Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Laurie Santos, founder of Life Coach Laurie, located in Brielle, Zuid Holland, Netherlands.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I show heart-centered entrepreneurs how to overcome their specific Imposter Syndrome archetype with my 3-step Tap-Visualize-Magnetize method so they can manifest their dreams with ease, confidence, joy, and accuracy.
I'm an internationally accredited EFT Tapping practitioner and Manifestation Coach who just celebrated 20 years in practice in 2022! My master's is in Criminology and Justice, and I have a bachelor of science in Anthropology. I went from "cuffs to coaching" after resigning from my 10-year career in 2006 as a federal and county probation officer working with various offenders in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a behavioralist, working with limiting beliefs and identifying debilitating behavioral patterns is my specialty.
Tell us about yourself
My father was a probation officer, and from a very young age, he'd have me practice being able to give suspect descriptions to him every single night for years---a bit creepy, lol, but little did I know that all that practice would make me a "behavior junkie!" I became "addicted" to understanding people's individual motivations, what makes them tick, and what drives them. When I began to study Anthropology and later Criminology, what stood out to me was just how much conditioning we as humans receive from our cultures, families, societies, religions, jobs, friends, etc.
I wanted to know if it was possible for people to de-condition and, if so, how? Being able to try different techniques and offer different tools to the various offenders I worked with as a probation officer was a starting point for me. I saw first-hand that my offenders could be de-conditioned when they changed their environments, cut out various negative influences from their lives, and felt empowered, supported, seen, and understood. About mid-way through my federal career, I was longing for change. I had some pretty big dreams, and I knew deep inside I did not want a conventional lifestyle, and that's when I got a "lucky break." While skimming through Shape magazine one day back in 2002, there was an article entitled, "What is Life Coaching?" I remember saying out loud, "Yeah, what IS Life Coaching?!?" The article was so informative and inspiring that I immediately enrolled in two different coaching schools and began my credentialing as a certified life coach.
I started my practice at a part-time level, and in December 2006, I had enough clients and saved up enough cash to go full-time. What motivates me to this day to do what I do is knowing first-hand that coaching DOES work. It worked in my life, and it works in the lives of my clients. I would have NEVER been able to leave my full-time career and regular paycheck without having had the support of my coaching community, my coach, and the mindset tools I learned and practice to this day from my coaching schools. Having that evidence under my belt keeps me inspired never to give up, go the distance, and help others transform their lives in the most radical ways.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think my biggest accomplishment as a business owner is that I've been able to take my work overseas, live abroad, and offer my services to clients from all over the world. My "extreme dream" back in 2006, when I went full-time with my coaching practice, was to be a digital nomad and to model the way while showing others they could do the same. Time freedom, location freedom, and money freedom were huge drivers for me. I wanted to feel like I was completely in charge of my life and my time.
Being congruent is a huge value for me, so I really wanted to follow my dream and make it happen so I could show others that it was possible while giving them full permission to do the same. In 2007, I moved to Spain and coached people over the phone and on Skype. I moved to Angola, Africa, in 2009 and later Kuwait in 2010. While in the Middle East, word spread about the work I was doing, and as a result, I got the chance to offer interactive workshops in the Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, and for clients in Saudi Arabia. In 2016, I then moved back to Europe (I'm currently in The Netherlands) and offered to coach online and in-person to clients from all over the world while also conducting workshops in Belgium, Austria, France, Germany, and The Netherlands.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is juggling the windfalls of income with the times where there's little trickling in. I've learned that my particular business functions as the school calendar, so I notice I have more revenue from September till early June, and then the summer is much quieter. This means planning really well throughout the year for those summer months where I more than likely won't get many new clients or much work is imperative.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Spend the majority of your time building YOUR business. I see too many new entrepreneurs getting shiny object syndrome and juggling too many balls in the air. They're running on desperate energy oftentimes versus inspired energy. As a result, they tell themselves to help all kinds of other entrepreneurs through collaborations, but they end up not focusing on building their business.
- Don't compare your business to other businesses that have been established much longer than yours. I see this happen with many new coaches and practitioners---they start observing established coaches and practitioners, many of whom who've been in business for ten years or more, and then they become disheartened thinking they're supposed to be where those established coaches and practitioners are when they've only just started their practice. They lose sight of the fact that those coaches and practitioners took many, many years to get where they are.
- Embrace YOUR pace. I've seen time and again many new and aspiring entrepreneurs feel they need to "hustle," "do all the things," and get it all done now. Then they burn themselves out really quickly. Go at the pace that feels best for you---not at the pace everybody else tells you to go.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Thank you for contacting me and for inviting me to share with your community! It's an honor. :-)
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.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.