In October of 2006, I sat in a classroom at the University of Calgary with 26 others about to embark on our training as Life Coaches. After that first course, I learned that I was capable of so much more than I imagined, and the tools I was learning were honing me to support others to even greater heights. I felt simultaneously exhilarated and grounded that I was in exactly the right place. I had come home in my heart.
I started my business that same month and was fortunate to gather a full roster of clients working part time. I had a web site and business cards soon after and was off to the races, sharing my passion with anyone who would listen.
Having never been self-employed, I didn’t know what a coaching business was supposed to look like so I modeled mine after those I admired – creating a full client list, each with one-hour sessions every few weeks. I had a reasonable level of freedom to work around raising active young kids and all the commitments that required.
Fast forward two years and I had also completed my Organization and Relationships Systems Coaching and certification (coaching teams or relationships i.e. Couples, families). That work was rich and dynamic and more possibilities opened up with corporate teams running retreats and workshops.
Four years after my first coaching class, I was very fortunate to be doing the work I love, getting great results with my clients, and being paid well for it. I was in an enviable position, and worked hard to get there. I went to every networking breakfast and event I could, while being the emcee or speaker any place that would have me.
A few more years down the road, I still loved helping people gain the clarity and confidence to create their dreams. I fiercely believe in all my clients and their greatness! My greatness seemed to be fading in spite of that. All I did was work and even I noticed my lack of personal passions except for fitness/health. And that only took an hour a day!
When my kids were at activities, I always had my laptop open and was working on something important. The other parents stopped trying to talk to me because I was never present or available. After my kids went to bed, I worked some more.
I started to resent my calendar and the days and weeks packed with client sessions scheduled months in advance. I felt frustrated and angry almost all the time, except for during my coaching sessions. How could this be? I loved and adored my clients and I had a business I had worked so hard to build.
When I moved, I created a virtual business connecting with clients over the phone or Skype because that’s what great coaches did to create more freedom and be portable, right? I was continuing to create more of what I knew, not what I wanted. As an extroverted extrovert sitting in my house all day, every day, I was struggling to stay positive and not allow anxiety and false stories to take over.
No matter how much or how hard I tried all my coaching on myself, the answers weren’t coming. I couldn’t seem to find that person from before who had found coaching like a super natural calling and wanted to go and help the world.
No amount of video blogging, newsletters, speaking, social media posts or money was enough to satisfy my need for change. I had created the ‘perfect business’ and in the process, I had lost myself. I had lost connection to what I new to be true for me in pursuit of what I thought I should achieve.
This past year, I stepped back to clear my head, and find my heart, with financial risk and trying to complete a massive home renovation. That alone might qualify me as a lunatic! It was the only way to truly find my answers and create something new. I needed to stop my habitual behaviors and open my mind to new thinking.
I went back to basics and did the things that I remembered used to fill me: being in nature daily with walking and running, breathing fresh air, dancing at Zumba and creating amazing, healthy food. I connected with a tribe of supportive women at social events instead of hiding in my house and got a partner for a mastermind group to keep me moving forward (even when I didn’t know toward what!).
I meditated for days on questions I ask my clients and, slowly, the answers started to come. Some as clear as a loud speaker shouting in my head at 2:30 am, and some like flashes of a great screen play without getting the entire story line. More and more the pieces became clear and began to fit together.
I could see where I had gotten off track with my core values and had a much deeper understanding of what each one meant in its highest form. I rewrote my business purpose and vision statement and within two weeks, copious amounts of typing and very little sleep, the grand picture appeared…..
I’m so incredibly excited about what I’ll be revealing in the next few weeks!!! My web and graphics designers are working feverishly to help me create my new brand and look for my offerings.
Thank you to each and every one of you for continuing to read my newsletters and blogs, interact with me on social media, and for the honour of being your coach over the years. I’ve learned and grown so much because of you!