Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Deirdre McGinn, Founder of StepUpStepIn, located in Dublin, Ireland.

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

I am a Career and Confidence Coach and the founder of StepUpStepIn.
I am passionate about developing amazing leadership so that leaders feel compelled to create the optimum conditions for people, teams, and their organizations to thrive. My passion is to support my clients in growing and developing their personal capabilities and achieving a greater sense of personal satisfaction and fulfillment in their work and in their life. I understand more than ever the need to create successful careers that positively impact my clients, their teams, and the organization.

As well as coaching, I also deliver corporate workshops to support leaders in building the leadership skills needed for the future of work. The most popular workshops include: Listen to Lead, Power and Presence - Build Confidence and Own Your Voice, Executive and Virtual Presence, Influencing and Persuading, Own Your Brand, and Building Resilience. I am also very proud to be a part of the Mentor Her Corporate Program, a platform supporting women's confidence and career decisions.

Tell us about yourself

I have spent the last 25 years leading teams and individuals through organizational and transformational change. My background is in the Technology Industry, working at LinkedIn, IBM, and Oracle in a range of senior leadership roles. However, as a professional woman, my greatest joy in life is to see all women shine with confidence in both their professional and personal lives. Throughout my career, I have made conscious efforts to champion those around me; however, I observed that the majority of the women I worked with the extra needed guidance to help find their voice or overcome their self-limiting beliefs.

This passion has now become my purpose, and I took the brave decision to leave the high-paced corporate world and invest my time in coaching women. I now understand more than ever the need to create successful careers that positively impact women, their teams, and the organization. I draw on my extensive wealth of knowledge and experience from my own career.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is having a positive impact on my clients' lives. It makes me so happy to hear from past clients about their continued successes and how they are defining their careers through the tools and strategies taken from our sessions together. Since starting StepUpStepIn, I’ve had the opportunity to have a positive impact on over 1.000 women in different capacities, and that, for me, is why I do what I do.

My greatest joy is when I’m working 1:1 with a client, and they have that "Ah Ha" moment that brings about profound self-awareness, breaks down barriers and self-limiting beliefs, and supports a clear vision and plan for the future.

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

I sometimes question what I’m doing, how I'm doing it, and why I’m doing what I’m doing. When I’m coaching my clients, I’m always encouraging them to celebrate and recognize their successes, but I am often not doing it for myself, and I find this to be a huge challenge.

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

  1. Learn to say NO, know who you are, and stay as close to the plan as you can.
  2. Get a Coach/Mentor. We all need somebody who will hold us accountable.
  3. Be authentic. As Oscar Wilde said, "Be Yourself. Everyone else is taken."

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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