Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jennifer Dohr, Founder of Authentic Voice, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I help women uncover and stand in their authentic voice so that they live with great confidence, clarity, and creativity.
Tell us about yourself
I realized that women are suffering under the "fit in and be accepted" voice. I knew I had the tools to help them mine—and live from—the stories where their true, authentic voice resides. Why? Because I had developed a methodology to do so in 25 years teaching English at Harvard-Westlake School and The Archer School for Girls with students who had no sense of their authentic selves. I walked away from the classroom in June, 2022, because I knew that in this age of “Quiet Quitting and The Great Resignation, women needed my approach to picking up a pen and mining their past in order to shape their future. Each day, I'm motivated by someone calling me to ask, "Is this a writing workshop? Is this therapy?" And I get to say "no, and no--you'll be writing, but it's not about the writing. And it's not therapy, but it sure can be therapeutic." I get to change a woman's life every day if she's at a place where the continual angst of trying to fit into the roles she's expected to play is simply too great a cost to pay any longer. I get to explain that through my prompts, through poetry, and automatic writing, I can help her meet herself on the page. And that's the magic: you cannot just think about your authentic voice—you have to see it emerge on the page. Once you see it, you cannot unsee it. And you live your life from that place of deep knowing and valuing your journey. It changes everything, and it's incredible.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest success is when women tell me that Authentic Voice has changed their life. That’s when I realize the power of a trusted guide with a proven approach. So many of us are told, "try journaling about your feelings," but that's not enough. My process enables women to own their childhood and shift the narrative. Their past is no longer "something that happened to me" an invitation to see it, acknowledge it, and decide what it will mean, moving forward--as a mother, daughter, wife, woman, leader, and on and on. In an Authentic Voice retreat, workshop, or interactive presentation, I literally see women transform through the simple (but not easy) act of picking up a pen to freely record the stories that have shaped them. I get to see each woman learn and grow and evolve into the person she wants to be. It's an awesome responsibility and an awesome gift.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Patience! I believe so fully in my tools and process that I want to immediately reach all women eager to integrate their past with their present. Any woman doing inner work—seeking to understand, accept, and know herself—is someone I want to connect with right away, but I need to be patient as I plant the seeds and let people find me, come to trust me and allow me the honor of being their guide.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know your "emotional" why: get still with yourself and look inward.
- Learn as much as you can about your customer's pain. Stop thinking about yourself and your fantastic idea: pour all of your energy into being the aspirin for someone else's pain.
- Find a mentor who sees in you what you don't yet see in yourself.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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