Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jennifer Askey, founder of Jennifer Askey, Coach, located in Edmonton, AB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a coach. I create and offer one-on-one and group coaching sessions for academics who want to take their careers from frustrating to fantastic. My coaching practice incorporates mindfulness, growth mindset work, and insights from neuroscience to help people discover what their north star is and steer their life and career in that direction.
Tell us about yourself
I come from an academic background. I've been faculty and administrative staff at six different universities in the US and Canada. I've gotten tenure, published articles and a book, and wondered if what I had achieved was ever going to feel like enough. When I began working with a coach to strategize my next career move and was introduced to values-based decision making and aligning my actions with my purpose, my mind was BLOWN. Why had I never had a conversation with my academic colleagues about our values, our hopes for our lives, or how we used a sense of mission and purpose to channel our work. Once I discovered coaching, I knew I had to bring these insights back into the academy.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I coached as a side business for several years. In 2021 I decided to transition to full-time self-employment as a coach. I launched the business full-time in September and, in less than six months, had a full roster of one-on-one clients. My business is growing, and it is so gratifying to be able to impact more people.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Regardless of where your zone of genius is, as a business owner, you will have to work well outside that zone at least some of the time. I've really discovered my personal inefficiencies and have invested in supports--like an accountant and a good virtual assistant--to help me do the things that I would drag my heels on.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Get really clear on the "what" and not too attached to the "how."
We don't think and plan our way into action; we act our way into new thoughts. For me, this means that a business owner should spend a fair amount of time doing--offering, iterating, refining--in order to get real feedback on what works, rather than planning the perfect scenario on paper and delaying action until the plan is just right.
I think becoming a successful business owner involves expanding your self-concept. Who do you have to be in order to start, run, and grow a business? Channel more of your inner wisdom and skills and much, much less of your inner critic so that you can be the wisest and boldest version of yourself.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I transitioned to full-time coaching during the pandemic when everyone was working from home. Now that my family members are back at work and school, I make sure to schedule a few things each week outside of the house: fitness classes (yoga, Pilates, Orange Theory), where I see people in person! I also have a wonderful 10-year-old hound mutt named Bella, whose need for daily walkies keeps me connected to the changing seasons and my own rhythms.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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