Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tionna Hicks, founder of The Honest Plan, located in Raleigh, NC, USA.

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

I’m a financial educator who teaches millennial women how to manage their money and create profitable businesses. I pride myself on making money easy so more women can eliminate the stress that comes with living paycheck to paycheck.

Tell us about yourself

I first started my business out of necessity from my own financial struggles. I started The Honest Plan as a diary of my becoming debt-free and financially responsible. After a few months, I noticed many people reached out to me, asking me to help them do the same. I used to do house visits, sit down with people, and show them how they could pay off debt, save for major goals, and increase their income. I quickly realized that the one thing that used to cause me so much stress was now the very thing that I loved to do, which helped me transition into being a financial educator.

I think what motivates me is the smile on people’s faces or the weight that I see lifted from someone’s shoulders after we discuss ways they can take back control of their money. I know for sure that I’m changing people’s lives and not just one person but the generations of people that come after them as well. This work is much bigger than me.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

The biggest accomplishment that I’ve experienced so far is helping my clients save/pay off over $100,000 collectively in my first year of coaching. This is a milestone I’ll never forget, and I’m excited to see that number continue to grow.

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

The hardest thing that I face with being an online business owner is running my own race. Sometimes it’s hard to silence the noise and appreciate my journey when social media always portrays the idea of people becoming an overnight success. I handle this by limiting my time on social media. I try to only come on to serve my community and create content, so I don’t get sucked into the comparison game. After all, we are content creators, not content consumers. Unplugging and taking a break is fine to protect your peace and creativity.

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

  1. Do it scared. It’s always so nerve-wracking putting yourself out there for the public to see and possibly criticize, but it is perfectly fine for you to be afraid; just don’t allow that to be the reason you stay stagnant for another year.
  2. Protect your creativity! It is easy to go down a rabbit hole of copying the content you see other people create because you want your business to thrive like theirs, but it never works that way. Run your business how you want to, show up as your authentic self, and your true tribe will come.
  3. Save yourself some trouble by doing market research before you launch your products or services. This is one thing I wish I knew before getting started and releasing so many items to crickets that would later shake my confidence up a bit. Take time to ask your audience what they are struggling with, listen to how they communicate their frustrations or interests, get to know them inside out, and build genuine relationships so that when you release a product/service, people are more likely to buy from you.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

If you’re a person that is reading this article and you have an idea that you are sitting, but you haven’t taken steps to get started, today is the best day to do so. You will never be 100% ready, and you will never have all the equipment or resources you need, but your commitment to show up consistently is enough to start paving the way. There is someone out there waiting to purchase what you have to offer; hold your chin up and go after your wildest dreams.

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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