We had the good fortune of connecting with Gretchen Cleveland and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gretchen, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
After a decade as a corporate attorney, I was ready to work for myself and be the person making the big decisions. I primarily wanted more control over my time and where I lived. I knew I was creative, resourceful, and financially stable enough to try it out. After a year of planning and prep, I took the leap and started a coaching business.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m an online business manager and business strategist, and I get super pumped about helping women figure out what works for them and reflect that in their business. So many online business owners try to do what influencers or other seemingly successful business owners do, and it doesn’t work for them and they can’t figure out why. I’m good at tapping into their feelings to help them follow their instincts, and I especially love when we establish the type of open relationship where I can coach and mentor them through their business growth to help them stay authentic to themselves. In a funny way, this role closely mirrors my career as a corporate attorney. I had my own internal blocks and resistance from my years in practice and had wanted to run as far away from this type of business as I could. I initially started my business providing career coaching, which ultimately didn’t light me up and left me feeling lonely. Only when I was nudged to re-evaluate how I could serve and came into the OBM space did I see that I wasn’t being true to myself or honoring my path. Not only am I in a role that’s a much better fit for me now, but this was such a pivotal lesson that it’s now the type of work and change I aim to bring to my business clients.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a homebody with a sweet tooth, so my friends who visit me know we’re going to get FoCo DoCo for breakfast, some Bindle for a coffee break, Ginger & Baker for dinner, and Poeme Macarons for dessert at home. We’ll probably go on a hike to Horsetooth or just walk around Old Town and take in the street art. If we have enough time, we’ll sneak in some massages and facials at Sanctuary Spa. Chill and relaxing!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are a few key communities who helped me get here. First, of course, is my partner, who supports me even when the unknown makes us both nervous. Second is the in-person mastermind I joined in Fort Collins, headed by Lindsay Roselle and Women& Inc. I met an incredible, encouraging, smart group of women who helped me figure out how to set up my business and have continued to cheer me on. Third is an online mastermind I joined toward the end of 2020 through Amber Lilyestrom, where I gained the insight and courage I needed to pivot my business as well as several new, lifelong friends. I also have a number of organic mentors who’ve stuck by me for many, many years and who always serve as reliable and honest sounding boards.
Jennifer Little (same credit for both)