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So You Wanna Start A Freelance Writing & Career Coaching Business with Aleenah Ansari from Aleenah's Consulting Services

Welcome to our So You Wanna Start A... series, designed to give you a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at the journeys that went into creating some of your favorite local brands.

Today's guest is Aleenah Ansari, owner of a freelance writing & career coaching business, Aleenah's Consulting Services based in Seattle, Washington.

Our favorite piece of advice: "Take feedback seriously, but not personally." That's gold. Information can be a great tool to help you build your business but that doesn't mean that you need to act on every piece of advice given to you, no matter how well intended. You know your business best so trust your instincts and ability to discern whether or not to take someone else's advice. 

If you're curious about starting a career coaching and freelance writing business, learn a little more from Aleenah and connect using the links below!

1. What do you own and why did you start this business?

My name is Aleenah Ansari, and I’m a writing consultant who helps entrepreneurs, students, and early to mid-career professionals in tech, media, and business feel more confident in talking about their work and ultimately landing their dream roles. I’ve worked with hundreds of clients on everything from resumes and cover letters to graduate school applications. Many of them have landed jobs at companies like Facebook, Expedia, and Splunk, been accepted to national fellowships, and felt more confident in their skillset.

As a queer Pakistani woman, I believe that you can't be what you can't see — in other words, representation is everything. By being an entrepreneur, I hope to inspire folks to believe in the power of their story and put themselves out there, whether it's by starting a business or even applying to a job that excites them. I had worked as a writing tutor at my college, where everyone from freshman to graduate students would bring in their essays, personal statements and grad school applications. My goal was to support them holistically and facilitate conversations about their identity, values and work. After continuing to be the point-person for folks who were searching for jobs or creating content, I decided to turn my love of writing into a consulting business.

In the current iteration, I empower entrepreneurs and mid-career professionals in media, tech and business to land their dream roles and build authentic personal brands. During resume and cover letter reviews, mock interviews and collaborative writing sessions, I provide feedback and invite clients into conversations about their work. I also give webinars on how to strategically navigate the job search, build a personal brand and highlight your accomplishments.

2. What is an early win you had that made you feel like you were on the right path?

I'm proud of all my webinars I've given on storytelling and personal branding, and that hundreds of early-in-career professionals have been empowered to land their dream jobs and feel more confident doing it.

3. What's one of the biggest challenges you’ve had?

I'm working on finding the balance of offering services at an accessible price point while still valuing my time. Another entrepreneur reminded me that you can't build wealth while charging pennies, which has reminded me to raise my prices as my expertise and client list grows over time. I also try to offer resources like articles or free webinars to ensure that everyone can learn from me!

4. What are three pieces of advice you’d give to aspiring local business owners in your industry?

1) Whether you’re attending a networking event or visiting an art museum, see everything as a learning opportunity. I have the mindset that you can learn from anyone, so I encourage you to take the time to meet with other entrepreneurs and folks that inspire you.

2) Don't forget to rest and set boundaries. I know what it’s like to work the night shift for your side hustles, but it’s equally important to take time away from work so you have the energy to come back and support your clients and customers. It’s also okay to say no to opportunities that don’t bring you joy or get you closer to your goals.

3) Take feedback seriously, but not personally. Everyone has an opinion about how to run a business, and I invite you to evaluate how relevant their advice and expertise is to your work. I also encourage you to build systems into your process where you’re collecting feedback and testimonials from clients, which you can use to iterate on your content and demonstrate the impact of your work.

5. Where is your business heading next and what are you excited about?

I'm excited to take on more clients, land more paid speaking engagements, and continue to hear success stories from clients! This is all about building up others whenever possible.

Find Aleenah & Aleenah’s Consulting Services:

Instagram: @aleenahansari
LinkedIn: @aleenah-ansari

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