Molly Grisham spent twenty years working as a soccer coach. During her time coaching she noticed how important a healthy team culture was to the success of a group. Sensing it was time to move on to the next chapter of her career, she started her coaching business, where much of the work she does is centered around her clients experiencing lightbulb moments in personal growth and development. Today the St. Louis, Missouri-based entrepreneur is working with educators, corporate groups and athletic teams to help with leadership development, team building and creating custom workshops for each.
Grisham’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
I work with educators, corporate groups, and athletic teams by providing leadership development, team building, custom workshops, and personality assessments. Much of the work I do is centered around experiencing lightbulb moments in personal growth and development.
During my 20-year career as a soccer coach, I witnessed how skilled leaders and healthy team culture impacted the success of a group. As a result, I often used my teams like a research and design lab testing ways to develop my student-athletes as people. I launched a leadership academy, wrote curriculum, developed a leadership self-assessment, created a service-learning program, and mentored young leaders. It became clear to me that investing in people mattered so I made the decision to leave college athletics to pursue a wider and more diverse audience. The leap I took to leave a 20-year career was a surprise to many people, but I knew the direct investment in people was the next part of my journey.
To me, success is captured in “lightbulb moments.” I love the opportunity to help a group or individual to see something for the first time. There is nothing better than finding a healthy way for a group to navigate a difficult time or topic, to watch that moment when they “get it” and then to help them navigate the changes they want to make. The fact that I get to use my gifts in skills in this process is incredibly rewarding.
I spent a year working with a team that was in crisis mode – and they had been there for a while. The members of this group continued to show up physically but the tension was palpable. They had all but given up and this was their last effort to salvage some painful relationships. The leaders of this group gave me full access and over the course of a year, we were able to utilize some creative processes to help them find healthier ways to function together. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to help them move from where they were towards where they wanted to be.
I would like to continue to diversify my client base while committing to being on a retainer for more clients. The retainers allow me to do more consistent work with a group which means we can dig in deeper in the areas they want to grow. The monthly payments also allow me to think long term about how I need/want to grow my business.
I have been fortunate to earn new clients based on references from my other clients. When a new client reaches out more often than not they share with me that they are reaching out because someone referred them to me. I want to make sure that any marketing I do remains true to who I am. I am not looking for a “slick campaign” so it has been important to me to surround myself with people who help me to stay grounded. I have seen too many people in this space who lose themselves and the reality is that I am my business so it has been important that I always check in to make sure I am still embracing my core values.
I do not have one role model, instead, I lean on a tribe of people who are living their values and making a difference in the world.