Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in career development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Irina Cozma, Founder of Irina Cozma Consulting LLC., located in Charlotte, NC, USA.

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

I am a career and executive coach who supports professionals to have better career adventures. In the last decade, I coached hundreds of Fortune 500 executives from global organizations like Salesforce, Hitachi, Abbot, Eaton, Johnson Controls, Walmart, Honeywell, Continental, The Hartford, Halliburton, and Danaher. I also coach startups and the Physicians MBA at the University of Tennessee.

I have over 15 years of leading talent acquisition strategies, talent management programs, and high-impact talent development initiatives. I lived, studied, and worked in four countries, and I have a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology (U.S.), an M.A. in Strategic HR Management (Spain), and an M.A. in Organizational Psychology (Romania). I was featured in Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, and Fast Company.

Tell us about yourself

There were several pivotal moments in my life as I lived, worked, and studied in so many places. Each of these moments taught me that action is superior to inaction, and if you stay open to experiences, there is always a way to achieve your next goal.

I use action-oriented coaching to support professionals who want to have a better career adventure. We can all do more to enjoy the ride! I highly appreciate intellectual conversations and debating ideas, but nothing is as beautiful as making a decision and acting on it. I find it incredibly frustrating to want something, to have an idea, to have a goal, and not give it all to make it happen. So many years ago, I promised myself that I would never just want or speak about something without acting on it, and that was (and still is) an instrumental principle in my life. I am a big fan of action!

When I look around me, I see many people who have extraordinary ideas for themselves or the world around them, but they often cannot push those ideas into execution. And that is sad from two perspectives. First, for themselves, as they will not get to enjoy the results of their ideas. And second, for all of us who could benefit if those ideas would become a reality. That is why I opened my coaching business. I want to support people to put into action their ideas so that they will be happier and more engaged in their lives, and, as a bonus, society will benefit from that.

We, as a species, made significant progress throughout history. Imagine how much faster progress we can make if we all were able to put into practice our ideas. We consume considerable intellectual power, talking and debating about better or new ways of doing things. Still, we don’t always take the next step to implement those ideas.

My wish is that when we hear ourselves talking and complaining about something that could be different or better, we can also take the next step and do something about it. Action is superior to inaction.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I was named Top 3 Career Coach in Charlotte, NC, by Influence Digest. I am a Harvard Business Review contributor and was featured in Business Insider, Fast Company, Glassdoor, and Thrive Global. You can view the articles in which my work has been featured here.

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

One of the hardest things for business owners is to have patience. They might not understand that growing a business takes time, and this is a long game. It will take time to see progress, and there is only so much you can do to rush the process. Make sure you have a strong foundation first, and take smaller risks before taking bigger risks.

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

Have bigger goals: I always had big goals, and usually, they were bigger than what others around me wanted. But I wished I knew that I could have even bigger goals. Over time I became a fan of big goals. And I get comfort knowing that if I fail at a big goal, I am still way ahead and better off than failing at a smaller goal.

Mistakes do not matter as much as you think: I will probably always remember my first big professional mistake. I was petrified. I felt my world collapse, but I learned that mistakes make you better. You learned, and you will never make that mistake again. Anybody who accomplished anything in their lives made many mistakes along the way. So success is moving forward after each mistake.

It will be a roller-coaster: Hold on and enjoy the ride!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

If you want to progress faster on your career goals, you can prepare for your next career adventure using this career guide.

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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