Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chris Thomas, Founder of YourPassion1st, located in Oak Park, IL, USA.

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

We are a mentoring and coaching platform focused on inspiring young adults ages 14 to 24 to find, define, and follow their passion into the workforce.

Tell us about yourself

I grew up with great parents and a great upbringing, but because we moved around so much, it was hard to make friends, and I didn’t have any mentors. This, unfortunately, took me down a path of drugs and alcohol before finding my passion. And in 2008, after my third arrest, I decided to change my life. I went back to school to get my degree in adolescent psychology with a minor in philosophy in Spanish. Unfortunately, I still could not get a job in my field of choice, which would have been working with kids, so I ended up getting into HR and recruiting. This path took me into the workforce development space, which ended up bringing me back full circle to where I am today, and which is humbled and honored to have a nonprofit focused on youth empowerment.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is believing in myself to start something that many people looked at me like I was crazy when I first started. But now some of those same people have given me donations of over $500 each. And seeing people believe in me that I never thought I did is a blessing.

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

One of the hardest things about being a business owner is that you can never give up. If you work for a company, you can always quit, but as a business owner, you can’t quit on you.

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

Number one, have confidence and believe in yourself. Number two, if you don’t have a Network of people, start building one as soon as possible. Number three, discipline is the secret to success.

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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