in my life. I formed a men's group, and that is where I learned the power of deep conversation. That group, and the lifelong friends that came from it, taught me the power of what John Maxwell calls the "Inner Circle." Leaders face difficult situations and decisions every day, and an Inner Circle can be the difference between effectiveness and struggle.
My mission as a coach is to help you be your best self every day. As a part of your inner circle, I want you to achieve your goals and to be happier doing it. I want you to achieve success without sacrifice.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is leaving a great job at one of the best companies in the world to start my own business. It's far too easy to stay safe, embracing the predictable paycheck and regular hours that are possible after working for 14 years at the same company as I did. Leaving Apple is my biggest accomplishment, not because there is anything wrong with Apple, but because staying at Apple was so appealing.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the most challenging parts of owning a business is that you have no one to fall back on. You make the hard decisions, put in the work, and decide where to focus. When you have bad days, which everyone does, there is no "easy job" to fall back on. You still have to get up and get the job done.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The first is to pick a business that you are excited about. Many people will steer you towards something you're passionate about, but I find you build a passion; you don't discover it. Don't make the bar that high. Follow your interests and let your passion build.
The second is to have the courage to invest yourself fully in your business. As I tried to run my coaching business after hours while still working at Apple, I knew that it wouldn't really take off until I put myself fully into it.
Finally, ensure you have the right inner circle of support around you. Your spouse and close family will support you, but having an outside perspective works better for most people. If you don't have that already in place, make it a priority to build it.
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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