Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Emma-Louise Parkes, Founder and CEO of The Ambitious Introvert®, located in Portsmouth, UK.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Ambitious Introvert® is a growth and development platform for the estimated 56% of the population who identify as introverted - especially those who have big dreams for their career or business.
Tell us about yourself
In my previous life, I worked in air traffic control and spent ten years as an instructor to new recruits. I became fascinated with mindset and confidence and the direct correlation between those who displayed it and their ability to succeed in this high-pressure, safety-critical environment. As I went on to learn more about psychology, I took a coaching certification and then built the business up to full-time.
The introvert part came later when I noticed how extroverted much of the marketing suggested to online businesses was. I felt it affecting my energy, yet I'd been able to control the world's most complex airspace for 17 years and not feel that way. It made me question what we need to do differently as introverts to succeed in an extroverted world. The thought of people not reaching their potential when some simple tweaks could make all the difference is what motivated me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Launching my podcast. I had no idea what I was doing, just that I felt excited by it. It's now three years old and fast approaching 100,000 downloads, and it has created so much impact, and so many great connections have come through it.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Managing my own time. I'm a fairly organized person, so it didn't occur to me this would be a problem; however, after a 23-year career where my shifts were decided for me, as the times I was 'plugged in' controlling, it was quite overwhelming to work on my own timeline. The first few months were NOT productive... But after experimenting with different schedules, I found my rhythm.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Just start. You won't get it perfectly ironed out before launching; it's better to take a. great idea roughly mapped out and learn along the way than waste time and energy behind the scenes.
- Think about skills you have that are transferrable but not obvious. For me, that was strategic thinking. Although controlling a sky full of aircraft seemed like something of no use outside of that role, it actually helped me with the big picture strategy and moving parts of my business.
- Work on your mindset and energy. As an entrepreneur, you'll be pushed outside of your comfort zone and required to step up and grow on a regular basis. Equipping yourself with the belief that your success is inevitable and that each action is a step closer to it will help keep you on track and taking action, even when things feel slow or hard.
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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