About Soul of Startups
Julie Penner, the founder of Soul of Startups, is a seasoned startup and leadership coach, investor, and writer, is shaping the entrepreneurial landscape with her unique and effective coaching philosophy. With two decades of startup expertise under her belt, she is dedicated to empowering founders and CEOs to overcome their unique challenges and realize their full potential.
Julie began her startup journey at the young age of 21 at her first startup, a sleep hardware company called Zeo. After a move to Boulder, Colorado for law and business graduate degrees with emphasis in entrepreneurship, she dove deeper into the world of startups. Her stint at Techstars, an accelerator known for mentoring early-stage startups, was a catalyst, shaping her philosophy and coaching style.
Today, Penner stands for a coaching approach that emphasizes self-awareness and personal development. She believes that great companies are built from the inside out, starting with the founder or founders. The traits of founders, their strengths, and shadows, she suggests, greatly influence the company's culture. Her work revolves around helping these leaders recognize their patterns, the stories they tell themselves, and how their thoughts and behaviors influence others around them.
Penner has said with regards to founders "No one is perfect. Everyone has blind spots and areas they can work on. The work I do is in helping founders become more aware of who they are and what patterns they run so that they can perform at their best."
Penner's coaching is not just about business strategies; it's about exploring different modalities that lead to self-awareness. She incorporates principles of conscious leadership, the enneagram, mindfulness, and internal family systems into her coaching, encouraging founders to test these concepts in the real world and hold on to the ones that work for them.
In addition to her coaching work, Penner is also a writer, using her words to connect founders with shared experiences and challenges. She views her writing as a medium to articulate and capture the emotions and essence of the entrepreneurial journey.
Her advice to emerging entrepreneurs is to view their startup journey as a process of continuous learning, acknowledging that each founder's path, whether towards success or failure, is an opportunity for self-discovery and growth.
In the words of Julie Penner, "Founders end up learning as much about themselves as they do about their customers or the market they choose to serve. It's a bold choice to start a company, and I wish more founders could locate their own pride in bravely taking the road less traveled."
Penner’s journey and her approach to coaching underscore the importance of self-awareness and the value of personal growth in the entrepreneurial landscape. Her dedication to guiding founders on their path to success is a testament to her passion for entrepreneurship and her belief in the power of transformation.