Being surrounded by the best professionals around, we often wonder why people make this brave choice of becoming their own business. It is obviously not an easy task as well as being a risky one.
Meeting Harper inspired our team to start a new blog theme: ask the best professionals around honest, direct and deep questions so others who might struggle or think of becoming independent themselves can learn from experience.
In December 2014, Harper Spero officially started her own business as a Lifestyle and Career Coach, and like many people who choose to start building a business upon their passion, she stumbled upon different challenges and surprises along the way.
The starting point; that inspiring full of self-faith and motivation moment, when you decide to build your own thing, is your “Why”. There’s no way around it, and you have to know why you do what you do.
Tell us about your “Why”. Why did you decide to start your own business?
“For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I didn’t know what specifically I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to have the freedom and flexibility of owning my own business. After going through a health crisis in 2012 where I majorly changed my lifestyle, I realized I wanted to help other people make shifts in their lives and be the best version of themselves. I knew too many people who were living unbalanced lives, miserable in their careers with no work/life balance and I wanted to help them through it all.”
“When I launched my business on Cyber Monday, I anticipated a ton of people to take advantage of my offer for a 25-minute complimentary call. I thought my inbox would be overflowing with emails and I wouldn’t be able to maintain my schedule. That was not the case and it was quite disappointing. Over time, I realized that success doesn’t happen overnight and I had to build a community as well as their trust.”
The one thing that Harper defined as the most important to her is to always remain authentic.
“I spent ten years working in jobs that never felt like they were the right fit. I tried to convince myself that they were, but deep down knew I didn’t belong there. I feel really good about where I’m at in my business now and certain that this is what I’m meant to be doing. I am quite self-aware and can tell pretty quickly when I am knocking down the wall of inauthenticity and need to do a check-in with myself.”
Do you ever feel alone in your journey as an independent professional? How do you cope with this feeling?
“Yes! Absolutely! The only thing I truly miss in working at companies is having coworkers. I miss the collaborating, comradery and having people to bounce ideas off of one another. I have been really fortunate to connect with some really incredible fellow coaches and other entrepreneurs/freelancers, to have co-working days.
I also have a handful of friends who are entrepreneurs who I have collaborated with and will continue building that out. Community is extremely important to me. I’m grateful for in-person communities such as meditation groups (MediClub/The Big Quiet) as well as online groups such as Dreamers // Doers.”
Harper shared 5 recommendations of independent professionals who provide different services:
Sophie Mathewson, Photographer www.sophiemathewson.com
Maeve Roughton, Copywriter http://strangeways.me/
Ronlee Ben-Gal, Graphic Designer www.ronlee.me/
Heidi Gerber, Acupuncturist + Massage Therapist, www.nyhealingtouch.com
Kelly Keesler, Pilates Instructor www.pilatesbykelly.com
Tips & Tricks
How did Harper Spero start?
The 6 first steps of making it happen:
- Confused: was unsure which program to go to in order to become a certified coacher.
- Research: did a lot of research on New York based coaching programs that allowed her to keep her full-time job (at the time).
- Meet experts: got connected with many other successful coaches. All of them provided insight into their businesses as well as their training.
- Learn: spent nine months in intensive training through iPEC (Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching).
- Plan your brand: Shortly before receiving her certification, she started working with an amazing web developer and copywriter to start developing her branding and online presence.
- Hello World!: Launched her website on Cyber Monday in 2014 which felt like the official launch of her business, even though she had already been working with clients.
Where do you meet your clients?
“Many of my clients are based in NYC since that’s where I live but I also work with clients worldwide since my work can be done remotely. Most of my clients are based in major cities.”
Who should contact you?