Starting anything new can be challenging. Entrepreneurship* requires that you not only have a clear vision and plan, but also that you be flexible enough to modify your thinking in light of market realities. When you embark on a new path you learn more about your industry, your world, and yourself than you ever expected. There is joy in creation, but also a stretching of personal boundaries that will test you on every level. If you want to grow as a person – mentally, emotionally and spiritually – then entrepreneurship is the way to do it! Over the past 40 years II have founded, co-founded or advised over 20 startups and explored almost as many careers. I will help you take the first steps, show you how to avoid the ‘big mistakes’, and guide you to financial success. As an entrepreneur - in business or life - you must humble yourself to a long-term learning process. I will show you how.
*I define entrepreneurship as more than just ‘starting a company’. It is the process of creating something new in the world, even if it is simply a new career or life path.
I can help you:
Boost your confidence
Plan what you want to create
Manage stress and uncertainty
Hire and manage people
“Bottom line: I now have a successful, thriving business and the confidence to handle anything that comes my way!”
Rachel Katz Jewelry
“In a world where anyone can put up a sign and call themselves a ‘consultant’ or a ‘coach,’ KC is the genuine article.”
Principal and Founder
Cadence Research & Consulting
“Each tactic he suggests or business strategy he puts forth is based on his own experience. KC is the real deal!”
Kelly Straub Hull
Founder and CEO
During thousands of hours of coaching and years of direct startup experience , I have worked with just about every type of entrepreneur imaginable. Rather than sharing specifics (for privacy reasons), I have created some basic ‘archetypes’ that may help you see how we could work together. Each archetype may not be an actual client, but a compilation of a number of clients.
The VC Funded Startup
A dynamic, extremely intelligent, and aggressive founding team that needs an advisor to keep them ‘sane’ and on track. The pressure from investors is tremendous, and these three people find themselves pushing beyond their limits. The stress is driving arguments about everything from strategy to paint color, and it is affecting their performance as a company. If the dysfunction continues, the lead VC is going to intervene and replace the management team. I work with the CEO (and lead founder) to develop her leadership skills, and I work with the team to help them see ‘the forest for the trees’ in order to keep pointed toward the central vision. I also help the key players in the company develop communication skills that allow them to focus on quality work rather than petty misunderstandings.
An entrepreneur in her mid 30’s who is stepping out of a known career path in a stable industry to bring an exciting product to market. She doesn’t have the first idea of what it means to start and run her own company, but is smart, aggressive and willing to learn. She knows that this new venture is going to bring up all sorts of her ‘issues’ regarding safety, security and perfectionism, but she is willing to address them head-on. In short she is scared, but also excited. I show her how to build and execute on a business plan, and encourage her to explore and push through any resistance she encounters. She is willing to commit both her time and resources over the long term, because she knows that to build something great she must dedicate herself to herself without reservation.
The Fractious Partners
A small private company with two founding partners who are finding it increasingly difficult to work together. In the beginning they were best friends, but now they can’t stand to be around each other. Communication is poor at best, and the team is suffering from it. It is almost impossible to craft a clear vision or strategy as the partners seem bent on disagreeing about virtually all important decisions. I work with them to get to the root of the conflict and to communicate openly and respectfully. As their connection improves, I help them establish a working relationship where their differences are assets rather than distractions.
The Change Artist
A mid-30’s project manager who has realized she is in the wrong profession. She wants to take a big risk and pursue her passion for painting. She knows she is going to have to invest time in herself, and wants a coach to help her through her fear and uncertainty. Purpose has become her central concern – she wants to live a life where she can both make money and do the things she loves most. I help her identify her fears and move past the resistance that holds her back, allowing her to build her ‘courage muscle’. As she becomes more successful, I help her push herself to become truly excellent in every moment… to express her ‘highest possible self’ in each painting.
An intrepid learner in his late 20’s who has been on a spiritual path his whole life and who is looking for a coach to help him accelerate his career. He wants to love his work, make a good living, and also do as much good in the world as he possibly can. He is very smart and good at many things, but doesn’t want to settle for a career simply because he can do the job. Meaning is important to him, and so he is exploring all sorts of options with a courage and willingness to take risks. I act as his mentor and senior advisor, offering suggestions, helping him see the forest for the trees, and pushing him where he may be resisting his own progress.
Over the past 30 years I have founded or co-founded 6 companies (including a publishing firm, trade association, charity, technology company and consultancy) and advised over 15 more. I have written countless business plans, pitched VC’s, and helped raise over $50 million in capital. As CTO and COO of one of my startups, I oversaw the construction of one of the world’s largest private technology networks and managed marketing, sales and customer management efforts. Before becoming an independent consultant and coach, I worked with the people in my own companies to help them become more effective and successful.
My educational background:
- BA, Political Science, Ohio Wesleyan University
- Paralegal Certificate, Institute for Paralegal Training
- MBA, Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business Administration (UVA)
- MS, Management Information Systems, McIntire School of Commerce (UVA)
- MA, Spiritual Psychology, University of Santa Monica
- Dispute Mediation Certificate, Northwestern University.
This broad base of experience and knowledge enables me to relate to virtually anything an entrepreneur might experience in his or her work.