Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in leadership development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ivan Košalko, Owner of Košalko Consulting LLC., located in Nitra, Slovakia.

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

I introduce leaders. To themselves. I provide support for leaders who want to make a difference. Usually, this is a need that occurs at a crossroads – promotion, a new job, starting own business, taking over a family business by a successor, etc. Typically, this situation requires skills that were not in demand before.

Tell us about yourself

After retiring from my corporate career, I felt that my knowledge, skills, and experience had value that might be appreciated. I am thankful to the retired CEO of Microsoft Europe, Jan Mühlfeit, who navigated me to Gallup's CliftonStrengths coaching course. I fell in love with coaching, and many other courses followed. Most importantly, I can fully live my WHY.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I enjoy a lot of satisfaction when recurring clients order my services, some of them already several years, and one client has retained me already the third consecutive year. The most thrilling project was facilitating a workshop for the German startup Dispendix. Having dozens of people from 17 nations in one room was an unforgettable experience.

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

In my opinion, winning customers and retaining them is the hardest thing to do. And if you employ people, you have responsibility for their families, too. Having said that, bringing the right people on the bus and leading them well requires a special mix of art and science.

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

Cultivate the three most important leadership skills as defined by my favourite author Edgar Papke in his book The Elephant in the Boardroom.

  1. Striving for self-knowledge: A great leader has to be a lifelong learner. Always improving yourself is important in order to make the right choices and know your own strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Confronting conflict: Conflict is the tension that comes from the gap between what we have and what we long for.
  3. Creating change: This is logical because change is a tool for confronting conflicts.

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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