Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kelli Reese, founder of Lead with Soul, LLC., located in Rough and Ready, CA, USA.

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

My business is Lead with Soul, LLC. The company is dedicated to helping high-achieving women create more trust and confidence in who they are, so they can thrive in leadership, business and life. We offer leadership Coaching for female leaders in Fortune 500, the Private Sector, Academia, Consulting, Startups, and more.

We focus on leadership skills for effective communication, confident decision making, change management, facing fears, and navigating uncertainty. In addition, energy management, mindfulness, well-being, and skills for effective communication with clients, board members, leadership, and team members are included.

Tell us about yourself

I'm a Certified Leadership Coach and author of two books. I've built two businesses from the ground up and co-owned a third. I've worked privately with established founders of multi-million dollar organizations to managers and executives at some of the top companies around the world. I'm a former GM of a $34M organization. In 2015, I walked away from my seventeen-year career and started my own coaching practice.

I've been exactly where my clients are – pushing myself to succeed, overdoing (by a lot), working so hard to get to keep all the plates spinning, but once I got there, I wasn't fulfilled. Something was missing. What I learned after I walked away from my career is that I was missing. I felt disconnected from everything I'd worked so hard to create. I knew I wasn't the only one. I've been working with women in leadership since the formation of my company.

Many of my clients are questioning where they are and if they're on the right path. Not feeling aligned with your work is an exhausting place to be. I work with clients to help them stay in their role and create a life that supports them rather than depletes them. My business and coaching are rooted in emotional intelligence, communication, stress management, energetics, and authenticity.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been resiliency. Staying confident in the first couple of years through any ebbs and flows of income was key. Trusting, in those moments, that it's a normal part of growing a business and it wasn't an indication of the value of my services really helped me keep moving forward.

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

For me, this was going from a physical brick-and-mortar business to building a coaching and consulting business online. There was a lot to learn, and making those initial investments in myself to get the knowledge and understanding I needed wasn't easy to reconcile. I went in with the mindset that I was investing in myself and the business, and it will pay off, and it definitely has.

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

  1. Don't be afraid to ask for help in the areas you don't feel strong. There are some excellent programs like SBDC that can help you with business plans, financials, and training.
  2. Don't be afraid of the numbers. I know a lot of new business owners who feel like the financials are the most challenging part of their new business. Hire a bookkeeper from the start if this is you. Knowing where you are financially is key – you can't make necessary decisions about spending without knowing your cash flow and how much you have to work with.
  3. Do your due diligence and market research to know if the business you want to create is viable. You can hire a company for that, or you can go "old school" and do some grass-roots market research by talking with people directly and finding out what they want and need.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I work with many clients who are questioning where they are in work and life. They're considering walking away from long-term positions to set out on their own; The Great Resignation is real. Sometimes walking away looks shiny and new, and it's exactly the right plan – however if you're not sure – spend some time doing a little inner exploration about what you really want in your working life. What is your own personal WHY? Think about how you want to feel? How much do you want to work? How much passion do you have for what you want to create? How comfortable are you with uncertainty and not knowing how it's all going to play out?

Being a business owner is gratifying and rewarding. I love what I do, but it's not for everyone. Make sure you're clear on your WHY before you dive in. Your "why" will carry you through the bumpy parts are there can be unforeseen bumpy parts. Being an entrepreneur is the ultimate inner growth path.

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; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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