A special blog post contribution by Andrea Janzen.
“I’m a leadership coach and I help professionals to recognize their ambition and strive for more in their careers. I help my clients to see opportunities, feel ready to take action and make things happen. I offer my clients a balanced perspective by linking the human side of the business to the bottom line. My newest program Re-ignite your Ambition helps companies to get more women into leadership positions by helping women to see their own potential and take the next step to play bigger.”
Andrea Janzen is a professional leadership coach. She is a Certified Executive Coach through Royal Roads University and an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation. She has an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University and a BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University. Andrea started with CEED in 2016, and graduated in November 2017.
We communicated with Andrea who has provided us with some insights on how CEED helped her on her entrepreneurial journey, and where this journey has taken her since starting her own business venture.
What services did you avail of? /How has CEED helped you as an entrepreneur/helped your business?
“Having a community of entrepreneurs was so important to me. Most of my friends and family were employees, so I didn’t really know a lot of people who owned their own businesses. CEED also helped me with some structure and systems to get everything up and running. The legal advice I received from McInnes Cooper was really helpful as well. It was also great to have someone believe in me and tell me that it was possible for me to be successful. Entrepreneurship is like an emotional roller coaster so having someone there to help you through the low points is crucial.”
What made you want to enter this market? /What spurred your business idea?
“Seeing untapped potential has always been frustrating for me. I became a leadership coach to help people tap into that potential and make things happen for themselves and also for the organization where they work. When I worked in the corporate world (I worked in marketing for 15 years), figuring out how the people all fit together was my favourite part of the job. My Re-ignite your Ambition program was inspired by an article I read in Chatelaine Magazine last year. It said that 83% of women in Canada were somewhat or not really ambitious, and 2/3 of them would not take their bosses job even if it was offered to them. These statistics shocked me a bit at first, but then they inspired me to do something about this. Everybody is talking about the gender gap these days, but if 2/3 of us are not even open to the idea of stepping up into a leadership role, this gap will never close. This program is my contribution to closing the gender gap and making organizations and our culture better for everybody. It’s taking an elephant sized problem and helping people see that as an individual they can contribute to the solution.”
What has surprised you thus far regarding your experience as an entrepreneur?
“The thing that surprised me the most is how open large organizations are to working with me. The world of executive coaching and leadership training is dominated by large established consulting firms, and most large organizations already have a relationship with one of the big ones. I didn’t think I’d be able to compete against these large consulting firms and get a big company as my client. I have to remember that all businesses are run by people and if you can connect with the right people, things will happen and bigger does not always mean better. This surprise was pretty amazing, and it’s given me the opportunity to think even bigger about what else I can create.”
How has your business adapted/changed since first starting?
“When I first started out, I was pretty general in the type of work I did. Once I started focusing on women’s leadership coaching, I realized that it was a niche I could focus on and really have an impact. The market was looking for opportunities like this, and to be honest women are just tired of waiting for things to change. I still have clients that are men, but most of my marketing these days is geared towards my women’s programs. Being more ambitious is appealing to everyone, and it is great for organizations to be able to tap into the potential of the people they have.”
What has been the most rewarding aspect of owning your own business to date?
“The stories I hear from my clients. When people tell me that they’re getting promotions, when one of my clients bosses tells me they like the new confidence and risk taking that they’re seeing, when someone who hasn’t spoken in front of a big group stands up in my workshop and presents, when a client goes from being completely overwhelmed to feeling happy at work, when my clients boss goes out of their way to get them a raise. When people start to believe in themselves and step into their potential amazing things really happen, and the most rewarding part of my work is that I get to witness this all the time.”
Andrea Janzen MBA, CEC