Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in coaching but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Danielle DeZao, Founder of The Purple Thread, located in Weehawken, New Jersey, United States.

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

The Purple Thread is collective connecting health, living, and community through 1:1 certified well-being support and heart-centered live experiences and collaborations. It's all about paying attention, guiding us to better balance, and more wonder.

Customers include individual health coaching clients and attendees of events - both public (ticketed, in-person and online) and private (companies and schools). 1:1 health coaching is available to anyone, as it is virtual! Together, we prioritize mindfulness and quality, personalized self-care both on the plate and off.

It's so much more about adding in the right things than it is about taking anything away. We talk about real food instead of calories. We light up the mind-body connection. We slow down enough for you to listen, lighten, and live a balanced lifestyle with healthy habits you crave and enjoy. Yes, enjoy! Life is too short for anything less.

A very special part of The Purple Thread is The Club at Marist College in New York's Hudson Valley, the student-run chapter in its 12th year on campus.

Tell us about yourself

The Purple Thread began in 2010 as a space to share, connect, and heal. Upon leaving an abusive relationship as a sophomore in college, I grasped at straws.

Once I learned how statistically common my experience was, I found myself craving the real-life connection and support of a community, along with an undeniable need to recenter and share my experience along the way. I got to know myself again, maybe even for the first time. I became my own advocate.

Over the past 10+ years, I've held onto these intentions as a live events producer, certified holistic health coach, and guest speaker. The Purple Thread connects health, living, and community because they all contribute to our sense of overall well-being. But it also guides us back to ourselves. I'm motivated by the idea that balanced well-being isn't perfect; it's better. Beautiful, even, once we learn to lighten up a little.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is using my different experiences to empower others in realizing that we deserve the same care and attention we are so quick to extend to others.

As Brene Brown says, "talk to yourself like you would to someone you love."

We all carry around a lot and forget that we're in this together. We owe it to ourselves and those around us to raise a hand when we need help, letting some of it go. I believe we all take turns needing and giving in that way.

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

I find it difficult to keep myself on a schedule sometimes because there is so much I want to accomplish, and it can be hard to stay accountable to just myself!

I have started time-blocking and scheduling certain commitments on certain days. Also, by focusing on one task at a time and removing all other distractions, I can achieve much more. Contrary to what we may have learned, multi-tasking is not always the way.

The idea of "less at once" is something I try to apply to my life in general and helps me feel more focused and present.

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

1. Give yourself time. It's easy to feel pressured to respond or make a decision right away. But over time, I've learned the value of taking a minute to "sit with it." I pay attention to my initial gut reaction but remember that I'm allowed to think it through.

2. Understand your finances. I think I started working at 12 years old as a "Mother's Helper" (babysitter while the mother is home!) and have done countless jobs in these 20 years of employment, I learned how to save, invest, and complete the tricky taxes involved in having your own LLC. Building a financial safety net and putting my money to work over the years has given me invaluable peace of mind during times of uncertainty. (Betterment is a great resource.)

3. Invest in yourself without always understanding the end goal. When I enrolled in The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, it wasn't because I knew I wanted to coach. But it was something I kept coming back to.

At the very least (which I learned was absolutely not "the very least"), I realized that this was something I was interested in and would be beneficial to the health and wellness of myself and those closest to me.

Since I took that leap, I decided I did want to share what I learned with others more formally, but I became so much more comfortable diving into other experiences for the sake of the process vs. the end goal. I am now taking a writing class ..just because.. and I already cannot imagine my life without this experience. Choose your adventure!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

“Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together, and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” - Pema Chödrön

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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