Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Marianne Gernetzke, Founder of Marianne Gernetzke Coaching LLC, located in Belleville, WI, USA.

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

I am a professional, national board-certified health and well-being coach. I help drained and distressed professionals to find inspiration and motivation to make a lasting lifestyle change, ease inner tension, and create greater health and happiness. My customers are high-achievers who want to feel better but feel like something is getting in the way of making lasting change. I come alongside my clients to help them examine limiting beliefs, resolve inner conflicts, and transform old habits on their path to greater well-being. I also mentor new health and wellness coaches.

Tell us about yourself

I have a background working as a pediatric mental health occupational therapist (since 1996). I loved helping children and their families in my work, but I was overly perfectionistic, and I was burning myself out with unrealistic expectations of myself. I felt much healthier after implementing diet and lifestyle changes, but I didn't feel truly happy until I discovered how to change my limiting beliefs and actually love my inner critic. I transitioned to working as a health and wellness coach because I wanted to empower my clients to make similar changes in their own lives. I am motivated to continue this work because I am passionate about health and helping others. I am also inspired by my clients every day because I am in awe of their resourcefulness, creativity, and capacity for personal growth.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment has been shifting my mindset about owning a business. As a helping professional, my focus has always been on learning techniques to best help my clients while working for employers. I had frequently considered designing and offering my own services through a business of my own, but it took a lot of courage and personal self-reflection to take the final leap. Transitioning my identity to entrepreneur has been exciting, but it has also been hard work!

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

Building a business takes patience and dedication. There are times when growth feels slow, and it can be difficult to be patient with the process.

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

  1. You don't have to be perfect: Know this (or any) change in life is a process, not a single event. Take each day to refine and rededicate yourself to your business, and learn from your mistakes. Perfectionism can keep you from moving forward.
  2. Define your dream: Without an address or a detailed map, we cannot arrive at any destination. Similarly, we cannot achieve success in business if we do not clearly define what we want our business to achieve. Create a detailed vision of what you want your business to accomplish and who you want to be as an entrepreneur: this vision will pull you forward!
  3. Work with a mentor or professional coach: Successful leadership as a business owner can be accelerated by our inner personal work. It can be very helpful to seek the support of a mentor who can model attitudes that lead to business success. Professional coaches are also a great resource in this process.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I offer free, no-obligation 1:1 consultations for any individual interested in working with me!

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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