Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with MaryBeth Hyland, Founder of SparkVision, located in Baltimore, MD, USA.

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

I'm the founder of SparkVision, which works with high-achieving entrepreneurs and their teams who are struggling to prioritize their own needs to stop burning out and start managing their well-being alongside their clients, family, and community commitments, igniting limitless energy and freedom in their lives. We do that through individual and group coaching, retreats, speaking, and book clubs. As the author of Permission to Be Human, I've written a step-by-step guide for conscious leaders to create thriving values-driven cultures.

Tell us about yourself

I first started my business because I was sick of being the underdog for caring too much about people at work. I was achieving record-breaking sales, being recognized globally for my innovation, and getting awards to back it up. But it wasn't happening because I was in a supportive environment; it was happening because I was obsessed with creating an authentic, deep, vulnerable connection with people and deeply cared about their well-being along the way. So after years of toxic workplace culture, I decided I was good enough to teach others (who cared) how to create cultures where people can thrive. And now, 7 years later, I can say for sure that it was the best investment I made in myself.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Waking up every day as the most authentic version of myself and having the privilege of teaching others how to do the same is pretty much the best thing ever. I no longer try to morph who I am to get someone else's approval, and I love the sound of my feet walking away from things that aren't meant for me. As a formal people-pleasing work addict, this is a HUGE 180 shift for me in how I function and measure my success.

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

Doing that big scary audacious thing every single day! I think most people (who know me) look at my success and think it came easily, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Every single day, I make choices that years ago would have felt incredibly daunting. Pivoting our business model, firing clients, and understanding who to partner with and where to invest our energy. It's been a huge learning curve over the past 7 years. But now that I'm crystal clear on my values, making these choices comes from a place of power (and not fear) and faith in knowing that I'm doing the best I can in that given moment.

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

  1. Give yourself permission to be human. 100% looks different every day, and that's what makes you perfectly imperfect. Be your own best friend and give yourself the support that you would a loved one.
  2. Know and live your values!! This is THE game changer for me and can be for you too. Take our free core values quiz here to get started:
  3. Define success on your own terms. Most people are so focused on the $$ that they forget the other measures of success. Remember WHY you started this business in the first place and track all of those things, not just the green.

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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