The One and Only Lori Tyll – The Guiding Light Behind The Entrepreneur’s Source Ongoing Commitment to Empowering Women in Business
For 35 years now, The Entrepreneur’s Source has been helping to make entrepreneurial dreams come true for hundreds of thousands of individuals. Over that period of time, we’ve seen a lot of changes…some of them historical, some of them life changing and others, well, little more than a blip. We’ve seen the rise of the personal computer and the cell phone. We’ve seen once seemingly invincible corporate giants stand on the brink of catastrophe…and most importantly, we’ve seen (and been a part of) the explosive growth of franchise ownership.
In the 35 years of being in business, Lori Tyll, one of our most pivotal game-changers, has been part of the organization for 20.
The Entrepreneur’s Source (TES) has seen a lot of changes through the years and we’re proud to have had a role in some of them. Consider women in business. When TES began Career Transition Coaching in the 80’s, women had already made huge strides in the business world, but many were still struggling. Back then, the world of Career Transition Coaching was still largely dominated by men.
“We found that more and more women were eager to become coaches in 2003-2004,” says Lori Tyll, VP of Operations and overall princess-of-all-trades with The Entrepreneur’s Source. “They were eager to work, but many of them were facing challenges with networking and marketing themselves.”
Tyll dug a little deeper and here’s what she found: Many of the female coaches with TES were trying to make their careers work with their family life.
“These women were trying to fit meetings in while they were making lunch. They were talking to clients while they had a kid on their hip or while they were putting children to bed. They really didn’t have opportunities to network and they just weren’t sure how to market themselves.”
It’s a struggle Tyll realized she had faced herself! As the mother of two, Tyll often found herself and her family moving across the country in pursuit of her husband’s corporate career.
“I had always worked part-time, even as my husband worked and my children were in school,” Tyll remembers. “But I was worried about my kids being gone from home and there I’d be…all alone. I didn’t want to wake up one morning and have nothing of my own!”
It was that realization that led Lori to answer Terry Powell’s employment ad 20 years ago! Terry Powell, the visionary founder of The Entrepreneur’s Source, hired Tyll on the spot and understood her desire for a work/life balance where she could thrive…after all, it was one of the very bedrocks he built TES upon: the idea of working to live, not living to work.
Tyll realized, “If I’m feeling this way, then there have to be so many other women feeling this way too.” As she spoke to more and more women at the annual TES conferences, Tyll found that there was an unmet need.
Working with Judy Stoleson, a successful Phoenix-based Alternative Career Coach, the two women formed Women Empowered by Business in 2005. “I kind of came at it from the corporate side of it while Judy could really connect with the women, being a Career Transition Coach herself,” says Tyll. “She was one of the first female coaches with TES and she was our first female Regional Developer. Judy really knew what was going on in the field.”
The idea was simple: Women Empowered by Business (WEBB) would promote successful entrepreneurship among women by providing opportunities and resources designed to educate, empower, and enlighten them as they embrace the challenges of business ownership.
Tyll says the challenges faced by women were often different than those faced by men.
“We found that our women coaches did not have time to go out to a seminar. That’s when it struck me that they needed something they could do at home from their computer.” WEBB began as monthly, hour-long networking conference calls. Many times Terry Powell himself would talk with the coaches; other times WEBB turned to another strong source for advice on helping women in business: successful women from the world of franchising.
The small non-profit started gaining momentum. As more women gained confidence and the skills they needed, they were able to approach and attract more women on the path to entrepreneurship — both as franchisees and as Alternative Career Coaches. WEBB began organizing events – including teams in support of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Over four years, WEBB managed to raise over $80,000 for the cancer fighting organization.
As Women Empowered by Business expanded, Tyll noticed growth in a very unexpected segment: “A lot of men were coming to our session.” For years, the business of franchise coaching was dominated by men. Men also held most of the Regional Development positions. “What we found was, that some of the male Regional Developers found it hard to effectively connect with the female coaches. They were like, ‘Don’t be so nurturing, just go out there and do it.’ Some of the men just couldn’t relate with them well.” WEBB turned out to be a way for male Regional Developers and Alternative Career Coaches to begin to understand women better. “The WEBB sessions really helped them work with their female clients more effectively and with more understanding.”
By 2013, Lori Tyll “semi-retired” and by that point The Entrepreneur’s Source had grown and expanded to such a degree (especially within the virtual world!) that weekly WEBB calls were put on hiatus. Tyll is still very active with TES, organizing events like the annual conference…and she keeps the needs of ALL TES coaches in mind. She thanks Terry Powell for all of it.
“Terry let me grow through the years. He listened to me and he listened to these women too. He has really let me do some things that we really didn’t expect.” WEBB, like most of The Entrepreneur’s Source’s foundations, was founded on advice Powell lives by: “Don’t limit yourself. Anything you can imagine, you can achieve.”
Are you a woman interested in learning how you, too, can become empowered as part of The Entrepreneur’s Source family? Get started by exploring your I.L.W.E – your ideal income, lifestyle, wealth and equity.