Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in coaching but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Zainab Rasool, founder of Your Guidance Coach, located in Richmond Hill, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am an independent virtual Guidance Counselor. I provide services to students in elementary and high school. The services I provide to students can be academic counseling, course selection, managing technology, identifying strengths and skillsets, applying to universities, career exploration, and dealing with mental health. I also work with parents who are new to the country and need help navigating the Canadian school system or have a child going to high school for the first time. I provide one-to-one sessions with my clients, so they get the time and attention they need.
Tell us about yourself
I have been in education for 17 years. I spent 13 years teaching grades from grades 5 to 11. I then got my certification to be a Guidance counselor and did that while teaching. I became a Vice Principal for three years and have currently taken a year off. Having had multiple conversations with students and parents, I realized that families struggled. Parents were able to get the information they needed, and students couldn't always access the counselor at school. I then thought about starting this and seeing if I could help.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I don't think I have accomplished much, but people tell me that getting over 500 followers on Instagram within three months was an accomplishment! I'm learning every single day!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
You have to manage and balance your day. On one end, you want to be available all day and to everyone, but you have to realize that balancing your work and family is crucial to your own mental health. The second thing was learning about the social media Instagram platform! I'm from a generation that did not grow up with the internet. I didn't have any social media before joining Instagram. I found it challenging to learn all the terminology and algorithms to launch the business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I would say if you have an idea, just START. Many of us wait for everything to be perfect before we get it off the ground. Secondly, research and ask questions. Starting a business requires a lot of new information. Be prepared to watch videos and speak to people in the industry. People are ready to help! Thirdly, be okay with failing. Things are not always going to go as planned. And that is perfectly okay! Through failure, you will become better at your business and grow as a human being.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I have a passion for working with youth and want to see them rise above the challenges. If I can even help one student and one family, then starting this was worth it!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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