Free At 50 Blog's 2023 Summer Interview Series: Meredith is a Business Coach Leading by Example, Follow Her!
Introduction to Free At 50’s 2023 Summer Interview Series and to Meredith Van Ness.
I decided to kick off summer with inspiration from some fantastic entrepreneurs I’ve met on my journey. How do successful entrepreneurs think and what do they do? It’s something that never ceases to fascinate me as I continue on this journey into blogging for business. I still keep Sally Miller’s book, The Essential Habits of 6-Figure Bloggers on my nightstand. I decided to do my own version, blogger style, here on Free At 50! Everyone interviewed was asked the same 6 questions.
Meredith Van Ness is both a therapist and life coach as well as the founder of Balanced + Well Counseling and Coaching. She’s been helping women for 20+ years by integrating traditional, tried-and-true therapy techniques with innovative life coaching strategies that create real results for her clients.
Her mission in her words: to help women overcome their stress and anxiety, release self-doubt, and build confidence so that they can focus their energy on what matters most.
Meredith also helps therapists and coaches who are ready to start their practices and magnetize in their lives. In her free time, she strives to live a life of balance and wellness by spending time with her three boys and husband. At heart, she is an outdoor mountain girl who loves hiking, biking, skiing, reading, practicing yoga, traveling, and something I not only love but respect and try to do myself: giving herself grace when she needs it.
It is how she's leading by example daily online and in real life...and it's why I follow her! Let's get to the questions I asked in this series.
Note: As a blogger, I use affiliate links sometimes! I may receive commission from purchases I share, but it does not change your price.
RELATED: Get Sally Miller’s book for more inspiration!
Question 1 on how successful entrepreneurs think and what they do: How did you decide which business idea was best for you?
As a therapist, I found that my work was fulfilling, but limited by the constraints of time and geography. I could only see a limited number of clients in my local area, and my ability to offer my services to people outside of my immediate region was limited. I realized that by transitioning to coaching, I could expand my reach and help more people around the world.
In making the transition to coaching, I focused on the areas where I felt I could provide the most value to my clients. I saw a need for support and guidance for women who were struggling with stress, anxiety, and self-doubt. Through my coaching, I help these women find the confidence and inner strength they need to overcome these challenges and achieve their goals.
I offer a range of coaching services to meet the needs of my clients, including 1:1 coaching, group coaching, and online courses. These different formats allow me to work with clients in ways that are most convenient and effective for them. I'm able to connect with clients from all over the world and offer my services at a more accessible price point.
Overall, my decision to transition from therapy to coaching was driven by my desire to expand my reach and help more people. I saw a need for support and guidance in a specific area, and I felt that coaching was the best way to offer that support. By focusing on the areas where I can provide the most value, I've been able to build a successful coaching business that's both fulfilling and impactful.
RELATED: Read the Free At 50 take on the value of checking out business coaches by clicking here!
Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash
Question 2 on how successful entrepreneurs think and what they do: Please share your thoughts on starting a business vs. being an employee, working for others?
As someone who's made the transition from being an employee to starting my own business, I can say that there are pros and cons to both approaches. When you're an employee, you have the security of a steady paycheck and benefits, and you're able to focus on your specific job responsibilities without having to worry about the broader picture of the business.
On the other hand, when you're an entrepreneur, you have the freedom and flexibility to create your own vision and make your own decisions, but you also have more responsibilities and risk.
For me, starting my own business was the right choice because it allowed me to pursue my passion and create a business that aligned with my values. As a therapist, I wanted to be able to offer my services in a way that was more accessible and convenient for my clients, and owning my own practice gave me the ability to do that. I also love the challenge of building and growing a business, and the sense of fulfillment that comes from creating something of my own.
Photo by Grant Davies on Unsplash
That being said, starting a business isn't for everyone. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and a willingness to take risks. You need to be comfortable with uncertainty and have the ability to adapt to changes and challenges along the way.
It's important to carefully consider your personal goals, values, and strengths before deciding whether entrepreneurship is the right path for you.
Overall, while being an employee has its advantages, I believe that owning your own business can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience if you're willing to put in the work and take the risks. For me, the ability to create something of my own and help people in a meaningful way has made the journey well worth it.
RELATED: If you’re ready to turn your passion into a business, check out the Business Launch Lab here.
Photo by Lala Azizli on Unsplash
Question 3 on how successful entrepreneurs think and what they do: Do you have one piece advice for anyone starting a business without a big budget?
My advice is to focus on creating a strong foundation for your business. This means identifying your target audience, understanding their needs and pain points, and developing a clear value proposition that sets your business apart. By doing this, you can create a strong brand identity and messaging that resonates with your ideal customers.
In addition, it's important to prioritize your resources and invest in the areas that will have the biggest impact on your business. For example, you might prioritize building a strong online presence through social media and content marketing or invest in developing a high-quality product or service that meets the needs of your target audience.
Another important strategy is to leverage your existing network and resources to get your business off the ground. This might mean reaching out to friends and family for support, collaborating with other entrepreneurs or businesses in your industry, or exploring low-cost marketing strategies like referral marketing or word-of-mouth.
Finally, it's important to stay focused, persistent, and adaptable as you work to build your business. Starting a business without a big budget requires creativity, hard work, and a willingness to learn and adjust your approach as you go.
In summary, my advice for anyone starting a business without a big budget is to focus on creating a strong foundation, prioritize your resources, leverage your existing network, and stay persistent and adaptable as you work to build your business.
With these strategies in mind, you can build a successful business that's both fulfilling and financially sustainable.
Lastly, just start. Start creating, start imagining, start visioning and just start.
RELATED: The affordable Free At 50 recommendation on growing your personal brand: click here!
Photo by Katja Anokhina on Unsplash
Question 4 on how successful entrepreneurs think and what they do: What was the biggest challenge, fear, or obstacle you had to overcome on your entrepreneurial journey?
One of the biggest challenges that many entrepreneurs face is the fear of failure. Starting a business can be a risky and uncertain venture, and it's natural to worry about whether your idea will be successful and if you'll be able to make a living from it.
This fear of failure can be paralyzing and can prevent entrepreneurs from taking the necessary risks and making the bold decisions required to grow their business. To overcome this fear of failure, it's important to focus on your long-term vision and the positive impact that your business can have on your customers and the world.
You can also seek out support from mentors, friends, and fellow entrepreneurs who can provide guidance and encouragement along the way.
Finally, it's important to embrace failure as a learning opportunity and to view setbacks and challenges as opportunities for growth and improvement.
By facing your fears head-on and developing a mindset of resilience and persistence, you can overcome the challenges of entrepreneurship and build a successful business that's both personally and financially rewarding.
Photo by Isaac Lind on Unsplash
Question 5 on how successful entrepreneurs think and what they do: What are some of your productivity tips and hacks for anyone starting/building a business?
Prioritize your most important tasks.
It's important to identify the tasks that will have the biggest impact on your business and prioritize them accordingly. Focus on the tasks that will move the needle the most and allocate your time and resources accordingly.
Set goals and track your progress.
Set clear goals for yourself and your business and track your progress towards achieving them. This will help you stay focused and motivated and will also allow you to course-correct if you're not making the progress you'd like.
Develop a routine.
Developing a daily routine can help you establish good habits and make the most of your time. This might include setting aside specific times for certain tasks or activities, like checking email or scheduling social media posts.
Photo by Nejc Soklič on Unsplash
Use productivity tools.
There are many productivity tools and apps available that can help you streamline your workflow and stay organized.
For example, project management tools like Trello or Asana can help you keep track of your tasks and deadlines, while time-tracking apps like RescueTime or Toggl can help you better understand how you're spending your time.
Take breaks and prioritize self-care.
It's important to take breaks and prioritize self-care, even when you're busy building a business. Taking regular breaks can help you stay energized and avoid burnout, while activities like exercise or meditation can help you stay focused and reduce stress.
Also ask for help, seek coaching, seek support when needed. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel and there are people that can help. I offer a coaching with confidence program for entrepreneurs!
By implementing these productivity tips and hacks, you can make the most of your time and resources as you work to build a successful business.
NOTE FROM DAPHNE: I recommend the Epic Blog Planner I use for my business: Click here to buy it.
Photo by Nikolett Emmert on Unsplash
Question 6 on how successful entrepreneurs think and what they do: How has being able to live a location-independent lifestyle changed your life?
This has been a game changer for me. I live in rural Colorado and the population is small. I have found some of the key benefits of a location-independent lifestyle may include:
- Greater flexibility: Being able to work from anywhere can offer greater flexibility and freedom, allowing individuals to balance work with other priorities like travel, family, or personal interests.
- Increased opportunities: A location-independent lifestyle can open up new opportunities for work, collaboration, and personal growth, as individuals are no longer limited by geography.
- Reduced costs: Depending on where you live, a location-independent lifestyle can often be more cost-effective, as you may not need to pay for expensive office space or commute to work.
- Improved work-life balance: By being able to work from anywhere, individuals can often achieve a better work-life balance, allowing them to pursue their passions and interests outside of work.
Overall, a location-independent lifestyle can be a transformative experience for many people, offering greater flexibility, freedom, and opportunities for personal and professional growth.
Follow Meredith- I do!