Interested in starting your entrepreneurial journey in personal development but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lee Glickstein - Founder and President of Speaking Circles International - based in San Rafael, California, United States.

What's your business and who are your customers?

Speaking Circles provide all one needs to express oneself in their own time and unique ways to fearlessly move through public speaking anxiety by sharing who they really are rather than mask the fear. Some call this depth of expression “speaking from the heart,” “the authentic self,” or “your real voice.” Whatever you call it, you know when you are there; you know when someone else is there, and; you know how rare it is. My customers are therapists, coaches, entrepreneurs with some background in psycho-spiritual work. Speaking Circles applies this background specifically to the challenge of communicating to groups from a dynamic presence (in-person or virtually).

Tell us about yourself

I had severe stage fright into my 40's and flunked Toastmasters. For my sanity and professional development, I had to devise an organic way to get past it, and that's what I did.

Having discovered that my "block" in speaking was, in reality, a block in receiving listening, I designed a protocol that starts with coaching the listeners on how to support the person upfront. And has the person upfront received that listening and not even have to speak until words arise naturally from what I call "the shared stillness." I am motivated each day to listen out the magnificence of humans when they are getting the listening they crave and deserve.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Covid forced me to translate in-person Speaking Circles to Virtual Circles, and I devised innovative ways to replicate the transformational power and intimacy of the work into the Zoom Room. As we return to in-person Circles, I will continue Zoom Circles because it allows me to work with people globally and nationally. Having a Circle with participants in India, the UK, Sri Lanka, Australia, Vermont, and Florida cannot be done in person!

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

So much time and attention need to spend on paperwork, email exchanges, texting and phone calls to book my sessions, send reminders, answer questions, concerns, keep track of finances, etc.

What are the top 3 tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

1. Know exactly why you are called to do what you do; what gets you up in the morning to do it. What needs of yours does your business meet?

2. Find ways to train others on how to do what you do.

3. Know that your best marketing is word of mouth, so don't count on paid advertising to get new customers.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Learn how to be a magnetic, authentic speaker so you can educate the public and promote your business at every opportunity.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share then email, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.