Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with S'Marie Young, CPCC, certified coach and facilitator, located in San Diego, CA, USA.

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

Partnering with entrepreneurs and executives to help them grow and evolve their leadership presence and communication skills is extremely rewarding and my favorite part of being a leadership coach. Starting your own business and making a go of it or leading a corporate team takes commitment, tenacity, and passion. Being a leadership coach, Enneagram guide, and author, I'm endlessly curious about what drives people to success and what stands in their way. Even top leaders have insecurities and habits that hold them back from being their best. I've found that it's often your very strengths, running on overdrive, that cause the biggest challenges.

Being fully present with mind, body, and heart is the key to connecting to your deepest heart's desires and aids in building gratifying relationships as well. I help you develop your personal leadership style and leverage your strengths to be the best you can be. Tapping into your aspirations and identifying hidden motivations allows you to make a quantum leap toward realizing your goals. As a certified coach and facilitator, I partner with impact-driven professionals and entrepreneurs, helping them stand in their own truth and be more conscious leaders.

Tell us about yourself

For me, it was a life meltdown that led me to a complete change in my career path! A ten-year marriage and twenty-five years in commercial real estate came to an end during a four-month stay in an ashram in India. I just knew if I tried to hold on to the past, it would lead nowhere. Fortuitously, I was handed my next profession by my roommate, who had been on the same flight to India. We met in a shared cab to the ashram. She was a coach to executive women in transition. We were brought together two more times during the next year as roommates during retreats, unplanned. I thought it must be a message that I was supposed to be a coach. I listened, asked her to be my coach, and started the process for certification.

What motivates me is my contribution to helping shift the world toward overcoming the division between people and inspiring them to take better care of our world. The drastic changes that are needed at this time will only happen with a shift in consciousness toward self-responsibility, and that happens on an individual level. The leaders in business I coach give me great hope as I witness their personal development and transformation being put into positive action.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is writing and publishing my book, Emergence a Path to Presence: Discovering Your True Inner Self for a More Fulfilling Life. It took ten years of stops and starts, engaging a writing coach to bring out more vulnerability in my personal stories, and then tenacity to stay with it through the editing and self-publishing process to completion and launch. The book is not only my calling card and demonstration of credibility and expertise, but it has also been a way for me to ground myself in a body of work that gives me confidence in what I have to offer. It is well worth the effort!

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

It starts and ends with you. You are ultimately responsible for success and failure. That is the joy of it as well as being stressful at times. Leadership begins within. How you lead yourself is generally how you lead others. Knowing yourself is the foundation of good leadership. I've spent the last 10+ years coaching leaders to be the best version of themselves.

The Enneagram has been the system that has consistently helped my clients better understand themselves and leverage their strengths to become more compassionate, influential, and impactful leaders. Leading with a balance of mind, body, and heart is the key to being able to manage the ups and downs, make good decisions, and stay resilient. Being in a service business, the hardest thing for me is selling myself. Even after a whole career in sales, it has been a big challenge to sell me.

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

  1. Focus on the service you provide rather than the sales you need. When you focus on building long-term relationships and serving your customers at the highest level of standards to meet their needs, the bottom line takes care of itself.
  2. Success and longevity depend on your ability to overcome both inner and outer obstacles and stick to them with strong resolve. Do your inner work to develop soft skills like self-awareness and emotional intelligence, compassion, and clear decision-making. When you do this, you will have an executive presence that engenders trust and increases your influence and impact.
  3. Form a team of allies, advisors, and a mentor or coach to help you hone your skills, lift you up, sustain you through tough times, and help you manage the good times with reinvestment and smart stewardship. You can't do it alone, and why would you want to?

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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