Born in Watertown, New York and raised in Denver, Colorado, Courtney Van Cleave is an entrepreneur to watch. With a background and personal experience in turning her own passion and creativity into income as a certified life and health coach, Courtney has expanded her business portfolio into investing and mentorship. During a time where financial literacy has never been more important, Courtney has dedicated her time and effort to helping others rise to the top, creating success in all areas of their lives. Today, Courtney is a mother to 6 beautiful children and is here with us to share her inspirational story of overcoming obstacles and breaking societal norms to achieve what she truly wanted out of life, while helping others to do the same.
Courtney, let’s start at the beginning of your journey. What first inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I’ve always known that I’m here for so much more than just working to make a living. I didn’t do well in public school, the way the teachers were teaching just didn’t connect with me. I was that student who was kind of all over the place, I had many different friend groups and I just never went along with the social norms. I knew that I had a lot of creativity inside of me and I wanted to use it for something, so I actually started writing a blog. My blog is called Turning Chaos into Creativity because I experienced a lot of trauma at a very young age for quite some time that caused me to develop PTSD. I’ve done a lot of work to deal with the trauma and PTSD and I’ve learned how to take all of the chaos in my life and everything I was going through and channel it in a creative way. So as I started to work on myself, I started to help other people and teach them how to also work on themselves while taking control of their life circumstances. Being able to do something like this and help so many people really fueled my desire to continue bringing value to other people’s lives as a career. I’ve had so many different jobs and I’ve never really connected with the traditional nine to five. I always thought that there has to be something out there where I can monetize the fire, passion and creativity inside of me, while helping others do the same, so I started entrepreneurship. I got my certification for life and health coaching in 2019, and I recently joined the organization that I currently work with to help people financially.
It’s inspiring how you’ve been able to create something so positive from your past hardships. Let’s talk about the organization you’re currently involved with. What is the concept of the business and how are you helping people?
Essentially through the business we teach people how to build their investment portfolio. We show them that there are simple and effective ways to take their money and do something smart with it to make it grow. Ultimately we’re providing education on financial literacy which is very important especially in such uncertain times that we currently live in. They say how you spend one hundred dollars is how you would spend one thousand dollars, and how you spend one thousand dollars is how you would spend ten thousand or one hundred thousand or one million dollars. So one of our main goals is to teach people the value of money, how to invest it and how to spend it well to become financially successful. There’s so many opportunities and so many vehicles to make more money. On top of that we also teach people about the other important and often overlooked aspects of entrepreneurship – developing and maintaining a healthy mind and body. To be successful as your own boss it requires a lot of discipline mentally, physically and emotionally, so we place a lot of focus on mindset coaching and advocating for a healthy lifestyle.
Financial literacy is definitely important, it’s great that you’re so dedicated to helping others understand this! Let’s talk about the future for yourself as an entrepreneur. What are some of your goals?
My main goal as of right now is to have at least 50 people on my team who I am coaching and helping by the end of December of 2022. I want each of those 50 individuals to be building their own teams and really thriving as entrepreneurs, using the tools, resources and education we provide through our organization.
Becoming successful in entrepreneurship must have had its difficulties. What kind of challenges have you faced as you navigated this journey?
The biggest challenge I had out of the gate was believing in myself and that I can really do these different and sometimes uncomfortable things that success in entrepreneurship requires. I had to push myself to go from being accustomed to comfortable situations to now chasing the uncomfortable and diving into those fears. Seeing something that I’m afraid of has now become a goal and a good challenge. So changing my mindset, going from an employee mindset to that CEO mindset, has been the biggest but most rewarding challenge for me.
Thank you for sharing your story with us today, Courtney. In closing, can you share your best advice that you would offer to an aspiring entrepreneur?
My first piece of advice is to connect with people who have the success that you desire. Whoever you look up to, whoever you feel aligned with, leaders that you aspire to be, get in close proximity to them, talk to them, reach out to them. Any high achieving entrepreneur that I know in this business, they are so open to talking to anyone, regardless of which season you are in. As far as entrepreneurship goes, you can be a beginner, you can be advanced, it doesn’t matter. These leaders, they want to help you. They want to help change lives, so don’t be afraid to take the help that’s being offered.
My second piece of advice is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Just do it! if it scares you and if it doesn’t feel normal, then do it. That’s a good way to live by: if it scares the crap out of you, that’s the way you need to go.
My last piece of advice is to focus on your own personal development. If you’re not constantly working on yourself internally, then you’re not going to be able to build externally. People who invest in entrepreneurs or who buy what your business is selling are really buying into you, they want to work with you, regardless of what it is that you’re selling. So how do you sell yourself?