Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in sales, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Annie P. Ruggles, founder of The Non-Sleazy Sales Academy, Chicago.

Tell us all about your business...

I teach heart-centered service-providers (coaches, healers, strategists and more) how to sell with every ounce of their integrity intact. These well-intentioned chronic over-deliverers are relying on over-marketing to grow their businesses but fall down at the finish line of selling. Together, they ask more, ask more effectively, and bounce back from rejection faster.

What's your background and motivation to grow as a solopreneur?

I was the single most sales avoidant person on Earth. I was a marketing and branding strategist for close to a decade and adored it but couldn't figure out why my clients (and my own business) were still struggling. The answer was a glaring lack of SELLING.

Each and every day, I am so lucky to get to be the godmother to so many dreams. I know what success would mean to my clients and the impact they can have. I wake up every day to empower them and create a ripple effect of positive change that is far more than I could do on my own.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I have reached the point of true authenticity and transparency. I show up as myself each and everyday. What they see is who I am. It has taken years of experimentation, growth, mindset work, and strategy to get to the point where I put myself out there so plainly.

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

Burnout is absolutely real, especially when you're intentionally pushing beyond your comfort zone. Balancing when to treat yourself to the carrot or to use the stick is an ongoing challenge for us all, especially in the face of rejection or crisis.

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

1. Talk less and listen more. Your pre-packaged sales script isn't going to motivate anyone.

2. Stop acting like a non-profit. Over-delivering is not a victimless crime and can easily put you out of business.

3. Ask for referrals and testimonials with regularity. Word of Mouth is still alive and well.

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

Host live (or live online) events that bring people together in support and problem-solving.

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

I take a lot of strategically timed naps. I batch my schedule so that I can stay in one lane for as long as possible but when I'm tired, stuck, or shifting, I allow myself to rest.

Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs? Do you have any must not miss business resources that you'd recommend?

I absolutely adore the works of Mike Michalowicz. He is whipsmart, genuine, and generous. His books are phenomenal. I also recommend Hilda by Coach Jennie as the best mindset guide to entrepreneurship on the market. And lately, I've been utterly devoted to LinkedIn.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Thank you for showcasing small businesses like mine. It's a true gift!

Where can people find you?
podcast (available all over): Too Legitimate to Quit

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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