Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ann Gatty, PhD, President of Strategic People Solutions, located in Butler, PA, USA.

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

At Strategic People Solutions, we know what it takes to build a successful business. We work with individuals who want to turn their side hustle into a thriving business or re-emerge an existing business. Our sweet spot is working with entrepreneurs who need to up their leadership skills, expand their organization’s productivity, and/or fine-tune employee management skills. Here are some of the ways I can help build your business to work brilliantly:

  • Provide leadership coaching so you can communicate clearly and inspire your work team
  • Create work systems so your business runs smoothly
  • Exploit revenue opportunities
  • Coach successful professionals on work/life balance

Tell us about yourself

I started as a learning specialist. I can talk about academics very well and spout names of famous learning theorists with ease. I can recite learning taxonomies and can explain the nuances of how we learn. I’ve written hundreds of lesson plans. I have taught in classrooms ranging from kindergarten through the University Master’s level. Yet, I decided to leave this environment.

The world of academics has its place in the world of education, but I found that it didn’t provide me with the arena in which I could help people achieve the real-life results they desired. Even my last position offer at Pittsburgh University as a professor in the master’s level leadership program, having an applied component, still seemed artificial. If I really want to train people to be successful in real-life jobs, I need to be doing so in real-life situations. I left the academy and have been working with business leaders in their company environments ever since.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

By blending both theoretical and practical expertise, I created the Business Sphere of Excellence®, a strategic business implementation tool that helps businesses run efficiently and profitably. I’m actually quite proud of that. The Business Sphere of Excellence® embraces organizational values, corporate culture, and strategic implementation. By the way, I also work with Great Dane, a therapy dog, to offer employee engagement workshops, including “Playing Nice with Others, A Great Dane’s Advice to the Corporate World.”

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

I repeatedly hear that personnel matters are the most difficult part of running a business. That’s why we help with all HR-related matters. However, staying on track to reach the business goals can be elusive if not carefully monitored. We have a tool for that as well. It’s our “Get Things Done That Matters” publication.

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

  1. Work in an arena that is your passion. Building a business is hard work, and there will be tough days ahead. If you are passionate about what you do, that passion will see you through.
  2. Don’t try to be a superhero. Ask for help. Find a mentor who can guide you along the way. You can’t be an expert at everything.
  3. Take time to rejuvenate. You are no good to anyone if you are running fumes and are exhausted. Remember that family and friends are the most important aspect of life.

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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