Finding the right balance between pushing yourself to achieve and not overextending yourself is never easy. In this episode of Career Relaunch, former McKinsey consultant turned CEO of PocketSuite Chinwe Onyeagoro will explain how she made some tough choices to bring a better balance to her life and approach her work with even more joy. In the Mental Fuel segment, I’ll talk about setting reasonable expectations for yourself so you can maintain a sustainable pace to your work and life.

Key Career Insights

  1. Rather than spreading yourself too thin, focusing your energies on one particular sector helps you add significantly more value.
  2. Instead of simply chasing credentials and resume building, focus on what you can learn and what exposure you’ll have to people with the functional skills you’re hoping to develop.
  3. Given all the sacrifices you have to make whenever you’re devoted to a professional cause, you have to approach your work with a sense of joy. Otherwise, it’s simply not sustainable.
  4. In order to turn a side gig you have for supplemental income into a real, full-time business, you have to enjoy finding clients and building a business.
  5. Returning to full-time employment after running your own business can be a tremendous opportunity, but it may involve re-skilling up and training again so you can reintegrate into your former industry that’s potentially evolved.

Resources Mentioned

What makes a workplace experience “great.” (according to Great Places to Work):

  1. Purpose– People have pride in what they do.
  2. Camaraderie– Sense of connection with others.
  3. Trust-believing other people in your organization “have your back.”

For unique insights on how to start and run your own business, you can text PocketSuite at +1 415-841-2300.

Listener Challenge

During this episode’s Mental Fuel segment, I challenged you to take stock of all the key work activities filling the hours of your day, then loosen your grip on one of them. Allow yourself to just slow things down with one activity you regularly invest your time and energy into. See what happens, see how you feel, and most importantly, see if dropping from 110% to 90% effort ends up benefitting you in some other way.

About Chinwe Onyeagoro, CEO of PocketSuite

chinwe-onyeagoro-pocketsuiteChinwe’s the CEO of PocketSuite, who sees an opportunity to give early stage independent service professionals specific and useful tips to help them grow their businesses. She’s been the president of Great Places to Work, a top management consultant, an advisor to Fortune 1000 executives and the U.S. Small Business Administration, and a TEDx speaker.

She currently serves on the boards of private equity firms and lending institutions that have invested more than $1B in small and medium enterprises that create good jobs in underserved communities and is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

Chinwe has co-authored publications with the Pepperdine School of Business, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, focused on business financing and financial health. She’s also written for Entrepreneur Magazine among others.

Follow Chinwe on LinkedIn & Twitter.

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Episode Interview Transcript

Teaser (first ~15s): I would work from sun up to sun down every day. The good news was that it gave me such joy to do this work. It’s something that I think you have to be intentional about doing, and you got to do it with a sense of joy, because if you don’t, it’s not sustainable.

Joseph: Good morning, Chinwe, and welcome to Career Relaunch. It’s great to have you on the show.

Chinwe: Thanks so much, Joseph. It’s great to be here.

Joseph: We are going to talk about a few different topics today. We’re going to talk about your career pivots from consulting to your time at Great Places to Work to eventually co-founding your own company. I was hoping you could start by telling us about what you’re focused on right now in your career and your life, just to get us kicked off.

Chinwe: I am the mother of two sweet kids under the age of two. That gives you hopefully a clear picture of what my days look like.

As I think about my career and what I’m focused on today, what I’m really focused on is really helping entrepreneurs, primarily independent professionals, live their best life. We have an app, a mobile app that is used by tens of thousands of entrepreneurs around the country to communicate with their clients, to schedule their clients, and to get paid by their clients. It’s a really, really gratifying feeling to wake up in the morning and to see business happening on something that we built.

We process about $80 million of income for these entrepreneurs a year and schedule about a million appointments for them a year. This is for everyone from your local dog walker to your fitness trainer, to your life coach, to your therapist – anyone who’s making a living, working on their own, delivering their talent to you and your community using our app, which is called PocketSuite.

Joseph: I want to hear a little bit more about PocketSuite at the end, and so we’re going to come back to that. Before we go back in time, I did have a question about your life. You did mention you have two kids under the age of two, and I’m just wondering if you can tell us how you go about balancing motherhood and parenthood with running your own company.

Chinwe: There’s no such thing as balance, Joseph. I wish there was. It’s a field of dream, get out.

What I’ll say is that guilt is a really, really powerful motivator. What I do is I think about the things that I want for them, and then I really try to execute that in the moment. Rather than doing a lot of planning and feeling a lot of angst, every day, I try to just make progress in their presence.

One example is I’m originally from Nigeria, and I always loved languages. I speak my native tongue, which is Igbo, and I really want my kids to speak our native tongue. Rather than hoping to hire a tutor one day and have them go to lessons somewhere in Nigeria, which isn’t going to happen any time soon, I spend 30 minutes every morning doing numbers and colors and alphabet with them in Igbo. Throughout the day, I just speak to them only in Igbo.

My husband jokes. He’s like, ‘You know, if they were going to go to university of lingos, I’d be thrilled about this, but I’m concerned about their SAP scores when they speak better Igbo than they do English.’ We joke about it, but I feel so proud to just be able to carve out some time, a little time each day for a gift that I really want to give them, which is the gift of bilingualism.

That’s just one example of how I just try to find moments and be present in those moments in a way that fills me and hopefully fills them. I don’t try to do it all. I forgive myself for all the things that I’m sure I’m not doing as a mother that also has a career.

Joseph: I’ve heard that you can always be doing more, and at the same time, you can’t do everything. I’ve heard the term today for the very first time, ‘work-life blend,’ instead of ‘balance’ because they really do run into one another, and I certainly experienced quite a bit of that myself. I think that’s great that you’re doing that, and you’re absolutely correct. The bilingualism is a gift. I wish I was better at Chinese than I am, but that’s life. I think it’s great that you’re doing that.

Chinwe: It’s never too late, Joseph.

Joseph: I continue to work on it, and I’m trying to give some of that Chinese to my own daughter right now.

I’d like to go back now and talk a little bit about the start of your career, because you haven’t always been the co-founder and CEO at PocketSuite. I was wondering if you could tell us about your time way back during your days at McKinsey, and then we can move forward from there.

Chinwe: I joined McKinsey & Company, which is a global management consultancy, right out of college. I went to Harvard University.

When you graduate from a school like Harvard, there are a couple of options for you in terms of what they deem as success half-wise. When I was coming up, really, that was investment banking, management consulting, going into medicine, or going into law. Those were really the paths. Anything else is kind of nice.

I checked box number two, management consulting, and I went on to McKinsey & Company, which has a tremendous reputation, and it’s well-deserved. It’s a strategy consulting firm. We work with large, large companies that are trying to continue to grow and maintain their market share. We joke that we’re coming out of college, and we are put in these really prominent positions with senior executives, and we’re helping them figure out what they should do next.

There was one point—I think it was a New York Times or an Economist article—that they basically branded McKinsey consultants as kids in the conference room because we take folks who are 20 to 30-year veterans in their industry, and we are called to eventually question their approach and bring data to inform their decision making with virtually no experience in the industry. We do it really well, and we inform them in a way that helps create value, which is why McKinsey is now 30,000 strong in terms of employees around the world.

It was a tremendous time for me. I learned a lot. They say that working at McKinsey is almost like drinking from a fire hose, because in a very short amount of time, you learned a tremendous amount about the industry that you’re working in, about the kind of companies that you’re working for, and about what it takes to win in the marketplace.

Joseph: I know that McKinsey’s a really sought-after company for not only undergraduate university students but also people coming out of business schools, finishing their MBA. I know it’s a really amazing place to work, from the friends and colleagues of mine who I know have worked there.

I know you were there a couple of years, and it sounds like a fantastic opportunity. What made you decide you wanted to move on and do something else?

Chinwe: McKinsey is really great if you want to learn a lot about a variety of industries, kind of be a generalist. If you want to go deep in a particular industry, it’s kind of tough. You kind of got to wait 10, 15 years to become a partner and then have the luxury of focusing on an industry. I really had an interest in creating value over the long term in one industry in particular. I didn’t have an opportunity to do that at McKinsey.

I have an older brother who’s a self-taught philosopher, and I always talk to him at different pivot points in my career. I was looking and thinking, ‘What industry would help me do what I want to do?’ which is create value in a local marketplace and create wealth for communities. He said to me, he says, ‘Look, when you look at the world multi-millionaires, billionaires, the vast majority of them made their money in real estate or have a disproportionate amount of their assets in real estate. That may be an industry you want to take a closer look at.’

I took it and I ran with it. I joined the Pritzker Realty Group under Penny Pritzker, our former Secretary of Commerce.

Joseph: The Pritzker opportunity sounds incredible also. At the same time, I know that some people who have really sought-after jobs, when they’re thinking about moving on to something else, there’s this question in their mind about whether it’s going to be as good as or as rewarding as the role they currently have at their current company. How did you think about that and the potential risk in maybe landing somewhere that wouldn’t be as rewarding or maybe wouldn’t be as reputable or well-known?

Chinwe: I have spent a lot of time in my career chasing credentials. At a very early age, I knew I wanted to go to Harvard. McKinsey was one of the top consulting firms, and I knew I wanted to have that on my résumé.

When I made that next move from McKinsey to real estate, it was important for me to kind of set down the résumé and really start to think about functional skills that I could build that would ultimately set me up to ultimately be an entrepreneur one day. It became less important about credentials, collecting credentials for the résumé, and much more important, ‘What am I going to learn? What exposure am I going to have to principals who are making decisions that I will be in a position to make one day?’

The Pritzker organization was incredibly important to me because I was one hop from Penny Pritzker, and I was able to see the way in which she made decisions, the thoughtfulness, the insight, the sense of patience about making sure that you make a decision, and then you give yourself the opportunity and allow that decision to come to fruition or your hope around that decision to come to fruition.

It was really important to me to be really close to the decision power and ultimately the set of information needed to make really smart decisions, and I got that in spades at Pritzker Realty Group.

Joseph: I know the next chapter was more of an entrepreneurial chapter for you as you alluded to. I know we probably can’t get into every single one of your roles between Pritzker and when you landed at Great Places to Work, but could you just take us briefly through that transition of moving from being an investment associate to moving into the entrepreneurial space, which I know set up the foundation for the work that you’re doing right now?

Chinwe: Although I loved it, I decided to leave because I thought I was ready to go out and to be an entrepreneur, to take my skills that I’d learned from the marketplace and add some value.

I initially started a consulting firm that focused on real estate in particularly low-income communities, really helping to revitalize the real estate in those communities, create jobs, and attract retail. I built a company that was a multi-million dollar business. I had about 10 employees, and I was working around the country, focused on helping small and mid-sized businesses raise capital, helping them identify new locations to expand to, and then also helping those communities really attract the right type of retail and economic investments. It was really gratifying.

As always, when you’re doing consulting, eventually, you do get an itch, so at some point, I decided to transition O-H Community Partners to my partner at the time, my co-founder at the time so I could go out and join the startup world and take an idea that we had surfaced at O-H Community Partners and actually put it to work in the market.

Joseph: Did you find that there were any sacrifices or maybe surprising things you had to give up in order to be so focused on growing this business to the level that it grew to?

Chinwe: As an entrepreneur, you have to give it all up. I gave it all up. I would work from sun up to sun down every day, including weekends. The weekends are just another day for work. You’re not getting as many inbound calls and emails over the weekend. That’s the only difference. You’re really giving up the social aspects of your life. You’re throwing everything you have, everything you are into this work.

For me, it was about community development, which that takes 10 years on a good day to really realize your vision around a community. There’s no shortage of things that you can be doing every second of every day, and so I poured my heart and soul into it.

The good news was that it gave me such joy to do this work, because if it was painful, that would be doubly difficult to do. It gave me such joy to be solving these kinds of problems. I picked this work. I picked the communities. I picked my clients. I had all the choice in the world, and I made that choice, and then I committed myself fully to that choice.

I gave up so much from the standpoint of a social life. My family would routinely joke that, ‘Don’t bother calling Chinwe. She’ll call you back in like six weeks.’ They couldn’t reach me because I was always at work. It’s something that I think you have to be intentional about doing, and you got to do it with a sense of joy, because if you don’t, it’s not sustainable.

Joseph: Speaking about work that you love doing—and it sounds like you did enjoy this work—I do want to talk about your time at Great Places to Work, which is an organization that actually profiles some really amazing companies to work for. Tell us a little bit about what you did at Great Places to Work, and then I’ve got a couple of questions for you related to some of the observations you had at that organization.

Chinwe: Great Places to Work, that was perhaps my best experience as an employee of an organization. It’s a tremendous organization that has a singular mission, which is to ensure that every employee in the workplace, whether they’re in the boardroom or sweeping in the basement, is having a great experience at work and is able to then do their best work for those organizations.

Joseph: A lot of people, Chinwe, listening to this show are looking for new roles because their company is not a great place to work for them. What are a couple of the criteria you realized through your work at that organization are the most important that may be a little less obvious to people when they’re trying to find a great place to work.

Chinwe: Great Place to Work has a very, very clear point of view and frankly a formula, an algorithm for how they’ve arrived at that point of view. There are three main things that makes for a great place to work, that any individual can really see for themselves, whether you’re interviewing or whether you currently work for the organization.

The first is that the people of that organization, the employees have pride in what they do, a sense of purpose. We’re not just creating profits. We’re not just growing for growth’s sake. We’re doing something meaningful in the marketplace for our clients, something that adds value to their lives. When people feel a real connection to the purpose of an organization, that makes a huge difference in terms of the workplace experience.

The second is that there’s a sense of camaraderie between the employees. When you show up to work, you have a best friend at work. You have folks that you actually enjoy going out for a beer with after work. You have a sense that people care about each other in your workplace because it’s a place where you’re spending 70% of your waking lives. You better have some people that you feel close too. Otherwise, the sacrifice is too great to be away from family and friends. That’s the second thing.

The third thing is arguably the single most important thing that makes for a great workplace experience, and that is do you trust the people that you work for? Are they credible? Are they fair? Do they treat you with respect? Those are the elements of trust.

If people don’t trust the management, the people that they work for, they don’t look up and feel like those folks have integrity, they’re doing the right things, they’re treating us fairly, and they’re giving us every opportunity to succeed here, then game over in terms of being able to retain top talent, game over in terms of making sure people are showing up fired up to execute against your mission and your performance goals and everything that you’re looking for your company to be.

Those are the sort of three things that we really focused on, we measured, and we used as an assessment tool to say, ‘Is this a great place to work?’

Joseph: Purpose, camaraderie, and trust. As I was listening to you, I actually just had lunch with a friend of mine earlier today, and she was talking about her workplace, and she was talking to me about how she actually really likes her job, but she works primarily with four other people and doesn’t really like any of them, and none of the other people really like each other either, which I think isn’t uncommon for people to not exactly love spending time with their immediate colleagues.

Do you have any thoughts or just advice for people who find themselves in a situation where they’re not exactly looking forward to spending the majority of their waking hours with their colleagues?

Chinwe: That actually is the rare thing. Gallup does a bunch of surveys about the workplace experience. The thing that tends to come up is that people can find some people at work that they’re really close to. That’s actually the more common thing. The harder thing is trusting the people they work for.

I would say that if it’s really just four of them at work, that’s going to be really, really tough. If there’s no other outlet or no other team that they can join where they feel like they’re more aligned from a values perspective or feeling a greater sense of connection and care, it may be time to find a different opportunity or to maybe look for a remote work opportunity with their company so that they can be in an environment, be in a space where they feel a sense of connection and care and love or at least create their own environment where they feel that they can do their best work, because ultimately, it does start to wear on you when you’re working with people where you just don’t feel that sense of connection.

Joseph: I feel like we could talk about this topic of great places to work for so long, and that could fill an entire episode, and yet I do want to get on to this other topic of solopreneurship where people are running their own service or product-based company. Can you first tell me about the transition that you went through and what convinced you to move on from Great Places to Work to then eventually founding PocketSuite? Then we can get into the nitty-gritty of the world of solopreneurship.

Chinwe: Great Place to Work was a great place to work for me right up until my life circumstances changed. My husband and I had been trying to have kids for about four or five years. It’s a long time to be on that journey. I’ve gone through several rounds of IVF unsuccessfully. I’d had several operations. None of them were successful. At some point, I had given up, and I sort of refocused on just work and let me just kind of do all that I can do with what I have and with the family that I have today.

Of course, like clockwork, Baby Number One came unexpectedly, after my husband and I had literally given up. I remember it. I shared the positive test with my husband, and he literally thought it was a joke. I had to do a lot of convincing and go and take a blood test to finally convince him that this is real.

That was fine, and I think at the time, I thought, ‘You know, nothing has to change. The baby’s here, and we’re just going to keep rolling with it,’ and that I think was my naivety. We brought in a full-time nanny who lived with us, and I was traveling four out of five days a week for Great Place to Work. I was in boardrooms. I’m in all the major Fortune 500 companies, talking to them about how their workplace experience can directly impact their profits and their growth.

It was tremendous, and yet I was watching my daughter, Ooma, grow up via a Nest Camera 30,000 feet in the air. That was tough for me. That was tough, but it was a choice that I made, and I was sort of rolling with it.

However, 14 months later, Baby Number Two arrived, and at that point, I felt like something had to change. I was still traveling a significant amount because that was the work that needed to be done, and I realized that I could keep going this way for their entire childhood, and that would not have been a great workplace experience for me.

I regrettably had to step off what is a tremendous moving train that is Great Place to Work and reassess how I could make a contribution in a different way that allowed me to be a greater part of my infant and toddler’s life. I stepped out of Great Place to Work in late 2017.

Joseph: We’ve got listeners on this show, Chinwe, who are parents. We’ve got listeners on this show who are not parents. I feel like this topic may be more relevant to certain people than others, and at the same time, if anybody out there is thinking about having kids, and they are focused on their professional life at the same time, I was wondering if you could give us a glimpse into what you found most surprising about trying to balance the two when Baby Number Two came along.

Chinwe: I am a Type A personality. I do want to be the best at whatever I’m doing. I do want to feel like I am delivering 100%. I think what was most surprising to me in having one child, let alone two, is that there’s just no way to get to 100%. You wake up in the morning already behind. I’m waking up in the morning, and the baby’s crying already. I was like, ‘I haven’t even started, and I’m behind.’

Throughout the day, you feel like you’re not enough. You feel like it’s never enough. There’s always something else to do. When they’re sleeping, I have a choice between do I do their laundry, do I sneak in some work, do I take a little nap, can I eat? You’re making a series of choices that are all necessities, but you’re really having to choose one because there’s only so many hours in the day.

For me, I had never been in a position where I couldn’t get it all done, and so I started to make some really tough choices, all choices between things that all are great and should happen but can’t all happen. It’s really tough as a Type A to say, ‘It won’t get done,’ and know I didn’t achieve 100%.

Joseph: I can completely relate to everything you just said, and we’ve only got one child. That’s really interesting – trying to balance it all and also to keep your own expectations of yourself in check.

The last thing I was hoping to talk with you about before we wrap up, Chinwe, is some of the work that you’re doing there at PocketSuite. I do want to talk about the product at the end. Right now, I really like to just get your insights into the world of solopreneurship because I know that PocketSuite is all about empowering business owners and making their lives a little bit easier as business owners.

As someone who’s crossed paths with a lot of people who have started their own businesses and either had them work out or not work out, what do you think separates those people who are able to successfully launch and grow an independent business from those who don’t succeed?

Chinwe: I think there’s a big difference between folks who want to make some supplemental income and those who want to start a business. I think sometimes those two folks get confused. There’s no shortage of people who can make some supplemental income. You can do things on the weekend. You can do hair. You can do facial. You can be a life coach on the weekend.

You can do all of that, and you can make some extra income, and you can still hold down a full or part-time job while you do that, and it’s actually not that overwhelming. That’s available to anyone, and anyone should try it if making some additional income and doing something you really like above and beyond your work is an aspiration.

I think it’s a much smaller group of folks that are really cut out to create their own businesses. This means that you are eating what you kill. This means you don’t have another source of income. This is it. The kind of folks that I think really do well at creating their own business, number one, they are motivated. They’re motivated finding clients. They really enjoy the hunt. They enjoy finding clients. They enjoy selling themselves.

As a business owner, the number one thing you’re doing is selling yourself. It’s not your service. You’re selling yourself – why work with me versus working with that next massage therapist or working with that next mobile detailer or what have you? Why work with me? You’ve got to be really good at it, and you’ve got to enjoy it, finding clients. Most people don’t enjoy it.

There was a book. I think it was in the ’90s or a little later that was called the E-Myth. The gentleman said the worst thing you can do if you love to bake is to create a bakery because you will not be baking. You will be out finding clients. You will be doing accounting. You will be doing everything but baking. If all you’re doing is baking, you won’t be in business long.

That is a reflection of what it means to be a business owner: the talent that you have, the service you want to deliver, you should be spending, if you want to have a successful business, only 20 to 30% of your time on actually delivering that service. The rest of your time have to be spent on other stuff in building the business, in recruiting clients.

I think most people don’t recognize that when they go out to create their own business and when they go out to be an independent professional. The moment they do, you have a pivot point. One is you’re super excited, and they go all in and learn as much as they can about all those other things they need to understand to do this well. The other pivot point is, ‘I’m going to go get a job. I’m going to go back to the workforce because this is too hard. The joy I’m expecting to get from this work, I’m not getting, and so I am better off at least having a predictable paycheck than struggling in this way, doing something that I actually don’t enjoy doing.’

Joseph: Talking about the people who end up at that pivot point where they decide they need to go back to a regular, more traditional, full-time, steady job, what have you found to be the biggest challenge amongst those people when it comes to returning back to the corporate world, after going freelance? I guess what’s behind my question is I do talk to people who have tried to start their own businesses, and it hasn’t worked out, but the thought of returning to the corporate world just terrifies them. What do you think is the biggest challenge of going back?

Chinwe: If it’s returning to corporate, it depends. I think if you’re in a profession where the experience of entrepreneurship actually has helped you build some additional skillsets that can help you in corporate, it’s tremendous.

The people who return interview so well, so if you’re going back into like marketing or accounting or finance, and you were running your own business, you’ve got such great stories to tell about the mistakes people make, about how you’d like to help them solve those kinds of problems, about how you lived it firsthand. It’s actually a cakewalk I think to go back, other than just like the guilt of not making it work. You actually have a lot more opportunities, and you’re a much more interesting candidate if you’re in that realm.

I think where it gets difficult is where you’ve been away for so long, and you were in an industry that is not the industry you’re returning back to. Then, there is a whole set of potentially professional certifications and advancements that have happened in that industry that you’re not aware of and that you’re not in the position then to hit the ground running and executing again in a new job.

That’s where I think it becomes tricky and where you need some kind of retraining support before you go back so that you can actually be competitive as a candidate in a recruiting process. I think that’s really where it gets a little tricky.

I think if you’re working for some of the most elite firms, and you leave—the McKinseys of the world, the Googles of the world, and you leave—you are welcomed back because you have that entrepreneurial experience, and that only makes you more interesting and more valuable to the company. If you are working for an organization where there’s a whole set of skills that you need to learn or there’s a whole set of client that you need to be able to recruit to come back, maybe in the legal field as an example, then it becomes a little tricky.

You need to be able to come back with something that shows that you can hit the ground running and add value immediately, because oftentimes, you’re returning at mid management level of above where you’re expected to be billing a certain amount of hours. You’re expected to have a certain client roster. If you don’t, then you become more of an expense than you do a profit center for these companies.

Joseph: One more question before we wrap up with what you’re doing now. You had alluded to living your best life at the very start of this podcast and trying to help other business owners live their best lives. You’ve clearly had a range of professional experiences, and you’ve also crossed paths with people who are trying to live their best lives. Taking these experiences into account, what does it mean for you personally to live your best life?

Chinwe: I really believe that I’m living it now, Joseph. I joined the PocketSuite. When I joined, we had about four employees. They’re all based in San Francisco, and we were going into an office in the Financial District.

Fast-forward to a little bit more than 24 months later, we are a distributed company. We have 10 employees. We have a remote team around the country. I wake up in the morning, I get on the Slack, and I see my teammates rocking it, posting GIFs about sales they’ve just closed or support issues they’ve just figured out and problem solved. They’re processing payments for people and giving people the money they need to keep growing their business and feeding their families.

It’s all happening virtually, and I’m able to take a break at 11:00 a.m. in the morning and take my son, Yang, for a walk in our neighborhood and come back and do this podcast with you. I have maximum flexibility in my life, and I’m still able to create tremendous amount of value in a marketplace that has 300 million independent professionals that are looking for ways to ensure that they have the income they need to do the things they’d like to do in their lives.

For me, I feel like I’m contributing to a big, big market problem, but I’m not having to sacrifice my daily life, my family, my sense of personal development and wellness to do it. That for me is definitely living my best life.

Joseph: Fantastic. Can you just wrap us up here by telling me a little bit more about what’s next for you and also what’s next for PocketSuite? You alluded to the growth that has happened. I’m curious, looking ahead, what do you hope is in your future and in PocketSuite’s future?

Chinwe: We’ve been growing by 2x, 3x, 5x over the last couple of years, so we’re on a really great trajectory.

Our goal this year is to reach the 30,000 mark in terms of service professionals that are using our app to run their business. We have a long, long list, from Canada to the UK, to Australia, of folks who want to see PocketSuite in their marketplace, so we want to end the year so strong, with 30,000 service professionals in the US that it really sets ourselves up to be able to launch PocketSuite in a few other markets around the world.

In order to do that, we need to be able to recruit some really talented people in the US and beyond to help us continue to expand. I’m hoping, Joseph, that some of your listeners have an itch to do something entrepreneurial and to help other entrepreneurs. I would love to hear from them.

Joseph: Fantastic. If there are solopreneurs out there or entrepreneurs who want to learn more about PocketSuite or even just solopreneurship in general, where can they go?

Chinwe: Please visit our website at, and feel free to text us because we are a mobile app that helps folks run their business over text. Text us at 415-841-2300. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Joseph, it’s been tremendous having this conversation with you.

Joseph: Great. We will be sure to include those links in the show notes. I’ll also include a link to Suite Town, which I know is a part of your website that just gives some unique and useful industry insights and tips and tools for people who are interested in starting and running their own business.

Thank you so much for telling us more about your own career pivots and most importantly the dynamics of both your own career journey as a founder and also the dynamics of solopreneurship. Best of luck with parenthood and PocketSuite. I hope it all goes well for you.

Chinwe: Thanks, Joseph. I’ll need more luck with parenthood. I thank you for that.

Joseph: All right, thanks so much.

About Joseph Liu

Joseph Liu is dedicated to helping people relaunch their careers and do more meaningful work. As a public speaker, career consultant, and host of the Career Relaunch® podcast, he shares insights from his decade of experience relaunching global consumer brands to help professionals to more effectively market their personal brands.

About Joseph Liu

Joseph Liu helps aspiring professionals relaunch their careers to do work that matters. As a keynote speaker, career & personal branding consultant, and host of the Career Relaunch podcast, his passion is helping people gain the clarity, confidence, and courage to pursue truly meaningful careers. Having gone through three major career changes himself, he now shares insights from building & relaunching global consumer brands to empower professionals and business owners to build & relaunch their personal brands.