Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mary Kutheis, Founder of MCK Coaching, located in St. Louis, MO, USA.

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

I work with small business owners who want to be at the top of their game in managing priorities (artfully blending personal and professional goals and responsibilities), emotional intelligence, and building an exceptional company team. Successful business owners have “owner” skills in their toolbox. What many seek are the nuanced skills of a leader. Great leaders build successful companies with the best people.

Tell us about yourself

I started my business in 2001. I knew I could make more of an impact on business by being on the outside of many instead of inside one. It’s not exaggerating to say that coaching is what I was meant to do. I love this work and the clients I get to serve. Every day is an opportunity to hone my skills and help my clients hone theirs. We spend so many of our hours working, they should feel like rewarding time well spent.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Perhaps still be in the business for 22 years after starting my own company. The odds of making it this long aren’t high. And candidly, there have been some lean years. But I’ve had the opportunity to serve hundreds of people through coaching and training and am fortunate enough to get feedback that what I’ve helped them with has, on many occasions, made quite a difference.

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

Feeling as though you have to do it all. Especially at the beginning when revenues are just trickling in. Then once revenues allow for hiring others to do what I’m not particularly good at, it can be a challenge to let go. Having experienced this myself allows me to empathize with clients when they face making the same decisions.

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

  1. Make sure you love your work. You’ll be spending a lot of time building and growing your company. Never a good idea to start something because it’s a hot new industry or because someone tells you you’re good at it if you don’t love doing it.
  2. Don’t make decisions solely based on money. That means being too afraid to invest, buying the cheapest you can get, or making quick decisions just because you can afford it. At every stage of growth, money plays a part, so you need to have a good relationship with it. And know that it’s a factor in making decisions, not the only factor.
  3. Find other business owners who are where you are and some that are ahead of you. Starting a business can be lonely, especially if you’re used to working in a larger organization. Isolation can beat you down, so have people to reach out to who understand your goals and challenges.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Be generous but not a doormat. Help others on their way up and yet don’t undercharge for your product or service in order to be a nice guy. People won’t value what you provide if you don’t value what you provide.

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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