By Christine Dunne
Jen Liddy remembers feeling lost as a business owner, unsure of what she was doing and how to feel good in her role. She was always scrambling to get things done, and doubting her abilities.
“I remember walking out the door and saying I never want another woman to feel as confused and alone as I felt the entire four years I ran the business,” she said.
The experience propelled Liddy to move from owning a fitness studio (Method360) to starting a new business helping women launch and grow their businesses. As an accountability and productivity coach, she helps clients bring their business to life — despite obstacles they may be facing.
“I help them create systems, stay on track, and reach goals, because life is always getting in the way for clients,” she said.
Beyond pure business coaching, an important part of her job is helping women overcome limiting thoughts and habits. She uses her past experience as a personal development teacher at Cayuga Community College to help them change their mindsets.
“We wanted to teach our students how to be successful,” she said. “It wasn’t about, they don’t have the right math skills. It was that they didn’t have belief in themselves.”
Women in particular may need a boost in encouragement. Many are focused on taking care of other people, despite a desire to start a business helping people live a better life.
“I specifically work with creative busy women,” Liddy said. “Those women are filled with ideas, and because they’re so heart-centered and always want to take care of other people, their stuff doesn’t always make it on the to-do list.”
Liddy started the business by offering free and low-cost services to people she knew, including solo entrepreneurs from her gym. Now she caters to a wide range of individuals, including clients on the West Coast and Europe — aided by Zoom video conferencing.
“Everything is online,” said Liddy, who works out of her Syracuse home.
Clients have the option of participating in group or private coaching. Private coaching is for women who are ready to invest in their business at a higher level, and move “faster and farther.” One of her favorite success stories is a client who had had an idea in her head for nine years, but couldn’t take the first step. With some encouragement, she was able to take care of some basics — including a website, photos, and business cards.
“For my clients, it’s, like, epic for them to do that stuff,” she said.
She went on to give workshops, presenting herself as an expert in her field — which was helping parents talk to their teens.
One of the biggest perks of the job is seeing a woman who didn’t believe in herself bring an idea to life; she also appreciates being able to create her own schedule and decide what clients to take. At the same time, the flexibility can be a double-edged sword.
“You have to be really careful about having boundaries so you don’t work all the time,” she said.
One common challenge for clients is decisions and conversations around money. As heart-centered women for whom a talent comes easily, they don’t always feel comfortable charging for their service.
“Just because it’s easy or natural does not mean it is not valuable,” Liddy said, noting the contrary is true.
Liddy has two pieces of advice for women thinking of starting a new business. One is to imagine what their life will be like one year from now if they don’t take a first step and try something. If they realize they will still be unhappy or have an itch to try something new, it’s time to take action.
This first move could be research, talking to someone, looking into a logo, or choosing a brand color.
“Whatever it is, take that first step,” she said. “Because literally a year from now you will be so grateful to yourself if you just take a baby step.”
Jen Liddy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 315-430-0456, or @jenliddycoach on Facebook and Instragram. Learn more at jenliddy.com.