077 | Investing in professional development with Tanya Wheeless, Happy Grace

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TSBC Alum, Tanya Wheeless is the founder of Happy Grace and author of three workbooks on soulful living. She has leveraged her decades of experience as a CEO, senior executive in the NBA, and community leader to teach women how to live the good life while struggling to balance work and family.

In 2016, Tanya saw a need in the market for physical products that busy women could use daily to motivate and center themselves. With that, Happy Grace was born! She took all of her coaching goodness, combined it with her love of paper and created a beautiful line of guided journals, inspiration decks, lip balms and more. When she’s not working, you can find her traveling the globe with her husband and son.

On today’s episode, Tanya shares why she never wanted to be an entrepreneur, how she’s weaved both products and services into her business and why she prioritizes and invests in professional development.


  • How she became an entrepreneur when she didn’t originally want to be one

  • The catalyst to starting her own business

  • The first service she offered

  • The physical products that Happy Grace offers

  • Why design almost kept her from pursuing physical products

  • What the design process is like for her products

  • Tanya’s coaching services and how they have shifted over time

  • The importance of wellness self-care

  • Happy Grace’s new digital membership program

  • Why it’s important for her to invest in professional development

  • What Tanya finds most challenging about being an entrepreneur

  • How she has updated her brand story

  • Tanya’s advice for someone just getting started in a product-based business

  • What’s next for Happy Grace

Download These Quotables to Save and Share


“In my mind, I wanted to show up every day, know what I was supposed to do, know that the paycheck was going to be there, and have a ladder that I could climb because I’m all about climbing ladders.” – Tanya Wheeless

“I can’t figure out Asana. I can’t do Trello. And you know what? We got through. We used Google Docs. We used Gmail. It was all fine.” – Tanya Wheeless

“Timeout on the “shoulds” and really get clear about what you actually need, because I think every team’s different, and I do not believe there’s one way to do this whole entrepreneurship thing.” – Tanya Wheeless

“Product’s a whole different ballgame because I had to outlend a lot of money before I ever had anything to sell — designers, production, and my coaching funded that.” – Tanya Wheeless

“We tend to think that there are two of us. There’s work Katie, and then there’s mom Katie, and there’s not. There’s just one Katie.” – Tanya Wheeless

“It feels safe for people to hire a leadership coach or an executive coach but what I know most of us really need is more of that wellness self-care.” – Tanya Wheeless

“Mental health, self-care, just being kind to ourselves is such an important facet for all of us regardless of whether we’re an entrepreneur or not.”– Katie Hunt

“It’s okay to have your hands in multiple things until you find the thing that really excites you, and that you can make sustainable and fuel yourself financially as well as like in your heart.” – Katie Hunt

“If you are a newbie, go to Paper Camp because the women and the men that you are going to meet, some of them will be at your level, but so many are going to be far ahead.” – Tanya Wheeless

“There’s so much value in being curious and learning about things that may be of interest to you because even finding out, “No, that’s not for me,” is incredibly valuable.” – Katie Hunt

“One of the things that I did not appreciate when I started, Katie, was the importance of me and my brand, and people having a connection with who I was and what I was about.” – Tanya Wheeless

“When people were exposed to me, when they got my personality, when they saw my passion what I was doing, they lined up to buy my product.”– Tanya Wheeless

“Know that everyone started exactly where you started with an idea, with your computer, and with a hope that someday someone was going to send your card to someone for a meaningful birthday.” – Tanya Wheeless

“Be patient with yourself because it’s not as easy as everyone else is making it look.” – Tanya Wheeless


Website: Happy Grace | Instagram: @myhappygrace | Facebook: @myhappygrace | Pinterest: @myhappygrace | Twitter: @myhappygrace


The One Thing | Essentialism | Big Magic | Soul Pancake | Funny or Die | Indigo Faire | Pinners | Conference | Magnolia | Digital Lizard

Connect with Katie Hunt

Katie Hunt is a business strategist, podcaster, mentor and mama to four. She helps product based businesses build profitable, sustainable companies through her conferences, courses and coaching programs.

Website: prooftoproduct.com  |   Instagram: @prooftoproduct

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