Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Barbara Manousso, Owner and CEO of Manousso Mediation and Arbitration LLC., located in Houston, TX, USA.

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

I'm a mediator and arbitrator, and trainer for ADR.

Tell us about yourself

In 1993, mediation and arbitration were my second act. I've been self-employed and self-supporting since I was 11 years old! I do what I love, so I don't feel like I'm working. I enjoy a productive lifestyle. On March 7th, I became 75 years young! Over a hundred friends and family from around the world joined my Zoom party.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

As a business owner of a few businesses, I have students from 60 years ago still thanking me for encouraging them to do XYZ. I delight in being a change agent and giving people an opportunity to grow wings to soar and watch them fly.

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

It is a lifestyle. To be a proper business owner, I realize that I need to constantly be in the game and improve the mousetrap and my personal horizons. My Podcast/YouTube Manousso Musing has been a modern reinvention of myself, my talent, and connections. I forget that I should be relaxing more.

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

  1. Write a business plan, don't just think about it, and know the BATNA and WANTA with objective criteria, not empty opinions.
  2. Marry well. Have a spouse that is there to support your aspirations and talent with realistic expectations.
  3. Don't listen to anyone who says you can't, shouldn't, are not capable of...anything. However, make sure to be educated and informed in reality, nail the academic degrees as rungs in a ladder, and keep your eyes on the prize!

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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