Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in training and education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ava Mariya Gencheva, CEO of VoicED, located in San Jose, CA, USA.

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

My business is called VoicED. This is an education and college consulting company, and we work with students of all ages to improve their English grammar, writing, and speaking skills. We also begin early with preparation for the rigorous college admissions process.

Tell us about yourself

I have been an educator for over 15 years. My last role as a program director made me realize that the educational system hasn't changed to accommodate the needs of learners as it should and is informational but not transformational. The students are kept busy but not educated and empowered. Although I loved my job, slowly, I felt uninspired. There was no sense in making a difference or true contribution. In 2018, I decided to start my own business, it was a long-time desire fulfilled. It wasn't months until I had a few students, and in that time, I truly missed the invigorating noisy action-packed school with over 1500 students I was used to. But slowly, I realized I could now provide quality attention to coaching and executing my curriculum and program away from corporate mandates and the bottom line favoring statistics and impersonal agenda.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment so far has been the ability to not compromise on my quality of delivery despite going through the learning curve and the ups and downs that come with entrepreneurship. My business has been profitable and successful from the first day I opened its doors, and my students are consistently accepted into top US and Europe universities.

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

As a business owner, one has to be prepared to face uncertainty and take risks. It is like riding a bike, you have to keep your eyes vigilantly on the road and maintain a steady course, not too much to the right or left, or you fail. This can be exhausting, so in addition to strong determination, one must have an unwavering desire to succeed and, of course, faith. Of course, these difficulties pay dividends not just in a material sense but also in character and personal development.

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

  1. Start in the area you have the most expertise in and you genuinely like since running a business is a 24/7 endeavor, and you will not have the energy to learn a brand new skill that you can swing into profit. Also, speaking with authority and making fast decisions require expertise.
  2. Plan on taking and implementing feedback without taking any offense personally. Your business idea is yours only until you start your business operations; after that, it is about serving the customer, so implementing changes and not feeling let down by failure has nothing to do with the idea only has to do with the proper execution.
  3. Treat yourself as you would treat a most valuable member of your team-- prioritize health and well-being; burning the midnight oil can deplete your health and, with that, your enthusiasm, and it can set you back despite the hard work you've put in.

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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