Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jamie Martin, Founder of Jamie Martin LLC, located in Elmhurst, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Imagine this - It's the end of the day and you are utterly exhausted, overwhelmed, and uninspired. You feel like you are an actor playing multiple roles throughout the day: the leader, the counselor, the wrangler, the rock. You name it and you have been it. Changing hats is killing you. Each role has a different expectation from you.
The leader is expected to be knowledgeable, steady, and serious.
The partner is expected to be a counselor, a comedian, and a romantic.
The friend is expected to be fun, free, and available.
The list goes on and on.
Carol showcased this from when we first talked, yet she couldn't see it for herself. On the outside, her life was amazing: CSO at a tech company, happily married, and a wonderful mom. On the inside, her confidence was shot. Each time she put on a hat, she questioned herself. We dove right into her confidence. Carol realized she held specific beliefs about each role. She felt she needed permission to lead despite her role as CSO. She believed her husband couldn't help her even when she needed it most. She believed to create a friendship, she had to be lighthearted and focus solely on them.
When I asked her:
What would happen if you stopped believing these?
What would happen if you simply showed up as you?
Carol's first response was: "I can't. My life will unravel." She felt it in her whole body. The fear of her life unraveling. When she answered the same questions from a place outside of fear and a place of being honest with herself, she saw something different. Carol saw she could give herself permission to be a leader and define leadership for herself. She saw that her husband was more than willing to give her additional support when she was drowning. She simply needed to ask. She saw that friendship grows out of vulnerability and sharing experiences with each other.
Our work together had Carol choosing new beliefs that allowed her to step into alignment with herself as if all the pieces of her life were snapped back together. Her life started having ease that didn't exist before.
Working as a Life and Leadership coach, I focus on partnering with people and teams who find themselves lost after going and going and going for so long. We partner to have them show up fully as themselves in every facet of their lives. Together, we unearth the stories that are holding them back. We create and embed new beliefs that truly align with themselves and their values, allowing them to take action from an empowered place.
Tell us about yourself
I spent 17 years in technology, mostly in a state of denial, overwhelm, and exhaustion. I knew this wasn't the life I wanted. I loved the idea of building things for people. I always have. The engineer in me wanted to create products to make people's lives better. However, I found myself at companies like DoubleClick, Google, and DialogTech. All focused on advertising and helping marketers, which wasn't hitting my desire to improve people's lives.
Yet, I kept going. Eventually, I found myself close to the top of product management as a VP of Product. At the same time, my husband and I were trying to get pregnant and struggling. I was more miserable and overwhelmed than ever before, even when my health was at its worst in my 20s. I knew something had to change. I knew it was time to follow my heart and go after my dream of being a life and leadership coach. It was the thing I was most terrified to do and most excited to do.
Before I made the decision, I simply dreamed of it. During one of the women resource group sessions at my company, the speaker we brought in kept mentioning her coach. I knew I had to get an introduction to her to ask her questions about coaching. It felt like a sign that my heart was starting to lead me toward what I always wanted. With that, I started my journey to becoming a life and leadership coach and changing my life in the process.
People now comment on how much more relaxed and happy I look. I've found things that I had lost over the years. A renewed view into relationships that were struggling. A renewed connection to the universe and spirit. A renewed appreciation and love of my body. A renewed appreciation for the small things in life.
Each day, I'm excited to bring those connections to my clients. Connection to their work. Connection to being a leader. Connection to their partner. Connection to friends. But most importantly - connection to themselves.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Every time I receive an email from a former client with an update. One of my favorite messages was from Ann: "I'm choosing to be fully engaged in my life right now (not later). I think you came into my life at just the right time. It's so interesting that we have in our minds that when we reach a point in our life, everything "should" be figured out, but not a day goes by that I'm not reminded of the lessons I learned while working with you. I'm continuing to grow, and that's just fine! (and I'm still not responsible for dinner on Wednesday)".
These messages are my biggest accomplishments. They bring tears to my eyes. They are the clients who leaned fully into our work and continue to lean into it a year or more after working together. They are connecting more fully with their partners. They are making jumps in their careers that they didn't expect but are loving. They are living for today instead of waiting for tomorrow. It warms my heart and soul to hear these updates. Seeing my clients create their life is what I'm most proud of in my business.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Letting go. Being a business owner is great initially because you get to do all of it. Build everything from scratch the way you want it to be. Until you realize you can't keep up with doing everything on your own - contracting, billing, scheduling, social media, networking - you name it. At some point, you realize it isn't serving you to do it all, and it is time to release some of it. For some people, it is super easy to let go of parts of their business because there are clear parts that they hate! I love all the parts of my business because it works different parts of my brain, which I never got in my corporate work.
I had to take a big step back and realize it wasn't serving me to do it all the time. What did I do? I hired a VA to take on a subset of the work. Instead of me creating posts on social media daily, I had her take on most of it but allowed space for me to do some of it still. This allowed me to let go but still enjoy that piece of my business. It was a win-win.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Get support! Get support! Get support!
Yes, I know those are all the same, but I can't reiterate it enough. As a business owner, getting personally and professionally supported is so important. Often, we dive into creating a business and believing the only way to create it is to hustle. What happens after we hustle for even a year? We burn out physically and mentally. We burn some of our relationships. We stop showing up from our power and start showing up from a place of survival. Ultimately, all of that stunts our growth as a business. Getting support is the key to all of this. It can look like a lot of things.
- Hire a virtual assistant to take on some mundane tasks that kill your time and energy.
- See a therapist to support you heal wounds that keep surfacing.
- Partner with someone to be accountability partners.
- Get a cleaning person to clean your house.
- Ask your friends or family to support you in specific ways. Have a crying partner or a let's just vent partner, or a I need a hug partner.
- Hire a coach to support you and help clear roadblocks to stay in your power.
And so many more. Step back a moment today and ask yourself where you can get supported so you can create your business from a place of power without sacrificing the rest of your life.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Schedule a discovery session with Jamie Martin to learn more about the private, group, corporate coaching, or speaking events at jmartindiscoverycall.co
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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