Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Everette Fortner, CEO of Everette Fortner Career Coaching, located in Crozet, VA, USA.

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

I am a career coach who helps people pursue their purpose and get on to a more interesting life. I work with people who are looking to make a change in their careers and are unsure where to start. My approach is to tailor every engagement to the needs of the client while employing proven design-thinking tools that ease the stress and uncertainty of a career search. I don't help clients find their "passion." Passion is quite difficult to discern and takes many people years of work experiments to find. Instead, I help you get to know yourself and what is important to you and then match those values, skills, interests, and workplace preferences to possible lives.

Tell us about yourself

I love working with early and mid-career professionals, helping them find careers that bring them joy. It's taken me two rewarding (but very different) careers with many titles (marketer, brand manager, general manager, sales manager, career director, business development, professional development, and designer) to be able to say I'm passionate about what I'm doing.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My first accomplishment was getting my first satisfied customer--watching them really work the process and then land on something they love. Since then, each satisfied client has been an accomplishment. So I would say my biggest accomplishment is building a business that I can unequivocally say helps people reach their goals.

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

The administrative details are one that can only be overcome by paying for great assistance. So the other hardest thing is getting new clients every single day. Selling is such a key function, and usually not the passion of the entrepreneurs.

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

  1. Prototype it! Try it out without quitting your day job. Today's term is a side hustle. Do it as a side hustle first--see if you like it and can make (enough) money at it.
  2. Set aside selling time every day or every week.
  3. Tell everyone you know that you are starting this business and ask for their advice. You'll get so much expertise from your friends.

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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