Twin Purpose: Entrepreneur Sisters Coach Women For Success
Growing up in Argenta, Illinois, a town of 900, twin sisters Jan and Jillian Yuhas were very close. Now living in Chicago, the co-founders of the coaching firm, Entwined Lifestyle, are still finishing each other’s sentences—in unison.
“We always play off each other,” says Jan, along with Jillian. “We have always been on the same page.”
In the “countryside,” Jillian says they were very focused on hobbies and interests and learning. “There was no cable,” she says.
At 18, they both set off for the University of Illinois-Chicago, and graduated in 2002 together—and a semester early. Following graduation, they volunteered at Safe Line, a hotline for family mediation. In the evenings, they bartended alongside each other on the same shifts in Chicago.
After three years, they attended graduate school at the Adler School of Psychology, graduating in 2006 with degrees in marriage and family psychology.
At 25, the Yuhas sisters co-founded their first business, Natural Beauties Floral, a wedding and floral design company, using their psychology skills and what they learned from their grandmother who was a master gardener and floral designer, who competed in state and local events.
“We were skilled in minimizing stress,” says Jan, which came in handy, doing up to 50 weddings a year. “We knew how to keep it all calm, cool and collected.”
They worked at the floral company they founded for 10 years, but began thinking in 2014 that they wanted something different.
Jillian adds, “We realized as much as we loved designing flowers, we wanted to go back to psychology and find fulfillment.” They launched Entwined Lifestyle in 2014, with Jill concentrating on the details and Jan concentrating on the big picture. In 2016, they were full-time with Entwined.
Coaching women of all ages from 27 to 57, Jillian says, she finds every client has similar issues when it comes to career and personal coaching. “They need to establish their relationship values,” Jan says.
Those values can be integrity, trust, loyalty and time, and need to be internal, not driven by external forces, Jan says.
ProHabits recently evaluated more than 2,000 values from leadership at close to 400 companies, according to Inc., and found top values in this original research across Fortune 500 companies include integrity, innovation and respect.
For individuals, investigating your internal values is an important exercise, Jan says.
“Your mindset might shift, but your values might not shift,” says Jillian.
Finding and naming those values is an important first step toward success, they say, and starts with discovery questions, such as “Does this provide purpose?”
Avery Blank writes in Forbes, “Moral leaders guide themselves with values and ethics that they develop over time and with experience. Examples of values include integrity, respect, accountability, community, inclusion, fairness and service.” She writes to ask questions, similar to what the Yuhas sisters suggest. “What experiences have shaped your thoughts and views? Be introspective. Think about the principles by which you live your life.”
Many experts agree.
“Leadership that’s grounded in strong core values can make a strategic business decision that combines organizational needs with community benefit — and neither is diminished in the process,” writes Shawn Vij, author of Moral Fiber: Awakening Corporate Consciousness, in Thrive Global.
“And we’re seeing more leaders taking a stand as our moral core is etched into sharper focus. Senators argue for country before party, CEOs insist on innovating for a sustainable future, board members insist on repairing a toxic workplace not just for the sake of its people, but the long-term viability of the organization itself,” Vij writes.
Another big issue for women in their coaching clientele is the issue of boundaries, Jan says. “Set the structure of business hours, as it shows you respect your own time and your value theirs,” Jillian says.
Dealing with toxic work cultures and relationships is also top of mind for many women—and men—they see in their coaching business.
Jan suggests when dealing with someone negative, “You can always say, ‘I hear what you’re saying, but moving forward, I prefer not to communicate this way.”
“Don’t engage back with negativity,” says Jillian, “Shut it down.”