Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Geraldine De Braune, Founder of GDB Coaching, located in Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

As a woman in my late 50's, I'm fascinated by and curious about the many transitions that women go through as we age that affect our lives in dramatic ways that are often dismissed and unacknowledged, and rarely celebrated. These portals of change begin around menopause when our entire internal landscape starts changing. Our body and brain, our roles and relationships, our career and views of the world (and its view of us) – changes. As we cross the threshold into the liminal space of "middle age," much of what we experience is dismissed, or unacknowledged, and isn't celebrated.

Deciding who you are in your 20s is a little experimental. Reconnecting with and reclaiming who you are as a woman in your 50s and beyond, with all that glorious lived experience and being wiser for it - is quite another. There's a soulfulness, a depth, and a richness (even a wildness) that craves to come forward – and it's challenging to navigate that alone after so many years of living up to social expectations that maybe were never our own.

A woman who's ready to explore the questions "who am I now?" and "what do I really want?" is a woman who's ready to own her cronehood. These are my clients, and I'm an Integrative Coach.

Tell us about yourself

My coaching journey began after I was coached by two wonderful executive coaches over the course of 18 months. The experience was transformative, and my supervisor at the time noticed that too. As I began to unlearn fear-based thinking, reframe my thoughts, and trust myself - I began to see a range of possibilities beyond my previously fixed thinking. I paid much closer attention to my internal dialogue, which was often defeating, judgemental and perfectionistic. I began to filter through the noise of my own assumptions and expectations of who I "should" be - to discover my own wants, desires, callings, capabilities, uniqueness, and intuition.

I arrived at entrepreneurship after 25+ years in the private and non-profit sectors as a business owner, a leader, and a proactive team member in several high-profile organizations (CBC Radio, The Women's Television Network, and The Forks Renewal Corporation). I'm grateful that younger versions of myself took some great career chances–it's helped me empower my clients to embrace the possibility for themselves because what if something amazing happens?!

In addition to my own practice, GDB Coaching + Consulting, 18 months ago, I collaborated with my friend, mentor, and sister crone, Janet Bertolus, to launch Croneology–a six-week online roundtable for women over 50 where we take a deep dive into all those out of bounds, "age-appropriate," and cringe-worthy topics–from the practical to the mystical–that we're not supposed to discuss in polite company. Croneology is the wisdom and science of wise women. What could be more fun than that? I hold a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Winnipeg
Diploma in Broadcast Journalism from Mount Royal College, Calgary
and Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University, Victoria.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I feel my biggest accomplishment as an entrepreneur has an evolving business as a woman in my 50s, that's still here five years after I started and in the midst of a global pandemic. I give credit and loads of gratitude to my amazing community of practice–a group (various groups) of entrepreneurial women who, like me, are learning, growing, struggling, and needing connection and support in order to thrive. It's so easy to get caught up in a competitive world and lone-wolfing one's way through entrepreneurship. But that can eat you alive, and let's be honest; it's not fun.

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

The hardest thing about being a business owner, especially as a solo-preneur, is having a grasp of all the facets of running a small business. I didn't become a coach because I'm great at marketing and business strategy or because I love bookkeeping (I don't). That's why having a community of practice is so important–having those resources of support, advice, and even women you can hire or trade services with so that you don't burn out and your business survives.

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

  1. Don't say yes to anything when you mean no–it leads to resentment.
  2. You're never too old.
  3. Get a coach. Get a coach who will be a sounding board, a space-holder, an ally, and a thinking partner for you. Someone with whom you feel aligned and will help you get from where you are to where you want to be.

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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