Genni Threet is not only a Fort Mill friend and neighbor but also – until recently – a colleague in our field. After long following an advertising and marketing path, last year Genni completed her training to become a Certified Life Coach and made a brave and mighty pivot. She shuttered her agency and hung out a shingle over her new endeavor – Wonderland Coaching.
Like Genni’s, my professional journey has been varied and winding. It took me time to distill my passion and talents into a way that fed my soul and allowed me to contribute to my community. Genni’s story is one that personally resonates, and it’s one I’m privileged to share.
Originally from Columbia, SC, Genni was a creative kid whose love for the outdoors was matched only by her love for writing. She stayed close to home during the school year and every summer was set loose to hunt toads and dig holes with a pack of cousins.
Genni’s positive experience as a copywriting intern while in high school affirmed her college plan, and at 18 she was off to Southern Methodist University. She thrived in Dallas. The advertising program operated more like an incubator than traditional curriculum, and the rhythm of the city suited her well. She was surrounded by interesting people and knee-deep in a rich mix of creative work and business advertising.
Heading into adulthood, Genni’s every itch was scratched. She was happy.
Then reality hit.
In the two years after graduation, Genni took sales and marketing jobs she thought she’d love … but the work was unfulfilling. It lacked import, the pace was unforgiving, and her creativity was untapped. Instead of enthusiastically embarking on a voyage of her own design, Genni questioned everything: “Is this what I really want? Is something wrong with me for feeling so deeply unsatisfied?” It was all up for reconsideration.
Plus — and this might seem trivial if it weren’t a common confession among transplants — Genni missed nature. The built environment was tiresome. The mountains and the sea were calling her home, and she went.
Genni’s education, experience, creative eye (and chutzpah) earned her a fusion sales and marketing position on staff at Charleston’s daily Post & Courier. The job gave her the autonomy she wanted and reinvigorated her appetite for the industry.
Nearly two years later, Genni and her then fiancé moved to Charlotte with the intention of starting anew – he would establish a law firm and she would open an agency. While unpacking, Genni found a penny her mentor back in Dallas had encouraged her to keep: “You never know.” Lucky Penny Marketing was born.
As it was in Charleston, Genni’s focus was on small businesses. Under Lucky Penny, though, she wasn’t limited to ad buys. She spent time with her clients, listening to their aspirations and pain points, and then would custom create and execute a wraparound marketing plan to support them. Her work was collaborative by design. More than working for her clients, Genni worked alongside them.
Genni has worked with a life coach since age 22. After every session, she’d reflect on the gift of being present with others – being trusted to hold another’s challenges and to offer constructive solutions. As COVID-19 took root, client conversations took on a different dynamic and Genni stepped into a new truth: “I’m not a fixer … I’m a coach.”
She explored numerous training options, ultimately enrolling in the Life Purpose Institute – a program accredited by the prestigious International Coaching Federation. Immediately, she was at home. Her commitment to deep listening, creative problem solving, and strategizing for the long game all made sense now.
This was what she was meant to do.
Something unexpected happened as Genni charted her new course. The grit and determination that had led her professionally made room for a trait she’d been taught to reserve only for her personal life: gentleness. She learned that being gentle with herself – taking time with her thoughts, welcoming in quiet, and dreaming out loud – was critical for her own growth, and would be crucial to that of her clients as well:
We all deserve the freedom to enjoy; to become whole. To see ourselves for who we are and to build our careers from the inside out – instead of building a life around societal and cultural beliefs. We all have every right to do and pursue what’s in our hearts.
Where her primary driver had been revenue, moving forward she would be driven by purpose. The revelation was staggering and the reclamation that came with it was proof positive that she was on the right path.
As Genni designed an intentional life as a coach, she found herself slowing down to savor everyone and everything. She started to garden again and to do yoga regularly, allowing herself to be called back into her body and to get lost in thought. All that was mundane and lackluster became awe-inspiring and ripe with opportunity. She mused that her world had turned into Wonderland – seemingly upside down but in actuality, finally, right side up.
In October 2020, Genni launched Wonderland Coaching with the specific aim of engaging heart-centered female entrepreneurs who need support with: focusing on their strengths, learning that winning clients doesn’t mean saying yes, and understanding the importance of value alignment between client and customer.
Genni’s ideal coaching clients lead with love and activate their creativity to do good. She considers it an honor to empower them to see in themselves what she sees; to say “Look what you do! Your dreams are valid. Your passion is making a difference. Your work is important.”
As her one-year anniversary approaches, Genni is proud to have actualized her vision for Wonderland Coaching. She offers one-on-one coaching, hosts group workshops, and equips her clients with useful freebies like her Work Values Worksheet. She’s gathered the wisdom it took more than 13 years to harvest and test, and takes responsibility (and joy) in disseminating it:
Pursue what’s in your heart.
Do what you love to do, not what others would love you to do.
Harness your strength; blow their minds.
Young women, mature women and moms of all ages are underestimated.
Value creative expression. Relish human connection. Self-define success.
Putting lofty goals like these into action takes hard work, dedication and accountability, and Genni is committed to walk beside her clients every step of the way. In her own words, “You do not have to be alone on your path to success.”
Yessss. On behalf of all of us at Beyond Marketing, Genni, congratulations! We are thrilled to see you thriving and happy, and hope our worlds will collide again.
Based in Fort Mill, Genni is the owner of Wonderland Coaching. If you are an entrepreneur needing help with gaining clarity for your business then we recommend you connect with Genni. Wonderland Coaching and Beyond Marketing recently collaborated on a rebranding project for a client and Genni helped the client crystallize their “why” brilliantly. Genni is an excellent marketer and coach and we can’t endorse her talents enough! Should you elect to work with her, you won’t be disappointed!
– James La Barrie