Julie Mullarkey

Business Coach

Always make time to dream, create, and imagine.


My dream began at 1 Lafayette Square in downtown Buffalo, New York – at the Buffalo Public Library’s central branch. Somewhere between the ages of 10 and 13, sitting in that library is where I first realized that anything was possible. The library was the one place in my life where I could dream, create, and imagine. At this place, I first became aware of – and embraced – my entrepreneurial spirit. I earned, saved, and went without lunch to have the correct change for the bus. Even at that early age, I knew that simply dreaming was not enough to take me where I wanted to go. I understood it was my responsibility to take action and produce the results I wanted for my life.

Fast-forward to the fall of 2000, and I am knee-deep in presenting a budget. This is the time of the year when, as a corporate marketing and public relations professional, I was tasked with presenting budgets comprised of new, innovative marketing concepts, grassroots proactive public relations strategies, public relations crisis management techniques, and most importantly – forecasted results. My goal was to justify each penny (including my salary and bonus) to be spent in the upcoming year.

This was in Seattle, Washington, where I attended a business meeting. In a posh room overlooking the beautiful shores of Lake Washington, I sat surrounded by marketing professionals who were supposedly ” hand-picked” to be on this team, and I found myself wondering.

  • Why were these people earning the same amount as me but only doing half the work? They didn’t produce results like me!
  • Why I spent my time working at least 80 hours a week only to hear my manager tell the top brass what creative ideas the “marketing department” was generating and tout how the latest campaign produced more results than any other. It wasn’t the “marketing department” producing. It was me! 90% of those ideas were mine, and I wasn’t compensated or acknowledged for them!

It was at that moment I decided that enough was enough. I recalled those valuable lessons I learned at a young age in Buffalo – I was responsible for producing results in my life, not a manager or a department head. It was up to me to make different choices if I wanted to be somewhere else. At this Seattle meeting, I realized it was time to start my own business.

Today, I am thrilled that all three of my brands are thriving. I work closely with financial advisors and small business owners as their business coach or, through my other brands, offer marketing consulting services. I have a team of people I truly respect and enjoy working with, and I am always thinking about how to add more value to our offerings.

Being a business coach is incredibly fulfilling for me. I can be a trusted advisor to successful business owners and executives. My job is to provide a safe environment to get them to take consistent action to build momentum. I challenge my clients to move forward and take risks for their desired results. I offer them knowledge and truly have their best interest at heart.

Of course, I have also experienced a few dark times. One of my biggest challenges was when a key client (representing 80 percent of my income) downsized to save their company. My contract was part of the downsizing. I was given no warning, and they didn’t have the money to buy out my contract. I was simply left to deal with it. When faced with that type of financial loss, you take stock of what’s important in your life. During these tough times, your inner voice can become your best friend, reminding you of why you became a business owner, or it can become your worst enemy, telling you to get a ”real job” – that being self-employed is too hard.

Being an entrepreneur is your dream; you do whatever it takes to hold on to it, or you let it float away. The choice is yours. For me, the choice was easy. I reminded myself that anything is possible as long as I believe in myself. I was not giving up on my business. I am completely attached to it, and quite frankly, I am too stubborn to let something like a client’s choice to “downsize” beat me. So, I buckled down and focused on stabilizing my business – essentially rebuilding my business all over again. I got back to basics and fell in love with my business.

My success allows me to choose what clients I want to work with and who I spend time with professionally. I live in a beautiful home near the Chesapeake Bay. Several times each year, my husband, son, and I travel extensively. I enjoy the freedom to do what I want when I want – and most importantly, where I want! This freedom is precious to me, and I would not trade it for anything.

I am proud of myself for taking an enormous risk and believing in myself to fulfill my entrepreneurial spirit. That said, I always keep sight of what new endeavors lie ahead. Each day, I take massive action toward achieving my goals – and always make time to dream, create, and imagine.


© Julie Mullarkey