Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in leadership development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lisa Marie Platske, CEO and Founder of Upside Thinking, Inc., located in Richmond, KY, USA.

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

My clients are already leaders worth following or seeking to be better leaders. They often have a desire to make a greater impact in the world.

Tell us about yourself

When I left Federal law enforcement to open my leadership coaching and consulting business, I did it to honor my values of freedom, fun, and flexibility – to spend time with my family, friends, and faith. I threw myself in the deep end and never looked back —learning a great deal from trial and error, research, training, and reaching out to the greatest mentors and advisors I could find. While I’ve had plenty of moments on my knees to get through challenges, it’s been a tremendous adventure. I didn’t settle for a life of average. I’ve kept true to myself and my commitments and love my life. Over the past almost 2 decades, I’ve had the good fortune of providing training, coaching, or mentorship to over 100,000 leaders, which seems unreal to me – so I’ve done the calculations more than once – written 7 books, three that have become international best-sellers, and serve on various boards. I live on a hobby farm in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, where my husband and I take walks every evening when I’m not traveling.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

While I’ve hit financial milestones and received international awards for my leadership company and the work we do, the biggest accomplishment I’ve had as a business owner has been learning how to run my business with ease vs. the business running me. I’m proud that I operate out of choice, not default. So, while I have a very busy schedule and travel a lot, I still call my mom most days, connect with my husband throughout the day, and have built relationships with friends all over the world.

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

Being a business owner is one of the greatest personal growth journeys one can ever take. At the end of the day, it’s all on you, and as a result of that level of responsibility, you get stretched and challenged, often to your limits. To be the most effective business owner and leader you can be, then there is no hiding from that inner growth work because to lead others, you must lead yourself.

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

  1. Understand your value. No matter what business you’re in, people follow the leader first and then their great plan.
  2. Invest in yourself. Never be the smartest person in the room.
  3. Choose to be a leader worth following. To do this, create an inspiring vision, be vulnerable, and use your voice to make a positive difference on the planet. And in the process, always be kind.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

The world needs you and your brilliance. When you don’t do what you’re called to do and step into your purpose, the world misses out.

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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