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Small Business Stories: Stephanie Ward

This business and marketing coach is here to tell you to take action, experiment, and ask for what you want. In this small business story, get to know Stephanie Ward of Firefly Coaching.

A woman posing in a pink dress in from of a Dutch canal
Stephanie Ward of Firefly Coaching
"I want to see every business owner making a great living doing what they love."

Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Stephanie now calls Apeldoorn home. And for the last 20 years, Stephanie has been helping small business owners realize their potential and connect with their ideal clients through her coaching services. "I want to see every business owner making a great living doing what they love," she says.

And I don't doubt that for a second! Ask me to tell you what a business coach does, and I'll show you Stephanie Ward: a woman who shows up to an interview (that's supposed to be all about her) and uses it to foster a meaningful and inspiring brainstorming session that encompasses all things small business.

Stephanie came to our interview with several top-notch suggestions for me and my business, C.M. Proofs, and asked insightful questions that had me feeling inspired, encouraged, and understood. One of my biggest takeaways from our conversation was Stephanie's strong stance that it's important to do things your own way.

Don't like meeting people in person? Don't – do video calls instead or stick to emails.

Large networking events not your thing? Great – invite people to meet one on one or in smaller groups.

When asked about marketing strategies (the question from Ricardo, our last SBS), she takes the same stance.

The most important thing is to find what works for you. Personally, she's a big fan of LinkedIn but stressed that different platforms work better for different people and business types.

"Take action, experiment, be curious, ask for what you want."

Stephanie's background in sales, marketing, and management and consulting combined with 20 years of running Firefly Coaching has led to a wealth of knowledge that she's happy to share with others. In addition to her coaching services, she hosts a podcast, the "Meaningpreneur Podcast", has a blog, and a mailing list, all of which can be found on her website.

With articles and episodes like "Creating Meaningful Relationships in Business with Dr. Bayo Akomolafe" and "Being of Service as a Marketing Strategy with Eldridge Labijno", Stephanie shares tips and collaborative knowledge from other experts for small business owners. With all this experience at her fingertips, I asked her what she wishes she would have known earlier on in her business. She said this:

For a future SBS interviewee, she left this question: How would the world look different if you were able to reach more people with the work you do? What would change in the world?

This question really got me thinking, and I took the time to answer it myself on my LinkedIn page. Stephanie did as well, you can read her answer here.

When asked what she wished she knew back when she started her business, Stephanie had a thoughtful response. Stephanie said she wishes she was more aware of the struggles going on in marginalized communities and how she could support them. Whether it's the Black Lives Matter movement, supporting the LGBTQ+ community, or acknowledging ageism, Stephanie wishes she'd known to be more aware and active in fighting against inequalities and injustices.

For more Small Business Stories, stay tuned next month for an interview with Dana Marin, a social media manager, photographer, and blogger extraordinaire based in Amsterdam.

To get in touch with Stephanie, you can find her here: Website Instagram LinkedIn

See you next time!


Are you a small business owner located in the Netherlands? Would you like to expand your network?

If you're interested in being featured as part of the Small Business Stories series, let's chat!

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