My Journey from Shy Girl to Confident Self-employed Introvert

People tell me they wish they knew more about how I ended up where I am today, as a full-time coach, making it work, doing things my own way that aligns with my introverted nature and my strengths and values.

I think I should share more of that journey with you. I don’t want career discovery or self-employment for introverts to be such a mystery.

We need visible role models for making a living doing what you love and doing what serves a true need in the world. That’s what I call a SOULpreneur journey. It’s possible. I’m doing it and so are others.

Val Nelson - coach for introverts

Let me start with a snippet from the early days of my coaching business, and then I’ll give you the longer story.

Recently I found this happy note in my journal from 2009 when I was starting to offer coaching: “I now have 2 coaching clients. I feel like I’m fulfilling the dream of being paid to be me!”

I can still feel the inner happy dance of that moment in 2009, and I still get how huge that was, to step into that feeling after so many years of waiting.

I’m glad I actually stopped and noticed that milestone. It can be easy to miss those accomplishments in the early days when so much lack is staring us in the face, maybe in the form of a very low bank account. It’s not easy, but the journey to our true path is so worth it, even if bumpy.

OK, now I will share a longer version of my story — from shy girl, through career exploration, growing confidence and honoring my introverted self, and then becoming a self-employed coach specializing in helping other introverts live their true callings.

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Meet SOULpreneur Diana Chaplin

Let’s Meet Some SOULpreneurs

Most of the examples we have of successful entrepreneurs are focused on the external benchmarks like fame and fortune. But what about the inner measures like staying true to your heart? The SOULpreneur journey is about harmonizing the needs of your heart and your wallet.

It’s hard to stay the course on this counter-cultural SOULpreneur journey if we don’t have enough role models for it. But they are out there! So I’m going to feature them on my blog, starting today.

Because the most visible business models are of white extroverted men, I’m going to try to balance that out with having a preference for sharing stories from women, introverts, people of diverse cultural and racial backgrounds, and others who are underrepresented in the public eye.

I hope you’ll feel supported and inspired as we gain an inside view of the SOULpreneur journey. I’m asking them some juicy questions about the ups and downs and how they are making it work (including money stuff).

Meet SOULpreneur Diana Chaplin

The first SOULpreneur I’d like to introduce you to is Diana Chaplin who is based in Western Massachusetts (USA).


Diana is a Copywriter & Content Creator who I admire for bringing such a positive and thoughtful approach to everything she does, whether welcoming a new member to her coworking space, or providing warm and confident guidance to a copywriting client who is feeling overwhelmed by their website content.

I’m excited for you to get to know her and learn from her SOULpreneur journey. Her answers to my questions went deep!

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