Have you ever teetered on whether to make a career change or break back into the workplace? I’ve been there. After nearly a decade with my company job sharing, I thirsted for a new industry to sharpen my skills and develop new ones in. Finding one in a job share proved far from easy.
Francie makes life-changing coaching affordable and accessible to help people navigate change and career development. In addition, she dives deep into what women founders, specifically mother founders, are creating — and how they’re doing it — to bring a lens to what they’re doing and teach others.
Is it a coincidence that I met her through another female founder improving the way we work? I think not. And it’s why I’m sharing her big, bold initiative as a real resource for you.
Work Muse: What motivated you to start Terawatt?
Francie: Although I never left the workforce, once my daughter started preschool and her schedule was more consistent, my creativity reignited. I kept returning to an idea I saw play out in the 2016 Clinton-Trump debates: how motivating economic fear is. This observation, coupled with an earlier curiosity about who was helping laid-off workers and those whose expertise was deemed no longer valuable, was my starting point. At the same time, I was having conversations with stay-at-home mom friends exploring a return to the workforce.
Naturally, Terawatt was the dovetailing of the two: how to replace fear with possibilities and help people wanting a change. An online search proved futile, leaving me unable to find the low cost, easy, tech solution I envisioned. So I turned to my cousin, an education entrepreneur, for advice. His support and belief in me brought Terawatt to life.
Work Muse: Why did you choose group coaching?
Francie: Coaching was actually the second iteration of the idea. The first was an online resource with tools like personality tests, a community, coaching, and a leads board. I was expecting a ton of organic growth when I launched, but that didn’t really happen. Ultimately, I didn’t feel 100% confident in the offering, so I pivoted to affordable group coaching for moms.
I treated a coach to lunch to pitch her on leading classes and before I even finished, she gushed, “Yes, I’d love to do that.” That was my epiphany: coaches need ways to market themselves as much as people in transition need advice and support. My confidence grew as I envisioned an AirBnB style marketplace where talented coaches connected to people needing support for changes in every area of life from switching careers to upskilling or relaunching after a career break to balancing life with baby.
Plus, the new business model drew on my strengths as a career marketer comfortable pitching products, who loves forming new relationships, and helping people tell their stories.
My epiphany: coaches need ways to market themselves as much as people in transition need advice and support.
Work Muse: What makes career transitions so scary, and how is Terawatt changing that?
Francie: It’s a good question. I suspect the unknown is one of our biggest human fears and people would rather “go with the devil you know.” It’s only natural to get advice from your inner circle when considering a big change. Unfortunately, family or friends fearing uncertainty can derail traction. In contrast, a coach can help everyone consider the choices objectively. Terawatt makes it easy and affordable to connect with trained experts in a safe space to tackle questions, fears, and concerns to work through the biggest life decisions.
Online group classes are:
- More affordable than one-on-one coaching,
- Allow students to learn from one another,
- Designed for flexibility – Class attendance can be done during work or personal hours, and
- Convenient without transportation time or costs.
Work Muse: What’s the most common misconception around making a career pivot?
Francie: I often hear, “I’m too old” as if growth ends at some point in life. I see “too old” as an American “truism” almost. What does it even mean? I flip that around to ask, “Are you too old for happiness or to be excited about what you’re doing?”
Work Muse: What do you want people considering a career transition or upskilling to know?
Francie: It’s all in your hands. When interviewing, instead of letting the fear you might not be picked or you must conform paralyze you, recognize you are interviewing them. Be authentic during the process and assess whether or not the role and company is the right fit for you. The goal is to end up at a place where you are loved and valued. Keep a curious approach and remember, setbacks can lead to opportunities.
Work Muse: Have you had a transition that impacted your life?
Francie: Two big life transitions changed me. The first was having my daughter. Becoming the number one person responsible for another human’s life was a difficult transition. The second was my husband’s cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, he sustained serious injuries during the life-saving CPR that left him in the hospital for months. It changed both our lives, but the time was pivotal for me. I started to deeply believe that life is a series of choices. That your life and career is what you make of it. Right then, I decided I wanted to live fearlessly and have been working on that ever since.
Work Muse: What’s your greatest hope for Terawatt?
Francie: My mission is for Terawatt to be the gold standard for affordable coaching and the first place people go when considering using a career or life coach. A way to power their futures. I want our customers to view Terawatt as a valuable part of their journey. In addition, I hope everybody on my team feels they’ve learned, contributed in beneficial ways, and are treated fairly and with respect. And most of all, I’d like my family to be proud of what I’ve achieved.
I often hear, “I’m too old.” I flip that around to ask, “Are you too old for happiness or to be excited about what you’re doing?”
Work Muse: We loved your interview series this past year featuring female founders! What inspired you to feature mom entrepreneurs?
Francie: Early on, an advisor encouraged me to produce content. I decided that if I was going to write, it would something I wanted to read about—mothers who founded companies. First, because I am one and secondly, no one else was. My goal is to deliver interviews that authentically dive into the real struggles mother founders face and the nitty-gritty of their business models. I genuinely wanted to learn from and share what’s working for these women, not just for people starting businesses, but to help readers solve problems in their own lives.
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