Hey, I'm Elliot Smith, and I'm the founder at Craftsmiths Consulting.

Tell us all about your business...

We do commercial consulting and help grow people, brands and businesses.

What's your background and motivation to get into the solopreneur life?

After being made redundant during COVID, I got in a courier van delivering for Amazon to put food on the table; but not long into my new 'man in the van' role, we also found out our table was getting bigger, and were expecting our next child.

I needed to be at home more, and I constantly got asked from friends, and their friends about commercial support for their ideas, dreams, and businesses, so I went: "F*** it, imma do it", and I launched Craftsmiths Consulting to help grow people, brands and businesses who have never had the little bit of support to make a massive difference to not just survive, but thrive.

My motivation is unquestionably providing for my family, but also to empower others and their families during what has been a tough time for us all.

As an entrepreneur, what does success ultimately mean to you?

I believe if you're not making profit, you have at most a hobby. Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity.

But, above all else so I am clear: I want to make people happy.

I love the quote: the measure of a man is one who plants seeds for a shade he does not expect to sit in.

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

Let's address those 3 points directly:

START: Do it. If you've done the research, and you believe in your product/service, but most importantly - you - GO FOR IT! Competition? So, what? Do it better!

RUN: Faking it till you make it does not work (nearly all of the time), and building the plane as you fly it will only take you so far if you don't have the right crew or tools. Dedicate time to reflect, to learn, to fix, to nudge, to build, to do; and do it properly with passion.

GROW: Think BIG, and most importantly - think of the customer. Solve problems, create solutions in opportunities that are blind to the untrained eye. Think with emotion, and balance with realistic logic. Own the customer!

If there was one thing you could do repeatedly to help grow your business, what would it be?

Content, content, content. I would focus as much time and effort on creating value, adding content for my audience.

What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance and to keep it all together?

I don't believe in a work/life balance personally. I think it could be close to a myth, and life is what we make and want it to be. If I want to work into the night because that's how I personally focus, then that's up to me and how I manage what motivates me.

You and I cannot ignore the fact you must look after your health in your diet, exercise, etc. For me, I like to get up early before everyone else and do my morning exercise to get in some cardio, open my lungs, my heart and my head, and then I get stuck into my day.

What I think is important is finding what makes you happy, and repeating that as much as possible.

Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs and best business resources/books?

I am a HUGE GaryVee fan, and I recommend everyone to engage with his content. It hits home how there is beauty and reward in being real and genuine in the world of business and branding where in comparison I see not enough valid support to people that need it most. He truly has nailed the way to think about, and love your consumers in the commercially and morally best ways.

- Thinking Fast And Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
- Pig Wrestling, by Pete Lindsay and Mark Bawden
- Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Coleman

For anyone looking to start a business tomorrow, what would be the number one bit of advice you'd give them

Be real; in every way.

Be you, and love what you're about to do, because you wan to live it every day.

Be real by being realistic, honest and transparent with yourself, the numbers, and especially those who will be your responsibility to look after so you can trustfully bring them on your amazing journey with you.

Be you, because that's who you are and it doesn't matter what other people think.

Believe in you.

Where can people find you online?

You can find me at Craftsmiths Consulting and LinkedIn.

If you like what you've read here and have your own #GoSoloStories that you'd like to share then hit Jonny up on Twitter, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.