Business Tips And Success Talk With Julie Kiefer Who Left Her Job As a Manager for a Fortune 500 Company

  • Published on:
    March 26, 2021
  • Reading time by:
    5 minutes

Meet Julie Kiefer a performance & mindset coach, digital marketer, writer, and founder of the Diabetic Travelers Network. Dedicated and committed to guide people into their highest potential.

Julie Kiefer left her corporate job as a brand manager for a Fortune 500 company in London to pursue her vision and design a life of freedom, meaning, and purpose that allows her to operate at her full potential while having time to experience life;

But, she had no idea how to:

  • Build an online business – Sounded good as a word but what the hell was, she going to offer as a service?
  • Use Instagram effectively
  • Grow a following on social media
  • Build trust with my audience and engage my community
  • Create a strong digital marketing strategy that generates leads AND sales

Julie Kiefer hired a coach, enrolling in courses, and after 3 months she built her first organization that helps people with diabetes to live a life of freedom (The DTN) and launched her coaching business. This gave her the stability to quit her full-time job and go full in on her business. 

Julie Kiefer’s mission is to help you do the same, increase performance, and (finally) design a life where you can live in alignment with your true purpose!

Tell us something about yourself

My name is Julie Kiefer, born in France. I’ve been fascinated by cultures and exploring the world from a young age and I used to dream about the day I’ll have a business that helps to reduce the gender inequality gap and brings people from different backgrounds together.

I am a swimmer, yoga practitioner and believer. I have notebooks full of ideas about how to make this world a better place. Perfectionist, I thrived to be the best. I got qualifications after qualifications thinking this was my way to freedom. I learned the hard way that this was not the case. And while I am deeply grateful for everything I learned while working for corporations, I didn’t have the freedom.

So I left my great corporate job as an international brand manager in London to pursue my vision and design a life of freedom, meaning, and purpose that allows me to live my dream of being my own boss, design my own schedule and operate at my full potential while having time to experience life.

I have traveled in 28 countries in the past 5 years. Met with women from all around the world. I am a business & mindset coach, digital marketer, copywriter, and the founder of the Diabetic Travelers Network. I help women to scale impact and build an online business that allows them the financial freedom they deserve to live life on their own terms.

I work with high achievers, solopreneurs, side hustlers, and freelancers. As their coach, I help them manage their time effectively, be confident, and build meaningful businesses that bring in money AND freedom.

From a qualification point of view: I have a Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing (Dip DigM), an MBA, an MSc Food Sciences and Nutrition from the French Grandes Ecoles, and I own a yoga RYT certification. 

I’ve worked with a range of 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 figure businesses, including some of the top brands in the field.

In a few lines words, what do you do? 

I am a business & mindset coach, digital marketer, copywriter, and founder of the Diabetic Travelers Network. 

I help women to scale impact and build an online business that allows them the financial freedom they deserve to live life on their own terms.

My clients are high achievers, solopreneurs, side hustlers, and freelancers. As their coach, I help them manage their time effectively, be confident, and build meaningful businesses that bring in money AND freedom so they can experience life to its fullest.

What drove you to set up your own companies?

This inexplicable need for FREEDOM.

I used to think that my qualifications would give me the freedom I wanted. However, after several years working for Fortune 500 companies, learning as much as I could and growing, I realised that being in an office all day and working very long hours wasn’t for me. I had the money, challenges and responsibilities but something was missing. 

I didn’t feel myself in this “work is your life” culture. I was tired, unfulfilled and not free. I felt I was meant for something bigger and more aligned with my values.

This need for equality, freedom, meaning, and purpose is what drove me to start my businesses. I am now helping other women to free themselves from the corporate rat race and transform their passion into a meaningful business. 

What are your top three tips for success?

My top 3 tips for success are:

  • Know your audience

Understanding your target audience is a success key factor in any business. Focus on your target audience, understand who they are, the life they live, their pain points and their aspirations. Create genuine relationships with them. 

People buy when they believe that your products or services help them solve their problems. Thus, your services or products need to be strategically positioned as is. This will ensure you attract and present your product/service to people that truly love and want to support what you do.

A lot of entrepreneurs skip this part and spend a lot of time and money developing a product they have not tested and it does not sell. When you know your audience, you serve them better and you are able to provide them with what they need. 

  • Be consistent 

Consistency is key to success. There is no secret. If you want it to work you have to show up consistently and authentically. And by this I also mean ensuring you have a strategy in place to optimise your time and promote your business. 

No strategie = No sale. You can’t expect people to buy from your business when you are not out there promoting it.

In business and entrepreneurship there are times when motivation is just not enough, and you need strong discipline and commitment to keep going.

Work on building empowering habits and rituals that keep you focused on your goals and priority every single day.  Believe that your time will come, be consistent and it sure will.

  • Ask for help when needed

When you start or have this amazing product idea you might want to keep it for yourself.  The truth is that there is so much you can do alone and it will quickly be limited.

Your ability exponentially increases when you ask for support. Yes, you can do it all alone, but the truth is it will take you time. 

You can prevent yourself from making a lot of mistakes if you find someone that has accomplished what you want to do, is where you want to be and who has been where you currently are. 

They have done it and know how it works. It will make you grow and develop faster. Ask for help, network, reach out. You’ll be surprised how many people genuinely want to help you.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

  • Start something you are passionate about

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, we can market absolutely anything but it won’t work if you’re not passionate about it. Start something that is bringing you joy. Be clear on the reason WHY you are starting this business. It must be different than money. Money in itself is not enough to keep you going on the long term. 

So make sure you are crystal clear on the reason you are starting this business in the first place and let this energy and passion fuel you. 

  • Build a brand

Successful businesses have strong brands.

Your brand is what will differentiate you from the rest of the market and build a loyal customer base. Your brand should be at the centre of your business and affect every decision you make.

According to a Nielson survey, 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them. Think about it, why are you buying what you are buying? 

Aren’t you more attracted towards brands that you know and trust?

To build a strong brand follow the steps below:

  • Define the purpose behind your brand (why do you exist? What difference do you have against the competition? Which problems do you solve? Why should people be interested?)  
  • Determine your ideal customer target and understand their pain points
  • Define a clear mission for your brand 
  • Write a strong and compelling brand story (including your why, core values and messages)
  • Determine the tone of voice you want to communicate with (fun, friendly, professional, relatable, confident, etc)
  • Create a strong brand story and key messages you want to communicate with your audience
  • Make sure your brand is relevant to YOU. No one is you and that is your power. Believe in yourself
  • Create a brand logo, tagline and identify your brand colours/fonts. The more consistent you are the more people will be able to recognise you quickly.
  • Define success

What does success mean to YOU? Whether it is making $10K a month, quit your 9-5, retire your parents or be able to work from a beach, it is important that you make yourself crystal clear on what success means to you. A confused mind cannot take action so be clear on what you want, write it down and then identify what needs to be done to get there.

  • Believe in yourself 

When starting a business, your confidence might take a hit. Especially if you’re moving from a high responsibility position or have confused your job title with your value for a while. 

This is totally normal and part of the process. Surround yourself with people that have done what you are trying to do and that have positive energy. Right now, is not the moment to let anyone make you doubt yourself. Take some distance from negativity and practice self-love and self-worth. Include meditation, positive affirmation, visualisation and self-care in your daily routine.

  • Be consistent

Plan, Do, Evaluate, Adjust, Repeat.

What is your secret to being an effective CEO in terms of building the company culture and values you need to make the company successful?

In my opinion, the secrets of being an effective CEO are:

  • Create a clear vision and purpose for the company that makes stakeholders want to join in and be part of the growth
  • Set clear high goals, we are not playing small.
  • Lead from the head and the heart not with your ego
  • Learn from your mistakes and step up
  • Focus on adding stakeholders’ value and serving others. People are at the center of everything that I do and they are key for the company to succeed. Employees, partners and consumers. I focus on driving value and supporting them to grow and develop. This is a key component of the company culture. People work best when they feel valued.
  • Be the gatekeeper. Delegate and trust your leadership team while remaining the ultimate gatekeeper in the company.
  • Create a safe and open place for discussion where decisions can be made.
  • Inspire trust and be transparent.

Busy startup entrepreneurs have lots of demands on their time and are often pulled in lots of different directions, do you have any tips for effective time management and what to focus on first?

Yes! Time management is gold when starting a business and a key skill to master!

I teach the key of effective time management in my FREE Do Less Get More Done Ebook that I use with my 121 clients. 

My top tips for time management are:

  1. Set SMART goals

Your goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bounded.

  1. Prioritize

Write under each goal the tasks you need to complete to achieve it in chronological order. Focus your time on the critical and necessary tasks, they are the ones that will make you move forward and therefore the ones you should invest the most energy in.

  1. Plan ahead

Organise your day the night before and cancel anything that is not necessary for you to move forward (ex. Meeting with no objective). Focus on the areas you are adding the most value in.

  1. FOCUS

Remove all distractions: phone, emails, computer notifications, navigator tabs, etc. Set time for each task, you can use a timer. Invest all your energy into the completion of this UNIQUE task. Once done, take a small break, reply to emails, and do the next one.

  1. Manage people expectation

Be clear on the time you have and when you will be able to come back to them. 

Tell people when and how they can access you. Set clear boundaries for yourself and stick to them. 

Get my FREE Ebook, Do Less Get More Done to learn how to get the most done with your time.

How do you stay motivated?

I honestly love what I do and I am deeply grateful for it! It keeps me motivated every day to know that I am helping other women and that I am building a life that is aligned with my values.

I mediate, practice gratitude and prioritise time for myself on a regular basis.

Any advice for entrepreneurs on moving beyond a failure?

Look at your failure as a teacher. Be grateful for the opportunity it gives you to learn. Without failure there is no learning and no progress and we all fail at some points of time.

Look at your failures as opportunities to grow and to do better next time. 

Work on developing a growth mindset where you know that your capabilities are expanding and failure is nothing else than a part of the process.

Share us some tips for women who are in doubt of leaving their secure job and starting their own businesses

Definitely. First I’d like to say to all women out there looking to quit their 9-5 that I hear you. I’ve been there. Before I decided to leave my safe, comfortable corporate job, I had lots of doubts and insecurities. It is scary and it is normal to feel the way you do.

But for me, the idea of regretting years down the road that I didn’t give my dream a go was stronger than the comfort zone.

Truth is you will never know until you take the leap. So why not?

Now, before you go ahead and quit your job let me share with you some advices from what I learned:

  • Be crystal clear on why you want to do this and that starting a business comes from you
  • Write down your worst-case scenario, then find a solution for it
  • Make a plan and budget (e.i where are you going to live, costs of living, how are you going to run your business, how much revenue are you expecting to get and by when)
  • Before you quit, make sure you have 6 months in savings or that your side hustle bring you enough to cover your expenses
  • Invest in yourself and get a coach that has done it. It will skyrocket your success.

The chance is that if you’re reading this you are already borderline to give your notice. And if you dislike your job, staying will only increase this feeling and you’ll stay stuck in the same burnout cycle until you are in front of the wall and can’t take it anymore.

Believe in yourself and if this is what you feel is right (entrepreneurship is not for everyone) then go for it. You have everything you need already in and around you to succeed.


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