Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in coaching, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lucy Born, the founder of Inward, an online performance coach for employees, in Toronto, Canada.
Tell us all about your business...
Inward provides virtual one-on-one coaching to help all employees reach their potential inside and outside of work. We're focused on quality, access and affordability. Inward works with venture-backed companies to tackle employee leadership, role transitions, performance and wellbeing.
What's your background and motivation to grow as a business owner?
From my own personal journey and as a psychotherapist, I've seen the power of self-development. I wanted to make services like coaching more accessible. When the pandemic hit, it felt more important than ever to provide people with additional supports. Inward keeps me motivated every day to provide more people with access to work on themselves and develop every area of their lives.
As an entrepreneur, what does success ultimately mean to you?
When looking at accomplishments it's easy to look at some of the companies we've worked with such a Peloton and this year's top-voted Canadian companies. Yet, I find some of the biggest accomplishments have been learning to roll with punches. I've learnt in new ways how to let go of things outside my control. Becoming a Founder has been a vehicle for personal growth; it has pushed me outside my comfort zone and helped me build a more resilient mindset.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being an entrepreneur?
I'm a solo founder and I've found one of the hardest aspects has been making all the decisions on my own. I've always been very good at school and executing. However, being a business owner I've realized how much you need to constantly make choices and shape the vision for your company. There is no set path. It has been very challenging but it has made me get more in touch with my intuition.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a small business today?
1. Done is better than perfect! I've always been a high achiever and often it can be a strength as well as a weakness. I can spend weeks trying to put together a business idea or website until it's perfect, but at the cost that it never gets launched or is no longer relevant. It is important to create a finished product and continue to iterate on it. This allows us to test and learn from our findings instead of operating blindly. Inward was created in a weekend, I went through a Business Model Canvas I found on Google and built an initial website. This is something that could have taken me months, but it allowed me to build an initial product and start testing.
2. Eat the frog! Pick one item for your business every day that feels difficult and focus on completing just that one thing. Don't worry about the rest, just one task at a time. I start my day by picking the one item that needs to get done for my company.
3. Focus on action, not results! Often we get so focused on results as a way of measuring our success and progress. However, with a startup or anything in life, progress isn't linear and can often leave us feeling demotivated and self-critical. Instead, by focusing on our actions and celebrating the effort we are putting in, we can continue to push through towards innovation. If we become too focused on results, we can become scared of failing and won't think out of the box. Try putting your attention towards the actions you need to take day-in and day-out to build your business, with consistency the results will naturally fall into place.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I don't know if I ever would have started a business without the work I did to push through limiting beliefs, build my confidence and strengthen my mindset. If you are interested in building a business I highly recommend you take advantage of the resources at your disposal including amazing self-development books, your support network, a coach or psychotherapist.
Where can people find you online?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as an entrepreneur or business coach that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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