Starting a business is an exciting endeavor filled with limitless potential. However, the reality of entrepreneurship can sometimes be challenging and filled with sacrifices. 

In this episode of "Starting a Business Simplified," guest speaker Deanna Cooper Gillingham shares her personal journey, shedding light on the realities of owning a business. 

From the financial commitment to the importance of building an engaged audience, Deanna offers valuable insights to aspiring entrepreneurs. 

Let's explore her experiences and glean valuable lessons to simplify our own path to success.

Taking the Leap Sacrifices and Support

Deanna begins by discussing the sacrifices she had to make when starting her business. She candidly shares how she left her job and benefits behind, highlighting the importance of having a supportive partner who encouraged her entrepreneurial journey. 

While the decision to leave a stable job can be daunting, Deanna's story reminds us that sometimes taking the leap of faith is necessary to pursue our dreams.

Building an Engaged Audience Strategies and Importance

To establish a successful business, Deanna emphasizes the significance of building an engaged audience. She outlines key strategies she utilized, including having a website, growing an email list, and leveraging search engine optimization (SEO) to attract niche audiences. 

By providing valuable content and showcasing her upcoming book, Deanna engaged her target audience and built anticipation around her brand. This approach allowed her to build a substantial audience before even launching her book.

Self-Publishing A Practical Decision

Deanna shares her decision to self-publish her book, highlighting the practical reasons behind this choice. Traditional publishing routes would have taken too long, jeopardizing the timeliness of the content. 

Self-publishing allowed her to maintain control and ensured that the book remained relevant. For those considering publishing their own works, Deanna's experience serves as a reminder of the importance of adapting to the ever-changing dynamics of the industry.

The Power of Online Communities

Deanna acknowledges the growing popularity of online communities, particularly Facebook groups. She discusses the challenge of attracting and retaining members in these communities. 

In an effort to create value and incentivize participation, Deanna implemented a daily question-and-answer format. By engaging members and fostering a sense of community, Deanna has found success in driving more traffic and interaction.

Passion vs. Business Finding the Balance

One notable aspect of Deanna's journey is her realization that turning a passion into a business can sometimes diminish the initial enthusiasm. Acknowledging this, Deanna explains the importance of aligning personal and professional goals. She encourages listeners to visualize the end result, identifying how they want their business to function in a thriving state. 

By pursuing a passion-aligned business venture, entrepreneurs can maintain their excitement and drive.

Patience and Collaboration

Deanna emphasizes that building a successful business takes time and effort. While there may be rare instances of overnight success, the norm is gradual progress and consistent effort. She stresses the significance of collaboration and connecting with others, suggesting that partnerships and collaborations are beneficial for growth. 

Deanna's guest appearance on the podcast exemplifies this philosophy and serves as a reminder of the mutual benefits of shared expertise.

Tailoring Your Business to Your Lifestyle

The ultimate goal of entrepreneurship, as Deanna exemplifies, should be creating a business that aligns with the desired lifestyle. 

She prioritizes working remotely and enjoying nature, avoiding the constraints and disruptions associated with fixed locations. Deanna encourages listeners to consider their long-term business goals and consciously select opportunities that fit their personal vision. 

By doing so, entrepreneurs can tailor their businesses to support the lifestyle they desire.

Embracing Your Passion Clients and Client Satisfaction

Deanna's dedication to making her clients' lives easier and helping them return to normalcy quickly is palpable. She emphasizes the importance of ensuring client satisfaction and delivering timely solutions at a reasonable cost. 

By maintaining a client-focused mindset, entrepreneurs can establish a solid reputation and build long-term relationships.


Starting a business is an adventure filled with ups and downs, sacrifices, and successes. Deanna Cooper Gillingham's journey serves as a valuable roadmap for aspiring entrepreneurs. 

From the financial commitment and sacrifices involved in starting from scratch, to the importance of building an engaged audience, her story provides valuable insights. 

By embracing the realities of entrepreneurship, finding a balance between passion and business, and aligning our ventures with our desired lifestyles, we can simplify our path to success. 

Remember, building a thriving business takes time, effort, and continuous learning. Stay inspired, stay persistent, and never stop pursuing your dreams.

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