Step It Up with Steph
November 18, 2013 | by Sheryl James
Stephanie Mansour has been busy.
She’s been featured on CNN and more than a dozen local television stations for her holistic approach to health and fitness. Companies like GE use her "Cubicle Crunch" office wellness workshop and presentation. She worked recently with Shea Vaughn, mother of actor Vince Vaughn, to coach 40 adults to lose weight and improve their overall health. In 2012, she trained and coached her reality TV show client to lose 83 pounds in 12 weeks for NBC Chicago’s “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.”
Because of her many and varied accomplishments, Mansour has been named one of Chicago's top 30 female entrepreneurs under 30 by ME: In Focus Magazine.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t a degree in business that led Mansour to successful entrepreneurship. It was the blend of liberal arts courses she took for her 2007 communications major.
“I learned so much from so many interesting courses: the communications and psychology classes, the women’s studies, and violence in the media classes,” says Mansour, who grew up in Grand Blanc, Michigan. “I was fascinated by how we were affected psychologically, how we’re so influenced by TV, magazines, books, celebrities, everything.”
She names other classes, but the point is clear. “I loved my liberal arts classes because they were very relevant, very current. I could write papers on things like Dawson’s Creek,” a popular TV show, “or the Backstreet Boys, and analyze how these social phenomena were influencing us.
“I also took one of [Chair of Communication Studies] Susan Douglas’ classes, and read a couple of her books. And I realized, ‘Wow, this is how we’re shaped.’”
That is what Mansour’s overall LSA experience allowed her to do: find out what she was good at. She says that these classes offered insight into humanity, which has helped her develop methods of helping people lose weight and take charge of their own self-images.
After graduating from U-M, Mansour spent time in New York and L.A. on various TV programs. When she got fired from an office job she disliked, Mansour got her yoga certification. In 2008, she found her calling and started her business. She is now a high-powered, high-profile fitness and wellness coach – and a self-employed businesswoman.
“All my friends who have M.B.A.s are amazed at what I’ve done without a formal business education,” Mansour says.
Photo courtesy of Stephanie Mansour.