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Business Startup Development Expert Veteran Retention Expert ‒ Interview With Rolande Sumner

Rolande S. Sumner is a retired US Army veteran and the CEO & Founder of Life After Service Transitional Coaching LLC®. Rolande served her country in the United States Army National Guard from 1995 to 2015. During her career, she was an Administrative Clerk, Heavy Vehicle Operator, and Human Resources Manager. She served as both a traditional National Guard Soldier and as an Active Guard Reserve Soldier. During her military tenure, Rolande received multiple honours: Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Action Badge, and the Army Accommodation Medal.

Rolande Sumner, Life After Service Transitional Coaching LLC


What is your business name, and how do you help your clients?


Life after service transitional coaching space dba space LASTCo started in 2018. The intention was to serve women veterans and help them create their businesses from scratch. There is a misconception that when women veterans leave the military, we aren't open to entrepreneurship; we want regular jobs. But the opposite is true. We very much want to have businesses and impact the world on our terms. We don't know where to start.


I decided to work with all women and create their coaching practices; there is a void in that space. Many coaching schools miss the opportunity to teach students how to develop strong business foundations. So, I wanted to step in and fill that void.


In 2020 I entered the commercial and Government Contracting space so that I can help organizations with their veteran retention again; there is a void in that space. There are companies out there that help with recruiting veterans. They are spending millions of dollars recruiting veterans, but there's little attention paid to keeping them on board. I come in once the veteran is hired, and I help both the veteran and the organization build camaraderie and understand each other. As a result, the veteran stays with the company for longer than a year, saving the organization tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.


What kind of audience do you target your business towards?


I have two target audiences.

  1. Dba Business Launch Prep School, my private division, focuses on business startup development, comprised of new women coaches seeking to create their coaching practices from scratch. My target audience wants to experience true freedom. They want time freedom, financial freedom, a larger impact, more fun, create generational change, and to build a legacy. Many of my private clients enroll in my 3-month startup development program, Business Launch Prep School (BLPS), which focuses on the 4 pillars of developing a solid business foundation. I teach them how to target their audience, develop a signature program, price and sell their program and provide an amazing client experience. Other clients sign up for long-term private coaching or consulting services.

  2. Dba LASTCo, my corporate division, focuses on veteran retention comprised of veteran-friendly organizations desiring to improve the veteran new-hire engagement, enjoyment, and support. My target audience truly understands the benefits of hiring veterans and believes in supporting veterans professionally and personally. Many of my corporate clients invite me to be a keynote speaker and panelist to their veteran events, as well as ask me to consult them on veteran retention matters. I also provide professional development and leadership development coaching and consulting to corporate organizations as well.

What would you like to achieve for yourself and your business in the future?


April 2023, I launch the first annual P.O.W (Powerful, Opulent, Women) Conference. P.O.W CON is a yearly conference for women entrepreneurs to gather, learn, experience luxury, get recharged and motivated and gain support, and network. I will host this four-day event in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, NC. Visit RolandeSSumner.com for event updates.


If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be and why?


I am actively working to change the coaching industry's lack of acknowledgment of the value in pricing that a trained coach possesses. In other words, a newly trained coach is often told to start charging clients as low as $50-$150 per hour. Once they are comfortable, they may increase their rates in small doses. As I mentioned in my article, "How To Price Your Signature Coaching Program With Ease And Confidence," this mindset that keeps many coaches broke. Instead, trained coaches should be encouraged to charge appropriately. Rates should include operation expenses, opportunity costs, and the actual value of the coaches' time and knowledge. Coaches should not charge hourly as this reduces their earning potential.


Tell us about a pivotal moment in your life that brought you to where you are today.


As the CEO of Butter Angels Handcrafted Skin Care, I needed to discuss the benefits of my skincare products with the target audience. Instead, I found myself empowering women veterans in my marketing. I felt foolish talking about organic butter and oils and preferred to speak of women veterans' strength and ingenuity. One day, it occurred to me that I would better serve the world as a coach instead of a natural skincare maker.


I decided to close Butter Angels Handcrafted Skin Care and open Life After Service Transitional Coaching, invested in obtaining my coaching certification via Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), followed by earning my International coaching Federation accreditation.


Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


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