Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in career development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Julia Rock, Founder & CEO of Rock Career Development, located in Houston, TX, USA.

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

Rock Career Development is a career solutions-focused agency that helps Black and POC former athletes and professionals in transition leverage their existing skills into new high-paying, in-demand careers.

Tell us about yourself

I am a "corpreneur," which means I maintain a 9-5 in addition to running my business. I started my business officially back in 2013 when I saw the need in the market for helping Black and POC professionals achieve their career goals in Corporate America. I wanted to provide them with the resources and knowledge to effectively drive their careers forward and help level the playing field. What motivates me each day to keep doing this work is knowing that I can make a positive difference in one person's life. Having the right career opportunities isn't just about work. It affects all other areas of your life. Whether it brings you more money to take care of your family or live in a better home, gives you more time for exercise, or simply enables you to achieve your personal success goals, the impact of having a fulfilling career is undeniable.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

There are plenty of accomplishments I could talk about with clients or opportunities, but honestly, my biggest accomplishment as a business owner was recently achieving the LinkedIn Top Voice in Sports. It may seem like a vanity metric or label, but after coming from a non-sports background, with no connections or anything, to help former athletes find new careers and success in their next chapter, earning that recognition was something special for me.

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

Sacrifice. Being a business owner means there are going to be times when you can't do certain things because you have to dedicate that time or resource to your business. You may have to pass on certain events or personal opportunities because your business requires that attention. It's a part of life, but nevertheless, it can be difficult.

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

  1. Vet your idea. Get clear on what you want to offer, who you want to offer it to, and what clear problem it solves, and then do the market research. It's easy to want to start a business, but it's essential to know if there is an actual customer base willing to purchase.
  2. Ask for help. There are so many resources out there for you to DIY, but there is nothing like getting advice and support from people who have already become successful. They can help you to avoid pitfalls and mistakes and potentially help you shorten your learning curve.
  3. Know your numbers. Get clear on what it takes to deliver your product or service to the marketplace. Stay on top of your accounting and what's coming in and going out. So many small businesses fail due to a lack of funding and inadequate planning. When you know your numbers, you can pull back on expenses when necessary, better evaluate your product/service performance, and ultimately pivot your business direction to improve results.

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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