A change in paths, my path to coaching

This was a letter I wrote with my application for the Integral Coaching Professional Coaching Course (PCC) through New Ventures West.  I’m sharing it with you in this inaugural post because it was the beginning of my coaching journey.  It’s real, it’s my background story, and it’s my WHY.

I’ve done a lot of research and interviews with other coaches and practitioners who utilize ontological and integral coaching and believe this program is exactly what I’m looking for to help me further develop my skills and understanding to provide greater value to clients and live a more fulfilling life.

For the past three years I’ve had a marketing consulting business that has evolved from project-based work to training to consulting.  I noticed my consulting clients had more needs than I was able to help them with and found myself in positions of coaching but didn’t feel I had the skills to help them at the level they needed.  I work with mainly female small business owners who feel stuck and need help with understanding their vision, clarity, their WHY, and accountability to make it happen.  I felt they also needed help with empowerment and I want to help them.

I had been working with a client, let’s call her Mary, who has a consulting business.  We were working on her strategic plan and were making excellent progress, set attainable stretch goals, and short term tactics.  Mary was really excited and was telling her colleagues and friends about the great work we did and how I helped push her out of her comfort zone, made her think about new approaches, and her excitement for growth.  Then she stalled with no action at all.  Mary would have several excuses for lack of progress or action and it was frustrating to me after all the work we did.  She finally admitted to me she was scared and didn’t know if she wanted to go on with her business and felt like she needed a change but didn’t know what.  I wanted to help and talk her through this but didn’t know how.

Another client, Dawn, ran two e-commerce businesses.  She needed training on several marketing platforms as well as overall strategy.  Dawn would not follow through on her action items or the things she learned in our meetings and we spent most of our meetings working on the same things.  I questioned myself and my approach, was frustrated with Dawn and lost interest in working with her if she wasn’t going to follow through with what we worked on together.  She had also mentioned a few times that she would like an accountability partner.  I wanted to be that partner and take our sessions to a deeper level but didn’t know how to do that.

I have many examples similar to Mary and Dawn, female entrepreneurs who are stuck and lack clarity, stifled by fear, and wondering if what they’re doing is aligned with what they really want.  I want to help them, guide them, and empower them to break through these blocks.

The blocks some of my clients are facing are the same blocks I’m experiencing in my own life and business.  I want to help women like this and earlier this summer decided I needed to make a change.  Coaching is how I can help these women at a deeper level so I’m in the process of changing my business.  I’m also questioning whether I want to continue in the marketing realm at all.  It’s a time of exploration for me and that’s what I’m hoping to gain from the PCC is what area of coaching I want to focus on.  I feel drawn to empowering female entrepreneurs and utilizing nature and other modalities – which is another reason I’m really interested in Integral Coaching.  I’m very open to where this journey can take me.

Taking my business from a consultative approach to a coaching approach feels more sustainable from the client perspective.  Rather than telling my client what they “should do” I can work with them to truly understand them and their needs and guide them to outcomes they truly desire while helping empower them for long term growth.

In addition to my consulting business I also teach professional development classes and am a senior lecturer in the College of Business and Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.  I enjoy teaching and inspiring college students looking to get into the workforce and the working adults getting a degree to advance their careers.  They look to me for advice and inspiration.

It’s not just from a business perspective I’m drawn to this PCC.  I also want to learn how to live a more fulfilled life, understand myself and others more, and have more meaningful conversations.  I grew up in a family that didn’t talk about things, lacked depth in conversation, and got uncomfortable with emotions. The personal development part of the course is something I’m most looking forward to if I’m approved to this course.  I think it will be the most challenging but rewarding thing for me to experience.

The result of going through the NVW PCC will transform me as a human being. It will help me understand the type of coaching I want to do, how I want to help people, and who I want to work with.

Do you relate to Mary or Dawn? Reach out to me to see how coaching can help you!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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