A Woman to KNOW : Kelsey Vickers

Resilience and Vision: Kelly Lorenzen’s Entrepreneurial Journey from Arizona to Advocacy

By Myra Stacey

Kelly’s story starts in the sunny state of Arizona, where she’s always called home. As a young student, she took a short break from Arizona’s desert landscapes to explore the city vibes of Los Angeles. But her heart remained in Arizona, leading her back to complete her education at Arizona State University. This part of her life laid the foundation for the incredible journey she would embark on in the years to come.

Away from the hustle of her professional life, Kelly cherishes her role as a mom. She’s a proud mother of two. Watching her kids grow up is like watching time fly in fast-forward, filled with moments of joy, learning, and wonder.

For Kelly, entrepreneurship isn’t just a career choice; it’s a way of life. It’s about turning challenges into opportunities and dreams into reality. Her goal is more than just succeeding in business; she’s committed to helping other entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive, guiding them through the complex world of marketing and project management. It’s this spirit that has kept her going and allowed her to thrive in her career.

In 2023, Kelly faced one of her biggest challenges to date  – a battle with breast cancer. Going through a double mastectomy and reconstruction wasn’t easy, but she took it in stride. Kelly had the mindset and team to be able to handle it. This journey wasn’t just about survival; it was a path to enlightenment. Today, she stands stronger, grateful for every step that has brought her this far. Kelly’s experience reshaped her perspective on life. She’s a passionate advocate for people’s health now more than ever, emphasizing the need for regular check-ups and preventative measures to stay healthy. 

What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the creation of your current company?

The idea for KLM came to me after I had just earned my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. I was thinking I might switch gears from business ownership that I had done all of my adult life  and go work for someone else. But as I explored opportunities with various large companies, I realized that the traditional corporate employment mold just didn’t fit me.

My husband played a crucial role in this epiphany. He suggested that I should start another business, this time focusing on helping others with marketing – something I’ve always had a knack for. In all my past ventures, I found it hard to find someone who thought like a business owner and had a strong marketing acumen, who could actually take stuff off my plate and do the work for me. That’s when it clicked: I could be that person for other business owners.

So, KLM Consulting, Marketing and Management was born out of a desire to fill a gap I had consistently encountered in the previous businesses I had owned and operated.

What do you think makes your company stand out?

What sets us apart is our unique blend of services. We’ve merged marketing, project management, and consulting into one cohesive offering. This approach is specifically designed for small business owners who don’t have the time or resources to juggle it all.

Our company ethos is built on collaboration. We believe in working closely with our clients and bringing in external expertise when necessary. This philosophy helps us provide comprehensive support that aligns with our client’s specific needs and goals.

What has been your favorite moment in your career so far?

There have been so many, it is hard to choose. But, I was particularly proud to receive the Entrepreneur of the Year award. It was a new category, previously focused only on larger businesses, so it felt like a recognition of the importance of entrepreneurs like myself have on our economy. It sounds silly, but all of the awards we have won in our different businesses mean the world to me. These accolades affirm that I am making a meaningful impact and people care.

What measure do you use to determine success?

Success, for me, is multifaceted. It’s about feeling good and fulfilled in what I do. Each year, I set specific goals, and achieving them is a sign of success. But it’s more than just ticking off objectives. It’s about living in the present, especially after my cancer diagnosis. I don’t fixate on distant five or ten-year plans. Instead, I focus on ensuring that I’m content and impactful in the here and now.

Another significant measure of success is the success of my clients. When they achieve their goals, especially financial ones, due to our collaboration, it’s incredibly rewarding. It’s the kind of success that resonates on a deeper level, far beyond mere numbers. It’s about making a tangible difference in the lives and businesses of those we work with.

What message would you like to give to anybody who has a plan of creating something of their own and making a living through it?

Starting and running a business is a journey that requires support, and my top piece of advice is always to have a coach or a mentor. This could be a business consultant, a life coach, or any professional who can offer guidance, accountability, and a fresh perspective on your business.

The second crucial element is mindset. Continuously working on and improving your mindset is vital for success. It’s about cultivating resilience, adaptability, and a positive outlook.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, make sure that your business aligns with what you truly enjoy. If something doesn’t feel right, be bold enough to change it. Life is too short to spend time on things that don’t bring you joy or fulfillment. Set ambitious goals, but if they cease to align with your happiness, don’t be afraid to pivot.

As a business owner, you have the unique opportunity to shape your venture around your passions. Do what you love, and outsource everything else. Surround yourself with a team of capable and intelligent people who can handle the aspects of the business that don’t speak to your strengths or interests. This approach not only leads to a more efficient business but also a more fulfilling life.

Kelly Lorenzen’s journey is more than just a success story in business. It’s a tale of resilience, strength, and inspiration. Through her work, battle with cancer, and advocacy, she stands as an example for us all. Her story reminds us that no matter what life throws our way, we have the strength to face it and the power to make a difference.

Lynne Kimmich

More About Kelly

Kelly Lorenzen is an award-winning entrepreneur with over 20 years of ownership experience, a philanthropist, connector, community builder, and an avid volunteer. She has a passion for helping fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners succeed. She has joined forces with other local experts to provide a full-service marketing and project management firm called KLM for small and family-owned entrepreneurs. Kelly is also a certified project management professional (PMP). She is a native of Arizona and a graduate of Arizona State University. Kelly is also a mother, breast cancer survivor, and advocate of self-care.