We had the good fortune of connecting with Kourtney Thomas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kourtney, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
For me, it was twofold: First, I had been working in a facility as a relative newbie to my industry, and over the course of two years of learning and gaining confidence, I also got a clearer picture of what my own philosophy was, who I really wanted to work with, how I wanted to help people, and the kind of difference I wanted to make in the world. That was not in line with the ownership of this facility, and I knew it was time for me to move on. Second, I realized that I was making about a third of the session fees being charged to my clients, and I could actually make the entire fee on my own!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I help women find their own inner Dolly Parton. Through guided self-discovery work and coaching, I help women see themselves so they can trust themselves in every choice they make for their bodies, lives, and businesses. From an offering standpoint, that looks like mindset and body image coaching 1-1 and small group, as well as speaking and workshops. What sets me apart from others is that I’m not others. Sounds simple, but there are a lot of businesses out there who are just a slightly tweaked version of someone else. I believe my philosophy stands out too – I’m not here to tell you what to do, but I am here to help you figure it out for yourself, with all the support and accountability you need, your way. Because on the daily, everyone needs the blunt (but kind) reminder that the only “right” way to do something is the way that works for YOU. I’m always most proud of the seemingly small interactions and lightbulbs that make big mindset shifts and life changes for clients. Those little things are the things that get me the most excited, and that keep me excited about creating change in the world, together. My business journey has very much been an evolution. I went from in-home personal training and online fitness programming, to life and mindset and career coaching, to a place where all those things intersect. At times, it has felt easy, like the most natural thing in the world. At times, it’s been so frustrating, it’s brought me to tears. And what I’ve learned through all of it is that you have to trust yourself, first, and you already know what you’re doing. Every single time I pushed for something I thought I should be doing, tried to do something because that’s the system that worked for everyone else, every time I ignored my gut and what I knew to be true for me and my values, I ended up in one of those super frustrating places. But every time I trusted my gut, my experience, my expertise, my process, things came together and I saw excellent results in exactly the way I wanted to see them. I always get through the tough times by pausing and reflecting and taking the smallest, next, best step. I think the biggest thing I’d want the world to know about me and my brand is I believe wholeheartedly in the continual combination of self-compassion and self-discipline, in the incredible power of conscious choice and self-trust. Everything I am, everything I’ve built, everything I do, is built on that foundation, and it has totally changed my life for the better in the last ten years. As my role model, Dolly, says, “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” It’s not always an easy road, but it sure is worth it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m still getting to know the area a bit, and COVID definitely doesn’t help! Plus I’m kind of an old lady and not much of a going out gal, haha. If a friend came to visit, I would definitely take them to Denver Biscuit Company, like three times. Probably Aviano Coffee in Cherry Creek. Sweet Cow Ice Cream at Stanley Marketplace. I’d take a stroll with them in Cheesman Park and down at Bible Park. And to see the sheep at Waterton Canyon. Maybe a little walk around the shops in The Highlands. Oh, perhaps a kombucha at Nurture 🙂
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This shoutout is dedicated to every single person who’s said yes to my coffee date invite for the last three years! My community is so rich and meaningful, and I wouldn’t be where I am without everyone in it. Especially dear to my heart, soul, and business are my husband, Marty; Katie Silversmith and my ThriveCo family back in St. Louis; my not-perfect podcast partner, Emily Rau; my forever mastermind friends, Dacy and Becky; and my life role model, Dolly Parton.
Alecia Hoyt Photography