Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Adelee Penner, CEO of Elk Willow Consulting, located in Bragg Creek, AB, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?


To inspire people to reach their full potential so that together, we can change our world for the better.


Working primarily with the education and business sector, we help organizations improve operational efficiency and realize a culture for change and growth. Through personalized services, we work alongside staff to create a culture of improvement and growth. Our strengths lie in customized services which include consulting, speaking, and coaching.


Consulting is more than giving advice. We work to provide information, assist with problem-solving, make recommendations, analyze the situation presented, facilitate learning, and permanently improve organization effectiveness. Our top priority is to ensure that you will have the capacity to move forward without us in the future.


Are you looking for a keynote address, professional learning workshop, facilitated conversation, or team-building event? We can help you. When you decide to host an event, whether it's a meeting, a training session, or a conference, a top keynote speaker can help to make it a success. No matter the topic, we will bring insights, experience, and entertainment to make the most of your event.


Coaching unleashes the hidden potential in leaders by helping them maximize their overall performance along with their organization. We help leaders focus on their professional priorities while also advancing their professional goals.

Tell us about yourself

As a teacher, administrator, leader, and Assistant Superintendent, I enjoyed working with students and staff to help them discover new possibilities and ideas and reach to accomplish goals that they couldn't see themselves. I find joy in supporting folks to uncover hidden potential and opportunities. I decided to start this business to be able to do that full work time. I started mainly working within the Education sector and recently have been able to branch out into other sectors, which has been a lot of fun and a learning curve for me.

I thrive when I can help an organization and individuals to work in a way that reflects their core values and align their practice to those values. I work behind the spotlight to build the capacity of an individual or group to help them lead the way, and sometimes I am asked to lead the way. I am really glad that I have a role that affords me the opportunity to keep learning, growing, and trying new things, all through supporting others.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

This last year we were able to work in 18 different countries. Our client and business relationships have been created during a global pandemic and have been mainly virtual. It has been amazing to grow a business and help others land major initiatives while experiencing a global lockdown. I am excited that our clients want to continue to grow with us and that we are able to start to visit folks in person again.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

It has been an interesting journey to discover who is a fit for us and who we fit best as clients. At the beginning of a new venture - you take on all who will work with you and are grateful. In time you learn who you will be able to serve and support and who might not be a fit for the services that are being offered. Knowing that is important for both our clients and Elk Willow as both parties are then set up for success and the ability to meet their goals.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Know who you are as a leader.
  2. Be clear about what you want to contribute to the world.
  3. Don't give up. Stay the course and create the conversation you want to lead.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I am grateful to be part of a group of people that work to amplify each other. We mentioned each other in rooms when our partners were not present. We are mentioned in rooms when we are not present. The more we can find collaborators that have complementary skills and work to amplify each other - the better we all will be.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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