Valerie Martinelli is CEO of Valerie Martinelli Consulting, LLC. She is a Business and Leadership Coach, plus an HR and Management Corporate Consultant. Valerie is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council. She founded and hosts #InnovateWomen, a monthly Twitter chat that discusses issues that affect women, specifically in the professional workplace — covering topics like gender diversity, confidence, equality and innovation.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I was motivated by the way women are mistreated in the workplace and our lack of confidence to stand up for ourselves and follow our dreams. I wanted women to know that there is more for them out there and if we work together, we can help them meet their goals and define success on their own terms. I dealt with this myself and was motivated for women to also find the confidence for their career fulfillment.
Tell us about your business.
My business covers both and Coaching and Consulting needs. My coaching services are for women who are afraid to believe in themselves and what they can do professionally. It isn’t necessarily about becoming an Executive – it’s about thinking like one. I offer confidence coaching, leadership, and strengths development.
I coach savvy entrepreneurs, executives, and consultants who may not be confident in their next career move after being in a toxic workplace or dealing with a lack of fulfillment after having children and returning to the workforce. I enjoy coaching women who are serious about their careers because they do not shy away from learning what to ask for and how they can find fulfillment.
My HR & Management Consulting services are for corporations who are seeking to understand how they can boost the gender diversity in their workforce, empower more women into executive level positions, and have more fulfilling careers.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Any reader who emails me, contacts me via social media, or inquiries about services will receive a list Top Tips To Enhance Your Confidence via email.
- Member of the Forbes Coaches Council
- Expert for Women’s Media Center She Source
- Masters in Public Administration (May 2014)
- Author of numerous blogs
- Run a women’s mentorship program and gender equality initiative called Innovate 50/50
- Host a monthly Twitter chat that discusses issues women face in the workplace
Where is your business based?
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Before I even filed for my business license or completed any of that paperwork, I spent a lot of time networking. I knew for a bit that entrepreneurship was the direction that I was headed in, but I wanted to ensure that I had the support system I needed in place. I made a lot of connections and it paid off because I built some strong relationships. I also learned that it doesn’t hurt to ask for to help if you return the favor.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
I use social media a lot, specifically Twitter. I would advise any entrepreneur to use it raise your brand awareness. Get involved doing Twitter chats and engaging others so they learn who you are. By the same token, I also joined some Facebook and LinkedIn groups as well to do some additional connecting.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
I feel like we’re living in such unique times. My biggest challenge came following the Presidential election. It was very difficult to ask women to come forward and want to be coached. Many wanted to forget what had just happened and didn’t have faith that we could overcome the turbulent times that faced us. Since then, my challenges are still unique. I am currently working on ensuring that I do not have too many coaching clients at one time so that I can continue to build out each service of my business, including the consulting and speaking divisions. I also don’t consider myself an extrovert, so it’s not easy for me to jump behind a camera and start chatting.
How did you overcome these challenges?
Luckily, I have a team of professionals that work well with me and understand my weaknesses and my strengths.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I stick with people I love who believe in me. I don’t allow negativity to take up space in my life or my mind. I run for 30 minutes about 5 days a week, which also helps maintain a positive mood and motivation and try to get as much sleep as possible.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Many of my competitors are not concerned about the gender gap and do not offer confidence coaching to women. I don’t just prepare my clients for a job; I prepare them to conquer their careers with confidence and courage.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Not to take a failure to heart. Always do your best and give your clients your best, but sometimes failure results. The best thing to do is to re-calibrate and start over. Don’t let yourself get bound up in what just happened.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Follow your passion, be yourself, and make your own mark in this world. I see far too many entrepreneurs who try to be like each other; there is so much room in this world for your own creativity and to make a difference.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
I love tools that help keep me organized!
- Asana is fantastic for project management. It can be used individually or as a team and as an app on your phone or tablet. It helps keep me organized, which is a small feat!
- Zipbooks is great for accounting.
- Hubspot for a CRM.
- Calendly links directly to your Google Calendar.
- For social media, I use Buffer and Kittr.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I just started “Option B” by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. I think that it’s important to learn how to face adversity and be resilient at the worst times in our lives because that is when we have the opportunity to grow into the strongest people possible.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am currently learning more about the value of ads and incorporating the use of video.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goals are to:
- Complete a partnership I have had in the works
Begin more consulting work
- Work on bringing more of myself into my business.
Being an introvert, I think that sometimes it makes it difficult for people to get to know me.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.