Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Julie Stars, Founder of Julie Stars Coaching, located in Toul, France.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a certified Transformative Coach – working with those who want to unlock their full potential and thrive (both personally and professionally) via one-to-one or group virtual coaching sessions. Transformative coaching goes beyond the surface indicators used in performance and development coaching, as it also delves deeper into a client’s inner world. I like to explain it using the metaphor of an iceberg. To get the full picture, it’s not only what you see on the surface (e.g., your behaviour/actions, emotional responses, words, and tone) but all the things beneath the surface too (e.g., thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, values, feelings, and needs).
I work with individuals who want to achieve a specific goal or are ready to make a change, as they feel stuck in a rut or unfulfilled. Transformation can take place by clarifying what you want from life and identifying and tackling what may be holding you back, and getting plans in place to reach your goals. A particular focus of my business is around the relationship ‘middle-lane-drinkers’ have with alcohol and packages that support those ‘sober curious’ wanting to take a tactical booze break to reach their full potential.
I also offer coaching within organisations to help support their team members in their careers, well-being, and navigating life events. You can learn more about my coaching services via my website.
Tell us about yourself
I’m a Scottish girl at heart and a down-to-earth, people person, with kindness being one of my life values. Having spent 19 years working in the demanding industry of London advertising agencies, our family relocation to France gave me the opportunity to re-evaluate my priorities. It was a decision to take a short break from alcohol in February 2020, which got me into personal development and became the catalyst to kick start so many other positive mindset shifts and habits in my life. Retraining as a transformative coach felt like a natural step for me as I had personally experienced the power that coaching can have in going from surviving to thriving in life.
After discovering the joys that an alcohol-free lifestyle can bring, I am passionate about helping ‘middle-lane-drinkers’ to consider their relationship with alcohol and helping them to take a tactical booze break to reach their full potential (since I realise that this one decision can kick-start so much more).
I understand the juggle of managing your own self-care and aspirations along with your professional career and family (and remembering who you truly are at the same time!), and therefore I want to be there to coach people through this. Personally and as a coach, I believe in the power of consistent small steps to bring about improvements and massive changes, and success in your life. Yes, it’s a cliché, but I feel alive when I witness the positive changes in my clients and feel that I’ve helped them to move forward in a way that directly impacts their life for the better.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Asides from navigating the French bureaucracy with my limited language to actually opening my business in a foreign country, my biggest accomplishment is witnessing huge transformations that have taken place for my clients. One highlight was during a wrap-up with a client I had worked with who had made a huge mental shift from the woman I had met three months previously. I couldn’t believe that this was actually the same person - she seemed different: more powerful and confident in herself and resigned to a change that had already taken place and continues to do so. She described herself using the metaphor of a ‘phoenix rising from the ashes.’ She summarised what she got from the coaching with things like:
“I’m looking at myself differently.”
“I had lost the drive to do basically anything…through talking to you and getting everything off my chest…I found me again.”
“My mindset is totally, totally changed.”
“I feel, and I’ve been told by people, I’m coming across as a different person, which is wonderful!”
Coaching experiences like this one cements my belief in the power of coaching. The coaching space allowed her to open up and release things that had been hidden inside for so long. But more importantly, which then allowed her to reflect on these situations to get more clarity on what may be holding her back in her life and to feel energised to move forward. It’s such a privilege to know that by holding the space and asking some powerful questions, I have made a difference in the life of another person.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Constantly needing to put myself outside of my comfort zone to make my business visible. I love coaching, and even though I wish that my ideal clients would magically find me, I have to accept that I have to get out there for them to know I exist!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Question yourself constantly – is the thing I’m working on right now actually moving my business forward?! It’s so easy to make yourself feel busy by working on ‘nice-to-haves’ rather than pushing outside of your comfort zone to prioritise difficult actions, such as having real networking conversations that could generate new potential clients.
- Be prepared to change your mind and pivot! Don’t feel you have to have everything nailed down from the start. I found my ideal client changed during the process of developing my business, and therefore you should be prepared to evolve your thinking and communications as you get more and more clear on what you want your business to stand for.
- Find some other entrepreneurs who are launching a business at the same time (or who have already done so). It’s so useful to have a network of support to bounce ideas off each other and to hold each other accountable to take the actions you said you were going to do. When I first trained as a coach, we created a triad to support each other during our diploma course, and we still have a call every two weeks, which keeps up the motivation levels (since it can be a lonely process to start a business from scratch).
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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