Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cheyene Wachtendorf, Founder of Defiant Management and Consulting Firm, located in Rio Rancho, NM, USA.

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

Defiant is a business management and consulting firm that specializes in career coaching, project facilitation and workshopping, digital marketing, motivational speaking, and sales funnels. Our customers range from individuals looking for the next level in their careers to businesses seeking to expand their influence and generate leads. Young or old, a startup or a seasoned business, Defiant has a service to empower every one of our clients!

Tell us about yourself

I have a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Entrepreneurship and over ten years of experience in the growth and management of new companies. I am a United States Army veteran and Subject Matter Expert in SBIR/STTR, Aerospace engineering, business development, organizational and strategic leadership, Program Management, and talent optimization. I have taken my unique expertise and have co-founded or partnered with organizations in multiple fields, including businesses in logistics, IT, cybersecurity, Government contracting, private consulting, healthcare, and more.

I have extensive experience in identifying and scaling unique technologies and organizational capabilities for both the government and private sectors to facilitate continued business growth. I am an outspoken and proactive advocate for operating business outside of traditional norms, and I believe that your greatest asset is not the product or service you offer but the people you employ to execute these offerings. I consistently teach and volunteer in a variety of capacities to mentor the next generation of the workforce, and my passion for developing future leaders has positively impacted both individuals and organizations across the nation.

I first got started in this type of business by serving as a mentor and coach to my family, friends, and colleagues. Driving progress and getting to see the impact that my advice and resources have on others is the leading motivator for continuing this work each and every day.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My greatest accomplishment as a business owner is the life-changing opportunities I have provided to my clients and my employees. By chasing my passion in this business, I have created the same opportunity for anyone else who chooses to work with me or for me. I am impacting people's lives in a major way daily. There is no greater accomplishment than this.

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

One of the hardest things to manage as a business owner is balancing my passion for helping people with the administrative requirements of being an owner. I am always chasing ways to open up more of my time to helping others instead of managing things like legal, HR, and accounting requirements.

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

My top three tips for anyone looking to start, run, or grow a business today are these:

  1. NETWORK daily.
  2. Do not underestimate the value of learning as you build.
  3. Find a mentor or group of mentors to help guide you along the way.

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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