Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Diana Cortese, a board-certified behavior analyst and former special education teacher based in Rolling Hills Estates, CA, USA.

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

I run two businesses related to teaching Social Skills. My first business is in-person social and play skills groups for kids that focus on teamwork, problem-solving, and communication. My customers are families whose children are in need of a little extra support in order to develop and strengthen their friendship skills. My second business is teaching Special Educators how to create and run Social Skills Groups in their clinics or classrooms. I do this via online professional development.

Tell us about yourself

I am a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and former Special Education Teacher. I am motivated because I believe that the skills that connect us to each other are the most important skills of all to teach. There is a loneliness epidemic, and I want to equip children who are most at risk of being isolated with the tools to be confident in who they are and open to others.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is knowing that I am addressing a pressing need in our communities today.

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

The hardest thing is never feeling like you have enough time. Also, working from home often can make it challenging to create boundaries between work and home.

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

  1. Talk to an account and understand the logistics of your business setup, taxes, etc.
  2. Make sure you can handle the side of the business that you probably won't enjoy so much-all that boring paperwork, for example.
  3. Make sure your reason for starting will push you through your rough days.

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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