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Conversations with the Inspiring Stephanie Courtillier

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Courtillier.

Stephanie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m a workaholic, ambitious, driven individual living the crazy, chaotic entrepreneur life. You know, the one where you have a million ideas in your head, build on too many of them at a time, and then either get bored with or overanalyze your ideas with little to no results to show for it. Or, finally get the business off the ground, and hit the next roadblock. The same vicious cycle, over and over again.

I eventually hit burnout mode (multiple times) and started questioning everything about myself. Why couldn’t I just be like everyone else? The worst part was that to everyone on the outside, I actually appeared “successful” – I held a good job, was a supportive friend, and was always motiving others towards their dreams. Yet on the inside, I was frustrated, tired, and saw no clear path to fulfill my own potential.

It was only when I began focusing on my passions and strengths that I began to hone in on my true calling – and see tremendous results in my business. I created and tested systems, read and studied books from experts, networked constantly, and pushed myself outside of my own comfort zone. If I was able to overcome my biggest obstacles and find my own unique success, so can you.

Integrous women are the result of years of thoughts, ideas, conversations, training, experiences, and dreams. I wanted to create a home for all women currently traveling the journey of entrepreneurship, and provide you with the support and resources to live your best lives.

I’ve met too many women who deserve more than their limiting beliefs. Everyone has something unique and beautiful to offer this world, and I hope you’ll join me in taking action to inspire and motivate one another.

My personal mission statement is to use my love and passion to inspire and empower others to become integral leaders, who take action towards their dreams. I want to show women that it is possible to live your passions and create your unique impact in this world, all with integrity.

My greatest wish is for you to leverage our community and resources, step into your greatness, and leave your unique impact in this world.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’ve always been after my “purpose” in life, and though I never regret any of the hundreds of experiences and trial runs I’ve had in identifying it, it was definitely never a smooth road. I’ve gotten trapped in the “rat race” of working endless hours for organizations that never valued the people and team, and only valued profit and greed. I lost myself during that time – I lost my passion, close relationships, and my own sense of worth. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom for myself with constant feelings of hopelessness, unworthiness, and really this dark cloud that just hung around that I finally got sick of feeling sick. I took control back and started focusing on what I loved. I left the for-profit jobs and jumped to non-profit, which has been quite the transition. I knew I always wanted to start my own company but wanted to give back too so I thought non-profit was the answer. Through that process, I learned about social entrepreneurship, which was truly the “solution” I wanted – a blend of the for-profit that creates sustainable, positive impact for those in need. Integrous Women was born and I’ve never looked back!

My advice would be to trust in yourself. Have faith and truly believe in your visions and dreams. Most importantly, take action that will get you closer to that vision, even if it’s a baby step. I threw myself outside of my comfort zones, which for me meant speaking in public to groups about my vision, involving others (I’m a natural solo-preneur, but this vision was greater than just me). Now, I have a team of 5, a community of hundreds of women, and get asked to speak to groups constantly. My heart is full and sometimes, I literally have to pinch myself to make sure this is real! I’m watching my dream and vision come to reality right before my eyes and I couldn’t be more grateful for this journey.

What should we know about Integrous Women? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Integrous Women is a social enterprise on a mission to empower women entrepreneurs to leave a legacy with integrity through personal development, creating and scaling a business with a mission and giving forward. Those 3 pillars are what we identify as the journey of life. We specialize in women empowerment.

Our Giving Forward model of impact is truly unique, in that for every member we have and every paid workshop we put on, a portion of all of our proceeds goes towards the building of women empowerment programs for the young children of our partner orphanage, Esperanza y Futuro, in Guatemala.

During my first meeting with Kimberly Letona, whose mother-in-law owns the orphanage, I could not let go of the stories she shared with me. Stories of sexual and physical abuse these young girls faced. Many at the hands of family members. These girls needed mental health support and life skills to help break through this traumatic cycle of poverty and abuse that is too common in Guatemala. I was building Integrous Women at the time and felt this inner calling and necessity to help. I couldn’t let those stories go and knew these girls deserved a voice. That’s how our Giving Forward model of impact was born.

Integrous Women is truly unique in that our community is filled with heart-centered women of all ages who are truly on a mission to make a difference in this life. Most of the women are entrepreneurs, with either established successful business or just starting out. As a community, we value 3 things: authentic connections, win-win collaborations, and a growth mindset. This is how we stand out and is something that is felt when you join us for our Connect for Impact monthly meetings or workshops.

Our next step is the building of a membership site that will not only help these women through the 3 pillars (personal development, professional development, giving forward) but ultimately fund the educational programs and sustainable community capacity building we are implementing with Esperanza y Futuro. How beautiful will it be for one woman to join our membership and build her own legacy of impact while directly funding the same personal and professional development for one of the teen orphans in Guatemala. She not only chooses to invest in herself but in the success of another woman who has the power to become a catalyst for good. This is a model that will transform individuals to live out their dreams and ultimately transform communities worldwide.

We are completely community-centric. We put our women first. The workshops, membership sites and content shared are all things are members ask for. I see myself as the facilitator and connector, really. We go above and beyond in everything we do and strive to deliver 100x the value of what is ever paid.

As an organization, community and really a movement, we are most proud of the hope and inspiration we are bringing to women around the world. Sometimes, all it takes is someone who believes in you. We are that individual and that community that is the catalyst for positive impact.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
I really believe in the quote, “We are our own biggest obstacle.” I can speak for myself in this one. I overanalyze, overthink, worry, get anxious, and still to this day catch myself coming up with reasons “why not”. A lot of it is our mindset, which is why as Integrous Women we are completely behind turning fixed mindsets into growth mindsets (referencing Carol Dweck’s Mindset work). Another big barrier is that women believe they are alone in their entrepreneurial journey, as it can be a very isolating experience. Having a community come alongside you in that can make all the difference for some of us. For me, without the mentors in my life and a couple of close friends who truly believed in me and my vision, I can’t say I would be where I am today.

Now, imagine the women in the US, who have all the resources at their disposal (whether they are aware of it or not), and compare that to the women in 2nd and 3rd world countries. Gender inequality is horrific there and many of these young girls have never been taught to dream, let alone go after that dream.

I want to change that.

Every single woman has a unique power and she deserves to light that fire inside of her and live the life she is meant to live. I envision a world where women believe in themselves enough to go after their dreams full force and have the full support of their communities to do so. We are starting on a small scale with that vision here in Orange County and in a rural neighborhood in Guatemala. By connecting the two, learning from one another and believing in each other, nothing is impossible anymore.

Pricing:

  • Monthly workshops are $20

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Claire Imler

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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