by Jenn Kampmeier
Lynn Zettler always felt that she had more to offer the world than what she was offering in her corporate job. “Having gravitated to personal and professional development programs throughout my career, it became crystal clear to me when I read an article about professional coaching that I could contribute more by helping others through coaching.” She launched LifeAction Coaching in 2006 while she was still employed and provided coaching for her clients in the evenings. In 2010 she decided to take the leap into business ownership and has never looked back.
“LifeAction Coaching, Inc. is a full service coaching firm which offers team building workshops, professional and personal development workshops, assessments and coaching for business teams and individuals, and one to one coaching for executives, small business owners and professionals. LifeAction Coaching also offers a specialized coaching curriculum for patent professionals and managers which includes IP portfolio strategy development for their business.”
When asked about her involvement in the community, Zettler certainly keeps herself very busy, and very involved. “I am currently the President of a coaching non-profit called A Hand Up Coaching, which provides coaching to women who are enhancing their lives and increasing their standards but don’t have the resources to pay for coaching. We have an army of volunteer coaches and we match them with deserving women who come to us from our affiliates, such as Dress for Success or PreVail. I am also currently working with a group of Eritrean refugees (Eritrea is a small country located just south of Ethiopia, www.freeeritrea.org) who live in Nora and are acclimating to our American culture. I am coaching one of them as he initiates a professional cleaning business, which will provide jobs for refugees as they enter the Indianapolis area. I am also the new chair of the membership committee for the National Association of Women Business Owners here in Indianapolis and President of Infoconnection2, a mastermind networking group. I also volunteer in the Carmel school system to present a module on inventions and patents for 5th graders.”
This is the first business that Zettler has ever owned; I asked her what she thought about leaving corporate America, and being on the other side. “It has been an eye opening experience after leaving the perceived security and constancy of a corporate job. It has been invigorating and challenging all at once. It’s amazing to me how many business owners there are who are out there ‘making it’ on a day to day basis. They have an energy and spunk like no other and I learn so much from them in my networking and coaching encounters.”
What has been the greatest challenge for Zettler? “My biggest challenge came very quickly in learning what activities were worthwhile and which activities were not. When you are first starting out you feel like you need to do everything or you will miss an opportunity. However, very quickly you see that you could fill your whole day with networking meetings and not have any time left to actually do any paid work! One way to do that is to get very clear about defining your perfect client and mission critical activities. You have to make some choices and you need to learn to say no to a lot of things. It’s a real learning process.”
As a coach, any advice for someone wanting to start their own business? “First, get very clear on your customers and mission critical activities. If you are a new business owner who is still wearing all of the hats, don’t be afraid to get creative with your delegation or outsourcing. Would it really cost you that much to have a virtual assistant, bookkeeper or publicist who will free up time for you to focus more on sales? Many times we focus more on the cost than on the benefit, and in reality, the benefit brings exponentially more value.”