Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in leadership development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jaclyn Weitzenfeld, Founder and Owner of Unified in Coaching, LLC., located in Chicago, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Unified in Coaching offers coaching services to people leaders who are interested in leading more inclusively to foster engagement and retain talent in their organizations. We work with leaders at the C-Suite level as well as first-time people leaders. This is to ensure current leaders are continuing to be effective while developing our leaders of tomorrow.
Tell us about yourself
I launched my coaching business to support the leadership book I wrote, Stepping into Inclusion. It's a book that provides leaders with a framework to lead more inclusively. I was inspired to write my book because I believe my approach can help leaders learn to be more inclusive and really make a meaningful impact on the people they lead and their organization.
I have worked in organizations where I haven't felt valued, supported, or given a fair chance to succeed in my career. I have also painfully watched other talented people get overlooked in the same fashion. It can be difficult, frustrating, and demotivating, and work doesn't have to be that way.
It is incredibly motivating to help leaders foster an environment that enables people to thrive in their careers. Helping leaders make a difference for the people they lead while still achieving their overall business goals is a rewarding and meaningful experience.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I have always believed that the effect you have on others is the greatest currency that exists. So, my biggest accomplishment has been the testimonials I've received sharing with me the difference I've made for them in their personal and professional lives.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Mindset. I know, I know, spoken like a true coach. However, my greatest challenge was really understanding who I am in this work and what I had to offer and then delivering that in an effective way. I can't tell you how many times I thought I knew my ideal client, my approach, and how I was going to get there. Only to find out that it didn't sit right with me or it wasn't working. It took a lot of trial and error to understand and align with what felt right for me and my clients.
Most importantly, I had to learn to give myself grace through that process. If I focused on other colleagues, I would compare myself too much to them. If I spent too much time on social media, nothing I did felt right. I had to step back from it all and really spend some time with myself and my work and trust what felt right.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be gentle with yourself. No matter where you are in the process, you are exactly where you need to be. Whether you realize it or not, you are learning critical lessons along the way that are going to get you to where you want to be.
- You don't have to figure it out alone. Whether you already have people in your life that can help you figure things out or need to start networking, find your tribe. We all need help and reminders along the way to keep us on our path. And this journey is so much better when you are in good company.
- Don't try to boil the ocean. Whether you are just starting out or looking to grow, you can't take it all on at once. Prioritize and take one small step at a time. I promise it will lead to something much bigger before you know it. All you have to do is keep your foot on the gas.
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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