1:1 Consulting

A one-on-one consulting experience for entrepreneurs who want to become profitable sooner, grow faster, and avoid making expensive mistakes.

“I wish I had a startup expert on speed dial.”

✨ Wish granted (ta da!) ✨

There may not be any “shortcuts” to business success. But there is a fast track. I’ll show you the way.

Before you spend another penny on fancy branding, a slick website, or a mind-blowing marketing plan, hear me out.

Building a business designed for profitability and growth over the long haul takes more than a great idea and a social media account. It takes creating and implementing a plan grounded in real-time market realities. If you’re new to building a business from the ground up, it can be hard to know where the landmines are, much less how and where to start.

Whether it feels like it or not, you’re a CEO now — and a vital key to your business success is to start thinking like one from the get-go.

Data shows that it takes most new businesses an average of 5-10 years to become truly successful. (Three to five years to become profitable + another 5 to properly execute their vision and find real success; but 50% won’t even make it that long.)

For some people, failing might be a risk they’re willing to take. You may be okay with spending 5-10 years in the red while trying to figure things out on your own — with a little help from Google, free online templates, and an online course or two.

But if you’ve been making a healthy salary and waiting for forever to turn your dream into a reality, the idea of it taking up to a decade to replace your income may drive you to the nearest bar.

Folks love to say, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” But wouldn’t things be a whole lot easier if you had someone in your corner who does know?

That’s where I come in. Having spent the last 20-plus years advising entrepreneurs across all industries, I’m here to tell you that you can create your own shorter, more reliable timeline for success.

“Diane helped me build a real blueprint for my business finances while showing me how to grow my business and increase my income. I also really valued her perspective regarding professional decisions.

Diane is the business consultant you didn’t know you needed. She has been like a therapist for my inner entrepreneur. I am so grateful for her guidance.”

Stuart Cockram

Stuart Cockram Associates

“We needed a financial consultant with real startup experience.

Diane built and taught us how to understand a sophisticated startup financial projection model. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the whole collaborative experience!”

Here’s what I can do for you…

No matter where in the world you’re located, you can have a seasoned startup expert on call to walk you through the hard stuff while avoiding the classic (and not-so-classic) mistakes, pivots, and course corrections that can be so risky and expensive. Over the years I’ve seen that entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of building a business often need the following types of guidance:

1. Business Blueprint.
The “secret” to a sustainable business — one that’s built for profitability and growth over the long haul — isn’t especially sexy. It starts with your PLAN… your blueprint for making a profit.

One of the primary reasons so many startups fail is actually pretty simple: they haven’t refined their plan. They don’t know their customer, much less their customer’s needs and pain points, so they can’t design the perfect solution at the perfect price. They can’t develop their sales and marketing plans, because they don’t actually know who their ideal customer is, much less what to say and where they can reach them. Worse still, they can’t stand out from the crowd because they don’t really know how they’re different from the the competition in a way that matters to customers. And without a dialed-in plan, they can’t get funded.

Maybe you have a specific goal or vision related to your business (or business idea), but don’t know how to get from here to there. You wish there were someone who could just tell you how to do it. I can do that for you. For years I’ve been  helping entrepreneurs achieve their goals by developing step-by-step roadmaps to get them there.

2. Financial Projections.
Hate numbers? You wouldn’t be the first to break into a cold sweat hearing the words “gross margin.” I’ll not only prepare your financial projections, but make sure you know how to understand them and know how to use them. We’ll build them together step by step as I explain everything in plain English.

In fact, I’ll get you so comfortable with your numbers that you’ll be able to explain them to investors, partners — even your accountant. More importantly, you’ll know how much money they need to launch and grow your business without running out of cash, whether you’re seeking outside funding or not.

3. CEO Guidance.
You’re the expert in what you do, but you’ve never been a CEO. Maybe you’re planning to launch a new business. Or perhaps you’re at a crossroads with your existing business and not sure whether to pivot or stay the course. Either way, you’re in the right place.

“Am I crazy for thinking this?” “Should I do this or that?” are just a few of the questions that every entrepreneur asks at one time or another. The answer is having a seasoned advisor on speed dial to serve as your sounding board and objective voice of experience. Someone to guide you so you can make your decisions based on sound reason and with confidence. I’ll show you how to frame your thinking when facing the opportunities and challenges that naturally arise with any business, so you can adapt quickly and make smart decisions.

Just as it’s hard to see the forest through the trees, it can be hard to shift between the big picture and the details when you’re immersed in your business. I cut through the confusion so you can set, prioritize, and execute your business goals, giving you the freedom to move forward on the parts of your business that are most important to your company’s long-term success — with regular check-ins, meetings, and tactical advice to keep you on track.

It’s like insurance that you’re doing it right.

Chris Campbell

ReviewTrackers

“Diane is a brilliant consultant. I hired her when my business faced some very tough challenges, and she really exceeded my expectations.

I highly recommend her for anyone needing guidance around business strategy or financials.”

Reina Takahashi

Reinasaur

“As an independent artist, I’d been focusing solely on commercial commissions, but wanted to expand my offerings and diversify my sources of income.

Diane helped me organize and vet my business ideas, prioritize them, and break them down into actionable steps.

Our work together helped me to transition from seeing myself as a freelancer to seeing myself as a business owner.”

Ready to get started?

You can get started by requesting a free discovery call below.

(773) 871-0110

(it’s free!)

diane@startupdistillery.com

1:1 Coaching + Strategy Sessions with Diane

Tell me where you want to go. I’ll get you there.

Here's how it works.

I offer both retainer-based services and VIP Days (aka one-day intensives). Just as my packages are 100% customized to your needs, our work together is personal, collaborative, and always tailored to your specific business.

Step 1: Jump on a Clarity Call.

First, we’ll have a conversation where you share the challenge(s) you’re facing with your business or business idea. I’ll ask plenty of questions to get clear on your vision and biggest priorities. This ensures that we pinpoint whether you need a VIP Day or ongoing support.

Step 2: Develop a plan of action.

We’ll dive into your details and craft a personalized game plan tailored to your specific needs and goals, identifying the areas of focus that’ll move the needle most. Then we’ll break things down into clear, bite-sized, steps that move you forward… better and faster.

Step 3: Get clarity + confidence.

Throughout our work together, you’ll gain clarity on the big picture and the details. You’ll feel confident, waking up each morning knowing exactly where to focus your time, energy, and resources because you’ll have clear, actionable steps to turn your dream into reality.
Andrew Shamrao

Divaker Consulting

“The greatest strength Diane brings to the table is her business background combined with her critical thinking.

She’s insightful, asking challenging questions about key business issues.”

Charlie Smith

Master Distiller

“Diane was insightful, extremely knowledgeable and very patient in her responses to my many, many questions I posed as she helped us build our financial projections. Her input was invaluable.”

“Everyone looks at the cost of a book, course, coach, or consultant. Nobody considers the cost of being in the same place one year from now.”

Ready to fast-track your success?

Here’s your investment.

I like to tell my clients that this is like insurance you’re doing it right. Every consulting package is custom, but most of my clients make a 3- or 4-figure monthly investment for retainer services* or a 4-figure investment for a VIP “done in a day” experience.

To get an exact quote for your custom consulting plan, let’s talk. I’ll always give it to you straight and will never recommend more than I think you need.

Feeling adventurous?

Check out my new offer. It’s a 9-hour all-access pass to my expert consulting brain at an introductory low price (50% off) for a limited time. And, nope, you won’t be tied to your laptop or phone all day. Get the details here.

*3-month minimum for new clients

Three ways to get in touch.

You can get started by requesting a totally free “let’s see if we’re a good fit” call below.

(773) 871-0110

(it’s free!)

diane@startupdistillery.com

Fred Alsen

fma Interior Design

Diane took an overwhelming project and made it straightforward and manageable. She really helped me to focus and get clear on my business.”
Theresa Robbins

Bona Fide Beverage

“We didn’t know where to start, but Diane helped us take our idea and turn it into a full-fledged business.

We hired her because we wanted personalized expertise rather than filling out templates.”

Don’t be shy.

Book a call

(it's free!)

You Are Welcome Here. Startup Distillery is and always will be devoted to creating a welcoming, safe, inclusive environment for colleagues, partners and any entrepreneur who wants to turn their dream into reality.