How Abambyh Business Coaching is Alison Hartrum’s Opportunity to Share Her Knowledge and Help Clients Acquire a Skill Set that Allows Them to Realize Their Vision
Hi Alison! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:
I’m Alison Hartrum, wife, business owner, and explorer. I’m where I want to be in my life, traveling with my husband and our two dogs, enjoying new places, and constantly learning and improving myself. I was successful in my corporate career but realized that what I truly wanted lay outside of that life. I went for it — packed up and headed south to see the world, and I’ve been living my dream ever since. Abambyh Business Coaching helps others to bring their dreams and plans to fruition. Often people have wonderful ideas and a solid work ethic, but they struggle with implementation. They don’t know how to organize their vision, how to prospect, how to ensure that they’re using their time productively. They need a business plan. They need time management skills. They need to understand the sales process and how to create a marketing strategy. Abambyh Business Coaching is my opportunity to share what I know, to help my clients acquire a skill set that will allow them to realize their vision and thrive.
So Alison, what excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
I’m excited to join this group because I love professional networking groups. I had a wonderful experience with a previous group called BNI, of which I was a member for seven or eight years. Of the contacts I made as a member of BNI, I still maintain a lot of professional relationships with many, which have morphed into personal ones as well. Since venturing out on my own, I’ve been “solo” in a lot of things, so I’m excited to join a community of entrepreneurial women who are ready to support and grow with one another. I can’t wait for the new friendships, referral partners, connections, etc. This is a group that I think understands where I am and what motivates me! I feel that I’ve grown into who I was always meant to be since I struck out on my own, and it’s so inspiring to see others spread their wings as well. We’re meant to lift each other up; to support, nurture and encourage each other. Abambyh Business’s purpose is to not only coach women in their businesses, but bolster their confidence, and encourage their feeling of self-worth. I think this is a group that embodies that philosophy.
What made you take the leap to start Abambyh Business Coaching?
Helping other women succeed is my passion. I’m driven to share what I’ve learned about how to plan and manage a business, how to balance one’s business and personal lives, how to nurture yourself and your dreams. Leaving my corporate job was a matter of assessing my priorities and then deciding to grasp the vision of what my life could be. I began traveling and living my life for me. Moving into coaching occurred organically, starting with advising a few women on business matters while I bounced from country to country. Then, it seemed that suddenly I had several women who were looking for that help! Abambyh Business Coaching was born of their need for guidance and my own inner drive to encourage the success of hard-working, deserving women who were doggedly struggling to achieve their vision of where they wanted to be. I also wanted to be part of helping these women realize their value, their worthiness, their amazing potential.
Have you always had a background in coaching? What was your background prior to Abambyh Business Coaching?
I’ve been winning sales awards since the first grade and was on a national sales competition team in college. I’ve had formal training in sales and marketing and have trained other sales professionals who have gone on to win awards of their own. I have trained individuals in how to run their own businesses. I was successful and accomplished in my life as a member of a well-established corporation. It was a good life, but I was ultimately unfulfilled by it. I needed more, and I’m so grateful that I decided to follow my dreams and create a new life for myself.
So Alison, did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
My personality has always led me in this direction. I have always been independent, always enjoyed and thrived in leadership roles. Even as a child I tended to do my own thing and lead others to go along with me! My career has comprised various roles that were typically commission-based, independent, self-starter positions in which I had control of how and when I worked. While I didn’t start thinking of myself as an entrepreneur until more recently, that is truly always the person I’ve been, so I have to answer ‘Yes’ to this question.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
Abambyh Business Coaching found me; it was not a planned venture. I was approached with a request for coaching services, and then got referrals from the person I was coaching. Marketing was accidental, referral-based, word-of-mouth, and remarkably effective!
As an entreprenista, you must expect the unexpected. What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way?
My biggest challenge was handling the fallout from putting my trust in the wrong contractor. The developer I hired to create my website and online course from scratch did not come through. He turned out to be dishonest in his promises, avoidant when it came to fixing obvious errors, and ultimately manipulative, holding the work hostage after having already accepted thousands of dollars for it. Lesson.learned. This was a big blow to my still-developing business. I had to push myself to overcome the discouragement that tried to derail my vision after this setback. Now I know that I must be even more careful than I already was when it comes to vetting the people I choose to work with and put my faith in, and I need to always, always have a back-up plan.
So Alison, what is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
It’s a tie between the Restore Retreat and the Business Prompt Deck. The retreat required a great deal of intense planning in a relatively short time. I had the idea for it at end of October of 2021, when Abambyh Business was still in its infancy, and the retreat took place in May of 2022. That’s a very short time from conceptualization to implementation. The event had a profound effect on the fifteen entrepreneurs who attended; they are still connected and interacting, still reaping the benefits. Three of those fifteen (twenty percent!) are Entreprenistas — I didn’t even know about The Entreprenista League yet, and I’m so glad to have already coached and connected with some of those in this group! Part of the goal of Restore was to ensure that every one of the women there was treated well, as they deserve. We insisted on first-class flights, for instance. Some of the women who attended had never flown first class, and it was one way to help them experience being treated with care and respect. We wanted them to understand how worthy they are, to make sure they felt supported, confident, powerful. New experiences, especially those that they might not undertake on their own, are a way of bolstering our clients’ sense of self-worth. One of the goals of Abambyh Business is to help women entrepreneurs understand that they are to be valued. We work more one-on-one and hands on than many business coaching organizations, and part of the reason for that is we want very much to grow our clients’ self-esteem and confidence, not just their businesses. The Business Prompt Deck — every time I see these cards I smile. I wouldn’t change a thing about them; they look great and I’m immensely proud of them. I really took my time with the process, which is why they don’t contain errors or repetition. I never thought of myself as creative and never thought I would produce a physical product, as I’ve always been more oriented to business services, so these cards were a way of stretching myself and I couldn’t be more pleased with them.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
I am absolutely committed to ensuring that every woman I coach understands that you cannot fail to feed your soul. You MUST carve out time for family/faith/yourself in order to succeed. I urge each and every person to create their Ideal Calendar, carefully sectioning their time so that the things that nourish them, the time that replenishes their motivation, their energy, their well-being, are given space in their busy lives.
What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
STRUCTURE. Having a detailed calendar has been an amazing asset to my life. I knew that having an overview of my day-to-day scheduling was important, but until I started truly mapping out my day, I didn’t have the proper structure in place. I thought that if I didn’t have something specific planned, I didn’t need to put it on my calendar. For example: If I know that I need to make 5 new, in-person contacts per day, maybe I would say, “I should go to networking events every Wednesday to meet 5 new people.” The best thing to do would have been to put “networking event” on my calendar every Wednesday for the foreseeable future. That way, when reviewing my upcoming week, I would know that I’d need to fill that block with an event. If I didn’t already have that time blocked out on my calendar, chances were that the week would get away from me and I’d never make it to an event. Another example relates to the specificity required to be truly productive. It’s not enough for me to just have “social media time” blocked out. I make sure that my calendar notes specific targets to hit during the blocked hour(s), e.g., “Create two reels, draft two captions, send 10 messages.” Taking the time to include these details on my calendar saves me time later, and ensures that I’m meeting my own expectations. Creating a specific, very detailed calendar of my “ideal schedule” was a game changer for my business — the single most significant, productive change so far. I thought I had a calendar for years because I always wrote down my scheduled appointments, but that’s not the same as having an outlined ideal calendar with targets. The latter will motivate you, allow you to plan for exactly what you need from each day, and track your productivity.
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
My Business Planning course is complete! It will be ready for release after the Immersion Retreat in March. I’m also immensely proud of and delighted with my Business Prompt Deck, which is a way to help business owners get unstuck and take action that serves both their businesses and themselves
What’s next for Abambyh Business Coaching?
Coming up soon: Immersion, a Retreat for Entrepreneurial Women, in March. This retreat will be a deep dive into where attendees are, what their deep-seated blocks are, and how they need to move forward. I can’t wait! And of course, the Business Planning Course will be released soon after.