[ Belgium ]
Journalist passionate about sustainable tourism
Founder of EcoScapes, sustainable retreats planning service
My name is Yana, I’m currently living in Belgium and I’m the founder of ‘Ecoscapes’: an eco-conscious retreat planning service. In other words, I offer research and logistical help to coaches and online entrepreneurs who wish to organize retreats abroad. The aim is to not only offer transformative retreats to clients and participants but to also have a positive impact on the country of destination and the people they’re staying with.
Eco tourism is important nowadays due to its transformative impact (empowering communities, supporting various projects, protecting ecosystems,…) which isn’t something traditional tourism generally offers. Moreover, I realized that many people are actually open to the idea but don’t really know where to find trustworthy information or have enough time to research it. This led me to wanting to connect the dots and working with coaches and entrepreneurs as they tend to have a more open-minded and holistic vision. They’re also more open to change and keen on finding sustainable solutions.
Before working with Solène, I worked as a journalist and was used to traveling a lot. I also researched sustainable tourism as I always aspired to contribute to the world and make it a better place. Journalism helped me to achieve that but after a few years, I missed empowering travel. It’s therefore no surprise that ecotourism came into the picture as I also wanted to protect the environment. I later came across one of Solène’s articles and realized that I already had the main idea but didn’t quite know how to transform it into a financially sustainable business nor lifestyle.
I was a bit lost and overwhelmed with all the information I found on the Internet but eventually found focus and structure thanks to Solène’s program. I chose to work with her because I could relate to her intuitive vision, personal story and the fact that she was living abroad (Istanbul). Her holistic perspective on entrepreneurship also resonated with me. Despite falling ill during our collaboration, I still managed to get offers and attract clients. I acquired tools in various fields and got results on a personal, professional as well as practical level.
The biggest change I experienced was on a personal level. Clearly I would not be where I am today if it hadn’t been for Solène and her mentoring program. My advice to those interested in doing the same would be to seek an outside perspective so as to no longer be lost or confused and take action a lot faster. Also, if you’re interested in a holistic approach, Solène’s program is the way to go! It’s a big added value not every coach offers.
I can only thank Solène again for her support on this transformational, personal and professional journey as well as her trust as she has decided to organize a retreat for her female entrepreneur clients in Greece this year with “EcoScapes”. Needless to say it’s a great honor indeed!
Discover Yana’s Website >> Ecoscapes.co
Look at Yana’s Instagram >> www.instagram.com/eco_scapes
Co-founder of a startup in circular economy
Founder of Teams 4 Purpose, guiding companies to activate their Corporate Social Responsability via the collective intelligence of their employees
Hello I’m Marena Eirich, I live in Paris and I’m the founder of “Teams 4 Purpose”. I help companies activate their CSR (corporate social responsibility) via intrapreneurship and the collective intelligence of their employees.
More and more people want to act on climate change to help create a more sustainable future in their private lives but don’t have the opportunity to do so at work. The program’s purpose is to make acting on climate change easier and bridge objectives, CSR and sustainability objectives with people’s day-to-day jobs. As we know, if you have a purpose and are happy with your job, you’re more likely to be engaged which is thus really beneficial for companies. One could say, a win-win for people-planet-profit.
Companies using intrapreneurship help people develop new skills, think differently, become more innovative. An American intrapreneurship institute states 3 major benefits of using intrapreneurship: new products and services, more market share and better performances. Basically, doing something good for the environment and the planet can also contribute positively to companies and their profit.
10 months ago I started Solène’s program after quitting a startup I had co-founded. I knew what I didn’t want but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I had worked many years in business, marketing and communication but decided to change my career and got a degree in sustainable business. I then co-founded a startup in circular economy but I realized that it wasn’t in alignment with what I truly wanted to do.
I did Solène’s (free) 10-day email course which made me realize that I wasn’t heading in the right direction. I eventually decided to work with Solène as someone had recommended her and after speaking together, I decided to invest in and for myself. I took the plunge as I wasn’t making much progress by myself and really needed help. We also both clicked which isn’t always the case with other coaches. What also motivated me was the fact that Solène was aligned with one of my values: Sustainability.
In terms of results after completing the program, I went from not really knowing where I was heading to having a business and knowing what direction to take. I have now created my website in French and English, and am working on the marketing and sales funnel to attract more clients. The major shift was seeing work as fun although I had always considered it as ‘painful’.
My advice would be: “Do not hesitate and invest in yourself”. If you want to launch your business, it’s also important to have a coach that guides you like Solène, so you don’t stay alone in your corner.
Thank you again Solène for your program and for also being transparent with your weaknesses. It’s very inspiring and I have discovered a whole new world.
Visit Marena’s website >> teams4purpose.com
Financially unsustainable activity with a “narrow” impact
Financially sustainable activity with an exponential impact
My name is Lidy, I am 32 years old and I live in the southwest of France with my husband and two children. I am the founder of “La Petite Petite Fourmilière” which helps actors in the ecological and social transition, who are passionate and committed individuals, to implement their projects sustainably and efficiently, whilst still taking care of themselves.
I myself am an actor of the transition, I implement ecological and social projects so as to contribute to a better world. I experienced heavy episodes of over-activity and hopelessness, with the impression that I was giving everything without it going as well as I had hoped. When I started the mentoring program with Solène, “La Petite Fourmilière” was only a little over a year and a half old. I had just finished my website, which made me question myself a lot about where I actually stand. I panicked because I didn’t see how I could manage financially. However, I didn’t want to give up my freedom by going back to working as an employee.
I felt as though my activity was slightly “narrow”, but at the same time, I didn’t know how to add a touch of diversity while still feeling legitimate. Therefore, I needed to position myself as well as question myself about who I was offering my services to, because my understanding was that the actors of the transition didn’t have any money. I also had a lot of expectations in regards to my relationship with money because I felt like there was something “not clean” about it.
I was already part of a cooperative which provided me with support and guidance. This being said, while talking with Solène, I felt as though she was talking about a different way of doing business than the one I observed around me: more traditional with people who work a lot, who earn very little and who don’t necessarily have a very big impact.
From the very beginning of my activity, I got used to investing in what I thought was important: a cooperative, coworking space, training courses… The price of Solène’s mentoring program was rather significant for me, but I felt as though I just needed to go for it. I first signed up for a 3-month coaching period, and given the results I got, I pursued the adventure till the end! I took a leap of faith, a commitment that was also a way of forcing me to get out there, to sign contracts and find clients, because money would eventually have to be found somewhere!
The biggest change I have witnessed is precisely my attitude to money. Receiving money for something that I give to others with pleasure, which makes me feel good and which helps people, was really hard for me.
The mentoring also allowed me to make myself visible: I had wanted to write for a long time, and I now have a blog where I write weekly and where I receive a lot of feedback. This has allowed me to fine-tune my services so that it would be more in alignment with who I am and help the people I coach more effectively. I now have a better understanding of how I work as an entrepreneur and I have more clarity and serenity about the future of “La Petite Fourmilière”.
I no longer think about finding a job as an employee as I know that my activity is on the right track.
I had many fears that concealed my sole purpose: working specifically with my ideal clients, the actors of change. And there are very good results for the people I support!
It is important to see the big picture when it comes to your activity. However, doing so by yourself isn’t as effective as being accompanied by someone else. When you have a great idea and a beautiful energy, it’s a shame to “fiddle around” alone in your corner.
For my part, the investment I made in this mentoring program has already been refunded: a huge thank you to Solène!
Discover Lidy’s website >> La petite fourmilière
Discover her Facebook page >> La petite fourmilière communauté
[ Israel ]
Lawyer in Corporate Law
Life coach and founder of Julie Katz Coaching
My name is Julie Katz, I am the founder of “Julie Katz Coaching”. I am 33 years old, have 2 children and live in Tel Aviv, Israël. I am a Life Coach and I help women reconnect with themselves so as to have a more fulfilling life, a life that makes more sense to them and that allows them to have balance in all areas of their lives and feel good.
I previously worked in business law. I first worked for a law firm then a French multinational. Even though I excelled at what I did, I always felt out of place. While I was working in the United States 7 years ago, I met a woman who founded a dance movement for women: “Qoya”. It allowed me to let go, reconnect with myself and enter the world of female empowerment. I realized that by following a well-defined path, without thinking too much about who I really am, where I’m going, what I truly love and what drives me, I was slowly dying on the inside and I simply wasn’t fulfilled. When I saw that this was the case for many people around me, I thought to myself, “You have to do something about it!”
Before I met Solène, I was on parental leave. I had left the company to gain some perspective and think about what I would do next. I had several business leads, a start-up project and was even willing to give in to my fears when I returned to Paris, but I couldn’t imagine that! I thus decided to start my conversion by learning how to coach.
After two months of training, I was completely lost: I was extremely scared, all of my “saboteurs” resurfaced and the little voices kept on telling me that I would never succeed… I absolutely needed support at that particular moment. I could no longer back down as I really wanted to move forward. I was convinced by Solène’s mentoring program when I read the testimonies of other people who had worked with her: not only were there people doing environmental and social work, there were also people who did personal development work!
I needed to be guided through the entrepreneurial adventure. I am very independent and autonomous, but I had no idea where to begin. I wanted someone who would help me go through the stages of creating this activity one step at a time. I also wanted to find the right combination between “Qoya” and coaching as well as do something with each of these two activities. I had savings and therefore the possibility of investing money at that time. I thought it would be a worthwhile investment as I could build this business on a solid foundation.
When I signed in for this mentoring program, I really had a change of mind: I had actually cut the rope that tied me to the possibility of backing down. I said to myself, “I really want to start coaching so I’m going for it!”
Today I have defined my project: I know how to combine coaching and Qoya, what my mission is, what I want to do and how to do it. I have a Facebook page, a website and a weekly newsletter! For someone who had difficulty selling themselves and spreading the word about their project, I was however able to move forward while putting my fears aside thanks to the tools I received. I am now ready to welcome clients for the new school year!
I realized that I am able to do many things, much more than I initially thought. I also improved my relationship with money. When you want to help others, you often don’t really know what price or value your activity has. It helped me a lot. It would have been a lot more difficult if I had done it on my own. Investing in yourself allows you to go further, faster and better. For me, support is essential.”
Discover Julie’s Website >> juliekatzcoaching.com
Employee in international communication
Founder of “Good Habits”, for a better world a beterter world
I’m Anne-Laure, I am 37 years old and I live in Paris. I launched “Good Habits”, a project in sustainable fashion, in B-to-C educational aspects and B-to-B support in brand building.
I studied design and worked in various fashion-related institutions. A long time ago, I also kept a blog where I showcased my outfits. Fashion has always been a part of me. I just love the cheerful, colorful side of fashion, not the minimalist aspect we usually find in this sort of project. Nowadays, it is still not easy to look pretty while respecting certain values. When I realized that there was a huge educational work to be done, it was a great “hurray” for me because it’s something that fascinates me!
I had had my fair share of different jobs and I was trying to find myself. I had launched a brand of scarves made in France, without realizing that I was already making sustainable fashion! Sadly, I had to put this project aside for personal reasons. I then got a part-time job in international communication. This job did not suit me and it was supposed to be temporary, but I eventually stayed there for almost 4 years.
I was still working when I started Solène’s mentoring program. I needed structure, discipline and tools. Not just motivational coaching, although I learned that it is important to work on our mindset. I did Solene’s free business model course, and after exchanging with her, I felt like she was the person to work with and no one else. I’m glad I trusted my gut. We worked seriously together without taking ourselves seriously and did so with a sense of benevolence. I had some money aside to finance this mentoring program.
In my previous business, I found that I lacked ambition in trying to spend the bare minimum which didn’t help me move forward. I learned that taking calculated risks was more important than being trapped by fear and saving money “just in case”.
Determination and clarity are the two points where I made the most progress thanks to this program. I almost “fell off the wagon” recently and reconnected with the initial work I did with Solène, which helped me stay on track. I feel like I have structure thanks to all the necessary basics. I’m currently busy with a first client and it’s going well! My website will be launched in September, and I have several contacts with prospects. Solène has helped me move forward without trying to be perfect for trying to reach perfection hinders progress.
I realized that entrepreneurship isn’t something terrible, tiring and with which you no longer have a life. You can live the life you want and rationalize it to make it financially viable. I’m still in the early stages, but I have gotten rid of many blockages and I’m able to see all the potential. I now have everything in my hands. I have built all the foundations necessary for a wonderful “kingdom”! I also went through a personal transition: I did a lot of soul-searching and evolved on many different levels.
As of today, I’m in alignment with all areas of my life. Before, I used to be all about intention and was stuck in my comfort zone. But a “comfort zone” is often not that comfortable. I like to call it a golden cage. You have to know how to face it, follow your intuition, listen to your inner voice and no to what other people tell you.
Thank you Solène: Now I finally dare and fully embody my life as a “changemaker”!
Visit Anne-Laure’s website >> goodhabits.style
And join her Facebook Page >> goodhabitsstyle
[ Australia ]
Corporate employee in city planning
Founder of Earth Ethic
My name is Heidi and I live in Sydney (Australia). I have a background in environmental science, environmental management as well as environmental education. I took a detour for about ten years into urban planning and government policy because I thought this would be the best way to save the planet. However, a few years later, I discovered that I was wrong. I therefore decided, five or six years ago, that i wanted to start my own business in environmental education and sustainability.
Despite wanting to start my business, I was stuck in a ten-year corporate job. Yet one day, I stumbled across a documentary about plastic pollution in our oceans and I realized how urgent the situation actually was. It was a huge wake up call and a defining moment. I thought it was about time I took the first step and started my own business.
When I joined Solène’s program, I mainly hoped to know how to make a business out of educating people and marketing sustainable products because I really had no idea what it involved. I was basically after a step-by-step methodology. What made me work with Solène was the fact that I could relate to her and the information I found on her website. It was as though she understood my predicament as well as my fears and uncertainties about starting a business for the first time.
As I had enough savings and tend to be a firm believer about doing something properly, I had no problem committing to my project and investing what was needed. However, I still found it challenging to leave the corporate world after so long and let go of my financial security. Starting my business was a true leap of faith but I trusted the process and followed my heart.
I finally launched “Earth Ethic” this year ! It aims at educating primarily women aged 30 to 60 who are just starting to realize their impact on the planet. To do so, I am creating a series of time-saving courses that will help people to live more consciously in terms of consumption and waste. The first course focuses on food. It basically helps people make more sustainable, healthier and ethical choices around food so they will not only help themselves but the planet too. It is really about helping people transition to a more sustainable life. My courses primarily focus on the issue of plastic in the oceans. As our oceans are currently in a crisis, we must take massive and urgent action if we want to save them. The best way to do this is by reducing our use of disposable plastic.
I have learned so much and I could not have done it without Solène’s programs. They helped me on so many different levels and gave me the tools, resources and methodology I needed. They also taught me how to deal with procrastination and fears that stood in the way of reaching my goals! I now believe more in myself and am more positive about my business and future. If you are interested in starting your own business, go for it! Solène and her programs will help you stand on your own two feet!
Discover Earth Ethic’s webpage >> earthethic.lpages.co/conscious-food
Follow Earth Ethic on facebook >> facebook.com/earthethic
Freelance graphic designer
Leading a project to help those who want to overcome trauma with creative realizations
My name is Anne, I am 39 years old, I am french although I grew up abroad. I am developing a project to help people who have faced trauma (and don’t find the support they need in the traditional medical system) through creative realization.
During the past few month, the work we did together really helped me put my life’s journey into perspective. The past 3 to 4 years have been extremely rich and intense, as well as extremely difficult. Hardships were pilling up and overlapping : postpartum depression, harassment at work, as well as becoming a caretaker for my dad who became dependent. All this got added to an already full cup. I did not know anymore, where I belong.
When I contacted Solène, I knew I did not want to go back to being an employee or a freelancer, but I could not sort out my different ideas. I was stuck and did not know how to move forward. I did not know where to start. Because my professional life is important, I decided to invest in myself, in order to get efficient support.
Thanks to the 4 months of mentoring, I now have lots of clarity, less noise in my mind, less internal critic, which allows me to work more serenely, as well as concentrate my energy, my time and my creativity in one direction. I decided to dedicate my next few months to the concrete realization of creative projects, which will allow me to transform all that I have lived into positive and tangible things, and especially : writing a book. I will then be able to share this creative healing process with others.
Today, I feel confident. Even if there are still many question marks, I have definitely moved forward, and I know I will succeed at implementing my project, without denying who I really am. Finding a balance between my family life and my life as a women. As well as adding my contribution to a social cause, which is extremely important for me.
To all those who hesitate to get mentored to launch their purpose-driven business, I would say : don’t hesitate! Don’t let fear – of not being ready, of not knowing, of not being good enough – hold you from doing this first step. When I was full of doubts, turning to Solene and gaining her perspective helped me see I was in fact moving forward, it gave me reassurance on the progress I was in fact making. Getting support helps save a lot of time, and it is a wonderful present to do to yourself… and your future clients !
From being an entrepreneur overwhelmed with clients
To developing a new model for more impact without having to work harder
My name is Valérie de Minvielle, I live in Marseilles, in the south of France, with my husband and our three children and I’m a clinical psychologist. In 2015, I founded “Ma Juste Place” (“My Right Place”). It’s a different way of doing my job as a psychologist as I only work with women who I like to call the “Exhausted Wonder-Women”.
These are women who are either married or in a relationship, often with children, who want to succeed everything in their lives so badly (have smart children, a beautiful relationship, a meaningful job…), to the point where they end up wearing themselves out, forgetting themselves and burning out. I assist these women via Skype and help them reconnect with who they truly are in order for them to reclaim their power and restore peace within their families. But more importantly, I help them be able to give the world the best that they can offer.
Business wise, the first year was gradual, the second was very intense and during the third year, I couldn’t keep up with the demand. I simply had too many clients! I then asked myself how I could evolve. I couldn’t refuse clients. This idea was unbearable as well as counter-productive… I was facing one of my limitations and when that happens, I always ask for help.
I had already taken an online marketing training which had proven to be quite useful but I hadn’t been mentored on a strategic level. Yet, this was exactly what I needed. I wanted to gain some perspective and make use of the skills I didn’t have in the commercial field.
I had been following Solène for a long time but I didn’t feel concerned as I had never asked myself if I was developing a sociable or sustainable business. On second thought, I realized it was actually the case! After a few exchanges with her, I was reassured to know that this mentoring program was personalized and I would benefit from her business and strategic skills.
The three months of mentoring went by very fast. A portion of the results isn’t yet visible as the implementation of my new business model took me a while to create. In fact, it’s been active only recently! But I feel as though it’s a great model: I have understood how to deal with my flood of demands and how to better qualify prospects. It saves me lots of time.
I also used to work way too hard, lived the daily grind, which not only requires a huge energy expenditure but also isn’t mandatory. Solène helped me imagine another way of working and organizing my time so as to escape the daily grind and increase my customer capacity. The results are top notch! I’m much calmer, more inspired and I work more efficiently.
If you’re looking for a personalized and strategic mentoring program, go for it! It truly is one of Solène’s greatest talents. If you’re hungry to get to work, discover lots of new things and move forward, don’t hesitate!
Visit Valerie’s website >> www.majusteplace.com/
And join her Facebook Page >> www.majusteplace.com
[ Canada ]
From Nutritionist, Health Promotion Project Manager
To founder of Ecotourbox, creating eco-tourism gift boxes
My name is Anne, I am 32 years old and I live in Montreal, Canada. With my partner Thomas, we founded Ecotourbox & create eco-tournism gift boxes. Our ambition is to make it easier to enjoy green tourism in Quebec region.
What is important for me, in my daily lifestyle even, is to preserve health. And it is very dependent of our environment. With ecotourbox, we develop partnerships with small and family businesses which have a positive impact on the environment.
After having created my business legally, I started to create a fist gift box (called “foodie’s day trip”). The website was in progress, but I still had to create all the content. I was asking myself a lot of question, and needed tools and advises to better organize my time on a daily bases, as well as clear out the key steps I should focus on to reach my goals.
I needed to be mentored because I really wanted to invest enough time into my business, make it a priority in my life as a mom, and finally see some tangible results. I wanted to finish and launch the website, commercialize the first product, as well as develop the whole communication strategy around Ecotourbox.
I followed Solene’s blog and newsletter for around a year. The experience she shared really fitted with my own life as an expat & entrepreneur, which helped me take the decision to enroll into one of her program. I had some savings and decided to invest them in the launch of my business, including in this program that soon became vital.
Today and after 6 months of mentoring, the website and 1st eco-tourism box are launched. We had our first sales, which is a great tangible result ! We also launched the facebook page, and had one interview published in a local popular media, which is super helpful. On a personal leadership level, I know have a methodology to organize my time and focus on my top priorities. It is super interesting to benefit from Solène’s experience in order to put in implement tailor-made strategies.
To all those who are launching their own sustainable business, I would say : take the time to ask questions and benefit from the experience of those who have already been through the steps you are taking. Do not hesitate to get in touch with mentors who could support you, even just for a “discovery session” like I did with Solène. It’s a great first step that helps you gain confidence, and answers to the questions you might have.
Discover Anne’s website (in french) >> Ecotourbox
Join Ecotourbox community on Facebook >> over here
Strategic consultant at the Modernisation Ministry in Buenos Aires
Founder of EDENI, hosting Paris’1st positive Zero Waste bootcamp
Before starting the mentoring program with Solène, I was based in Buenos Aires and working as a strategy consultant for the Ministry of Modernisation on Smart City projects. I was feeling like, for political and societal reasons, I did not have the impact I really wanted to create. I refused an offer to become Deputee, and decided to turn away from politics.
But I did not really know what to do. I was scared to launch something on my own, and experienced the famous “imposter syndrome” so many women face. I looked for inspiration and testimonials online, and stumbled across Solène’s profile. The fact that she had done a Business School and used to be a consultant previously reassured me. I felt that if it was possible for her, it was possible for me.
What I looked for in joining the mentoring program, was to have a kind of “partner”, so I would not feel alone. I wanted to have benevolent feedbacks on what I would create, as well a be challenged when heading in the wrong direction. In the meantime, working with Solene was the best option for me. I wanted her to offer a watchful eye of my project, as well as co-create an offer that would really suit me.
I save around 2000 euros every year thanks to my Zero Waste lifestyle. I thought using this money to kick start my project was a great way to put all the chance on my side to be successful.
The main results I got out of the program, was first and foremost to be reassured during the launch phase of my Business! I had quit my job but did not really know where to start. Having access to tools & templates, training, and the skype sessions with Solene, plus the fact of being motivated my her, really helped me get going as I had no choice but moving forward. Once we decide to invest, we know we are bounded to a sort of contract “with ourselves”, and we HAVE to launch. This only is immensely valuable. !
To launch effectively, it is important to get to know ourselves on a deep level, and the exercises that Solene offers are extremely useful. She also helps with getting realistic and specific number-wise : it helps to have a more down-to-earth approach without feeling afraid either. We avoid being too idealistic, while being clear on our exact needs in concrete terms.
All this allowed me to reframe my project : I realized I could not adress all the need sof all the different potential clients at the same time (individuals, businesses, public authorities). I thus started with what was closest to my heart, and focused on individual citizens first. Today, there is an amazingly engaged community around EDENI, and 100% of those who experienced the bootcamp recommend it.
I really went full speed in order to offer a qualitative and professional service, and it really worked well. Beyond inquiries by individual citizens, I started to get invited to give conferences, interviews, and also workshops or consulting gigs for Businesses. I am proud to share that those who experience EDENI’s bootcamp reduce their waste by at least 50%. Beyond that, they gain knowledge, have a better quality of life, a better energy, and a new vision that they can use both in their personal as well as professional life.
The biggest change I experienced through the program, is to become a “real” Social Entrepreneur ! It’s kind of a big deal, to become a full time entrepreneur. I am now preparing to hire team members. Off course, not everything is perfect and there are concessions to make and for which one has to be ready for, however the satisfaction to do something that brings positive value on the planet, is priceless.
For those who are reading through this testimonial, what I want to say is : Go’ ahead and launch your Sustainable Business ! Don’t put your dreams on hold, because at the end of the day everything is always reversible. First, it’s really scary, but I realise now that I started on my entrepreneurial journey, that there is so much to gain in terms of personal and professional value.
I think it is very important to be mentored by a professional, and benefit from an external outlook – whether that is in an incubator, a coach or Solène herself. In most cases, we cannot get this useful perspective from our friends or family because they are afraid for us.
I remember one day, I almost wanted to give up… and just by reading the email response from Solène, reminding me everything I had already achieved thus far, helped me tremendously. I needed to hear it !!!
Be proud of yourself for willing to lead a business in a sustainable and responsible way. With Solène’s mentoring, it is possible. And last but not least, it doesn’t stop at the end of the program because you gain a network, a community.
Discover Hélène’s initiative and join EDENI’s community >> www.edeni.fr
Founder of Insegnanti Consapevoli
Back at the beginning of this year, I was thinking that I am turning 30 years old, I am not satisfied with my life, and I don’t want to live like this: I wanted to be one of those people who have an impact in the world. The fact alone that I decided to enrol on a program, to work on myself, and now I have something concrete in my hands: it is a big success for me. I am proud of myself !
After 7 years of living abroad, and teaching in Cambodia and Turkey, I realised that although I liked teaching, it was not my purpose. I also did not want to have a 9 to 5 job anymore, which is what lead me to the digital nomad field, as well as the social enterprise field: I really believe we can do business in another way!
Before starting to work together, I had this idea of focusing on social and emotional learning in schools, but I did not know how to do that. I did not even know if I should start with the children, with the teachers, with the parents, I just had a big confusion in my mind.
Thanks to the program, I gained more and more clarity: month after month my project became more and more clear. It has been a great journey, it was way beyond my expectations – and especially all the personal development tools that was in the methodology.
Now, I launched my initiative and it’s great: I am getting very positive feedbacks ! I am meeting with inspiring, innovative teachers who encourage me in spreading this new methodology in other schools. I am now part of a project to bring Positivity in Schools, which is a collaboration very aligned with my project and allows me to work with teachers in 10 classes in Italy. I am even attracting opportunities in my little Italian village, which I did not even think was possible!
I am very confident: this is my live’s mission, and so at the end of the day I can do mistakes, or need to learn how to communicate better, failure is not an option. I am so happy I took this leap.
I want to give you a BIG thank you for everything. I still use the workbooks and everything I learned in those 6 months. It was one of the best investment I made on myself and in my life. I am really grateful for the opportunity I had to work with you.
Without your structured process, I wouldn’t have gone that far within those 6 months. It was really really helpful.
Visit Mary’s website >> insegnanticonsapevoli.it
And join her amazingly supportive Facebook Community for teachers >> www.facebook.com/groups/1897479917201319
[ New Zealand / Saudi Arabia]
Successful career in Journalism, and especially in the Middle East
Co-founder of Mizan School – the 1st Impact Journalism initiative training Saudi Women to be published in the medias
We had an idea but I had no clue where to start, because the project itself is very large (i.e. change how the world sees Middle East) . Scalability is important, but you still have to start somewhere !
I joined your program as an investment in myself, to help me focus, and make the project up and running.
As a result, I have been able to find a way forward, which I think wouldn’t have been possible on my own. Also, it really speed up the process ! It was definitely a worthwhile investment.
Visit Lucia’s website >> mizanjschool.com
[ Israel / France]
Expat lawyer for an International Organization
Founder of Renaissance Career Impact & author of the book G.R.O.W. abroad
I decided to join your accelerator program as an investment in myself, to be able to transition from my current job, create an impact in other people’s life, and also make a living out of it so I can support my family.
Before we started to work together, I felt completely overwhelmed. I really needed to gain more clarity and strategic view. I needed a roadmap !
Now, so many things have changed!
A, I have a business.
B, I have a community.
And C, I know where I am going!
Without your structured process, I wouldn’t have gone that far within those 6 months. It was really really helpful.
Visit Rita’s website >>www.expatrenaissance.com
Join Rita’s community on Facebook >> facebook.com/groups/CareerMakeoverRevolution
[ Luxemburg ]
To founder of im-PRESSED, cold-pressed juice bar in one of the busiest work district of Luxemburg
Before meeting with Solène, it had been several years already that I wanted to quit the banking sector, which did not suit me. I had to take a decision, but it was hard to move away from what I was used to.
I needed a trigger, some help, to accept an realise that I could indeed do something else despite my past choices and experience. I needed to believe that it was not too late to do something which would have more meaning for myself, that would be more valuable for my own sake and the ones around me. Something more joyful, more fun.
I though “I need someone to help me in that transition, so that I can say goodbye to all these years in the banking sector and finally do something different.”
At the beginning of the program with Solène, I had a new idea every week, followed by ups, downs and tons of uncertainties. Thanks to the program, I persevered and finally found the idea of im-PRESSED. At first, I though about doing the cold-pressed juices at home, and deliver them to corporate offices. Then, it evolved as a friend joined the project, and we are now preparing to open a cold-pressed juice bar in one of the busiest work district of Luxemburg!
Ideally, we would love to open in February 2018. We found a shop space, and we are doing the (important) paper work to establish our company. We are also working on our business plan, and the practical details: what container (in glass!), what logo, what brand concept, what website… We also work on the financial part with an accountant.
Now, everything is so tangible. I don’t look back, I only look forward!
The biggest change in doing this program was to take my decision. There is definitely a before, and an after the program ! It helped me to close the chapter of my life as an employee, to learn how to think differently, and to be able to envision all the details of my project. It is so much more fulfilling.
I think that no one should hesitate to take a moment for themselves. At the end of the day, it really worth it because time goes by very fast, and when you spend your life doing something you don’t like or feeling lost, you become bitter, tired, unmotivated…
It is never to late to re-think important things. To try not to have regrets.
I am very optimistic for the future. Thank you Solène for your mentorship, and for answering all my questions – even the ones I felt were silly – even though they were not (as you helped me realise)! This is what help me to have a tangible project today.
Founder of the Cerle des Olives, artistic and intercultural activities adapted to octogenarians
I had been thinking about this project for a long time. I knew I wanted to do something to impact senior people, and that Social Entrepreneurship would be a great fit for that… but I had no idea what to do (and how to make it happen!).
I took advantage of moving to the south of France to quit my job and join your program “Launch your Sustainable Business“. I had found your website a while back, and I loved your authentic and pragmatic approach, plus the fact that you encourage entrepreneurs to get started on their own instead of wasting time trying to fund raise.
The most helpful part of your program actually surprised me : it is the “personal development part”. It was really helpful, especially in the first few months, to position myself as an entrepreneur and take the necessary time to really identify what I truly wanted to do, instead of trying to sell something right away. It really helped me to realise my potential, and feel capable to make it happen !
Thanks to the offer we developed together, and the multiple communication channels we are testing in order to touch elderlys efficiently, I was even interviewed for the local newspaper ! It is really encouraging to have such positive reactions and results.
Thank you for your mentoring ! It was a great experience. To those who wonder if they should join your mentoring programs or not, I would say to definitely have a close look, without over-thinking it either, especially if “the feeling” is here. At the end of the day, it’s the human connection that matters.
Join Clementine’s community on Facebook (in French) >> facebook.com/lecercledesolives
Follow Clementine on Medium >> medium.com/@clemdesolives
French independent psychologist for career agencies
Meaningful career co-designer
” Those 8 months really help me to kick start my activity. I knew what I wanted to do and I know – that I wanted that to be done online, but I didn’t know where to start. And I was afraid. I felt like I needed someone to hold my hand.
I had started to work for agencies, but I couldn’t find clients of my own. I really wanted to move away from Paris, and find a way to continue do my job alternatively. The fact that yourself you have launched your business from abroad has convinced me that you would be a good person to show me the way.
I did not want to feel alone in my project, but also I wanted to have a methodology in order to reach financial sustainability in eight months, while consolidating all the foundations.
In concrete terms, I finally managed to launch my own activity? I have a website and all the communication tools that go with it (a newsletter, a Facebook page). I finally have my first clients : today I have 4 clients who signed up for my services thanks to all the actions we worked on together.
I finally have today the life of a digital nomad and this as well is a very tangible results I got out of walking with you !
One of the biggest change I experienced is to finally be able communicate about my own professional viewpoint in my industry. That is something I wanted since a very long time, and I finally managed to get it out. I finally felt comfortable with the angle I wanted to offer in my services.
What I loved the most in the program, is your presence as a mentor. It gave me the freedom to try things, knowing that you would be able to bring your vision as well. I always found your advice very rich and to-the-point. I learned so many things !
I especially loved that client experience inside your program, which inspire me today in my own work. I really loved all the little details, like your emails that motivated me in the moments when I felt down, or for example the book and card that you sent me for Christmas – and that made our virtual collaboration a true human experience.
To those who hesitate to join your program, I would say to go ahead without any doubts! I am convinced that support is vital to go where we want to go, faster and further. Especially when it comes to creating an online activity, which definitely requires training. You absolutely know that topic, and it went way beyond my expectations on this very dimension ;) ”
Visit marie-Laurence’s website (in French) >> www.marielaurencedavy.com
Sales & Business Engineer in the Telecoms
Happiness at Work’ Impresario, Founder of Gemmosphere
When I discovered you, I just had finish a Skills Assessment, and I was asking myself a lot of questions about social and solidary economy, convinced that I had to find a strong meaning in what I was going to do.
When I joined your program, I already had a good vision of what I wanted to offer to companies (more happiness for their collaborators), but I had no offer, no legal structure. I needed to be supported, to receive help, and to share best practices with a like-minded entrepreneur. I knew that I had to invest that gift (to myself, and to my company!).
What I most liked in working with you, is your method and your way of preparing our strategy sessions. It’s very progressive, with reassuring steps, and above all a lot of kindliness. It really helped me to organize and define my goals. Without telling everything about your method, I find it extraordinary to look back and see all the steps we’ve achieved together.
Today, I am running my own company, with a legal existence, a chartered accountant, suppliers, customers, and this is a big, big change! It is a wonderful gift to be supported in this transformation. As entrepreneurs, we are often alone. It is nice to have someone by your side, who encourages you, stimulates you, who shares ideas and best practices with you.
I loved co-building all this together. This 6 months program was a catalyst: it gave me the opportunity to go faster and to save time. Time is very important when you are in a start-up phase. It is better to invest it to meet new customers, rather than trying to do everything on your own.
Visit Gemmosphère’s website >> www.gemmosphere.fr
Join Geraldine’s community on Facebook >> facebook.com/gemmosphere
[ France ]
I had just quit my job as a Project Developer in the artistic & cultural industry. It was an enriching yet grueling experience. I did not feel myself in this professional environment, and I did not have the impression to use my true skills and potential. I really wanted to explore new possibilities, and not as an employee!
My first idea was to support cultural projects in their administrative duties. I had the experience and the network: it was reassuring. But as soon as I did a first step, I realized I really did not want to move forward in that direction! I felt like going back to square one with only one certitude: my will to become an entrepreneur in something that would truly suit me. I had the feeling I had nothing left to loose. From then on, the magic of the internet allowed for our path to meet!
What really touched me is that you did not speak about competencies (which are only one aspect amongst many). You really look at the person herself, who she is, her wishes, her talents, to then go on to the outside world. I felt so much more possibilities with your approach, with no restrictions, and that was a perfect fit for what I was looking for: opening-up to new possibilities.
Then, I had “the feeling” when meeting with you for the discovery session, and I have not been disappointed!
From the very start, it was clear that I wanted to create my own business activity. Become an entrepreneur. All the rest was very unclear! I did not know what I wanted, I only knew what I did not want to do anymore. I had no specific ideas, or sometimes I had and was changing every 24 hour.
My main expectation was to check in for my true core wishes, strengths, my possibilities and thus define an entrepreneurial project that would be clear and stimulating. Something tailor-made for ME. I also wanted to have a methodology to follow, corresponding tools, and a much clearer vision on the feasibility / viability of my future project.
I got so many results out of the 4 months program!
From a very practical point of view: I indeed defined and validated my project (from scratch!), close to my heart, aligned with who I am and what I want. This project is now transforming into a very tangible activity, which opens up so many possibilities. I now have a clear vision of what action I need to do in order to move forward in the coming months, as well as a new work (and life) organization style that totally suits me.
These last 4 months also helped me to transform my mindset, to work on my fears and my doubts. I feel like I have seeded many grains during all those weeks with you, and I learned so much about myself.
The biggest change is very simply the distance I have “travelled” over the last 4 months!
When I think back at my situation then and where I am now, I find it incredible! The idea of developing a professional activity in which I could express my true self and in line with my values has been in my mind for ages, and yet, I never managed to transform it into a tangible project, with clarity and serenity.
The most important highlight has been this moment, when we defined what would really suit me. Unlike what I imagined, it was not something that came out of nowhere: it was inside me for a long time, and I had been developing it without even realizing. The program helps me to identify it, pay attention to that part of myself, and to uncover its potential. It also allowed me to realize that: it IS doable!
What I will remember is The excitement of each Mondays! That’s the day I was receiving my new workbook and I loved to feel the progress I was making, as I discovered my new “mission”. I also really loved the methodology itself and the tools you are offering: well balanced between inner work and practical steps. I found it really enjoyable! Following the program allowed me to be autonomous while keeping my motivation and momentum high week after week. Thanks to your support when I faced some doubts, I never got stuck and I managed to keep on taking action no matter what.
What I want to say to people who are in the same situation as I was 4 months ago, I would say: follow your heart! This program has been such an important step forward for me. There is clearly a before, and an after. I feel like I have never been closer to my “ideal life”. Joining a mentoring program allows you to save so much time and energy, so you can focus on what really matters. You’re less distracted.
You allow me to have a safe environment to evolve with serenity and indulgence, and your advices always were spot on.
A big, big thank you for this adventure!
Visit Elina’s website >> “La Bulle Exploratrice“, meaning “The exploring bubble”
[ France / Turkey ]
Marketing & public relations for major cosmetics brands
Founder of Imparfaites, an online training platform for women who want to adopt sustainable cosmetics
At the end of my studies, I was in front of a big challenge. Despite my interest for working in the cosmetics sector, I did not want to continue working for a big company – because the industry is too profit oriented and too competitive too. I always had in mind to start my own business one day, but I though I was too young… which turn out to be untrue, since I actually became an entrepreneur !
When I joined your program, I wanted to find my way. Do something I love, that suits me, that fits with my values, and in connection with like-minded people. And above all, something that would give me more freedom. Freedom to work at my own path. Freedom to live anywhere on the planet.
I decided to link my passion for cosmetics with my ambition to be helpful for people, through something meaningful and useful. Also, I wanted to share my own experience adopting organic cosmetics with other women.
The results have been awesome: in 6 months, I could do what I thought would have been possible in 5 years. I launched my brand Imparfaites, and I can finally share my values with like-minded people. Thanks to your support, I could face my fears: this project forces me to go in front of people and confront myself with their judgment.
Working with you was really enjoyable: you are dynamic, you always have motivating and sharp advises. You also know how to reassure people in case of doubts: the training is very well organized and methodical, which is very important at such an early stage. Thank you for those 6 moths, really, I absolutely loves your training!
Visit “Imparfaites” and download « antisèche » a gift to use eco-friendly cosmetics >> www.imparfaites.com
Follow the “Imparfaites” community on facebook >> facebook.com/imparfaites
You want the same results ? Take action!
[Mali/Senegal – France/Turkey]
Project manager in the international development (NGOs)
Founder of Kelen, an agency which promote contemporary African art at an international level
I decided to become an entrepreneur not to be left inactive after our family moved abroad due to my husband’s work.
When I decided to work with you, I did not have any specific project in mind. I knew I had nothing to loose, so I just grabbed that opportunity. In only 6 months time, I have launched my business project and I am so happy about it!
After a 12 year career in international development (NGOs), I wanted to continue support Africa but in an alternative, more positive way. With KELEN, I work at promoting contemporary African artist internationally. Beyond the fact of launching my entrepreneurial project, the fact of having to meet with so many people really raised my self-confidence. And that I find, is awesome!
Today, I feel that I have my own destiny into my hands. I find it very empowering, and motivational. Thank you so much, really, for the immense step forward you helped me to take.
To those who hesitate on getting started, I would say that you shouldn’t hesitate at all to get help. Especially at the beginning, it is so important to be able to move forward
See Daffa’s website >> Kelen – African Art Promotion
Follow Kelen on Medium >> medium.com/@artkelen
Follow Kelen on facebook >> facebook.com/art.kelen
[ France/Turkey ]
Responsable RH dans le secteur hôtelier, et expatriée depuis 2 ans
Fondatrice de MyHappinessLab, laboratoire en ligne qui aide les femmes à prendre conscience de leur potentiel grâce au développement personnel
Before I started to work with you, I knew where I wanted to go but I did not know how. Being an expat has made me aware of my resources in terms of personal development, and I really wanted to share them. I had wished to become my own boss in the past, and I felt ready.
I needed a flexible framework in which I felt free enough to exploit my personality, while being reassure by a proven methodology. I have a very creative personality and I don’t like to be forced to work into a certain direction. When I decided to work with you, I thought I was doing an investment in myself, for the long run.
The biggest return on investment has been to grow, and to gain self-confidence. It is such a wonderful transformation to go from a wish to a tangible reality! It would have been a giant mistake not to get the support of a professional, and to fall into the “giving up” trap, not knowing how to handle doubtful feedbacks from family (who rarely understand why giving up of corporate security!). Being able to surround yourself with the right people is very important according to me.
Thank you for this enriching experience, I really felt well taken care of during these 6 months surrounded with like-minded positive people! Thank you so much!
Visit Belkis’s laboratory >> myhappinesslab.com
[ Turkey ]
Early-stage entrepreneur, founder of Unique By Nature brand
Fully funded women-empowerment brand!
When I contacted you, I had started a croundfunding campaign to launch UNIQUEBYNATURE’s “Funding for Women International”. Unfortunately, after a few weeks, there was very few contributors. I knew I needed to change my communication strategy in order to increase traffic to my Indiegogo [croudfunding platform] page. But I did not know which new direction to take! I had already worked a lot on this project and I really wanted to make it work.
I had the intuition the campaign would be successful thanks to social media, but I did not know how to use them efficiently. Seeing you were active on social medias, I hoped you would be the right person to help me. We worked together during 1 month, and I was really astonished!
It was beyond my expectations. The audit report you prepared after listening to my needs was perfect. Detailed and rational, it was also easy to implement, showing step by step the actions I should do. I followed your advises and quite rapidly, I got more and more contributors for the campaign. Thanks to our frequent exchanges, I felt really motivated. A month later, I had reached my goal and raised 7,632 USD. Mission accomplished !
I strongly advice to work with Solène in close relation. There are lots of things to learn and nothing to lose.
Vist Sezer’s website >> uniquebnature.com
[ Mauritius ]
Marketing manager in the tourism industry
My one on one sessions with you, Solène, really helped me to focus on getting more clarity in creating my photography business, for it to be sustainable while enabling me to live my passion.
Getting your insights encourage me to target achievable goals and take action. We met at the right moment and shared the good energy to go ahead. You have been very attentive to my needs and strength as an entrepreneur.
I rediscovered self-confidence and know that my photography and design services are worthy.
Visit Stephanie’s website >> www.stephaniemanuelphotography.com
Follow Stephanie’s work on facebook >> https://www.facebook.com/stephaniemanuelphotography
[ Switzerland ]
Stay-at-home mom & expat wife
Founder Colourful Souls, fighting against consumerism by advocating for daily creativity by organizing local pop-up events
I chose to work with you because you are a like-minded entrepreneur having a social-impact oriented mind set. I saw you have experience building businesses, and found you dynamic, to the point, analytic and focused.
Thanks to your methodology, we have identified my key strengths and the profile of my potential business. We have identified and focused on my vision and mission. We have researched the market and the market segments to serve.
Setting goals and tasks from one session to another was a great help to direct my focus and get on with developing my ideas !
Solène is an effective business development professional who is passionate for the social cause and to help social oriented people and projects get off the ground. She is good in seeing areas of personal growth, gives practical advice and tools for daily organizational management obstacles and has a strategic mind set.
Discover Judit’s website >> colourfulsoulsbasel.wordpress.com
You want the same results ? Take action!
[ France / Turkey ]
Financial sustainability audit & recommendations
I was afraid not to be able to live from my business, because it is also my passion. I accepted little contracts here and there, but that did not allow me to generate an actual revenue. I though that since you managed to make a living as an entrepreneur without sacrificing on your passion and values, you are a good person to take advises from.
I really liked your structured approach. Doing the exercise sheet prior to the session really helped me to identify my problem. The solution you suggested during our strategy session was excellent. It corresponds to what I can actually do and what I love to do.
Now, I have build a great offer, and I know to who exactly I will offer it to. I have great foundations on which to build my business. Now, I am confident I can make a living through my work. Everything is so much more clear!
Thank you so much, compared to the price, I got so much value out of it. I’ll definitely recommend your services.
Visit Caroline’s blog >> dessinsdexpat.com
[ France / Turkey ]
Financial sustainability audit & recommendations
I launched my business a year ago and at first I had few contracts coming “naturally” to me through word of mouth… and then not much. I needed a structure and a methodology to have a long term vision for my business. I also wanted an external opinion, from someone who has been through the different steps already, and who could thus understand me.
I really loved the program, including before, during and after the session. And especially, your listening skills! You really quickly understood my situation and offer a tailor-made solution that was a perfect fit. Your method is sharp, clear, and with your humoristic “human” touch, that relaxed me in this stressful topic that is money. I now almost enjoy filling up my excel documents!
Thanks to your program, I realized I need a drastic change in my positioning and offer. The numbers just speak for themselves, and our conversation validated everything. Now, I feel so much more self-confident. I have a clear monthly goal I need to work toward. And most importantly, I don’t aim at surviving, but actually developing my business.
Discover Melanie’s work here >> www.moz-lalittleajans.com
[ France / Turkey ]
Financial sustainability audit & recommendations
9 months after launching my business activity, I knew I needed to change but I did not know what and where to start. It was hard to take a step back from it to have a clear vision… and there was also probably some personal limiting believes that blocked me.
I decided to work with you to benefit from your structured approach, and also because I wanted to feel less alone in front of all my questions! You really helped me to identify my limiting believes, and to take a step back from my business to have a more strategic view. I loved the simplicity of your approach (as opposed to how complex it was in my head). I was thrilled by your capacity of analysis and the accuracy of your tailor-made suggestions.
The #1 benefice from joining your program has been clarity in order to take the right actions. I know what to prioritize in preparation for my new launch in September. I also feel released. The changes will surely be beneficial for my business, and are actually quite simple and definitively doable.