About Genny Heikka
Genny is an author and speaker who has been helping women reach their full potential for over 17 years. She holds an MBA and is a vetted member of the Professional Coaching Association. In her own life, she's experienced many of the things she coaches women through today: life and career changes, strengthening and communicating your unique personal brand, and discovering your purpose and passion. She's served in a variety of leadership roles within corporate, non-profit, community and ministry organizations and applies her experience in marketing, leadership, and communications to help the women and companies she works with excel and grow.
Genny has appeared on radio and TV and has been published in multiple publications. She began her career at Hewlett-Packard then stepped into her dream of becoming an author, writing several books. She's also served as the Director of Communications for an international non-profit that fights human trafficking, and taught business classes as Adjunct Faculty--where she loved working with students and emerging leaders. Genny also co-founded LIFT: Live Inspired, Fearless, Thriving, which hosts events and workshops that help women gather in community and live inspired, fearless and thriving lives.
“Genny is sensational! From the prep work in getting to know her audience, to the planning and logistics of our time with her, to the delivery of her messages… she was tremendous! Our team thought she was as authentic as they come: sharing deep insights into personal branding using anecdotes from her own life! Genny brings a ray of light, positivity, hope, and foundational knowledge to a room filled with leaders at every level.”
Jenn Pressner-Taylor, Regional Marketing Director, Texas Roadhouse Restaurants
"I’ve worked with Genny on a number projects. She’s an incredible leader that can balance the needs of people and business brilliantly. People love working with her. She doesn’t rattle under pressure which speaks to her character, high EQ and depth of experience. Any room she’s in gets better immediately. I highly recommend."
CJ Alvarado, CEO Bamboo Creative
"I have worked with Genny on several projects and she is a huge asset. She is well-educated and well-read on the topic of leadership; she stays current on all that’s out there and she leads out of selfless strength, authenticity, passion and encouragement. Genny’s positive, 'glass half-full' outlook is inspiring, contagious and motivational. I find myself getting excited about anything that comes out of Genny’s mouth!"
Pam Strain, SEARCH
“Genny has a deep and sincere desire to see women flourish. Her delightful optimism, coupled with business savvy, chart the path to both individual and shared success. She’s a skilled communicator, making her an ideal fit for igniting a new vision for the future and imparting the skills to get there.”
Kirsten Holmberg, President and Founder of Platform Idaho and Idaho Speakers Bureau
"Genny has outstanding leadership qualities and a heart to reach and encourage other women of influence. She is excellent in whatever topic she speaks about and she's relatable, funny, and honest! "
Kelly Bueno, MOPS Director/Coach
"Genny was inspiring, fun, and challenging! We look forward to having her come back!"
Michelle Winter, M2M Coordinator, Bridgeway
"Genny is an inspiration! She is a friend to women and knows how to encourage us. Her personal style is relational and engaging, and she makes you feel like you have known her for years. She left us all wanting more!"
Carrie Zenker, Mom Group Director, Rancho Murieta
A little history about how this all started (and it's totally different than how I first thought I'd announce it)...
When I first thought about sharing all that's been going on lately, I envisioned a "polished" announcement letting you know about my new venture. But as things have taken shape, I realized that many of you may be in the same place I was when this all started. And that it might be more helpful (and more real) to simply share my story...
If you know me, you know I'm passionate about helping women. I've loved coming alongside so many women over the years -- moms, writers, small business owners, leaders -- and helping them believe in themselves. If you heard me speak at the Boise Botanical Gardens a while ago, you heard my story about how I felt a pull last year to write less and work directly with women more. (If you weren't there, just know that the decision to let go of a regular writing schedule and resign from my literary agent's representation wasn't easy.)
But sometimes you have to let go of something good to make room for something new.
After I made that shift in where I was spending a lot of my time, doors opened and I stepped through them not really knowing where they would lead.
And I started to see a pattern.
As I found myself getting more requests to meet with women one-on-one, I realized that even though each woman's situation was different, the things we talked about were similar. Things like how to gain confidence and not compare yourself to others, how to face your fears and overcome challenges, how to discover (and actually believe in) your strengths, and how to take that next step in life, especially if you don't know what that next step is. Things I've walked through and wrestled with, and things I care deeply about.
So I would be sitting there with someone talking through these things over coffee, and my marketing and communications background would kick in, and the next thing I'd know, we'd be going through a really fun (and caffeinated!) personal branding session. It was exciting to see women -- some friends, some strangers who had reached out to me -- light up as they began to recognize their value and embrace and communicate that value in whatever they were going through.
And as more of these conversations took place, I realized I was operating in my sweet spot.
It was as if all of my experiences -- the years working with women, my time at HP, the writing and speaking, the college classes I taught on leadership and human resources -- had prepared me for exactly what I was doing. So I did this big brainstorm session and feverishly wrote a business plan outlining my strategies to help women. I wanted to formalize what I found myself doing organically and help more women, especially through things I had gone through: life and career changes, discovering my purpose and passion, pursuing my dreams, wrestling with fears, finding my unique voice and brand.
I bought the domain HerTeamSuccess.com (I wanted a name that spoke to the importance of community and team, and to helping women be successful leaders) and I fumbled through creating my own website.
Then, even though I wasn't sure if I would ever have any real, "paying" clients -- and I knew my website totally needed work -- I published it and decided to just put it out there. (I also quietly added my site to LinkedIn, joined Thumbtack hoping to somehow get clients, included my url in my email signature in tiny little font, and added a page about it on my personal website.)
And then I did probably the most important thing: I shared what I was doing and my dream for this new business with some friends. Their support and encouragement (and their awesome feedback on how to help my website!) made all the difference.
A couple months passed as I got busy with speaking and with LIFT, and then...
I got contacted by my first client (she found me online).
We set up a coaching session and I couldn't wait to work with her. But right before our first meeting, as I sat there getting ready for it, a huge case of IMPOSTOR SYNDROME set in. (That's the whole who-am-I-to-be-doing-this?! thing and that sinking feeling of being totally unqualified.)
I said a few (desperate!) prayers, pressed through the nerves, and went into my meeting with my first official client.
It was amazing. The minute we began, my nerves stopped and were replaced with that calm reassurance and excitement that comes from doing what you were meant to do and being able to truly add value in someone's life.
I'm happy to report that she didn't run for the hills. In fact, we are still working together and it's been incredible. I'm also happy to share that since then, more doors have opened with new clients, new opportunities to work with companies, and new speaking engagements. It's been an exciting adventure and I know I have a ton more to learn.
But here's what I've learned and have been reminded of so far:
1. Giving up something good is hard (but incredibly freeing).
2. Stepping into the unknown is scary (but amazing).
3. Putting yourself out there in a new way makes you feel REALLY vulnerable (but it opens doors to opportunities you would never see otherwise).
4. Investing in people is what really matters (and the relationships and life changes that happen when you do make everything worth it).
5. Taking risks is better (and way less terrifying) with friends by your side.
The other thing I've been reminded of is that before I even took one step into this unknown territory of opening my own coaching and consulting practice, there were others who had gone before me--and that gave me courage. In fact, when I started this journey, one of my LIFT co-founders, President of Platform Idaho, Kirsten Holmberg, had already walked this path of forging new territory. Her experience and the way she just did it made me more confident that I could too.
And that's why I'm sharing this whole long story with you instead of just announcing HerTeamSuccess.
Because I hope if there's something you're longing to do, or something you're being challenged to give up to make room for something new, or unknown territory you've been wanting to step into--that you do it. That you put one foot in front of the other and not worry so much about the outcome or if you are "ready," but instead recognize the unique value you bring to the table, believe in yourself, and take a chance.
And when you do, be sure to enjoy the journey along the way.
Because it's awesome.
(story from 2017)
I'm passionate about leadership and helping women thrive.
My process for each individual and team I work with begins with a simple conversation. My priority is understanding your needs, what problems you want to solve, and how I can help you. Feel free to reach out to me and I'll contact you within 24 hours. I look forward to talking!