It takes a lot to be an entrepreneur. Not only do you need an idea and business model, you also need the mindset to navigate the world of entrepreneurship.
Anna Szpunar has not only been through this journey, but she also coaches entrepreneurs through their journeys, too. Eight years ago, Anna moved from London to New York, and in the last two years, she left leadership roles and a 20 year career in media sales and publishing to follow her passion and purpose to empower other entrepreneurial souls. As an Energy Leadership Master Practitioner and COR.E Transitions specialist, she works with executives, expats and entrepreneurs. In addition, Anna incorporates her studies in the field of positive psychology into her coaching business.
As a fellow solo entrepreneur, I asked her to share some details about her journey and the advice she shares with other entrepreneurs.
Be open to learn from every experience - whether you view them as good or bad. Enjoy the good times and stay patient and resilient through the tough times, as none of these moments are here to stay.
The pandemic has thrown many of us out of our comfort zones! I've always been someone who enjoys and prefers connecting and working with people in person, so offering my services virtually wasn't high on my agenda despite recognizing the benefits of doing so.
That all changed as of March 2020 and I (along with most businesses), had to adapt my services instantly. Although I look forward to the day when I can get back to connecting and coaching in person, I know that I will continue to offer my services virtually on an ongoing basis and it has enabled me to expand my services internationally much faster than I had initially anticipated!
I'm a huge believer in everything happening just as it's meant to, in order to be where we are today. I can honestly say that 10 years ago I was in a very happy place - 4 years ago not so much, despite living my dream, and today I truly feel at my best and I'm excited to know the best is still to come! So my advice would come in encouraging myself to find gratitude and stay present in the moment.
Work with a coach and/or mentor, preferably someone who is not in your immediate friend or family circle, so you can also have open and honest conversations with someone who can support you through your journey, whilst remaining neutral and objective.
A coach will help you stay focused, get you out of your own way. I have worked with coaches throughout my journey, and even more than one at a time, at some points along the way. A coach really does help you get clarity on your goals and what you need to do to follow them. I, too, work with my clients to keep them focused on their own journey.
Taking the leap to launch your own business or make that career shift is a big step. Once you've made that first move, it can be very easy to get distracted by all the advice that starts coming at you from people around you and of course social media, too! It's important to have a resource that can keep you focused on your goals and help filter what will help you on your way versus distract you.\
Coming from an advertising background, I have paid a lot of attention and worked with many memorable campaigns. The one that sticks out for me is for a brand called UNTUCKit.
They were very intentional with their brand message and in being in the places where their direct audience would see them ten times. It wasn't about getting in front of as many people as possible, it was about getting in front of as many of their target audience as possible, in a place where they would be paying attention and a place where they could reach them multiple times.
This was a mix of both digital campaigns and inflight publications onboard aircraft. Soon after I began working with them, in the inflight magazines, each time I introduced myself and shared where I worked, I was met with, "Ahhh,m UNTUCKit!" People recognized the brand from their last flight.
They grew quickly from an e-commerce brand to a 50+ location brick and mortar business in just a few years! It's evidence that consistency is key - they never missed an issue - and getting in front of as many of your target audience, multiple times, when they are most receptive. UNTUCKit are also consistent with their branding, messaging and are open to creativity for a greater impact.
Connection has always been one of my core values, so I do build many of my personal and professional relationships organically and I belong to a great women's network, Dreamers & Doers, who are all about supporting women trailblazers in their business.
In addition, professional support is an extremely beneficial perk to being a coach! I'm surrounded by the most supportive network of people I have ever found myself in, whether that be through iPEC (where I gained my certification), the International Coaching Federation, or the coaches I meet through client organizations.
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