Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sarina Murrell, CEO of The Airplane Spoon, located in Menlo Park, CA, USA.

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

The Airplane Spoon, we believe "There is POWER in family connection." We are a group of developmental specialists - therapists, educators, and coaches on a mission to impact the lives of the children, families, and communities we serve by empowering them to truly connect and create meaningful relationships.

Currently, we serve children with developmental delays, differences, or disorders in the areas of communication, social-emotional-relational, sensory regulation and integration, and feeding. We also are specialized in supporting children with complex medical presentations or those who are globally impacted in their development.

Our customers are families - because every child is always a package deal! We work directly with the children's families through parent coaching, a strengths-based approach for lifelong skills, and relationship-building.

Tell us about yourself

I have a diverse background in professional and life experiences that have collectively supported the development and creation of The Airplane Spoon. I have always been involved in supporting children, communication, and feeding - as a babysitter, an aunt, a tutor, a university professor, a conference presenter, and now - as a speech-language pathologist and as a parent coach. I have lived and worked across the US (Michigan, Oregon, Washington, New York, California), China, and Ecuador. And, over the years, and around the world, I am convinced that all parents want what's best for their child - and it is my passion to ignite in each family the feeling of empowerment and confidence as to how to best support their children, as well as strengthen their bonds with their children by understanding their parenting roles, impact, and love.

My biggest motivation is embedded into The Airplane Spoon's vision: To challenge and redefine family and child support services and workplace culture worldwide.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

The best validation of my accomplishments as a business owner is when a family that is receiving services from us recommends us to other parents. When I read through a new review, my heart swells with pride and affirmation that what we are doing here is making a positive impact in their lives. I hear families talk to each other during our family parties and love seeing the connection and joy they share.

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

After being an "expert," (or at least having a lot of years of experience in my profession), it is quite humbling to find myself in the place of "not knowing." There are so many new things to learn as a business owner, and I often have to keep reminding myself that I am new at this and learning. I know that mistakes are our best teachers, and I embrace the challenges and failures I encounter. For me, it is the constant flow of newness and growth that is the best and most challenging aspect of being a business owner.

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

  1. Do what feels right to you, even if nobody else is doing it. It may be lonely paving a new road, but if you truly believe in it, it will be your driving force.
  2. Whatever level of commitment feels best for you is exactly that - best for you. Don't create some expectation that "you should sacrifice all of your time for your company" or "you need to have a healthy work-life balance," whatever amount of time and energy feels right is right, and trust that.
  3. Compare and despair! My therapist told me this once, and it's so true. Whenever I find myself in a rut or getting overwhelmed, it is likely because I am comparing myself to others or am trying to walk on my path, looking at someone else's map.

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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