Hi, I'm Stephanie

And I believe that anything is possible

Hi, I'm Stephanie

And I believe that anything is possible

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Get your business back on track

Before you started your business, you were full of big plans and nothing but glass-half-full optimism.

You felt unshakeable in your determination. Maybe once you needed permission to show up, but not anymore. You’re one of the strong ones—once you set your mind on a goal, you make it happen.

At some point, your dream business hit reality face-first, and it started to feel really hard. You know you need help, but you don’t really know who to look for.

You refuse to take any more courses, and if one more business “guru” promises you a million-dollar launch, you’re going to punch them in the throat.

I’ve been there, multiple times (throat punching included). Whether you’re on the edge of a breakthrough or you know you need to level up. I’ve been there with my own businesses and with my clients. I’ve been there plenty of times, so I know I can help.

There’s always a way through—a direction and a path to success. It won’t always be easy, it might not be clear, but I’m here to get you on your feet, dust off your boots, cheer you on, and keep you on track. If you venture off your path, you’ll find me there, hands on my hips, pointing in the direction that you need to go.

I’ve been building stronger businesses for 20 years.

I didn’t have a typical childhood. Instead of Barbie and Ken, I grew up with circuit boards and binary logic. By grade school, I was building my own video games. I started my first business at 12 where I’d dress up as a clown and entertain sugar-stuffed kids at birthday parties. The kicker—I hate clowns. Intensely. But, business is business.

I started fresh out of university as a researcher working for a startup, building software that was ahead of its time. The great thing about startup jobs is that you can get your hands into everything. When I took on a marketing role serving a region with no customers, I pulled up my bootstraps and said, “Guess I’d better get some!” And I did just that. I sold our product all over the land because in a startup, you just do it.

After cutting my teeth at my first startup, I thought I’d jump head first into the dot-com boom where I managed the creation of a multi-million dollar web property and shepherded it through the bust. My 7-day-a-week schedule was both exciting and traumatic, and we all learned what not to do in business.

Like a fine tea, I’ve been steeped in small business.

I started my first “real” business (meaning I invested very real money) with my partner in 2007—a boutique consulting firm that built business solutions and designed transformation projects for big companies.

By most definitions, I was a success. But running a business on my own was hard. I knew only how to keep going, ramping up everywhere to try and stay above water. If things got tough, I’d just work more hours.

During this time, I birthed two babies, and could see burnout on the horizon as it got harder and harder to keep the pace.

I couldn’t do it anymore. I tried to power through the fatigue and the gnawing feeling that something wasn’t right, but it just wasn’t working. I was pinned against the wall and had to admit that this work was no longer supporting my vision or my goals.

I was so emotionally invested in what I was building that I never stopped to ask, “Is this right?”

I took a step back, and finally said, “There’s nothing more to do, I can’t be successful like this.”

I divorced myself from the emotional attachment of the business and walked away. I felt like an utter failure and questioned everything I knew.

I failed, but I won.

I began freelancing with small companies that didn’t understand how to be small. They wanted to behave like the big guys but hadn’t let their businesses percolate, found their differentiators, or watched their market. They rushed to appear like they were accomplished but couldn’t figure out why they were always on the verge of going under.

I tried to help, but founders sometimes don’t like to listen when they’re in the thick of their startup phase. I knew why their businesses were headed into the ground. And I knew I wanted to coach them rather than work for them. I could see exactly how they could shift to gain some traction and start growing.

I began my immersion in The Lean Startup and Lean Launchpad (thank you, Steve Blank), where everything came together and started making perfect sense. I became a practitioner of the Business Model Canvas and started leading my entrepreneur friends through strategy sessions and assessments to great success. I had a knack for seeing what they couldn’t because they were too close to their battles.

I was invited to work with the Entrepreneurship program at the local university as an entrepreneur mentor, helping aspiring startups figure out how to define, structure, and pitch their ideas to eventually become funded and birth their business babies.

After I supported a local startup accelerator and organized our first regional Startup Weekend, I knew I was hooked. I had to focus my future on helping small businesses grow.

Experience and grit—this time, I was doing it right.

I was also getting antsy because I’m an entrepreneur in my bones, with an itch that needed to be scratched. I used what I knew to structure a new business with two new partners, building software that filled a gap in the market.

We bootstrapped for four years, and despite being scoffed at by investors and advisors for not asking for money, we stayed the course, listened to our guts, and are happily enjoying a profit-rich business that’s taking off like a bullet-train. I’ve learned to trust my intuition and experience and stick to what feels right.

Small business owners now come to me to help them pivot and scale because of my experience, education, and pragmatic optimism.

 

If you’re ready to do the work, I’ll help you build a business to last.

What I know for sure

  • Making it harder doesn’t make it better. There’s no trophy for being busy, and spending more time on something doesn’t make it more valuable.
  • Businesses don’t run on Facebook likes. Businesses run on people and relationships, and a bulletproof plan.
  • There’s no online course, free download or checklist that will fix your business, especially if you don’t know what’s broken.
  • There’s no business problem, obstacle, or awake-at-3 am-again stress that can’t be solved.
  • The best person to help you break through to the next level is the one who has been there. I don’t talk about theoreticals or pretend everything will “just work itself out if you listen to your heart.”
  • I’ve had my head in the clouds and been stuck in the weeds—there’s no substitute for legitimate entrepreneurial experience when it comes to getting your business dialed in and working for you.

What I know for sure

  • Making it harder doesn’t make it better. There’s no trophy for being busy, and spending more time on something doesn’t make it more valuable.
  • Businesses don’t run on Facebook likes. Businesses run on people and relationships, and a bulletproof plan.
  • There’s no online course, free download or checklist that will fix your business, especially if you don’t know what’s broken.
  • There’s no business problem, obstacle, or awake-at-3 am-again stress that can’t be solved.
  • The best person to help you break through to the next level is the one who has been there. I don’t talk about theoreticals or pretend everything will “just work itself out if you listen to your heart.”
  • I’ve had my head in the clouds and been stuck in the weeds—there’s no substitute for legitimate entrepreneurial experience when it comes to getting your business dialed in and working for you.

My entrepreneurial path

1997

Started the first online magazine at my university. Still had to explain to people how dial-up works.

Jumped into the dot-com boom. Managed the creation of a multi-million dollar web property and shepherded it through the bust.

1999

2001

Tired of being mistaken for the CEO’s high school aged daughter, decided to go back to school and get an MBA.

Gained truckloads of real-life experience managing business transformation projects. Got really good at walking in heels.

2003

2008

Birthed a baby and a business. I’ve always been an overachiever.

Second baby arrives and spends the first week lulled to sleep by the keyboard. Regretting overachiever status. Burnout looms.

2010

2012

Babies grow from snuggly little love muffins to precocious small humans. Business grows from nothing to seven figures. I’m working all the time.

Exit the business and return to corporate consulting. Tried to power through the burnout and failed. Birthed my next business, determined to do it right.

2014

2015

Begin formally mentoring entrepreneurs. Discover my superpower; quickly uncovering the true source of a roadblock and creating the strategy to fix it. This results in testimonials like these:

I came to Stephanie with my big ideas and my passionately crafted work. I had a general idea of the direction I was moving in my business but I wasn’t sure how to bring it all together in a way that made sense. She helped me lay it all out, identify the missing pieces, and develop a strategy to take my business to the next level. I was excited about my business before, but now I actually believe that it is going to be AMAZING!

Sarah Carr

Financial Planner & Therapist

I was feeling very lost and confused and uncertain about the best way to make the shift. Stephanie seemed to really understand where I was coming from. I had the sense that she had experience and knowledge that would be very beneficial in my current position. I think any entrepreneur feeling stuck and uncertain about how to best move forward in their business would greatly benefit from a session with Stephanie. I have a feeling that if I hadn’t talked with Stephanie, I would have been stuck for much longer.

Elizabeth Cooper

Creative Coach

2017

Officially open

Stephanie Hayes Business Coaching

What’s next

My passion for entrepreneurs runs deep. I believe strongly that this is the way of the future, and that being independent leaves more room for creativity, innovation, and happiness. I am committed to showing those that are struggling that there is a way to their success and that they can do it.

With my practical, proven, no-nonsense approach, we can very quickly get you going on a low-stress, easy to implement plan that you understand and have helped create, so you can embrace it and own it with your hard work and determination. I work with you for as long as you need support, helping you stay on track and reach your goals.

If you’re struggling to see your way through, or are excited to take your business to the next level, schedule a FREE 30-minute discovery call and tell me where you’re at, what you’re struggling with or what you dream to be.

Get Down To Business

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Sign up for the Get Down to Business newsletter and I’ll send you weekly articles, tips and tools that you can use on your entrepreneur’s journey. I promise not to fill your inbox with anything other than useful, actionable, timely stuff.

Get Down To Business

You've been looking for a lifeline - here it is

Sign up for the Get Down to Business newsletter and I’ll send you weekly articles, tips and tools that you can use on your entrepreneur’s journey. I promise not to fill your inbox with anything other than useful, actionable, timely stuff.