Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Doug Mills, Owner of Training Thru Trust, located in Kamloops, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We're an online high-ticket, personalized coaching platform. We provide advanced, modern, effective horsemanship and communication skills to competitors in the performance horse world as well as the hobbyhorse enthusiast.
Tell us about yourself
I grew up on a working cattle ranch in Central Utah, where I fell in love with horses. I trained my first horse when I was eight years old. I started charging money when I turned 10 to the local ranchers. In the horse world, that's what makes you a professional is when you start charging money, lol! In my early 20s, after I knew it all, I started giving lessons and teaching clinics around the world. I learned early on that if I was going to teach people, I needed to break things down and address some of the common problems people were having with horses.
Our mission statement was for the greenest rider to have success with the toughest horse. Back in 2000, my good friend and marketer Todd Thompson told me that someday I would be able to teach my stuff online to individuals around the world. I loved the idea but knew I had a long way to go to structure and simplify lessons for people to achieve success without my presence. Fast forward to 2023, and our students are having success beyond their wildest dreams. Their success stories are what motivate me and fuel my fire to help them achieve their goals.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is having my two daughters along for the ride. My biggest goal would be to have my two sons on board as well.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing for me has always been the balance of time and money put into marketing. We started out as a service business that was very limited by ours. It's easy to overspend and become so busy working in your business. You can't work on your business.
When we moved our business online, the new struggle became how much to charge for our services. We learned that, in order to over-deliver to all of our customers, we needed to charge a premium price. Finding those people is expensive, but once you have a base, you can over-deliver beyond their expectations. It also gives you an opportunity to help those less fortunate by providing content and help from our community. Another challenge has been that our ever-changing world requires that you continuously learn new strategies to keep up with the change.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Figure out what you love the most. Then think of any way you can to make money by doing that. Filling that, and solve a problem or need of a large group of people.
- Take a course or get help from someone that has done what you want to do before you.
- Never give up. Anything worthwhile doing will have many roadblocks. Never listen to the naysayers, and surround yourself with positive people.
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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