IAM1676 – Serial Entrepreneur Helps Women Discover and Plan for Their Life’s Purpose

Podcast Interview with Susan Rose

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: Susan is multi-passionate and as many entrepreneurial people understand a “serial entrepreneur.” Susan helps with helping women find out the next step and to be able to understand how to figure out what decision to make. It's a great reminder of the human part of business and even decision-making.

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Susan Rose 00:00

Program that guides them through figuring out what is going to really resonate with their purpose and passion in life, and then also what's the right business based on where they are.

Intro 00:10

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you'll come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you, precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:35

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. And if you've been listening this year, we're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes under certain categories or topics that we think are gonna be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners. This month is going to be about not forgetting about the human part of business. Often we forget about the human part of life. We often forget about the human part of business. So look forward to self-care tips, fitness, burnout, purpose, biz and personal, personal branding, motivation, drive, success, understanding your why, and of course, how important customer service is. But at the heart of it, it's all about, remembering the human part of business. So sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I am CEO podcast.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Susan Rose, the CEO of Gutsy Happiness. Susan is awesome to have you on the show today.

Susan Rose 01:34

Happy to be here. I'm excited.

Gresham Harkless 01:35

Awesome, awesome. Well, Susan Rose is a serial entrepreneur, having founded multiple businesses over the last 15 years. She's currently the CEO of Gutsy Happiness, where she guides women on the empowering journey of discovering their life purpose and creating a plan to fulfill it.

For many women, that means launching their own business, a journey she loves guiding them through. So Susan, thank you so much again for being on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I am CEO community?

Susan Rose 02:02

I am absolutely.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:04

Awesome. Well, the first question that I have is just if you can introduce yourself to us, expound a little bit more upon your bio and tell us exactly what your CEO story is.

Susan Rose 02:18

Okay. Well, my CEO story like I said, I am a serial entrepreneur. So, I have been a CEO, if you will, for about 15 years and have launched at this point, I think six businesses because as most CEOs don't just do it once, there's many reverse and reiteration. So I started back a while ago, I had a graphic design agency, that was my first business together with my husband. We own one of the largest independently owned massage centers in Northern Virginia. So we've built that from the ground up. And then recently, in the last couple of years I realized that the marketing communications work I had been doing wasn't really doing it for me anymore, and I wanted to look at what my next iteration was.

So I did the work that I now teach people to do and all roads led to coaching and helping other women like me find their bliss. I'm really passionate about this. I think as a woman in middle age, I think it's really important to figure out what's really making you happy. And it turns out for most women that is ditching corporate life and doing their own thing. So I'm very happy to help people figure that one out.

Gresham Harkless 03:28

Awesome. Yeah, that makes perfect sense to have the opportunity to do that introspection and figure out what makes you happy, what's your bliss, what is your ultimate passion and reason you're here on this earth? So, I guess, could you expound, a little bit more upon like the products, actual services that you provide in your coaching business?

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Susan Rose 03:43

Well among teaching people how to do work with a dog in their lap, which is my primary thing. I have a series of coaching programs. So the women that come to me, they're at some sort of a transition. They're stuck in their lives. They know that where they are right now is making them happy, but they don't know what the next thing looks like. So I've developed three coaching programs, depending on what the need is, which I find out when I talk to people. My core program is a business foundation's starter course called the Gutsy Preneur, and it's for those women who know that the next step is starting a business, but they actually don't have any clue what that looks like.

And I think that the entrepreneurs here, a lot of people can identify with that. You just know you have the bug, that's what's gonna make you happy. And, then what is it? What do you do? So I have a program that guides them through figuring out what is going to really resonate with their purpose and passion in life. And then also what's the right business based on where they are. Because, I'm working with women who are in middle age, and we have some realities in life that younger people don't have, nearing retirement, having like maybe wanting to actually retire at some point or at least, go live at the beach a few months out of the year. So I help them figure out what is the right business for what their long-term goals are, not only in being an entrepreneur but also in life. Because I think there's a huge balance, and I think what's the point, at least at this stage, if you don't get it all, So I hope I get it all.

Gresham Harkless 05:04

No, that makes perfect sense. And yeah, it is very important, especially, at that time in life to be able to find what is that good fit, not just something that you think that you wanna do, but actually something that you'll enjoy doing, especially as you're, later on in life and probably don't wanna deal with some of the things you might have dealt with when you were younger. So it's great that you do that. So, it brings me to my next question is like, what are some of the things that you feel that makes your business and gutsy happiness unique?

Susan Rose 05:26

Well, I was thinking a lot about that because at the end of the day, helping people launch a business is not a particularly unique model. I think there are two things for my particular demographic, which is women who are in middle-age that makes me different than a lot of other people. The first one is that I've had multiple businesses. So, depending on what it looks like, I'm not gonna come in and say, well, you have to have, a massage center, because that's what I know how to do. I know how to do a lot of things. I've had the personal services, I've had professional services, I've had employees, and I've not had employees. So I can really help walk people through the realities. I know what it means to own each of those kinds of businesses from firsthand experience, not just from reading books about it or thinking about it.

The second thing that is really I think, helpful is that I went through this rebirth again when I was 50. I've been an entrepreneur for many years, for a long time, but I came to the same crossroad that my clients are at. So, I walk that exact path that they're walking. And I think that's really important for this stage and for this thing. It's like, I was there, I was looking at, we wanna retire somewhere, so what does that mean if I go and launch this new business? does that mean we get to go do it? So, I think the fact that I walk the shoes is, makes me very different than a lot of the other business consultants that people might come across.

Gresham Harkless 06:48

Yeah, I love the fact that you being a serial entrepreneur and having an opportunity to launch multiple businesses,  you have a unique lens than often a lot of other consultants might have where they have only one business that they've run or one industry that they work in. And they say, this is all that I know, so I think that you should do this. But you actually have different lenses that you can look at and say, okay, that doesn't look quite right. But this one looks perfect because I'm listening to what you said. And I also have some type of experience in terms of doing that.

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Susan Rose 07:14

Right. And I'm really practical. It's we're gonna sit down, we're gonna figure out all the big pieces of life to come up with a thing that makes sense. Because like you said, not all things make sense to all people. And there are a lot of factors that go into it. So, yeah. So it's a lot of fun to figure that out.

Gresham Harkless 07:30

Awesome. And one of the awesome things that I get to do is ask, different CEOs and entrepreneurs, and business owners exactly what a good CEO hack is. And this might be like a book or an app or something that you've used in your businesses or maybe on a daily basis that you feel like this makes you more successful and gives you an edge above maybe the competition.

Susan Rose 07:49

Yeah. In terms of like hacks, it really depends, I think on your business and what you're doing. What is most useful. So I wanna recommend a book that was really transformational for me, and that was The Big Leap by Gay Hendrix. I don't know if you've heard of it or not, but that was recommended, and one of my coaches recommended it to me. And it digs into a lot of the kind of glass ceiling you put on yourself and your own limits and what you believe and when you get to that endpoint. And I never realized I did that. I think a lot of people don't realize they do that, and it was really eye-opening for me.

So, I read that as I was launching this business, and it gave me a really huge perspective about the unintentional ways in which I limit myself and the things I can be doing. Because I have a big message, I wanna impact a lot of people's lives and, I have to do some shifting within myself. So I thought that was just a book that is so well worth reading for anybody really.

Gresham Harkless 08:44

It's great. Yeah. And I actually have not heard about that book, so I'm definitely gonna add that to my list. For sure.

Susan Rose 08:49

It's a quick read. Yeah.

Gresham Harkless 08:50

You don't know, sometimes you need people on the outside to give you that perspective, or even books and opportunities to learn that, hey, there is a ceiling that you put there, and you need to take that off if you wanna reach the goal that, that you wanna reach.

Susan Rose 09:02

Yeah. We all have our own limits to come from, and different factors in life. And, I'm a coach, I know that, but you hearing somebody else say it and say it in a way this may be different than you've heard it before, is really useful.

Gresham Harkless 09:13

Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

Susan Rose 09:14

Go read that book.

Gresham Harkless 09:15

I will, I have it on my list, for sure. And now the next thing that I wanted to ask you was a CEO nugget, which might be like a word of wisdom or a piece of advice that you can give to other entrepreneurs and business owners.

Susan Rose 09:26

I would say don't give up. You hear the statistics about how many small businesses fail, and I think it's because it gets hard. This is a roller coaster ride and it is not, for the faint of heart, really. It's very exciting and there are huge rewards but there are also huge dips and times where a lot of outside factors are gonna be telling you not to do it anymore. And the real challenge of the real entrepreneur is that they push through it and they keep going and they adapt to the change. So, my nugget is to know that you're in this for the long haul, because day to day it's gonna go up and down and up and down.

Gresham Harkless 10:02

Yeah. Whether you want it to or not, but persistence is the key.

Susan Rose 10:05

Yeah, exactly. It is.

Gresham Harkless 10:07

Yeah. Awesome. So, as I mentioned, one of the awesome things about this podcast is we get the opportunity to speak with different types of quote and quote CEOs. So these are people that might be running their business from their homes and they might have hundreds of employees. So the fact that you are a serial entrepreneur, I wanted to ask you, what is being an entrepreneur, or what does being a CEO specifically, mean to you?

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Susan Rose 10:27

For me, it's all about freedom. I initially became self-employed because I don't fit in the corporate world at all, just as an employee. It was too stifling for me. It was hard. It just doesn't fit with my personality. So I am what's called a lifestyle entrepreneur. I do this because I like the life that comes along with it. I like working from home. I like being able to go on vacation whenever I feel like it. And sometimes I take my laptop with me and I work, but I get that I have that total freedom and that is just huge for me. And that's why I feel so strongly about sharing that with other people because I actually think that's probably true for others as well and they just don't know it.

Gresham Harkless 11:11

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I feel like you're speaking my exact same language, so I could definitely echo that as well too. So, Susan I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule. I just wanted to give you the floor or the mic one more time just to see if there was anything additional you wanted to let us know, whether that be words of wisdom or just anything additional about your business that you didn't already kind of touch on.

Susan Rose 11:32

Well, just additional words of wisdom is that do it now. I talk to a lot of people who are thinking about someday. Oh, someday, when this circumstance or that circumstance, or this holiday passes or whatever, then I'll look into following my treatment, doing what I wanna do. And the reality is today is the day to do it.

For anybody who's listening to this, who is not already an entrepreneur, who's maybe just started and is facing some of those challenges that might make you wanna quit, reach out, and ask for help. But get started. Do something right now because the dream is gonna stay. If you've got the bug, you've got the bug, and tomorrow is not the right day to do it.

The right day to do it is right now, today. So I challenge anybody to go take that next step. Call a coach, and schedule a call with me if you want. Go to the scoring office, do something, but just take a step and make the dream happen.

Gresham Harkless 12:22

Awesome. So, anybody in the I am CEO community if you have that bug make sure that you definitely take advantage of that today. Not tomorrow, but definitely today. So Susan, if anybody's listening to this, what's the best way for them to get in touch with you or get ahold of you?

Susan Rose 12:34

If they wanna schedule a call, I would go to and they can schedule a call with me and we can talk through whatever questions they have.

Gresham Harkless 12:46

Okay, perfect. And we'll have those, that link in the show notes just in case anybody might be listening and wants to follow back up. But Susan, thank you so much for all the awesome stuff that you're doing, and I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule.

Susan Rose 12:59

It's my pleasure. I always enjoy talking to you. You know that.

Gresham Harkless 13:02


Susan Rose 13:03

Great day.

Gresham Harkless 13:04

You too.

Outro 13:04

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast, powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I am CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts, subscribe and leave us a five-star rating.

Grab CEO gear at This has been the I am CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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