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Grace Kelly is a success coach who helps women increase their confidence & earning power to create stylish lives & businesses they love. Formally a French teacher in London, Grace left her salary behind, moved to Italy, and started an international coaching business. After successfully growing her business to 6-figures in 6 months, she went on to generate more than a quarter of a million dollars in revenues before the end of her second year in business. Her wildly popular blog, CityGirl Confidence™, was selected by Forbes as one of the top 100 Best Websites for Women, and her expertise has been featured in The Sunday Times, Glamour Magazine and Soul and Spirit. Enjoy her exclusive Business Heroine interview…
BH: How did you end up doing what you do? Tell us your story!
Grace: I was working in London as a school teacher for 6 years and was very bored with my job. Once the initial challenge of teaching 11-16 year old boys was over, I found myself getting itchy feet. I wanted to explore the new and move on.
I started attending seminars in the city, mostly relating to self-improvement and performance. That’s when I met a lot of entrepreneurs and coaches who seemed to making a living outside the 9-5. This inspired me to think differently about making a living.
Whilst en route to school one day, I had a mild anxiety attack. I knew I didn’t want to live like that anymore, always tired, burnt out, and earning a living only to spend it on recovering my health. So I made the decision to leave teaching and find something new.
Initially, this came through an opportunity my partner offered me. He decided he wanted to leave London and move back to Italy. I didn’t want to leave London, but I did want to leave my job. I agreed to move.
After a year, I was ready to serve again and naturally moved into coaching since that’s what I’d been looking at. It didn’t seem like rocket science to be able to help others. I set about getting my first client and built my business, one client at a time, supporting other women who desired to leave the rat race and start something of their own.
BH: What is your ‘Wake Up Call for the World?’ In other words, what is most of the world asleep about that you would love to wake up?
Grace: My wake up call to the world is this: “Self-consciousness blocks connection.”
What I mean by that is that many of us are so asleep to the fact that we’re so focused on how we’re measuring up, how it all looks to the world, and how we compare that we’re ultimately asleep to opportunity. It’s not that the opportunity isn’t there, it’s that we can’t see it when we’re focused on our small self.
I know for some of the women I coach, selling their service is tough because they can’t even get present on a sales call. They’re too worried about what the prospect will think and too worried about themselves.
In my own life, I’ve also seen how I thought I was “the confident one,” only to discover that when I was faced with a room full of new people, I was unable to fully connect with them or feel comfortable because of my own self-consciousness thoughts.
BH: What are the biggest challenges or aspirations your clients come to you with, and what does your work make possible for them?
Grace: Many clients come to me because they’re struggling to start something new. They want to make changes, especially in their careers, but they’re scared. They don’t know how to get started. They’re overthinking and nervous about what could go wrong. They’re worried about what others will think of them, especially when it comes to starting out with coaching, selling, or getting their product right.
Once we’ve addressed these initial factors, they go on to create graceful change. Some have left their day jobs and started profitable businesses that they love. Others have successfully moved out of their own way and started charging more and working in a more stylish way. All of my clients have moved from their small self to their large self and felt a deep sense of confidence and well-being along the way.
BH: We’re curious about your breakthrough moment in business. Looking back, what created the breakthrough?
Grace: My breakthrough moment was when I went from zero to ten clients in around thirty days and crossed the six figure mark within six months.
Looking back, I can see a few things that created that:
1- My state of mind. I didn’t worry about whether I was good enough to coach, if I could do it, or if it was worth my price. I had very little on my mind actually. It felt pretty peaceful.
2- I wasn’t attached to the outcome. I hadn’t had a “burning desire” to make it happen. I was just available to serve with no major attachment or strategy on the “how”.
3- My small self/self-consciousness was not in the way.
BH: What words of wisdom do you have for all the emerging Business Heroines out there who are on the cusp of creating their own purpose-based business?
Grace: Get comfy with the unknown. If you can hang out there long enough without freaking out, you’ll make it.
That’s the difference between business owners and paycheck workers. The former can handle the unknown.
Also, create a good service. If you enjoy what you do and you’ve got something people love, they’ll keep coming back for more. My coach describes this as “make good coffee.” That’s the basis, the bottom line. If you “make good coffee,” it doesn’t matter what the package or the cup looks like or how much it costs. People will enjoy it and come back for more.
BH: Tell us about your upcoming retreat!
Grace: I’m hosting my next retreat in Puglia, Italy from June 9th-12th. This is ideal for anyone who would like support in transitioning from a day job into doing something new, or heroines who would like support with getting your a coaching business going. You can get more info here!
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