Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stephanie Hess, Founder of Stephanie Hess Coaching & Consulting, located in Princeton, NJ, USA.

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

Hi! I’m Steph. Founder of Stephanie Hess Coaching & Consultancy for expert coaches and leaders. As a former director of a Fortune 500 Beauty Company for 10+ years—I know what it’s like to put on a bold lipstick and feel good on the outside and feel self-doubt and low confidence on the inside. I specialize in mentoring coaches and leaders with track records of success to bring their “moonshot goals” forward as entrepreneurs with confidence, simplicity, and ease.

Tell us about yourself

I’m a woman on a mission!

I’m tired of amazing coaches and experts living in scarcity—it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m tired of people transitioning out of a successful career into coaching and seeing themselves as a beginner, getting sucked into the slimy traps of internet marketing, struggling to create clients, and wondering if they’ll ever be able to make what they were making for someone else, for themselves—without returning to overwhelm and burnout.

Fifteen years ago, I turned a $25/day internship into a successful decade-long career. I led a team of millennials to boomers while hearing the voice in my head daily:

“I get why everyone else is here...but who am I to be here? Just wait until they find out who you really are….”

I had burnout so bad that I would spend my New York City weekends isolated, binge eating Ben & Jerry’s and Oreos until physically ill—each weekend promising myself that would be “the last time.” I’ve started a business with no clue how to do it. I could celebrate my achievements, but I’m more comfortable talking about the many messes and failures intertwined between them. That’s what makes my clients say, “I trust you”—because their journeys are complex and messy too.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Building something that I feel really proud of, that nourishes myself and others, that I can now fully leverage as I prepare for a new exciting chapter: motherhood. This drives me even more so to help more women have financial independence and peace of mind because when we have that—it creates such a ripple effect of good with our clients, families, communities, and the world.

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

The reality is that no one is responsible for your results except you. There’s no magic pill or formula, there’s no mentor to save you or do the work for you, and there’s no successful business that is immune to things not working or hearing “no thank you” from customers or clients. The sooner you can surrender to and accept this, the sooner you can roll up your sleeves and do the daily (inner and outer) work that’s required to create success.

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

  1. Only start, or continue—if you’re in it for the long haul. If you’re transitioning into this career as a high-earner, it can be a rude awakening when the money isn’t coming in as fast as you envisioned. Prepare for and expect a learning curve—and find a mentor a few steps ahead of you to show you the way. It will save you time and money in the long run and keep you plugged into the “vibrational vortex” you’ll need to stick it out in challenging and defeating times (both will happen).
  2. Build your business around what you most value. Everything I say YES to and NO to all adds up to helping me experience more freedom, family, and fun in my life. Being clear about this in the early stages of building my business allowed me to set the business up accordingly from the start, ie
    a maximum 25-hour work week, working with just 15-20 of the right clients per year that are absolute joys, working only in my zone of genius—either creating content that adds value for others or creating/serving clients, and the rest of the time being present with and enjoying family, friends, and life.
  3. Invest in your dream relentlessly. There was a long period where I was eating noodles for dinner, wearing frayed underwear (yup), taking on $40,000 in debt, and even postponing my desire for motherhood to fund my dream. For women especially, there’s no cheering section encouraging us to invest financially in what we want as men are championed to do. Identify the gaps in your skillsets that need to be developed in order to get to where you want to go. Embrace and give yourself the permission to receive support, not just for a few months here or for a year or so there; make it an unapologetic, non-negotiable part of your business plan, always.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

A secret sports nerd and having started my career in professional sports; I have to pay homage to this (American Football) analogy that has never left me: Those who aren’t getting tackled in the game aren’t playing in the game. ;)

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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