Entrepreneurial business coach has helped launch hundreds of small businesses.
Colleen Biggs grew up like a lot of little girls, imagining the life she thought she was supposed to live, including a prince, a big Disney-esque wedding and a happily ever after. But with her parents’ divorce, she watched her mom’s world fall apart.
For 12-year-old Colleen and her mom, life was a struggle. They survived on food stamps in rural Chandler in the 1970s. “It was interesting because it was a horse town then. People would ride their horses to grocery stores. You would smell manure all day.”
She began to realize that her little-girl dream didn’t exist. Instead, life felt, looked and smelled bad to her. She decided this was not her destiny.
“The whole motivation behind being who we were born to be comes from really leaning into your voice, into who you are and what makes you stand out,” she said. “We know who we are in the first four years of our life. We spend the rest of our lives trying to dig ourselves out of what others have labeled us to be.”
At 35 years old, she had an epiphany. “I remember the day I made the decision that I was not going to be what everyone else labeled me to be. I was not going to be where others believed Colleen should fit.”
She was working her way up to an executive position in Corporate America. But inside, she was breaking down, unhappy with trying to fit others’ opinions about who she was at work, as a mother or even around town. “Labels were flying at me, but it only takes one kind or generous label to wash all the others away.”
The company where she worked was selling raffle tickets for prizes, with proceeds benefiting a charitable organization. Employees would drop a ticket in the basket of the prize they wanted to win. Biggs wanted only one prize – lunch once a month with the CEO for a year. She desperately wanted to be mentored by this person that she so admired. She bought 100 tickets and put them all in his basket.
“I didn’t win. I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “But, my CEO came over to me and said, ‘Listen, I watched you and I know how bad you wanted those lunches and I know you’re devastated. I’m so impressed that you put all your tickets in my basket. You bet on me. Now I’m going to bet on you.’”
As promised, the CEO met with her and coached her. “I learned how to be a very successful human. I learned how to believe in myself and found my uniqueness. It was the standing-out part that he was teaching me. He was preparing me for entrepreneurship. We spent a couple of years together. He still supports me as the person I am today.”
As a result, she broke up with her boyfriend, bought herself a house, met her husband and combined families. “It’s been 15 years, seven kids, 12 grandchildren and the most amazing life I could ever imagine, all because I decided just to free myself of the chains that everyone else put on me. Now, life isn’t happening to me, it’s happening for me.”
That “amazing” life is highly focused on improving other women’s lives as well. Biggs has been a business coach for 22 years, is the founder and CEO of The Leap Community, an organization that offers summits, workshops and retreats designed to empower women to lead, and has helped launch 340 businesses. She is an international speaker, has co-authored “The Anatomy of Accomplishment: Your Guide to Bigger, Better, Bolder Business Results,” was a contributing author to “Stop Waiting: Start Living,” and has published her own book, “Step Into the Spotlight to Expand Your Influence and Attract the Right Clients.” She also has written two journals and created a year-long mastermind program for high-achieving women to focus on their businesses and increase their visibility, capacity and wealth.
“Every single person I’ve coached is different. You need the ability to get into the map of their world to understand them first – who they are, what they need, what they are looking for – to assist and empower them for greatness.”
Biggs tells the story of “Jennifer” (not her real name): “She came to me after being an entrepreneur for 20 years. She was a confident, very intuitive person who works through spirit to speak with people. But the pandemic freaked her out and she developed a scarcity mindset. She lost all her confidence, all her clients and all her money. She felt like she didn’t have her legs underneath her. When I met her, she was making $1,500 a month. In the second month we worked together, she made $10,000. Around the fourth month, she made $30,000, her highest month ever. She started a school for women who have these psychic gifts and don’t know what to do with them. We helped her set up the school and found a way to scale the business.”
Biggs and Jennifer worked together for about six months. “It comes down to the belief we have in ourselves. When you have a thought and you believe it so much to be true, every single thing you see is telling you what you believe is true. We lose this as we get older. We almost become numb to what we are conditioned to be. It takes extraordinary effort for us to become extraordinary.”
Today, Biggs carries around casino chips, which she hands out to women. “You need to bet on you,” she tells them, with a nod to her former mentor. “Be around me. I will bet on you and I will be there to empower you to bet on you, too.”
Biggs is the keynote speaker for the 2022 Prescott Area ATHENA Awards, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 18 FBN
By Bonnie Stevens, FBN