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Meet Valerie Hope of Connect to Joy in Park Cities

Today we’d like to introduce you to Valerie Hope.

Valerie, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Being an ever-curious and creative learner/teacher has served me well on this path as an accomplished executive coach, speaker, and facilitator. Applying those traits to the past 20 years in the non-profit and corporate world, sharpened my abilities to engage others in customizing their organizational and individual leadership strategies. This really lights me up! I thank my mother for this. Ever since we were young, my mother strongly encouraged my brothers and me to get involved in our community during summer breaks. Little did I know at the time (although my mom probably did) was how not playing video games and sleeping in all summer, would radically shape my view of work.

One summer, I volunteered at the front desk of the local military base’s physical fitness center. That was the summer I realized how energized and alive I could feel at work! My role was to help members check out equipment, tour facilities, and sign up for local sporting events. I lost all track of time while connecting with people from all over the world to the resources they needed. At the end of each day, the center supervisor had to ask me to go home!

By the end of that summer, I had logged more hours at work than most of the paid staff! Years later, my mother ran into that supervisor and he remembered the impact I had on the center and on his team!

Since then, the standard for my life and career has been to engage in diverse, dynamic activities each day, while embracing the joy of helping others succeed. I’ve learned that life is the best teacher and the human being is the star pupil. My clients are empowered to discover, develop, and contribute their talents to humanity. When we work together, they will be sparked to meet their potential in ways they’ve never imagined.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, not smooth, but certainly purposeful. Here are some of the most notable challenges and what I’ve learned as a result.

For starters, I didn’t think I would enjoy having the responsibility of owning and managing my own company. I resist spreadsheets, budgeting, paperwork, etc. My dominant strengths are in the relationship-building and creative thinking realm, not in the executive/administrative realm! I learned that I had to leverage my relationships to guide and support me in the areas I didn’t enjoy. Now I have some great partnerships and mentors in my circle who are amazing at all the things I don’t handle well. Phew!

Building a company organically that would reflect my purpose to inspire and activate people to come to life, seemed to go against the grain of the entrepreneur’s hustle and drive mentality. I schedule regular encounters for spiritual guidance through meditation, prayer, and deep conversations with trusted mentors. These have led me to peace in making wise decisions and staying focused on my purpose.

How much do I charge? What kind of clients should I work with? What organizations should I be connected to? In general, the struggle with how prevalent the role of money and prestige should be in my business has shown up throughout. When I learned to embrace with my whole heart that my real work is to develop my community and allow my community to develop my business, the game changed. I created space for an abundance of referrals, high-visibility opportunities, and material prosperity.

I can get bored with routine easily. That inner restlessness makes me want to start micromanaging the small stuff and dropping the ball. That usually messes up the flow and ease of my life. After huddling with my spiritual guidance, I’m learning to accept the restlessness as information that it’s time to change something up. That something is usually me. I start by leveling up my education and start taking courses, engaging coaches, reading/listening to other experts. When I learn and apply my new skills, I get to say yes to a whole new set of opportunities. Keeping things fresh!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Connect to Joy – what should we know?
My company is an expression of my life journey. I started it in May 2018 after being laid off from a corporation in which I’d experienced doing my best work. With those tools in hand, I realized that I could continue to do my best work as a leadership coach and a professional speaker. It’s important for people to find an authentic expression of their values and their vision in everything they do. My work guides support and sometimes challenges them to get clear on what they want to do, the relationships they can create or nurture and find meaningful ways to spend their time and energy.

I’m proud of the work I’ve done with individual leaders from different countries and cultures, as well as organizations such as Headington Companies, Mujeres de HACE (Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement,) Enaxis Digital Consulting, Women’s Hospitality Network, The Bank & Trust, Bed Bath and Beyond and Southwest Airlines. I’m committed to developing my community in ways that are important and meaningful to them.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I believe in creating and nurturing a powerful Circle of influencers in my life. There are literally hundreds of people I can list who have played a role in my success and in my business. This is for all the people who said “Yes! Go for it!”, the ones who remind me of who I am, why I’m here, or when things get so fuzzy that I get turned around, as well as the ones that say: “Hey! What about trying this?”

They are family members, close friends, colleagues, clients, even the “strangers” I sat next to at an event who shared some insight that planted a seed. Those who I’ve interviewed on my Time to Come Alive podcast. They all have played roles from designing my logo, helping me form my LLC, to crafting the best website, business card, workshops, coming up with ideas of what and how to do what I do best, etc.

I love you all! You continue to bring me and everything I do to life!

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