May 26, 2024

Thrive Insider

Exclusive stories of successful entrepreneurs

Val Jones Motivational Speaker/Peak Performance Expert

Who are you and what business did you start?

I am a professional figure skater turned speaker, author, coach. I started my company (Elite1 Productions, LLC) in 2018. I am a keynote speaker, author of “Sharpen Your Edge” and a peak performance coach specializing in Leadership/Team-building.

What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Competing at the level I did, I have garnered a ton of experience and knowledge in what makes a person a peak performer. I have studied and followed peak performers for decades. I am switching my business model to retreats for women in leadership as I feel as though that is an under-served sector.

Describe the process of launching the business.

I started out small, speaking to everyone and anyone who would listen. That grew into an audience member coming up to me after and asking if I could come to their organization and speak to them. And that grew into leadership programs. And now I’m turning that into a retreat model.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Talking to everyone I know and networking with people who are my ideal client avatar. Presenting solid material and asking for referrals.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

There still aren’t a whole lot of keynote speeches going on at conferences that still aren’t taking place, I’ve decided to pivot my business model. Plus, I want to own my time and not have to travel from city to city. This retreat business model lets me own my time and still have the ability to influence and impact women. Yes, I do understand that Covid will always be a thing. I will be offering virtual workshops to support my in-person retreats as well as an online monthly membership.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Get good at networking. Like, really good. Some networking groups haven’t panned out well for me, but others have been hugely successful. Also, follow-up. If you are at a networking meeting, follow-up. Don’t just seek out potential clients. That will fail. Look for others who you can support, refer and be a strategic partner.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Zoom, Active campaign for my CRM, LinkedIn,, Facebook, Instagram.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

If you want to build your list, Amy Porterfield’s podcast is the way to go. She is the best. I love Brendon Burchard, Rachel Hollis and Tony Robbins.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Do it. Just do it. Get a plan and write it out. If you don’t know how to do something, get someone to help you. Or, there is enough information on the web. Help is out there, you just have to ask for it. But do NOT give up on your dream.

Where can we go to learn more?