Are you ready to take the entrepreneurial leap and start your own business? Business accountability partners Josh Bien and Celestina Brunetti share their experiences getting started… and why continually waiting until you’re “ready” can simply hold you back.

This podcast episode also serves as a window into two common patterns of starting your own business. Listen and see what resonates with you.

When working for someone else and being bound by their schedule didn’t work for her, at age 19 Celestina Brunetti took her passion for cooking and turned it into an entrepreneurial success story, grown from her own kitchen.

Josh Bien, on the other hand, tends to be afflicted by Shiny Object Syndrome. His journey went from fixing broken PlayStation 2’s to starting his own IT business, co-hosting a podcast, running e-courses and masterminds, yet Josh still finds time to come up with more things to do.

In today’s episode, Josh and Cel talk about their respective journeys, and how their own life experience could be the key to your solopreneur success. Listen now and learn:

  • Why it’s important to have a good relationship with your employer.
  • Why being good enough is better than waiting until you’re ready.
  • How to charge what you’re worth.
  • Why failure isn’t failure if you keep trying.
  • Why a compass is better than a map.
  • And how to set far better goals by thinking outside the horse.

Since Josh and Cel have made significant changes in their businesses since we recorded this conversation, use the links below to catch up with them and download their free book mentioned in this episode.

Important Links & Mentions

The Unstuck Institute Podcast on Podchaser

Josh Bien’s J-BIT Tech Website

Celestina Brunetti’s Wellness Cucina Website

FREE: Download Josh & Cel’s Unstuck Institute Life Book


Book: The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

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Solopreneur Success™ Transcript

SSP042 Ready Is a Lie with Josh Bien & Celestina Brunetti

Celestina Brunetti:

We pressed publish when we weren’t ready to do this. I mean, I think we went through our first podcast probably 10 times, just dry runs before we even pressed publish. By time 10, we were not ready, but we still did it.

Steve Coombes:

You’re listening to Celestina Brunetti who joined me for this special two-guest interview with her business accountability partner and Unstuck Institute podcast co-host, Josh Bien.

Members of my Solopreneur Success Connections™ community may recognize Josh and Cel from our spring panel on Solopreneur Startup Challenges. In fact, this interview led me to invite them on that panel discussion. Now, you finally get to listen to our original conversation on the importance of knowing when good enough is good enough to launch because Josh and Cel are today’s guests on Solopreneur Success.


Welcome to the Solopreneur Success podcast, where successful business owners gather to share true stories and sound advice to help you start and grow your own solopreneur business. Come soar with us and design the life you love. Now, here’s your host, Steve Coombes.


Today, I’m interviewing Josh Bien and Celestina Brunetti, hosts of the Unstuck Institute Podcast. Both are solopreneurs, and, like me, are all about helping others reach their full potential. I really love their story and how they’ve come to work with each other, but, especially, the message that we’re bringing to today’s show – “ready is a lie”. So, Josh and Cel, let’s jump right in. Welcome to the show.

Josh Bien:

Hey, thanks for having us.


Hey, Steve.


Good to chat with you guys again. Hey, I know you have your own podcast now but before that, you are solopreneurs. I’d love to hear a bit about your journey. How did you get started with your own business for yourself? I know we have two guests on the show today, so let’s start with Cel today. Cel, how did you get started in business?


That is a fantastic question. I found out really early, at like 19, when I was working for other people, that I did not enjoy working for other people and having my time dictated by someone else’s schedule. So, as soon as I possibly could, I was like, “okay, let’s make this happen”. I was actually back in Las Vegas, living with my parents, as a matter of fact, and going through a dietetic internship to become a dietitian. That, then, kind of made this big leap into becoming an entrepreneur/solopreneur. So, I opened a personal cheffing business in a very saturated market of Las Vegas and that’s kind of the beginning of where my entrepreneurial journey starts. Since then, I’ve moved to two different States and now I’m overseas, so I feel like I’m a seasoned professional in moving my business at this point.


Yeah. That’s kind of a really hands-on, it’s not your typical- a lot of solopreneurs, you’re independent of location, but if you’re cooking for somebody, you’ve got to be there on-site so how does that look in your day-to-day?


Yeah, definitely. In the two states that I moved to, I was still personal cheffing for really busy families. I’ve since made the transition – we moved to Germany about three weeks ago and I’ve since made the transition to 100% virtual. So, I now help busy families learn to bring food back home and I teach them, virtually, how to get their kids and families involved and how to make cooking a breeze so that, rather than eating out, they can choose to eat at home more often.


That’s awesome. The nice thing about doing virtual is it’s a lot easier to scale that than going in in person, unless you’re going to do a big conference. I don’t know if you can do a big conference and teach a cooking show or something, but that’s really a fascinating story there with the personal chef. Have you always loved to cook? Is that something that you just had a desire to do, or what brought you to that path in the first place?


Oh, yeah. That’s been ingrained since I was a child. Both my parents and my grandparents would just sit me down on the counter and I’d be cooking with them for for dinner and major holidays, and I feel like all of my major memories, especially when I bite a piece of food that I’ve had as a kid, it just brings me back immediately. So, yeah, it’s definitely been ingrained for years now.


Oh, that’s awesome. I want to ask Josh the same question, of course, though I think Josh has told me before. He’s kind of a serial solopreneur. He’s not satisfied with just one business; he’s got to keep bringing up new businesses. So, Cel has become an expert in moving that business from place to place and then taking the transition from, “here I am, in-person in your kitchen” to “here I am, virtual from overseas”, which is fantastic, and I’d love to hear more about that in a little bit. But, Josh, tell us a little bit about your background.


Sure. Yeah, I’m totally a serial solopreneur. I have what I call “ooh, shiny” syndrome where I’m working on something, and I go, “oh, it’s a great idea” and I start this other thing, too. I’m also, thankfully, good at not abandoning old ideas, but it makes for a very busy lifestyle when you just keep adding new ideas to the pile. So, I started out, the first thing I did, entrepreneurial-wise, was, in college, I was going to college, living as cheaply as possible by living at home, and on scholarships, so I was living as cheaply as possible and made my spending money by fixing broken PlayStation 2’s, back in the day – buying them broken on eBay, fixing and selling them fixed on eBay, and it all start it because my PlayStation 2 broke one day, and I went online and I was like, “how do you fix this stuff?” and just started dabbling, fixed my own and then I had a friend who needed theirs fixed, and it just became a thing.

Once I knew how to do, it was like, “well, I could just get broken ones off eBay” because they’re always telling me “This one’s crap. It’s dead. I don’t know”, and then I would take it and, in 10 minutes, bring it back to life, and sell it on eBay, and turn it around for like $50 profit per thing. So, that was how I made my spending cash while I was going to school for theatre design, which was a whole different thing. So, then I went to school there and graduated, and got work as a designer in theatre for lighting and sound, and did that for 10 years, and it was great.

Then, I just started getting the bug again. Part of my “ooh, shiny” syndrome is I always need a new challenge, and for me in theatre, at least locally, I’m from Albuquerque, New Mexico, it had just become kind of- I reached the ceiling, and there was no new challenge. So, the next challenge was either to move to a bigger market for theatre, like in New York or Chicago, or find something completely different to do. I liked it here, and I love the low cost of living compared to New York and Chicago, so I started dabbling in other things and I kind of went back to that PlayStation thing of 10 years earlier.

I knew an IT guy, I started following him around to learn how to fix computers, and I was like, “Eureka”. I’ve always wanted to own my own business; I just didn’t know what that would be. I had a romantic fantasy about being a shop owner. I don’t know how or why this is ingrained in me, but I always was just wired that way. Once I really got into following around this IT guy, I was like, “this is it. This is how I can own my own business doing something interesting that I’m good at. So, I followed him around, I learned bunch, and then I went to night school and got certified, and opened my own business, and that’s what I’ve been up to for the four years now.

I slowly ramped down my day job, which was technically a night job, because it was theatre. I went part-time and then I went out, and now that theatre is a client of mine as an IT professional. Then, I’m always doing other things on the side. So, my main gig is IT consulting now, but then Cel and I have this podcast that we do, The Unstuck Institute Podcast. As Cel’s learning to go virtual and grow, I just launched an e-course, How to Start Your Own Podcast, a podcast startup course. So, I’m learning about online sales and not local service-based sales for the first time, and who knows what else. It’s juggling too many things, but that’s, I think, the main thrust of the ideas I’m juggling at the moment.


Yeah. You made an earlier point, I want to make sure listeners didn’t miss on this, because one of your clients is your former employer. If you have a good relationship with your employer, you can, as you begin to move out, bring value to them in a different way, and sometimes you can get a contract or something like that. It’s a great way to get your feet wet as you make that transition from, say, full-time employment into your own business, and I’m really glad that you brought that point up, because that’s something that many people have the ability to do but overlook as an opportunity.


Yeah. Also, we’re not the type of people who are like, “go all in. Just dive in. That’s the only way you’re going to do it.” We like to preach baby steps all the way, and having a good relationship with your employer, if you’re transitioning out, is key because, instead of having to quit one day, and hope I make enough money the next day on my business, I was able to communicate with them, “hey, I’m burning out. I’m leaving some point soon” and they let me step down to part-time and half-time, then out, while they brought on my replacement, who I trained, so it was win-win. If you can find those win-win situations and you have a good relationship, you can make those things happen versus “burn the bridge. I’m out. I quit.”


Yeah, that is great. In my case, I was let go, so I didn’t really have a choice, but I was smiling all the way home, saying, “that’s fine with me. I’m ready to go full-in” because I was already working my business on the side for a year and a half, I think it was, before I got laid off. That was a transition I had hoped for, I just wasn’t quite ready to make the leap, it kind of got forced on me, and that happens sometimes, too, but that’s why it’s nice to have that side business that you can transition quickly if you need to, because you could always, when you have those extra hours wrap it up.

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