Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sally Zimney, founder of Be Moved by Sally Z, located in St. Paul, MN, USA.

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

I am an award-winning speaker and speaker coach who empowers big-hearted entrepreneurs and coaches to speak their story in a way that moves audiences - and then leverage that story in a killer speech that feels like them (even if they're not a Capital-S "Speaker"). I believe that a good talk can move the world - and it's my mission to create a movement of thought leaders who step on the "stage" to not just make more money and bring in more leads but to really do something impactful and transformative with the moment they have.

Tell us about yourself

I have always loved two things: being on stage and sharing an idea I hope has an impact. I learned early on how powerful the "stage" is to lead from. I remember playing a character role in a high school play, and the moment I made the audience laugh - like, really laugh! - I was hooked! (If that's ever happened to you - you know how addicting that can be!) I channeled that performance energy into high school speech and learned how to craft a persuasive message from some of the best speech coaches in the country (strategies I still call upon and use as a coach myself). I was a theater and English major in college - and found myself soon after standing in front of 150 teenagers every day talking about big, universal ideas like kindness, courage, and respect. And I had to learn VERY quickly how to make seemingly "boring" ideas engaging and interesting (because teenagers will let you know when you don't)!

I started coaching speakers almost at the same time. My boss - an incredible speaker himself - invited me to give him feedback before one of his talks to those 150+ teenagers. I thought... "Me? I'm 25. He's the boss. Should I really?" ... But he handed me his script - and I jotted down some ideas for him. After the talk, he said, "Sally, I want you to coach everyone on staff." That was it! I'm so grateful for his courage in asking for the feedback and my gumption at the moment to share it.

Now - 20 years later - I've built a business where I get to empower people to create a story-driven speech that feels authentic to them - which is the key to really moving your audience. It is incredibly inspiring for me to see the impact and transformations they create - and the ripple effect of their courage!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I help entrepreneurs and coaches identify and craft a signature story that becomes the heart of their business and then put that story to work by creating a story-driven signature speech that feels like them and that moves audiences (Signature Talk Studio™). When they're ready to really leverage speaking in big ways, I show them how to scale that talk to bring in more leads and make more money with it (The Movers LAB™).

It has been my absolute honor to work with hundreds of speakers over the last 20+ years - and see the ripple effect of their words and ideas. They are some of the most inspiring and brilliant people I've ever met! TEDx talks, standing ovations, keynotes, and workshops have created brilliant transformations. I believe that a good talk can move the world - and it's my purpose to help make that happen.

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

One of the reasons why I love entrepreneurship so much is the pure courage it takes to make our dreams come true. We believe in something that makes the risks worth it, even on the days when it feels like it isn't. Even though the ups and downs, we are driven to try (well, most of the time anyway). Those big dreams keep us going.

I will say that the first half of my experience as an entrepreneur was unusually smooth: my coaching clients came to me all through referrals, and before I knew it, I had a coaching practice. Building an online business (which has been especially important over the last few years for obvious reasons) has been some of the most challenging work I've ever done. We learn, teach ourselves, try, and fail. Then - we redirect and try it all again. We're all doing the big work of figuring out who we are on a daily basis. It's thrilling - and sometimes exhausting. Failure is simply a part of doing business.

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

One of the things that are essential to building in your business is authority and recognition. To do that, we have to do a few key things on a consistent basis: #1) #SHOWUPANYWAY. In other words - even when you're not really feeling it (and believe me, we can spend a lot of time hiding IN our business instead of really working ON it). If you show up anyway, you start to prove to yourself that you can, and you learn to trust yourself in the bigger moments.

Share STORIES! Stories are the tool of persuasion and connection! Before someone buys from you - they want to understand more than just your expert knowledge (that, frankly, they can get on YouTube or Google - for free)... they want to know who you are, where you're struggling, and why you do what you do. Stories are the tool!

And lastly - #3 - To find a STRATEGY that works FOR YOU. There are a lot of coaches and business gurus out there. Most of them are speaking from personal experience - which doesn't mean it will work for YOU. Find a strategy/coach/approach/community that feels right for you. Don't be afraid to break the rules that don't work for you! Much like speaking - it takes a bit to find a way that feels right for you. The same with business: everyone has to find their own way. So be brave enough to pursue that!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

If you speak - you are a speaker (even if you're not sure you have what it takes). If you'd like some more support on that journey - and to start to speak your story and leverage that story into a powerful speech that feels like you - come join me in my free Facebook Group:

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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