I believe that entrepreneurship is a path to self-actualization because one must be so open and honest, especially if they are hiring employees.
Veronica Kirin is an Anthropologist turned Serial Entrepreneur. Her career has taken her from Disaster Relief through the Startup world. She is founder of the award winning GreenCup Website Services, author of Stories Of Elders (publishing 2018), and Entrepreneur Coach to LGBTQ Women who wish to scale their businesses so they work less, grow faster, and earn more. Her work as a coach is certified by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. She is also the founder of the Fempreneur Forum, where women Entrepreneurs can build community and get Coached in workshops and Live Q&As.
Veronica firmly believes that anyone can start a business or organization based on their personal values and aspirations. She uses her experience with PTSD and chronic pain to coach women Entrepreneurs to develop work habits that are holistic and feed not only their pocket books, but their souls.
Veronica currently resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her cat Turbo. In summer she can be found in her backyard tending her vegetable garden and relaxing with friends. In winter, she can be found as close to a cozy fire as possible. She is most passionate about LGBTQ Rights, Reproductive Rights, and Social Equity.
Where did the idea for Entrepreneur Coaching come from?
I self-named my company because I am acting as myself as a speaker, author, and entrepreneur coach.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I start each morning with self-compassion. I know that each morning I may wake with varying degrees of energy, and it is important that I don’t blame myself or my body when I can’t get everything done in my morning routine. On an ideal day I practice yoga, affirmations, meditate, journal, read, make a wonderful vegan veggie hash, and shower with aromatherapy. I wake two hours minimum before the work day begins in order to allow enough time for this without rushing, but as I said, sometimes I just don’t have the energy to do everything.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Often it is sheer stubbornness. My first business was a tech company started during the recession. I knew I had to support myself and wasn’t willing to quit, so I ignored the fact that I was a woman in a male-dominated industry during an economic downturn and simply soldiered on. If I know I don’t know something, I will ask for help from others. Sometimes I will sit on an idea for months or years until I see resources and opportunity align. I have several right now that I am waiting to enact, which is fun.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I love entrepreneurship. I think it’s really good for the world. Successful entrepreneurs must be willing to pivot at a moment’s notice, which brings a level of humility to their work. It is also important to continually question what one is doing, as well as oneself. Not in a self-conscious manner, but in a curious manner in the effort to always be better. I believe that entrepreneurship is a path to self-actualization because one must be so open and honest, especially if they are hiring employees. I have seen entrepreneurs who are not humble and they eventually fail because they cannot pivot, learn, or treat their employees with respect.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I check in with my bullet journal and assistant every morning. I migrate the work that didn’t get done, and review my schedule for the next 48 hours to make sure I am both prepared and coordinate my time well.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Find a Coach. I live in a conservative city in which I could only find male mentors. They didn’t understand the harassment I would experience as a woman in tech, and they weren’t available enough to show me how to pivot my business model from project based revenue to a recurring revenue. I eventually figured it out, myself, but I would have scaled faster and been more profitable had I learned this lesson early on. Perhaps the lessons are better learned the way I did, however, because now I can relate to the myriad of experiences my own coaching clients have in their businesses.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
It has been so long since women first go the vote (nearly a century) that we have culturally forgotten how critical it is to exercise the right.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Self dates. You’ve got to be good with you before you will be good with anyone else.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I’ve often looked back at my life for patterns, and then I follow them. One pattern I know is true for me is the desire to help others. This started in middle school when my friends were depressed and I was the one they called. This grew as I started disaster relief during the first years of my career. And now, as a Coach, I help LGBTQ entrepreneurs develop scalable businesses so they can live the life they choose.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My startup is one of my greatest failures. We had the support of five major organizations in the state and it was really taking off. I didn’t insist that we sign founder agreements, though, despite knowing better, and when a co-founder decided to leave in a destructive manner, it took down the entire organization. It took a long time for me to get over that one.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’ve been sitting on an idea for a city bicycle tour app for years. It’s never been the right time to develop it, but I imagine that it would be simple to do with Google Maps integration and crowd-sourced suggestions.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I got a rare U2 album on vinyl — one I never thought I would see in my entire life — on a tip-off by a friend who knows I like them. I don’t condone impulse spending (it was an hour from tip-off to purchase) but it was 100% worth it.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I looooooove Streak for Gmail. It keeps me organized and helps me manage my clients. Plus it’s free for a single user.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. It takes most people months to get through because it is dense. It will change your life.
What is your favorite quote?
She’s going to dream up the world she wants to live in / she’s going to dream out loud. -U2
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Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.