Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in coaching but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kellan Beck, Founder of Kellan Beck Coaching, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

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

All roads lead to Community. I am an Executive and Team Coach, and I am motivated by helping others succeed and making this a better world to live in. One where we get along and are provided with the resources and wherewithal to contribute to our colleagues, families, communities, and the world as a whole.

I have co-developed a program called Courageous Creativity to support coaches and teams in organizations to get unstuck, embrace their creative side, visualize what feels like the impossible, adapt mindsets and perspectives to a changing world, and be more effective coaching/leading as well as building resilience….

I coach leaders and their teams to be the best they can be and add a positive impact across their organizations. It starts with an assessment of the team to determine "what next"? If you're on a new team, I also have an initiative helping you to effectively "team" as quickly as possible.

And, if you're a new manager or a group of new managers or have never had leadership training, I provide training-coaching modules on key leader competencies.

I love the variety! I'm also leading the team coaching initiative for start-up Happy Hive to increase women's presence in the tech world and align those women-friendly organizations with women who want to make an impact and grow their careers with the right companies, using the tools noted above.

Tell us about yourself

I was studying sciences in university and realized I love love love the study of people! Not just individuals, but groups of people, so I majored in sociology and socio-psychology. I also studied visual arts. When I graduated, I thought I'd get a Masters in Art Therapy which combines my two core loves, and instead—due to accumulating student loans—I went and got a job to pay my bills. I joined an investment bank leading the operations relationship due to a merger, trained sales executives on how to use new trading systems, and led a number of special projects for the operations department. Wanting to live, work and explore abroad, I went to London, UK, working for Bloomberg with clients based in the U.K. and Europe.

Back to Canada and the U.S. 5 years later… I've been a business developer and mentored and led salespeople, building an organizational sales function and teams.

And one day, my soul was being crushed by the toxicity of a couple of company cultures. I decided to leave to pursue my passion. Spending time with people, co-determining their needs, and helping them get to where they want to go to make the world a more resilient, kinder place. I worked with newcomers to Canada to navigate the career and cultural landscape of Toronto. I worked in transition coaching, helping people shift to new jobs-industries-careers-retirement-build new businesses. Then executive coaching of leaders and their teams. Being a lifelong learner, I have studied mindfulness, health coaching, ayurvedic healthcare, and diversity, obtained my Masters' certificate in executive coaching, and then certification as a systemic team coach.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I've based my business mostly on referrals, which tells me I'm doing something right! I am told I come at things with a unique perspective and get people to think differently. I also get feedback that I truly care. I also come at it with "backbone and heart," meaning I'll be kind and compassionate, but I'm not afraid to push back if it helps a client build self-awareness and create change.

I'm constantly reiterating parts of my business approach and creating new initiatives to pivot my business in this changing world in order to support my clients' needs. I have built a Community of Coaches to support one another and grow, resource client projects, and keep the learning alive.

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

The ups and downs of business. Every once in a while, there will be a lull. And I have to remind myself to take advantage of this time to reflect, play, create, and relax…knowing that if I'm doing all the right things, the business will grow. And then I have to remind myself to be careful what I wish for because I've had multiple times where I have felt I've taken on too much.

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

  1. Look around you—take the time to reflect, rest, write ideas down, and always stay on top of current events and your marketplace—so that you can pivot and transition, innovate based on what's going on in the world…as long as it's aligned with your ultimate purpose. (and it shouldn't be about (only) making money). Reflection and downtime build resilience too!
  2. Don't go it alone. Building a personal board of advisors—people with differing perspectives and backgrounds—that you can reach out to for support, sounding boards, and advice. I have built a Community of Coaches for this reason—to toss ideas around, get feedback about approaches, teach new approaches, barter coach one another, and share in each other's success. I like working on my own, and I like working with others—think about those partners that you trust, that complement your skill set and style, and where you have a safe space to share/grow/learn. Connecting with a social network also builds resilience!
  3. Always check in with yourself and your self-awareness—take the time to stand back and reflect. Don't get caught in the details. What's working well, what do you need to do differently, are you still doing the work aligned with your purpose and passions, are you growing as a leader/contributor, how do the people around you experience you, are you challenging yourself/others and going outside your comfort zone to grow/develop. Never stop learning.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

One of the best things about being a business owner is being able to create new ideas and follow through on the ones that make sense and create impact, having variety and meaning in my work. No day looks exactly the same. It feels great to hear and see my clients' success stories! If I am not working, I am into visual arts, traveling, skiing, cooking, learning, and spending time with family.

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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