Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jamie Frank, Founder of Jamie L. Frank Coaching and Legal Support, located in Cambridge, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business has two components: business legal services for social impact companies and transformational life coaching for people committed to building a better world. Most of my coaching clients are entrepreneurs, but I have also worked with students and creatives. A key component of my mission is to help historically marginalized groups thrive. I seek out organizations led by other people of color, particularly women of color, to work with--both as a lawyer and a coach.
Tell us about yourself
I have always been drawn to helping others and building a world where everyone can thrive. After law school, I took a job as a corporate and securities lawyer at a large firm. It was well paying, and I loved my colleagues, but it was not in line with my mission, so I left it after about three years. But I still had really solid training in corporate and securities law, and I felt compelled to find a way to use that training to make a positive impact in the world. I met a business attorney who was working with social impact companies--particularly in capital raising. I learned from her for almost three years and then started my own practice.
My interest in coaching began when I recognized that the entrepreneurs I worked with as a lawyer often seemed to need support to overcome internal--not just external--obstacles that were standing between them and their goals. Supporting people to overcome limiting beliefs is a big part of what a coach does. So I thought I could be a better resource for social entrepreneurs if I were not only a lawyer but a coach too. I am motivated by the imaginative, brilliant, and compassionate clients that I get to work with every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I am proud of testimonials like this:
"Jamie has been an extremely supportive and engaged coach and has truly helped me move towards my goals. Jamie listens, processes my needs, and checks in throughout the week to help me navigate the complexity of how my thoughts and beliefs about myself affect how I act on my desires and dreams. Having someone skilled and trained to guide me through my multifaceted aspirations for my own career and the world I want to live in has been a game changer. Thank you, Jamie!!!"
"Jamie's coaching program got me through a really challenging life transition and back on my feet. Now I have my own grant-writing business supporting organizations I believe in, and I could not have done it without her. In our work together, I was challenged to articulate my life's intentions, my deep values and develop my own ways to keep myself on track toward my goals. Jamie's grounded, gentle, and curious inquiry, plus a great sense of humor, was everything I'd ask for in a coach. I recommend her to all my friends!"
I am also proud of the multiple workshops and gatherings that I have created or co-created and led.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The amount of flexibility that I have is a gift and also a challenge. There is no one telling me what to do or how I should do it. All the decisions are mine to make. This level of freedom can seem overwhelming at times. But when I am overwhelmed, I remember that what I have is freedom and that it is precious.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be willing to see that it is possible to do the work you love on your terms.
- Find a community of business owners with whom you can be in community and solidarity.
- Get a coach who can help you meet both your business and your personal goals. The different aspects of your life--work and personal--will inevitably affect each other. A good coach will help you see the life you would love to have--not just the business--and help you identify how to get there. Ideally, coaching is a holistic process.
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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