If you are like the majority of my listeners, you are energized by coaching.
In your professional journey you may struggle with some aspects of:
- Finding the clarity of your coaching focus
- Scaling and building your business
- Building confidence and competence in skills
- Maximizing the reach of your coaching
This struggle may feel like a huge barrier between you and the success you desire.
I was drawn to coaching after being in private practice for over 20 years as a psychotherapist working with individuals, couples and families. I enjoyed my work, helping people make positive changes in their lives. Working with couples to strengthen their marriages and families to create healthier homes. Around 2005, I started to notice a shift in the kinds of clients that were seeking my help. I saw hour after hour of clients that were anxious, frustrated and overwhelmed by unhealthy work environments, it’s not that this was never the case before, it was simply happening with more frequency. I wondered what was happening in corporations. I felt reactive to the situation in dealing with disability and medication and wanted to be proactive.
I believe that we need to be tuned into our own needs to be most helpful to our clients, I needed to recognize that I was approaching burnout. I had heard about coaching and it intrigued me. Specifically, Executive Coaching seemed to be the answer to my need to be proactive and help organizations to be healthier workplaces. So, being a bit compulsive, I spent the next year studying coaching programs to find the one that was right for me. Once chosen, I was eager to begin my journey.
It was challenging.
You’ve probably been there, deciding to take on a big commitment when you already have a full plate is never easy. My boys were in 4th and 7th grade when I went into my coaching program. I was still a business owner with a full therapy practice with all of the demands of managed care. I had a household to keep together and a husband to be a partner to and now a program to attend 3 to 4 nights a week along with the assignments. I remember bursting into tears after one particularly challenging week doing a peer coaching session. And yet, it was so worth it to get my Executive Coaching Certification.
The road was rocky.
During coach training, my attention was on the studies and maintaining my other obligations, didn’t feel that I had the bandwidth to focus on business building and truthfully wasn’t sure where to start. I had built a successful therapy practice but it felt like I was back at square one. Once I completed my coach training, I wanted to pivot from therapy to coaching right away and felt frustrated that it was not an immediate shift. I tried several different things to increase my visibility and credibility as a coach and soon realized, that for me, building my coaching business and letting go of my therapy practice was going to be more of a marathon than a sprint.
I joined my ICF chapter as a coaching student and began meeting and learning from other coaches. I bartered with local business owners to build my skills and get clarity about my niche market. I met with other business owners just to explore and learn about their needs. I let my contacts know that I was shifting from therapy to coaching. I began to transition from therapist to coach. I knew that panic was no way to attract clients so I needed to maintain an income with the practice that I had built and honor my therapy clients. Over time, I stopped taking new therapy clients and only accepted new coaching clients. The day that I wrote letters and stopped all of my provider contracts with insurance companies was both liberating and scary.
All along I was masterminding with other coaches who were business building, went to networking events, (some were painful, some delightful) and created a vision for the business that I wanted.
Over the years, I realized that building relationships was the foundation for building my business.
I had to get clear on what makes me unique
While I was motivated to become an Executive Coach because of the challenges that my therapy clients were experiencing in the workplace, ironically, it was my experience as a therapist that I originally thought put me at a disadvantage in the executive coaching space. I was comparing myself to other coaches who had years of corporate leadership experience or who had spent years delivering programs in organizations. It wasn’t until I was able to see that coaches come from many different backgrounds with different areas of expertise that I was able to appreciate what my experience and training offered. I have realized over the years that helping other coaches get clear on their unique offerings and what makes them different from everyone else is some of the most important work that I do with them. When we are clear and unapologetic about our value proposition, we can speak it confidently and attract the clients who want to work with us.
An Unexpected Blessing
My intention in pivoting into coaching was to work within organizations to create healthier places for people to thrive. I had no idea that teaching was in my future as well, when I was approached to join the faculty of a coach certification program, I was a little nervous and very excited. I certainly did not know at the time that it would lead to a dozen years of teaching and mentoring hundreds of coaching students in two coach certification programs. Nor that I would help impact the coaching community to make the world a healthier place through every coach coming through those programs and bringing their coaching partnerships to the world. The STaR Coach Show continues that teaching every week to strengthen skills, build businesses and to show the impact that coaching can have in organizations.
I realized that it can feel very isolating to be a solopreneur so it made sense to me to stay connected with others and support one another. To learn from the journeys walked by those who came before me and then it made sense to share those lessons with all of you through the podcast. My intention is that you leave every episode with something that will challenge your thoughts, support you in your business growth and give you some action to take to move you forward. Join me every week to grow your muscles as a coach, your businesses and your impact in the world.
On the personal side
I am a Michigan girl but raised 2 amazing Texans, Daniel and Luke (do you have any idea how many times children in Texas schools take Texas history?!)
My husband and I met at Michigan State University, married as youngsters and moved to Texas over 30 years ago
I am the youngest girl of 9 children and was blessed with the most amazing parents and siblings
Our puppy, Koda, rules the roost
Put on 80’s music and I will know all the lyrics (you will know because I will be singing along)
I am awed by the overwhelming beauty of our world