Right after she launched her company, Inner Glow Circle, Katie DePaola’s brother died from an accidental overdose. A few months later, Katie cut ties with her business partner and then-fiancé, all the while, fighting a battle with Lyme Disease.

Between meetings, she cried, punched her pillow and made deals with God. She knew giving up wasn’t an option. Even on the hardest days, she still had somewhere to be. She had created something in her life that was worth showing up for.

She was grieving the loss of her brother. The Lyme was taking its toll on her body. She had to learn how to ask for help, delegate and hire the right people fast. “I worked hard to save my business, but in the end, my business saved me,” Katie says. Her business was the giant gift she gave herself but hadn’t even realized.

Along the way, Katie turned her greatest challenges into her greatest opportunities. She’s rebranding resilience, showing women how to use their challenges as a platform to better the lives of others and build profitable businesses. With her growing team, she trains thousands of women across the world on how to find their purpose, live it and get paid.

In her book, At Least You Look Good, Katie shares her most vulnerable (and often funny) reflections on how to deal with the hardest parts of life — and her best advice for women who want to “glow through what they go through.”

Hire Katie to Inspire

From Katie

My story with this business goes way back. Since I was a teenager, I dreamt of creating an online space where young women could tell the truth about their lives, ask questions and get great advice from other women who had been through it. I wrote the entire business idea in one of my journals! Even though I didn’t start Inner Glow Circle until 2015, it was in my head (and my journal) for decades.

I grew up in a family business so I knew a lot about entrepreneurship. I always figured I’d have my own business, but I didn’t know what coaching was or that it was a possible career path for me. I do remember my dad listening to Tony Robbins tapes on the drive to school and thinking WTF does it mean to awaken the giant within?!

Obviously, my dad’s passion for personal development impacted me more than I realized. In high school, I was president of Student Government. At Vanderbilt University, I pledged Chi Omega, wrote for the school newspaper and graduated with a B.S. in Human and Organizational Development. After college, I moved straight to New York City where I worked in public relations, marketing and sales.

On one hand, I thought I was living the dream in the city that never sleeps. But on the other, I wanted so much more. Every day I was going through the motions without a specific purpose. It almost felt like I was living someone else’s life.

I was passionate about eating healthy and knew how much changing my diet changed my life, so I enrolled in a Masters program in Functional Nutrition. While in school, I moved home to Washington, DC, went back to work at my family business and finally got the courage to start my own business on the side, an organic spray tanning company. I started running my business out of a local gym. There, I met a health coach who was doing the same. As I learned more about her career, it seemed too good to be true. Was this the path that was meant for me?

I started to follow the breadcrumbs and eventually they led me to get certified as a life coach. With spray tanning and coaching, I was able to  make enough money to fully support myself and leave my 9 to 5.

My now-partner, Liv Chapman, was one of my very first clients. She was looking for a life coach. A mutual friend thought we would be a match! She was teaching at the time and frustrated with the lack of upward mobility in her career. She started coaching on the side.

I remember being so impressed by her ability to build detailed programs and curriculums, almost overnight. What started as a coach and client relationship quickly evolved into more.

Since 2015, Inner Glow Circle has rapidly grown into a globally recognized training program for coaches and entrepreneurs. By coupling our business and teaching experience, Liv and I have been able to impact thousands of women around the globe. We have clients from Australia, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, Brazil, Italy, London, the Bahamas, Bermuda and of course, all over the U.S.

Inner Glow Circle teaches women to work for themselves, not by themselves, just as we’ve done. When we glow together, we grow together too.

I still have some guilty pleasures (the Kardashians, peanut butter and of course, retail therapy) and I love working out and spending time with family, but when it comes to work, I’m all in. My work was the thing that saved my life, after all.

I love doing the “impossible,” inspiring our team, teaching our students and  building our branding and messaging. I’m all about having a flawless presence, hence the name of my first book At Least You Look Good (coming spring 2020!).