Meet Theresa Sullivan and Susan Weisenborne, career and life coaches as well as partners in Wayfinder Advisors. They are also Featured Business Owners at SCORE Chicago this week. Learn how they started and what tips they have for your success.
What is your company’s elevator pitch?
We help people find the direction and courage to transition from careers and life situations they no longer want to ones they can positively thrive in. We do this for professionals in the US through both group virtual coaching and private coaching.
Our virtual “Come Alive” Workshops help members find a solid and fulfilling career direction. For those who know what direction they want but are stuck, we offer a workshop called “Go Do It.”
What inspired you to start your business?
Theresa says, “I saw so many people unhappy in their careers (I was one of them, too!) and I thought “What if smart, hardworking, conscientious people pursued careers that were intrinsically fulfilling to them? How much could their success in those endeavors change the world?” I couldn’t shake the question, so I started Wayfinder Advisors to see if I could help find the answer.”
Who are your clients, and give an example of how you served that person or business?
Our clients are generally professionals in corporate settings who know they’d rather be doing something else, but not knowing what that is or how to transition.
Some of the transitions we’ve seen our clients pursue include an unhappy attorney transition into a freelance writing career, a stay at home mother and recent divorcee start her own marketing firm, and a man paralyzed by his fear of not making the right decisions for himself get the courage to get married, become a father and move to his hometown while keeping the job he was sure he could only keep if he stayed in Chicago.
People leave our programs with the confidence to pursue the things they truly want in their lives.
What is your biggest business challenge?
New client growth. Career advising and coaching is an intensely personal subject. People don’t traditionally tell everyone on LinkedIn or Facebook that they are working with a coach, so referrals are usually passed along only in personal, trusted relationships. Then it takes many people time to build up the courage to even make the first contact about coaching, so it has taken more time than we bet on to build the business.
Mentor name, and how they have helped you in your business?
Peg Corwin has been our SCORE mentor for a couple of years and I never leave a meeting with her that doesn’t give me a new idea to make my business better. She is a consummate professional and social media guru, and I rely heavily on her for making our ideas a reality in the market, and she is always sending me information relevant to running a business like ours, which always seems to arrive in my inbox just in time!
What advice would you give other entrepreneurs?
Find mentors you respect and trust and be open to everything they have to teach you. My mentors’ wisdom has been invaluable when I’m stuck on an issue or need some advice or encouragement. I can always move forward with a fresh perspective and inspiration after asking for help from one of them.
What is your website for further info?
Our business mentors can help you, too!
Disclaimer: SCORE Chicago helps small business owners manage and grow their businesses. We help startups write business plans and launch. Nevertheless, our involvement should not be considered as an endorsement.