Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cheryl Turner, Founder and CEO of Reach TLS, LLC., located in Atlanta, GA, USA.

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

Reach TLS, LLC is a consultancy that represents teaching and learning solutions for early childhood and school-age educators or care providers. With a focus on child development, child guidance, social-emotional learning, early literacy development, play-based learning, and a host of other topics, I specialize in presenting training events, workshops, and seminars that provide insight and instructional strategies for promoting student and learner success both inside and outside of classrooms and that contribute to positive climates for learning and improved learner performance.

Tell us about yourself

As an educator, I spent years in the classroom before moving to higher education, then moving on to training teachers through a collaborative initiative between my university and our state’s department of early care and learning. I loved training but began thinking of how to make a gradual transition to retirement and what that might look like. There is lots of need in early childhood education for professional learning. I began to think of how I might create content that met specific needs while providing myself with greater autonomy and work-life balance. While still employed full-time, I set up my LLC and began building what would be the infrastructure of Reach TLS.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment has been branching out from serving clients within my state to reaching educators throughout the United States.

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

Initially, one of the hardest things for me was the perception of being alone. Prior to starting the company, I'd always worked with others. It can feel isolating not to be a part of a team that you can collaborate with. I had to learn how to seek out opportunities to meet others and create partnerships with like-minded entrepreneurs. The other big adjustment for independent business owners like myself is recognizing the vast range of skills required to advance the business and identifying what skills you do or do NOT possess as an owner. While I may be a strong instructional designer and have great presentation skills, things like marketing content, maximizing social media, creating digital content, or managing workflow all require a totally different skill set.

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

  1. Creating a business plan is an important first step in thinking through your start-up. But keep in mind that your actual business may grow, change and evolve organically over time, and things may end up looking different than what you originally envisioned.
  2. Business ownership requires a degree of flexibility, a level of risk-taking, a lot of humility, and a ton of patience and faith.
  3. You must give something to get something back. We all want to build something that will be lucrative, but your passion for the work is what will drive your success.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

If necessary, readjust, recalibrate, reimagine, reorganize, rethink... but don't give up!

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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