Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sarah McVanel, President and Founder of Greatness Magnified, located in St. Catharines, ON, Canada.

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

I am Canada's recognition expert delivering value through keynotes, training, recognition consulting, books, recognition products, and virtual programs. My customers are people-centred businesses that care about retaining great people by ensuring every individual knows they are valued and feel they belong.

Tell us about yourself

Less than 30% of people are satisfied at work - pretty scary when we spend more waking hours working than anything else! Plus, with micro trends like the gig economy, people opt out of work in droves. The untapped talent super attractor - that was needed well before The Great Resignation and our current quiet quitting trend - is recognition. The most important work I've done in my career is to help turn the least satisfied teams into the most in their organizations by hardwiring recognition into their team climate and work culture.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Leaping with no plan B into entrepreneurship because my son's mental health crisis precipitated me to leave a great senior leadership role. A specific moment of delight was when I delivered a keynote with my family in the audience in Puerto Rico, and then we used that as a springboard to a family vacation. Sharing my craft with them (they were so proud!) and them benefiting from my work directly to fuel family joy was a gift beyond measure.

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

Staying focused on the process measures rather than fixating on outcomes. Letting yourself fail and fail and fail again as long as it's making progress toward very clear goals.

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

  1. You already have customers - make a list of 100 people who know, like, and trust you, and then tell them what you do and how they (or their friends/family) can work with you.
  2. Recognize yourself, your clients, and any contractors 10x more than you think is necessary. It gives you confidence, fuels loyalty, and makes you feel satisfied and more in control of your business success.
  3. Focus on serving, not selling. Create value-added resources, offer your time, and ask what solutions clients' need help with versus pitching a product or service. You stay relevant, humble, and generous this way, and people want to work with people they know, like, and trust. It also allows you to refine your expertise and stay relevant as that informs everything else you do (what products you create, what books you write, what posts and videos will resonate on social, etc.)

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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