Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in coaching but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Julie Johnston, Founder of iContact Coaching, located in Fairfax, VA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a communication, leadership, and confidence coach. I work with all ages in 1:1 and group settings. I teach people how to perform, speak confidently, lead with intention, and how use improv to make life a little more fun. Confidence is learned, and sometimes all we need is a cheerleader in your court to make us feel empowered and motivated to make the change we want to see. I am hired by companies to work internally with their staff in a consultant capacity working in various areas like recruiting, executive leadership coaching, public speaking and presentation coaching, and organization and communication training. Whether you're a professional preparing for your next big opportunity or a teenager wanting to leave it all on the stage, I'll share all my best secrets with you.
Tell us about yourself
From National TV Voiceover Artist to TV Commercial post-production Producer to HR Executive to founding President of a Toastmasters club, my diverse life experiences have honed my ability to quickly adapt to my surroundings and read an audience. I have always worked in the creative space, spending years managing creatives in the advertising industry and then moving to the live event world, where I played the role of Director of Creative and Vice President of People. Everywhere I have worked, I have always been tasked with the role of recruiter and staff growth and development. I feel grateful to be able to share my life experiences, perspective, and advice with my clients, with the focus on helping them succeed and be the best they can be. I have a colorful background in theater, public speaking, and voiceover, which lends itself to me having a great perspective to share with my clients. I am a performer at heart!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My greatest accomplishment comes every time a client reaches out to share their success with me. I have endless stories from people young and old that have achieved things that they never imagined possible. Whether it's a promotion, new job, acceptance to a school, starting a business, changing careers, getting cast in a show, or simply finding their voice, this is why I do what I do!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Never knowing what your next job is going to be is the most stressful part of being a business owner. My husband is also a small business owner, so we are paying for our own health insurance and working hard to keep things moving forward. I would love to have PTO, insurance, and a matched 401k, but I have been there done that, and nothing can replace the value I put on being able to work for myself and make my own decisions as to what people and projects I want to take on.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure you are clear on your target audience and that there is a proven market for what you are going to be selling or offering.
- Understand what you are going to charge and how hard you have to work to earn what you need to live.
- Find yourself a networking group to share ideas and resources. You need a team behind you when you first start, and all along the way, it can't hurt.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
When the pandemic first started, I was in the role of Vice President of People for Go West Creative; it was at that time I decided it was the right time to leave my job and start my business. I started my coaching company as an online virtual coaching business, and we were very nervous about doing anything in person due to COVID. But I was encouraged by my parents to offer public speaking classes in person that September 2020, and much to my surprise, they were a huge hit and in great demand. That was the feedback I needed to realize the skills I was teaching were in great demand and being offered at the right time.
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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