Unlikely business owner offers program to help other women launch their dreams

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Sometimes, Jen Petro still can’t believe she owns a business, let alone a thriving one.

The Fishers resident and mother of three launched DropLeaf Communications “out of desperation” during a time her husband, Paul, was going through an “epic health crisis” that lasted four years, she said.

DropLeaf Communications founder Jen Petro offers a 12-week business building class for women to help them avoid the same mistakes and frustrations she encountered. (Submitted photo)

“I didn’t believe I could do it,” Petro said. “I didn’t have the self-confidence to say, ‘I’m going to start a business.’”

But 10 years later, DropLeaf has grown from its roots providing communications and branding assistance to also offer a 12-week Business-Build for Women program. Petro offers the online course targeting women who have much to offer but don’t believe they have what it takes to start their own business. She wants to help her students build confidence and avoid some of the early mistakes she made along the way.

“I had to spend hours and hours and hours and fall on my face a million times when I started my business,” said Petro, who often works out of the Platform 24 coworking space in Carmel. “So (my aim is) to say what would’ve been helpful to me and provide that up front for these women so they don’t have to go through the ridiculousness I did.”

Petro said she’s found that women tend to struggle with self-doubt more than men, which can hold them back in pursuing their dreams. It’s a feeling she remembers well from the days before launching DropLeaf because she feared her lack of having an MBA, a huge savings account or extra time would lead to failure.

So, sharing her story with the women in her program and watching them succeed is the most rewarding part of her job, Petro said.

“The day when I taught the first class I bawled. When I hung up the call I cried. This is what I was made to do,” Petro said. “The first class was about overcoming fear of failure and self-doubts, and it’s like I’m preaching to myself.”

The next class runs from late September through mid-December, with registration closing Sept. 28. The program includes live teaching and interaction, a private Facebook group, online happy hours and more. Cost is $497, and Petro offers a few scholarships each year. Learn more or sign up for the program at dropleaf.co.

“There are so many women who don’t believe in themselves who have so much to offer the world who are being held back by their own limiting beliefs and self-doubts,” Petro said. “For me, that’s such a gift to help them get past that.”

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