Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lynda Dobbin-Turner, owner of Truly You Life Coaching, located in Kenora, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a certified Life Coach who specializes in Grief Recovery and Passion rediscovery. I have come to believe that grief is the foundation of many of life's challenges and struggles and that taking the time to work through the Grief Recovery program opens the door to seeing life differently. Once we can see how grief (not just caused by death but from so many experiences) has affected the various areas of our life, we can then revisit the things that we are passionate about and start taking action to achieve more joy in our lives.
Myself, I know that music is what fuels my spirit and provides my sense of purpose. Today, in an effort to practice what I preach, I spend as much time pursuing my musical dreams as I do any other aspect of my life. I often build it into the work I do independently, as well as my partnership with Mark McGregor Leadership ( www.markmcgregor.ch), where we host Leadership Camps here on the shores of beautiful Lake of the Woods, near Kenora, Ontario. My goal is always to help those I work with discover what fuels their energy and find ways to build it into their lives daily.
Tell us about yourself
I took the long, roundabout road to where I am, but in honesty, life's great losses put me on this path. I worked much of my life farming and in the world of disability advocacy and inclusion. My son Shane lived with cerebral palsy, and my passion for his best life led me into the disability world, where I spent many years. I was widowed in 2001 and am fortunate to have found a wonderful man and remarried in 2004. In a period of 26 months, ending in May of 2010, we experienced the death of Shane, both of our mothers, and my father. It was a challenging time, to put it mildly. It was a long, hard road to find joy and purpose again as we focused on healing.
My music accompanied me on the journey and made me more acutely aware of how important our unique passions can be to helping us move through the most difficult times. My music resulted in my being invited to do some work with an old high school friend, Mark McGregor, who encouraged me to build on the skills I had developed to help others to move forward through their own grief and pain. I have been working with him for over a decade now, as well as my own independent work with individuals and the Grief Recovery to Passion Discovery retreats I have hosted. Seeing a spark in the eyes of the folks I work with is my greatest motivation.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My greatest accomplishment, both as a business owner and personally, is having been told that I bring hope. That is the highest compliment and brings me incredible joy. When people come to understand my own journey and see that by using the same tools and resources I am sharing with them, I have been able to live life fully and with joy and passion once again, they can see there is a light at the end of the tunnel grief, and loss can trap a person in. I'm proud to offer that glimmer to others walking similar paths.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think one of the hardest things for any business owner is finding balance in their own lives. We often feel that we need to keep moving forward 24/7, marketing ourselves when we're not working, and always trying to build a bigger, better business for ourselves with more financial stability and gain. We don't often have the safety nets that others can rely on if we don't bring in the work for ourselves. It takes courage, hard work, and determination, and sometimes it takes a lot to coach yourself to keep moving forward!
I think the last couple of years have been exceptionally hard, with having to recreate how we work and do business in the midst of the global crisis. Some days it's incredibly hard to cut through the noise when everyone else is in that same boat with you, also trying to keep afloat during these difficult times. But I think it always comes back to remind yourself of what your own dreams and goals are, what is your next best step in achieving them, and having a clear vision of what you want your life to look like. If you keep that ideal vision of your future clear in your mind, balance comes as you filter out what matters least so that you always have time for what matters most.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I'd say that it's important to own your own story and be authentically you in whatever business you're pursuing. I believe our authenticity is our superpower, and people are drawn to that.
Spend time really figuring out who your ideal clients are and focus on providing what they need. We often think we need to be the be-all for everyone, but knowing who you can best assist helps you to align your marketing and strategy to find 'your' people.
Make sure that you enjoy what you do and feel a sense of accomplishment and purpose in doing it. It is so easy to get pulled towards the things we feel we have to be doing that we lose sight of what we want to achieve in creating our business. Every business involves so many things in this vast, digital world, and we can end up following trails that lead us away from the core of what we are meant to be doing.
Don't be afraid to part-out the jobs that don't feed your own sense of purpose by finding collaborators or hiring people that can take on some of the tasks that don't necessarily have to be done by you. Not everyone needs to be a social-media genius; find those that already are! Find what makes the most sense to keep your own life balanced and meaningful.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I have taken my own best advice and now spend the majority of my days focused on my passions...on the music I create and the books I write to leave in the world when I'm gone. At this point of the journey, that is how I am living my own best life. Something that I have always benefitted from was just saying yes to opportunities as they arise. We often talk ourselves out of things for fear of failure, looking silly, or not being good at what the opportunity offers.
I have discovered over time that there is a nugget of gold in every opportunity that we are offered. It may not be the nugget that we were focussing on when the experience presented itself, but there is always an opportunity for growth, learning, or connecting with others that can move not just your business but your life experience further along the path. I have learned that life is short, circumstances can change in the blink of an eye, and we don't always get those second chances to live our lives most fully. I keep that at the forefront of all my decisions.
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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