As women, we wear many hats: mothers, wives, leaders in business or our communities, friends, and more. Trying to balance and find fulfillment across all these areas of life can feel impossible at times. This was my experience early on as I transitioned into business ownership while also starting a family back in 2004.
Through my own journey of personal growth and development, as well as weathering economic challenges like the 2008 recession, I realized the power of doing inner work on myself to create positive change in all areas of my life. I also saw this need for support, community, and coaching among the many incredible women I worked with and led over my almost 20 years leading two childcare centers.
This inspired me to get certified as a professional coach myself in 2016 to be able to provide that guidance for other women looking to take the lead in their own lives. Now, after seven years of coaching and providing online communities and resources, I want to reintroduce myself and share more about my background so you understand where I’m coming from.
My Journey Starts with My Passion for Education
I’ve always loved working in early childhood education. I started off teaching kindergarten enrichment in Missouri. When I moved to Maryland with my husband, I began working in a preschool environment for the first time. I found I loved fostering a life-long love of learning in children ages 2-5. My favorite age was 18-36 months because of their curiosity, energy, and rapid development.
When I became pregnant with my daughter, I planned to leave my preschool teaching role to focus on motherhood and family, but the universe had other plans! Just before giving birth, I was given the opportunity to purchase the building I taught in and open my own childcare center. So, just ten days before my daughter arrived in 2004, I signed the papers to start my first small business. This began an incredible, challenging entrepreneurship journey as I renovated, opened, and operated my first childcare center while starting a family with my husband.
Navigating the Ups and Downs of Business Ownership
I had no formal business education when I became a business owner overnight. My background was purely in early childhood education. I had to learn everything about running a business on the go. This meant I made many mistakes, operated from stress and perfectionism too often, and had difficult conversations with staff during economic or operational hurdles.
2008 was an especially hard time as the recession caused many families to pull children from our centers to save money. As revenues dropped, I had to make tough financial decisions to keep my business afloat through that period. Doing whatever it took for survival also meant making choices as a leader that weren’t always popular with my team. During this stressful time, I realized I also needed to do personal development work on myself. I needed to reconnect with my values, vision, and mission. I wanted to understand how to create more balance and fulfillment professionally and personally.
As I learned more about business through experience and mentorship, I also evolved into a better leader and person through my own self-improvement work. I saw firsthand how empowering my own growth positively impacted how I showed up in all areas of my life.
Supporting Other Women in Leadership
After surviving the recession and scaling to grow a second childcare location, I noticed many women I worked with struggling with the same balance and fulfillment issues I had overcome. Other early childhood directors seemed incredibly competent in their work roles but tapped out when dropping their kids off each morning. Female small business owners asked me for mentorship as they tackled employee conflicts or financial struggles. Friends and peers wanted to know how I found more peace and stability across my different life roles.
I realized there was a great need for coaching tailored to women in leadership. I could see clearly how supporting women on improving their self-awareness, mindset and behaviors would empower them as leaders in business and at home. First, though, I invested in getting certified as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) myself through a 2-year program called the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. Learning the ethics and emotional intelligence skills needed to coach others changed me as a person and leader. With my official credentials, I launched Leading Lady Coaching in 2016. What started as small monthly meetup groups grew into local workshops, then online communities and my current coaching programs.
Now eight years later, I’m thrilled to have helped thousands of women through individual and group coaching, online networks like my 6.5K member Facebook community, and resources like my book “Take the Lead.”
Sharing My Story
I share my background and story so that you understand where I’m coming from when I coach on leadership, mindset, and fulfillment. I hope that sharing my authentic story and the strategies that have helped me will inspire other women to also do the personal development work needed to reach their full potential in business, relationships, and beyond.
In March 2022, I published a book titled “Take the Lead,” where I share my full story and the biggest lessons I’ve learned over decades of personal growth and leadership experience. “Take the Lead” provides an inside look at my journey through childhood, early entrepreneurship, personal struggles and triumphs as I continually worked to improve myself and find more balance between my roles. It’s both vulnerable and empowering, revealing my humanity while equipping women with the mindset shifts and emotional intelligence skills needed to become the leaders of their own lives. In 2023, I was also the lead author of a second book, “We Lead: Connection, Community, and Collaboration for Women in Business.” That book features inspiring stories from 12 incredible female entrepreneurs I work with, exploring topics like imposter syndrome, perfectionism, and work-life harmony.
You can find both books on Amazon, Audible, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop and anywhere else books are sold. Please consider getting a copy and letting me know what you think!
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