Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Hilary Hartling, Founder of Hilary Hartling Headquarters, located in Tucson, AZ, USA.

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

My business is helping entrepreneurs create captivating brands with clear messaging that resonates. It's all about developing a solid brand strategy foundation that informs the rest of the business: both the experience they want to deliver and what they most want to be known for. And while I do help a few product-based businesses here and there, I mainly work with service-based business owners, including coaches, consultants, creatives, and energy healers.

Tell us about yourself

My 15 years in marketing at Walt Disney Studios inspired my understanding of how to position a brand to win the hearts of your audience, and I simply fell in love with the process. Taking my passion and now doing it for other entrepreneurs like me is a dream come true. And, while I offer brand & messaging strategy, there's a bigger why behind what it's really about.

It's about being the way to shower to greater clarity, deeper meaning, and a bigger purpose. It's about inspiring others to allow their magic to unfold and be seen by the world (because it's this magic that is the unique value proposition for their brand). It's about telling stories that move audiences. I believe that inspired people do their best work, and your audience is a mirror of how you, as the business owner & brand, show up. So, wouldn't it benefit everyone to love your work? That's why I do what I do. Of course, we're going to define your purpose, focus your message, get to know your ideal audience, and position your business - - - but we're also going to help you stand out, not blend in, forget about trends, and forge your own path no matter how scary it may be, to follow your excitement, speak your truth, and show up fully loaded - with your skills, talents expertise, ideas, perspective and experience on full display to attract the right people to what you offer. The story behind my mission is helping entrepreneurs become bold enough to manifest their dream businesses and life.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

If I had to say my biggest accomplishment as a business owner, it's probably still being in business after seven years! It takes a certain kind of mindset, grit, inspiration, persistence, and passion to be a solopreneur and make it work for the lifestyle you really want. I love the freedom of being my own boss, so honestly, what I'm proudest of is my persistence to continue to make it work!

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

One of the hardest things about being a business owner is how it really tests you and shines a light on the areas where you need to grow. I heard someone say once that if you're craving personal development, either start your own business or have a baby. Well, I've done both at the same time, and it's why I invest in energy and mindset coaches because the work itself isn't hard; it's your thoughts, perspectives, and energy blocks that can get in your way.

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

  1. Develop your brand strategy. Your brand strategy will give you a full understanding of why you're in business, what you want to stand for, who you specifically want to help, what sets you apart, and the mission, vision, and values that will drive you forward. When you have a clear brand strategy, you will not only speak about your business more confidently and know exactly how to position yourself with marketing that resonates with your audience; you'll be able to hand a brand guidebook to anyone you hire to work on or in your business that will help keep your brand cohesive.
  2. Find a mentor or hire a business coach. Figure out the parts of your business that are more challenging for you and fill in those gaps with the right kinds of mentors or coaches that can really give you the tools, skills, and mindset to keep you moving forward with confidence.
  3. Know your numbers. Don't leave bookkeeping, financial planning, and strategy for making profits and budgeting for business expenses to someone else (or avoid it altogether). Take the time to understand what you need to know in order to run a fiscally responsible business that can support the lifestyle you want.

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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