How to Start Your Business: 5 Steps to Find Direction

Start your business

Hey there, dreamers! Today, we’re diving into one of the most exciting—and sometimes challenging—parts of your entrepreneurial journey: finding your direction. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to pivot, discovering your entrepreneurial path is all about clarity, confidence, and deliberate action. Let’s break down how to start your business and find direction into five actionable steps:

1. Reflect on Your Passions and Strengths

Finding your direction begins with introspection. What lights you up? What are you naturally good at? Reflect on your passions—those things that make you lose track of time—and identify your strengths. Your entrepreneurial journey should align closely with what you love and where you excel.

2. Clarify Your Vision

Once you have a sense of what drives you, it’s time to clarify your vision. Where do you see yourself in the next year? Three years? Visualize your ideal future as an entrepreneur. What does success look like to you? This clarity will guide your decisions and actions moving forward.

3. Set HEART Goals

Now, let’s talk goals. In my coaching practice, I use HEART goals—goals that are Heartfelt, Engaging, Aligned, Responsive, and Transformative. These goals resonate deeply with your purpose and inspire you to take meaningful steps forward. Whether it’s launching a product, expanding your services, or reaching a specific revenue milestone, setting HEART goals ensures you’re moving in the right direction with passion and purpose.

4. Seek Mentorship and Support

No entrepreneur succeeds alone. Seek out mentors who have walked a similar path or are experts in your field. Their guidance can provide invaluable insights and shortcuts to success. Surround yourself with a supportive community—whether online or offline—of fellow entrepreneurs who understand the challenges and joys of building something from the ground up.

5. Take Action Consistently

Finally, take deliberate action every day towards your goals. Break down your vision into actionable steps and commit to consistent progress. Entrepreneurship is a journey of continuous learning and adaptation. Embrace the process, celebrate your wins, and learn from setbacks. Stay focused on your long-term vision while remaining flexible to adjust your course as needed.

Ready to Unpause Your Dreams?

Finding your entrepreneurial direction is a journey of self-discovery and intentional growth. By reflecting on your passions, clarifying your vision, setting HEART goals, seeking mentorship, and taking consistent action, you’re laying a strong foundation for success. Embrace the adventure ahead, and remember, all journeys begin with a single step.

Are you ready to unpause your dreams? Let’s make it happen together. Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below—I’d love to hear about your entrepreneurial journey and how you’re finding your direction. Here’s to achieving dreams and building a life you love!

Until next time,


50 Low-Cost Business Ideas You Can Start While Working Full-Time

As a coach, I act as a guide to help 9 to 5ers start their own business and make their first sale within 90 days. With guidance, you will realize you are the hero of your own story and that launching your side hustle defeats all of your enemies–the unfulfilling job, the economy, and the fear of never being free to have the life you really want. It’s as easy as 1,2,3,4. Let me show you.

Step 1. Assess your current skillset, passions and interests. Step 2. Explore business ideas that align with your findings. Step 3. Pick one offer/product to start. Step 4. Set aside 5 hours a week and get to work.

Here are 50 low cost business ideas that require less than $5,000 in startup costs, no new skills, and that you can make your first sale this month—all while keeping your full-time job.

Creative Services

  1. Freelance Graphic Design: Use your existing design skills to create logos, advertisements, and more.
  2. Photography: Start by offering headshot sessions or product photography.
  3. Writing Services: Provide copywriting, blogging, or ghostwriting services.
  4. Handmade Crafts: Sell your crafts on platforms like Etsy.
  5. Jewelry Making: Design and sell custom jewelry.
  6. Affirmation Card Business: Create and sell unique affirmation or inspiration cards.
  7. Resume Writing: Help job seekers improve their resumes.
  8. Event Planning: Coordinate small events or parties.
  9. Interior Decorating/Staging: Offer your flair for home aesthetics.
  10. Cake Decorating: Create and sell custom cakes for events.

Tech Services

  1. Web Design: Build websites for small businesses.
  2. App Development: Develop simple apps for local businesses.
  3. Tech Support: Offer remote tech support.
  4. SEO Consulting: Help businesses improve their online visibility.
  5. Social Media Management: Manage social media accounts for brands.
  6. Video Editing: Provide video editing services for content creators.
  7. Podcast Editing: Edit audio and/or video for podcasters.
  8. Online Tutoring: Teach subjects you are knowledgeable about.
  9. Language Translation: Offer translation services for documents or websites.
  10. E-commerce Consultant: Help businesses set up online stores.

Personal Services

  1. Personal Shopping: Assist others in shopping for fashion or groceries.
  2. Fitness Coaching: Offer fitness classes or personal training online.
  3. Nutrition Planning: Provide meal plans and nutrition advice.
  4. Life Coaching: Help clients achieve personal goals.
  5. Beauty Consulting: Give beauty and makeup advice.
  6. Pet Sitting: Look after pets in your spare time.
  7. Babysitting: Offer flexible babysitting services during off-hours.
  8. Elder Care: Assist with non-medical care for the elderly.
  9. House Cleaning: Provide cleaning services.
  10. Lawn Care: Offer landscaping and lawn maintenance.

Retail and E-Commerce

  1. Dropshipping: Sell products online without holding inventory.
  2. Online Boutique: Curate a selection of products to sell online.
  3. Art Dealer: Sell artwork online or at local fairs.
  4. Vintage Goods Seller: Curate and sell vintage items.
  5. Specialty Food Store: Sell homemade or specialty foods.
  6. Print-on-Demand: Sell custom-designed t-shirts, mugs, and more.
  7. Subscription Boxes: Create and sell subscription boxes in a niche market.
  8. Furniture Upcycling: Refurbish and sell old furniture.
  9. Book Reseller: Buy and sell books online.
  10. Beauty Products Seller: Create and sell your own line of beauty products.

Consulting and Professional Services

  1. Project Management Consulting: Assist businesses with project planning and management.
  2. Financial Advising: Help clients manage their finances.
  3. Legal Consulting: Offer consulting in your area of legal expertise.
  4. Market Research: Conduct and sell market research reports.
  5. Public Speaking Coach: Help others improve their speaking skills.
  6. Career Coaching: Assist people with career planning and transitions.
  7. Corporate Training: Offer training sessions for businesses.
  8. HR Consulting: Provide HR and recruitment advice.
  9. Business Coaching: Use your expertise to help others grow their businesses.
  10. Real Estate Consulting: Assist clients with buying, selling, or renting property.

This list is just the beginning. Each idea can be tailored to your unique skills and life circumstances.

Schedule a consultation for more information about 1:1 coaching to help you turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality!

3 Steps to Become a Professional Speaker

Launch Your Speaking Career with Unpause Your Dreams Creative Studio

As a speaker and coach, I often get asked, “How do I start getting paid to speak?” The simplest answer is to get started and get yourself on more and more stages. While this might sound straightforward, securing that first speaking gig is more challenging than it appears. Many aspiring speakers find this daunting and feel tempted to give up. Don’t let this be you. Instead, embrace creative strategies to chase your dream of speaking onstage. This guide outlines an actionable plan to kickstart your speaking career today.

1. Rent the Space

Your first step is finding a venue for your initial talk. If you’re an aspiring speaker in the Charlotte, NC area, Unpause Your Dreams Creative Studio is crafted just for you. Designed to help you stand in front of an audience and speak confidently, our studio accommodates up to 50 people—perfect for a substantial yet intimate gathering. If you’re not in Charlotte, look for a similar venue that can cater to a small, engaged audience.

2. Get an Audience

Attracting an audience is your next move. You can either sell tickets to cover expenses and earn a profit, or invite family and friends for free. This crucial step fills the room and enhances the quality of your event’s video content. If undecided, starting with familiar faces is an excellent way to dip your toes into public speaking. Their support will not only boost your confidence but also help you appear more natural and engaging on video.

3. Hire a Videographer

Content creation is essential—it’s your social proof! To leverage your speaking event fully, hire a professional videographer to capture high-quality footage. This material serves several purposes: a speaker reel to help you land future gigs, a long-form video of your talk for YouTube to boost your visibility and establish expertise, and short clips for dynamic content like Instagram and Facebook Reels, blog posts, and YouTube Shorts.

Pro Tip: Maximize Your Content

To further capitalize on your event, bring several outfits and plan multiple talks. At Unpause Your Dreams Creative Studio, use our dressing room to change looks and tackle different topics. This approach not only enriches your content but also showcases your versatility, enhancing your online presence and positioning you as an expert.

This plan simplifies the process of starting your speaking career into three manageable steps: rent the space, gather your audience, and record your event. Follow these steps, and you’ll not only have successfully hosted your first talk but also created valuable content to propel your future speaking endeavors. So, stop overthinking—rent the space, assemble your audience, and hire the videographer. Your speaking career is waiting!

About Charlene Ridley

I’m Charlene Ridley, a seasoned speaker, coach, serial entrepreneur, and the founder of Unpause Your Dreams Creative Studio. If you’re a woman in Charlotte, NC, aspiring to launch your speaking career, it’s time to act. Book your slot at Unpause Your Dreams Creative Studio and transform your speaking aspirations into reality.

Mastering Content Creation:

Strategies for Engaging and Impactful Media

In the digital age, content is the currency of engagement. Whether you’re a marketer, entrepreneur, blogger, or creative, the ability to craft compelling content is crucial for standing out in a crowded marketplace. This blog post explores effective strategies for creating content that not only engages but also converts.

1. Understand Your Audience

Before you start creating content, it’s essential to know who you are creating it for. Use analytics tools to gather data on your audience’s demographics, interests, and behavior. Tailoring your content to meet the specific needs and preferences of your target audience will increase its relevance and impact.

2. Set Clear Objectives

What do you want to achieve with your content? Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, generate leads, or educate your audience? Setting clear objectives will help guide your content strategy and measure its success.

3. Choose the Right Format

Different formats resonate with different audiences. Whether it’s blogs, videos, podcasts, infographics, or social media posts, choosing the right format is key. Consider what formats are most likely to appeal to your audience and what will best convey your message.

4. Create Valuable and Relevant Content

The content you produce should provide value to your audience. This could be through solving a problem, providing new information, or offering entertainment. Ensure that your content is not only interesting but also relevant to your audience’s needs and desires.

5. Optimize for Search Engines

SEO is crucial for ensuring your content reaches its target audience. Use relevant keywords, meta descriptions, alt text for images, and structured content to improve your SEO rankings. This will help your content get discovered through search engines.

6. Engage with Visuals

Visuals can dramatically increase engagement. Incorporate relevant images, videos, and other multimedia elements to break up text, illustrate points, and keep your audience engaged. Tools like Canva or Adobe Spark make it easy to create professional-looking graphics.

7. Promote Your Content

Creating great content is just the first step. You also need to promote it to ensure it reaches a wide audience. Use social media, email newsletters, and your personal network to share your content. Consider using paid advertising for wider reach.

8. Analyze and Adapt

Finally, use analytics to track the performance of your content. Look at metrics like views, engagement rates, and conversions. This data will provide insights into what’s working and what’s not, allowing you to refine your strategy and improve future content.

Content creation is both an art and a science. By understanding your audience, setting clear objectives, and using the right formats and promotional strategies, you can create content that not only engages but also achieves your business goals. Keep refining your approach based on analytics and feedback, and over time, your content will become more effective and impactful.

Whether you are a hobbyist looking to share your passion or a business aiming to expand your reach, mastering the art of content creation is key to engaging your audience and achieving success.

By Charlene Ridley, Coach, Serial Entrepreneur and Founder of the Unpause Your Dreams Creative Studio. If you are an aspiring or experienced woman entrepreneur in Charlotte, NC and need to make time to create content batches Book time at the Unpause Your Dreams Creative Studio.