HOW TO FIND YOUR PASSION AND MAKE MONEY DOING IT
Interview with Leah Glover-Hayes
We recently chatted with Leah Glover-Hayes, founder of Nashville-based Her Story of Success, an organization designed to help women define and find success by pursuing their passion. We talked about how she started her business, the challenges she faced while pursuing her dream career, and the lessons she’s learned along the way. Leah hosts a podcast, is a public speaker, panel moderator, and engagement consultant. Read our edited conversation below.
NFICA: Why did you start Her Story of Success?
I started working when I was 12 as a babysitter. I didn’t finish college, but everything that I’ve learned through serving, bartending, and being a flight attendant led me to get all the jobs that required a college degree. I knew how to work. I knew how to bust my ass. And I started to learn that I’m good at customer service and I’m good at helping people make decisions. Adults would tell me their life stories. I would hear all the time, “Oh my God. I’ve never told anybody that.” I care about mentorship. If I asked a successful person to meet me for coffee, I found a lot of people saying yes, and I thought,” Wow, I’m onto something.”
Successful people want to give back. They want to help others succeed. And if they’re willing to speak to me, I want to help other people have access to that. Many women don’t have access to the women that I get to talk to. And so I decided to start a podcast on that and then decided to make it my full-time business. That’s how Her Story of Success came about. Now I get paid to help people have conversations.
NFICA: In what ways does Her Story of Success help its clients?
I work with some corporate clients, and I provide interview events for them. So these companies will hire me to host events where I’m interviewing one of their top clients. And we have this conversation about how they got there, what they do. It’s a fun conversation. And then we’ll break it out into breakout sessions. These companies will get to have their people lead each of the breakout sessions so that they have direct interactions. So that’s one thing that I do. And then we offer podcast sponsorships for people who want to connect with an audience.
Now that I have come into the business world and have had some success, I’m so focused and passionate about helping other people find their confidence. When people are in that crossroads of life saying, “I don’t know what I’m passionate about, I don’t know what I want to do next,” I always try to ask, “What made you happy when you were six to twelve? What’s the goal? Let me show you why you can achieve what you want to get done. “
NFICA: What were some of the challenges you faced while getting your company off the ground?
Honestly, the challenge of getting off the ground is understanding what I wanted to do and what I wanted to offer at scale. Because a lot of new businesses start out saying, “I’ll do whatever you want me to do.” So, really, I had to figure out who we were as a company and what we wanted to offer, and how we wanted that to look. Then, I realized that my values as a person have to be the same values that I put into my company. And then when I start working with a client, do those align? So the challenge was owning my voice and owning my beliefs and values, and being able to stand firm on that and say, “This is who I am. I might not align with you.” And letting clients say goodbye.
NFICA: What is your advice to women looking to start their businesses or advance their careers? What’s the first thing they should do before anything else?
I would say get honest with yourself. If you want to start a business because you’re not happy and want to be your own boss, you need to pause, and you need to figure out what you want to do and what you want your life to look like. What lifestyle are you looking for? And then what is it that you want to spend your time doing?
Because a lot of times, when you start a company, you’re not actually doing the thing that you set out to do. You’re beginning to hire people to do that because you’re trying to grow a company. I would start interviewing people that are doing what you want to do. Do you know other business owners? What challenges are they having? What conversations are you having with your friends? When you pursue something that you love, the one thing that I always say is find the people doing what you love.
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