When you spot a market void, fill it.

That’s the philosophy behind Amanda Boleyn’s She Did It Her Way (SDIHW), named one of the 12 best podcasts for entrepreneurs by Forbes. Using the thinking she developed through Iowa JPEC courses, Boleyn (BBA, Cert in Entrepreneurship, 2010) launched the program with true entrepreneurial gusto. But a prize-winning podcast was never part of the master plan. She Did It Her Way was born during a lull between consulting projects.

Starting the podcast with friends

Boleyn explains the initial conversation that got the idea started. “I thought, ‘OK, I can't just sit here on my butt. I need to create something.’ I love podcasts, and my other two co-founders were like, ‘Why is there not a podcast for women?’ As someone who has that entrepreneurial spirit, this was a no-brainer. ‘Start a podcast? It doesn’t sound that hard. Let's just do it!’ It was kind of an experiment, but now we're making it more than just a podcast. We're creating a community of other like-minded people.”

The SDIHW community is tight-knit despite its ever-growing size. Boleyn attracts thousands of listeners each month as she interviews top female entrepreneurs forging their own paths. One way she fosters a sense of community is through the Her Way Challenge, a monthly curated challenge hosted by women in the SDIHW community. Challenges vary each month, but the response is overwhelmingly positive.

Boleyn has also branched out to offer a 6-week course for those considering the transition from corporate life to entrepreneurship. The course specifically focuses on the lead up to a career shift, a behind the scenes process that the public often forgets about. Boleyn’s program focuses on the long-term gain from entrepreneurship and walks people through the full process, which includes the Lead Up (Do I want to do something else?), Leave (your job), and Land (your company).

Becoming a household name

When SDIHW podcast began appearing on top entrepreneur podcasts lists in Forbes and other publications, Boleyn was ecstatic. “It helps your numbers from an online marketing standpoint. It really boosted visits to our website, our email subscriptions. It helped with our listenership. And then on Inc.com, we were featured in the ‘Top 10 ‘Boss Babe’ Podcasts’ with some mega-big-time podcasts that have been around for years and have insane followings. To get featured in the same list as those people was a huge honor.”

It’s all about the listeners

When asked about her listeners, Boleyn says most are females in their early to late 20s. As a woman who made a career switch around this age, it is evident that the podcast is a personal connection with women in similar positions. Boleyn thinks female listeners “want to be inspired and grow her business—maybe in corporate America, but not necessarily. It's more of the solo-preneur, if you will.”

The solo-preneur

Boleyn breaks down the definition of solo-preneur for those who are new to the term. “If you look at entrepreneurship as the umbrella, you have three different types of entrepreneurship. There's the start-up, which we all know. Then you have the small business, where maybe the growth isn't as fast, but it's more strategic and slower-paced. And then you have the solo-preneur, which is the independent contractor, the freelancer. Solo-preneurs are people who are making businesses doing online marketing, who are using affiliates, who are creating things.”

Always learning and inspiring

While Boleyn is a reputable entrepreneur herself, she still fangirls over some of the podcast’s guests. This is understandable when guests have included Jillian Lorenz and Ariana Chernin (co-founders of The Barre Code), Kit Graham (Boss Lady and co-founder of the Windy City Bloggers Collective), and so many other inspiring women. Boleyn recounts some of the most popular interviews she has done.

“One is Wendy Diamond, the founder of Women's Entrepreneurship Day. Another is Lea Gabrielle. She’s a Fox News anchor who used to be a fighter pilot. Other popular guests were Katy Lynch, former CEO of TechWeek, and Katrina Markoff, the founder of Vosges Chocolate.” Boleyn explains that these women are endlessly inspiring because of their fearlessness. “It sounds cliché, but for 99% of the women we’ve interviewed, it’s all about the mindset. It’s about overcoming fear. For students who are interested in entrepreneurship but are scared to take the first step, don’t think about it. Just take a class.”