Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Liz Banks, Founder of J.O.Y. Teen Mentoring and Wellness Coaching, LLC., located in Pleasant Ridge, MI, USA.

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

My business is J.O.Y. Teen Mentoring and Wellness Coaching (J.O.Y. is an acronym for “Journey Of Youth”). I work with teenage girls and help them build emotional strength and resiliency so that they have the tools to navigate the challenges of life and achieve their dreams.

Tell us about yourself

I founded J.O.Y. (Journey Of Youth) after over 30 years of working with teens as a teacher, coach, mentor, assistant principal, and principal. What I saw over and over again working in K-12 Education is the need to empower our girls and build resiliency. These young women look to social media for their image of beauty and judge themselves based on false and unattainable standards.

They struggle to see their own beauty or believe in their ability to achieve personal greatness. Helping the teens I work with build confidence, achieve their goals, and overcome the tough times that life can throw at them is what energizes me and brings me fulfillment and joy!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Believing in myself and my mission enough to follow my dreams. Leaving a secure, well-paid position I loved and stepping into the world of uncertainty is intimidating and scary, but the rewards are incredible.

For me, it means I get to watch the young women I work with gain confidence, appreciate their strengths, and see themselves for the beautiful, strong, amazing young woman that they are. That is priceless and makes everything worth it!

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

The initial learning curve. I have worked with teens for three decades, so mentoring and wellness coaching are fun and easy. The business side, however, was all new to me. Learning about marketing, website design, social media, contracts, invoicing, licensing, blog writing, etc., has been an adjustment, but I am enjoying learning so many new things!

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

  1. Take the leap of faith and follow your passion. If you are doing what you love, it won’t feel like work!
  2. Lead with your strengths. I recently became a certified Gallup Strengths Coach and truly believed knowing and developing your strengths is the key to success. Gallup states, “Fixing weaknesses prevent failure, but building strengths leads to excellence.” You can’t reach your greatest potential without knowing and developing your strengths.
  3. Find other entrepreneurs or new business owners to run ideas past. Someone who has already started their own business can give you insight, share knowledge, and help you avoid pitfalls. Although you may be a solopreneur, surrounding yourself with a strong, positive community is very important.

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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