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It began with mistakes.

The mistakes from my own entrepreneurial journey were the seed of my passion for coaching businesswomen.

As a professional coach partnering with leadership development firms, I coach many corporate professionals and executives at global MNCs across various sectors to cultivate creative leadership.

But my true passion is to help businesswomen redesign productivity so that they can spend their time and energy on things that matter the most while reaching their goals.

This passion stemmed from my personal experience of starting a business as a solopreneur. Although I am thankful that I am now living a life that’s fulfilling and satisfying as a businesswoman, I paid the price by making some crucial mistakes in the first two years of my entrepreneurship. Let me share them with you today.

The mistakes I made early on

1. I lacked a clear vision for my business.

Of course, I had goals. But it mostly revolved around how much money I wanted to make or a list of to-dos. I thought I knew what I wanted to achieve, but, in hindsight, what success meant to me was still very vague. Because I didn’t have a clear vision of how I wanted to grow my business, I would take on all kinds of clients, projects and potential opportunities that didn't add value, but only scattered my energy and time all over the place. It left me without a substantial business return feeling exhausted.

2. I didn’t have boundaries.

Many of you understand how much work it takes to get an enterprise up and running no matter how small or big your business is. My mistake here was that I believed I should be able to do it all from creating a logo and building a website to filing taxes. Why hire people if I can do it myself? Also, I would answer to all of the opportunities coming my way regardless of whether it will help me accomplish my goals. My mantra for a while was never say no’. This did bring some opportunities, but my focus spread thin across so many different projects and the return was rather weak.

'My time and energy is prioritized for my business and family. I plan to develop and take care of myself when I have free time.'

3. I didn’t leverage relationships.

I was so focused on getting things done and ticking off boxes that I neglected to connect with others. Isn't a solopreneur supposed to handle EVERYTHING by herself, hence the prefix 'solo'? Hiring external help seemed ludicrous because ‘my revenue wasn’t at that stage yet’. So I was passive about reaching out for help, hiring an assistant or networking with people who could share wisdom and resources.

4. I didn’t manage my energy and stress.

Because I was so busy, I felt I didn't have any room in my life for things other than my work and family; a.k.a. me. In fact, dedication to my business and the desire to make it a success was my excuse for keeping my life in this endless loop of work, home, work, home. I was also very cautious about taking breaks throughout the day, on weekends, and on holidays. I didn’t know how to rest and recharge effectively just for myself, which left me feeling overworked and overwhelmed, and never rested enough. My sleeping and eating patterns were erratic. I was gaining weight. I was sitting in front of my laptop so much it was giving me backache.

5. I doubted myself.

All the while, I felt I was always 2% short in my ability and expertise. I felt my business would do better if I had taken an expensive course on social media marketing. At one point, I thought my schedule was not fully booked because I was only coaching women. Even after two years of heavy investment in coaching training, I sometimes felt guilty for getting paid a certain amount for my service. And the paralysis you experience when you start imagining ‘what if this doesn't work and I fail'! I tried pretty hard to mask my desperation, but unfortunately, it would rub off.

The worst in all of this was that the business results were lukewarm.

Are you carrying Productivity Baggage?

  • 'I have to do anything and everything it takes to reach my sales target.'

  • ‘My revenue is just not at that stage yet to invest in my growth.’

  • ‘My time and energy are prioritized for my business and family. I will take care of myself later when I have free time (which I rarely seem to get.)'

  • 'I'm not sure if I have everything it takes to run my business successfully.'

I realize these beliefs were deeply rooted in my past corporate experiences where productivity is typically measured for doing more, quickly and cheaply. I call these self-limiting beliefs around productivity 'productivity baggage' because we carry it into our entrepreneurship and let it drag and slow us down when entrepreneurship requires a completely different mindset.

"Productivity Baggage" is a set of self-limiting beliefs about productivity formed in the corporate years which are carried into your entrepreneurial journey.

Letting go of the baggage & embracing abundance

Once I decided to let go of the baggage, I established a vision for my business and my life. I invested in relationships rather than tasks. I figured out the values that guided me in my decision-making. I started looking after my body and mind better and proactively managed stress & energy, which helped me manage my time & money as a result. I decided to take charge of my personal and corporate leadership no matter how small and big my business was and become the author of my life.

In the end, I claimed freedom, balance, and confidence in every aspect of my life and business. 95% of the time, I work from home in my cozy functional home office. I have 2 furry animals living with me. As a single, childless, and free woman, I choose to support my ailing parents. I swim, take a walk, read regularly, and sleep about 7 hours per night. I have numerous hobbies - ok maybe too many - and always leave time for hanging out with important friends. I’ve designed my workload so that I can always prioritize spending time with my family. I'm also really really close to working four days a week. And most importantly, my business value is higher than ever! I don't care what anybody says. I am living a fulfilling life as a happy, free, authentic, and autonomous businesswoman, the picture of success as I envisioned for myself.

The secret is that I didn't do this alone.

That’s right. I hired a coach (or two) who helped me immensely throughout the journey. How empowering it was the moment I realized I didn't have to do this alone! THIS is what made me want to become a coach for businesswomen so that I could help others achieve the same!

Introducing Redesign Productivity

I designed my coaching program Redesign Productivity for Entrepreneurial Women so that you are not alone in creating and living a life full of energy and time for things that matter the most to you. I want to tell you more about it in the next newsletter, so please stay tuned!

Food for thought

Q. What productivity baggage do you carry?


Joon is a Productivity & Leadership Coach based in Korea. She is passionate about helping businesswomen redesign productivity so that they can spend their time and energy on things that matter the most while achieving their business goals. She's certified by Co-Active Training Institute & Leadership Circle. She coaches in English or Korean on Zoom across time zones.

Start redesigning your productivity now by booking a complementary session with Joon

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