Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Marilyn Devonish, Founder of TranceFormations™, located in Watford, Hertfordshire, UK.

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

My business is Next Generation Self Development for both individuals and teams. I started off as a Life and Executive Coach, NLP Trainer, Therapist, and Management Consultant, where I was serving customers who wanted to next level their skills and performance and realised they were getting in their own way in terms of mindset and beliefs.

There is still a similarity with what I now focus on 22 years down the line. I serve customers who are here to do something in the world, which will be easier to accomplish when they tap into their genius potential, be that with PhotoReading and Accelerated Learning, Soul Plan Reading, or something practical like improving their public speaking and presentation skills.

I started offering online coaching and online therapy back in 2005, so I also have an international clientele. That avenue was opened to me by a client from the USA who happened to pick up a magazine at the airport and loved the interview I had done about the 1-day Breakthrough Sessions. When she said she lived in Birmingham, I said: "Great. You can get a straight train from there to my town." There was a moment of pause. She then said Birmingham, Alabama.

Tell us about yourself

I was studying to be a chartered accountant; however, I was very quiet, shy, and lacking in confidence and self-esteem, so I took a class to improve my communication skills, or so I thought. Turns out it was a full-on personal development training, so I immediately tried to get a refund because I had a business degree and no interest in learning about Hypnotherapy, Timeline Therapy, Huna, and whatever else they had on offer. I cannot tell you how happy I am they didn't simply issue a refund to me. That was in October 2000. The rest, as they say, is history.

What motivates me each day is the possibilities. There is the possibility of learning something new and reaching people in a better way. The possibility to expand my mind and brain. To create positive change and make an impact. I've said since childhood that I like to learn something new every day, and that ethos has stayed with me.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest achievement is probably the speaking and writing. I've been a public speaking coach and trainer for the past 22 years. As someone who was terrified of public speaking until age 32, that was a big deal for me. Also, being quiet and shy growing up, I rarely shared my thoughts or ideas. Now, I've been a freelance newspaper and magazine writer and TV and radio media commentator since 2003, which again is very cool when I look at where my journey started.

Being ahead of the curve has also been interesting. I've been a specialist Remote Working Implementation Consultant since 2003, which means going into organisations to design, write, and implement flexible and remote working policies and strategies, so it has been interesting watching the world pivot in the past few years and waking up to the idea.

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

If you work for yourself, the potential pressure and responsibility. Pressure to create your products and services. Pressure to be clear about what your audience or market wants and deliver that in the best possible way. You are often responsible for getting things started, seeing them through to completion, keeping things rolling and ticking along, and supporting others on the journey with you.

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

  1. Be clear on why you are doing what you do and who you want to serve. When you are someone like me who has a wide remit, and diverse range of skills, it can be challenging.
  2. Do something that fulfils you. Fulfilment can be different from happiness or joy. For example, when I was working with adults who had been sexually abused or was volunteering on what people used to call the 'suicide hotline,' aka The Samaritans. It wasn't fun in the usual sense of the word. It is, however, fulfilling.
  3. If there is something you want to do, and it is possible to learn the skills to get you there, do it. Give it a go. At worst, you will find out that it's not for you, which trust me when I tell you, can be a good thing. At best, you will discover a path that leads to a whole new world of opportunities. And if/when you feel fear, before retreating back across the threshold to safety, check in with yourself and see if the fear is valid or whether you are just avoiding the call to the next phase or step of your archetypal journey.

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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