Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kelly Driscoll, Founder of Kelly Lynn Coaching and Consulting, LLC., located in Salem, NH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
As the founder of Kelly Lynn Coaching and Consulting, LLC, I empower school districts to transform culture and educators to transform their lives so they are connected, fulfilled, and aligned with purpose. So what does that really mean? I support educators' mental health by creating a culture of wellness through meaningful professional development.
Now more than ever, educators are experiencing extreme stress that is not only impacting their health and wellness but it is also creating novel challenges and instability for children.
Over the past 24 months, education has seen a steep increase in mental health-related absences and medical leave. Teachers who do not have adequate support are often unable to effectively manage stress and are often unable to assist in supporting the emotional needs of the children in their classroom.
The impact of frequent absences and emotionally overwhelmed teachers on students and student learning is significant. My work is to empower educators with the skills and resources to live in balance, embrace their purpose and build a community of wellness and joy.
Tell us about yourself
After 28 years in education, I made a bold and courageous decision to follow my purpose and start my own coaching and consulting firm. Passionate about empowering individuals and school communities, I left schools because I wanted to focus on educator mental health while creating a culture of wellness and joy. I didn't feel like I could focus on this within the parameters of my job as a school administrator.
I am driven to create opportunities and hold space for the reflective practice of leaning into listening, standing in your values, knowing your worth, and building a wholehearted life without limits. This has led to work with school districts to transform culture, infusing wellness into the fabric of each community while supporting educators with meaningful professional development to transform their lives.
What motivates me each day is the pursuit of authentic connection and a fundamental belief that we are all worthy of purpose and belonging. I know what it feels like to be lost, having tucked yourself away in service of others or in protection. We are experts at doing all the “right” things… but we struggle to show up for and as our authentic selves.
I am so curious about how to create a world in which we can all live as the truest version of ourselves. Creating opportunities for this is what wakes me up in the middle of the night, what excites the hell out of me, and what drives me forward as an entrepreneur.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think my biggest accomplishment as an entrepreneur is getting back up. Every. Single. Day. I have certainly done some pretty cool things, accomplished big goals, spoken in front of hundreds of people, built celebrated content, created powerful experiences for growth, and won the day.
However, what I am most proud of, the accomplishment that I hold most dear, is how I show up in each moment and get up after each fall. Call it resilience, courage, or tenacity. I just take a breath and get up. Sometimes I need to lay in the dust for a bit or tend to my wounds of disappointment, but I always get back up. This! This is the source of my greatest pride.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Ok, this time, I'm going to get all tangible! The greatest challenge for me as a business owner is how to organize and manage my time. I spent a lifetime following a bell schedule, literally!! After twelve years of being a student, I went back to spend 28 years working in high schools, where I was moved at regular increments by the ringing of a bell. So, learning how to be in charge of setting and following a schedule was a struggle!
Now that I have the freedom and flexibility to build my life and my business around a schedule that nourishes, energizes, and empowers me, I have to rethink what “working” looks like. Creating these habits… the structures that move us forward as business owners can be hard but are absolutely critical. I’ve loved diving into books that really help me with this work, like Atomic Habits by James Clear. I think this is a work in progress that may be one of those forever-type projects!!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Get to know who YOU are!
When I initially started my business, I was told over and over that, I needed to specialize, find a niche, and dial into it with laser focus. There was so much I wanted to do, and I really struggled with how to narrowly define myself and my work. I kept hitting my head against the figurative wall… fighting the narrative that these “boundaries” would make me more profitable. It just felt like the boundaries were keeping me small.
I had so much I wanted to do, and every time I tried to narrow it down, I felt restricted. It felt limiting. So I opened myself up to go where the business-led, trusting my intuition and timing. When an opportunity arose, I looked at it through a lens of curiosity. I was open to how it aligned with my vision and values and how it fits with my soul purpose. If it felt good, was in alignment with my core values, and I was curious…
It usually made me excited. I listened to that feeling and let curiosity lead the way. This, in turn, led me to exactly what I wanted to do… focus my work on supporting educators' mental health and wellness, which was not where I started! I wouldn’t have found this clear purpose had I rigidly focused on developing a traditionally crafted business plan. It was only after I had really leaned into listening to what brought me joy that I was able to embrace my niche.
So tip number one is…relax, lean into your business with curiosity and let it lead you. Be laser-focused on your soul purpose, trust your intuition, and believe that what is meant for you will come! This will lead you to the exact niche where you belong!
Work with a coach! I had an idea, and I knew what I thought I wanted it to look like… but with no business experience at all, I needed help! I found a business coach that I really connected with, and she supported me, challenged me, and kicked my butt when I needed it. She helped me really lean into knowing who I was first.
Then we built the foundation and walls to launch my business. I really needed both! Being open and curious does not mean you lack systems and structure… actually, the opposite! My coach helped me gain clarity on my purpose and THEN build out the logistics. I couldn’t have done that alone.
So, tip number two is… work with a coach, find a mentor, and work with someone who is not a personal friend. Work with someone who can push and challenge you, someone you trust and respect to tell it like it is and move you forward! Find your people! When I boldly left my predictable paycheck and clearly articulated professional role, I didn’t do it alone! Being courageous is best done together, and I was extremely fortunate to have incredible women who were being brave just like I was.
I connected with two women who were also taking a leap of faith and opening their own businesses. Although we were in a similar industry, we were all being pulled in slightly different directions… we each had a unique spin on our dream. What was the same was our feisty determination and the belief in ourselves and our vision.
In the first year, we met every other week as an entrepreneurial gang! We would share strategies, tips, and cautionary tales. We brought struggles and challenges, worked through roadblocks, and pushed each other to dream bigger. Time with these women was like oxygen. It sustained me.
So, tip three… find your people! These should be a squad of kick-ass people who are doing what you are doing… being brave and dreaming big. Meet regularly and put structure on time together. Be business focused with a side of humor and hustle.
A great way to find these people is through a business networking group. About six months after launching my business, I joined the Women’s Business League… catapulting my network and support team. This has made all the difference! Connecting with your people is critical!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
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Where can people find you and your business?
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