Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Steph Woods, a learning designer and digital education expert based in Belmont, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I've helped hundreds of entrepreneurs turn their ideas and experience into transformational courses so they can expand their impact on countless lives (while building more spaciousness into their own.) I've worked with a variety of clients, from professors at Stanford to 7 figure entrepreneurs and A-list celebrities, such as Tyra Banks and Alex Rodriguez, but I found a special love with online entrepreneurs! My superpower is helping you pull the gold out of your head and turning it into a clear + comprehensive curriculum that will take your students by the hand and empower them to get massive results.
Tell us about yourself
My mother is an educator, and my father is a small business owner, and I grew up being told (and seeing firsthand) why I shouldn't go into either of those. But apparently, I don't like to be told what to do, and I became both. I graduated from university with an art degree (and an education minor) and became a graphic designer, but I kept finding myself in educational settings: doing training; I even ended up running the customer education team for Shutterfly.
It wasn't too long before I found myself back in an academic setting: at Stanford doing graphic design for the Graduate School of Business, as well as doing brand design on the side for entrepreneurs. At Stanford, I got the opportunity to work with guest lecturers (including Tyra Banks, Alex Rodriguez, and Gary Vee) on their courses. I absolutely loved taking someone who is an expert in their field but has never taught before and crafting a curriculum that made them feel empowered and confident in what they were bringing to the students.
I had found my genius zone: helping make academic strategies approachable to people who have not studied them for years! It was around then that I decided to pivot my own business in order to fill a gap, bringing these same strategies to the entrepreneur space that worked so well to get guests who had never taught before prepared and organized for their courses.
Now, on top of working with clients 1:1, I have a course, Courseology, that helps service-based entrepreneurs design, develop and deliver their own online course or program so they can work less, make more, and have a life outside of their businesses.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I recently had a previous client reach out to me and let me know that the course that we had crafted together had now reached the SEVEN FIGURE income mark! It was such a pleasure to work with her and create her dream program, and now she's making such a huge impact (not only on her own family and their stability but also on all the amazing women she's helping with her program!) I am so proud of my clients and students and the extremely meaningful legacies they are leaving through creating assets in their businesses that they can leverage and break the cycle of trading time for money!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Nobody ever told me that when I "signed up" to be a business owner, I also signed up to be challenged with such personal growth too! When you are your business, personal growth is business growth, and it is quite the ride (but oh so worth it!)
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Get super clear on your "why" from the very beginning. There will be ups and downs, and the best thing to help pull you out of a down is to find some way to remember how it felt in an up - and why you started this in the first place! In moments of inspiration, take a breather to journal or record a voice note about what's driving that boost and how you feel that what you're doing in your business is connected to something bigger than yourself.
- You're in it for the long haul. Creating a business isn't as glamorous as it seems, and there is no such thing as overnight success. Consistent steps forward over time is what really pays off!
- Find your tribe. There's nothing like finding a community of support that will be there with you to cheer you on when you have wins and pick you up when you are feeling down. Entrepreneurship can feel super lonely and overwhelming if there aren't others around who truly understand what you're going through.
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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