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{Re}defining Franny

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10 things I accomplished with my life & business coach

Aside from discovering that I was meant to be a coach, I also realized that coaching was the thing I didn’t know I always needed. Before I share my favorite accomplishments since working with a coach, I think it’s fair to assume that you don’t know WTF a coach is in the sense that I am speaking. I surely didn’t, so let’s start there…There are great articles about the official definition of coaching but I am going to define what coaching is, Franny-style. The first thing to know is that coaching, like the rest of us, has cousins that it’s inaccurately compared with- therapy, mentorship, and consulting. Here’s how I think they differ and why coaching was so fitting for me.

If therapy is about recovery, coaching is about discovery. I’m a huge proponent of therapy, it was instrumental for me in college when I was working through the origins of my perfectionism and how it contributed to my anxiety. I haven’t found the need for extensive work with a therapist about any serious past issues since however. What I did need to confront about my past were the ways it was stopping me from moving into the future. Coaching uses the past to uncover the lies holding me back, discover what I want my future to look like and create a plan to make it happen.

In my mind, a mentor is someone whose life you want to emulate so they become your older, wiser friend and basically share how they became so old and wise. There are formal and informal mentors- from someone in your organization who’s assigned to you through some program to your “godmother” who works for Microsoft and can give you insight into the corporate world. I’ve had informal versions of these, people who were more experienced than I was who took me under their wing at different times throughout my career. I like Rachel Hollis’ take on the matter best though, she says mentors can be people you get advice from who don’t even know you- under that definition, I’ve had a ton. Marie Forleo, Rachel Hollis, Stephen Covey, Seth Godin, Rachel Brathen, to name a few… They have no idea who I am but I learn a lot from these folks. They share great tips and tricks based on their experiences. But their books, talks, interviews, workshops etc are not personal to my experiences so I spend hours sifting through the mountain of information in those podcasts, audio books, blogs, etc and take what serves me and leave the rest.

Consultants provide or create processes to accomplish a goal based on their expertise. You typically hire consultants to tell you how to do something you have no idea how to do. The level of personalization depends on the consultant and the type of work but the focus is on process and outcomes.

So WTF is a coach? Coaching helps you get shit done faster, to put it plainly. A coach helps you create a roadmap to your goals by asking the right questions, forcing you to look within yourself, understand your motivations, take responsibility for them and change your behavior. It’s focused on getting results and reaching goals by creating a process that is unique to you, sifting through the BS getting in your way of doing the things, reaching the goals, and/or making the money you want to.

I am naturally stubborn, I need to have a good reason to do something and I don’t like to be told what to do. Apparently even by myself, I am notorious for ignoring the many “shoulds” I have for my life. Coaching’s inside-out approach to reaching goals helped me uncover my true motivation and in doing so, exponentially increased what I’ve been able to do. I’m going to share 10 of my favorite accomplishments since having a coach and the lessons I had to learn to get there. Thank you Gretchen (my coach!).

  1. Learned what I wanted to be when I grow up- I shared how I never had high expectations for work. I didn’t want to be disappointed by life so I figured the best way was to just not want much out of it, and try my best not to work too hard in the process. Coaching taught me to stop lying to myself. I unleashed my big hairy audacious dreams complete with an influential career, a house near the water, extended international travel and diamonds. I learned that I deserve exactly what I want…I just need to understand why and a plan to get there. I have extremely high expectations and learning to meet them is equal parts exciting and exhausting.
  1. Completed Whole 30- and lost 14 lbs! I judge the shit out of these types of cleanse diets- I think they are unsustainable, I don’t believe in food extremes, I’ve done every fad diet under the sun, none of them work… Coaching taught me that my insecurities fuel my judgment. In the case of Whole 30, and food extremes, I was insecure because I didn’t feel like I could sustain them (so therefore they sucked and everyone who engaged in them sucked too, makes perfect sense). When I find myself turning up my nose at something now, I’ve learned to take a closer look.
  1. Started my business- from hiring consultants for my website and accounting, to choosing the right CRM and e-sign applications to planning and budgeting a launch party, I create a roadmap for each step of my business with Gretchen. As a CEO, she has been a necessary sounding board as I establish and adjust my vision, strategies and plans. And when it feels overwhelming she reminds me how far I’ve come, how far I want to go and that I have everything I need to make my dreams come true.
  1. Quit my job- I shared in my last post how selling my house led to the possibility of quitting my job. But if my coach hadn’t confronted my disappointment and challenged me to consider other possibilities with powerful questions, I wouldn’t have considered leaving my job. I would have missed the opportunity that was presented without her broader perspective.
  1. Sold my house- I believed in the American dream- 2.5 kids, a dog and a picket fence in the ‘burbs. Coming to terms with the fact that that life wasn’t actually what I wanted when I had been convincing myself otherwise is a recurring topic I tackle in coaching. I continuously establish what MY personal values are, not the values passed down to me, the ones I want to actually operate my life by. Shedding 30+ years of beliefs is no easy feat, neither is choosing from a sea of endless possibilities. Coaching keeps me aligned and true to myself.
  1. Renovated my house in 2 weeks- I remember walking through Floor & Decor on the phone with Gretchen sourcing material for my first-ever renovation on a tight timeline and budget in a complete panic and she completely talked me off the ledge. I didn’t even talk to her about it in-depth during our session but she still managed to champion me, reminding me that I can do this and I’m already doing a kick ass job.
  1. Relaunched my blog and doubled my followers- Writing is my heart and soul. I’m sensitive about it and I wanted to keep it separate from etn coaching + consulting. I had no plans to share myself so intimately so quickly… Gretchen has been advocating for incorporating my blog into the business since our initial session. She intuited how important it was to me and she championed my passion and challenged me not to let my insecurity hold me back. Using personal stories to inspire others is now part of the mission of my business.
  1. Learned how to optimize myself– Being unapologetically myself has been my goal in life for years. WTF does that even mean though? I didn’t know… I learned that to show up every day as unapologetically myself, I need to do things that bring out my “best self” every.single.day. Self care is not an event, it’s a way of life. Through coaching, I paid attention to what brings out the best in me- journaling, prayer, reading, connecting with my husband, meditation, exercise, a balanced breakfast and I learned that making time for them is the discipline needed to be unapologetically myself.
  1. Established a morning routine- For more than 15 years an alarm went off at 7 pm reminding me to take my birth control pills. When it went off at dinner or the bar or on a date, I used to love to share how my mother always said that the only thing I could be consistent with was my birth control pills. Considering that a story highlighting my lack of discipline was a party favorite, it’s no wonder I struggled with creating routines even around the things I knew were essential to my success. It had become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Identifying the story holding me back was only step 1 but it was a huge step. That clarity paved the way for new thoughts, feelings and behaviors… Now, at least 5 days/week I work out, journal, pray, read, meditate, exercise and eat a balanced breakfast before 9 am. That means 80% of the time I know I am set up to show up as my best self. Just to be clear- my “best self” isn’t about feeling good or being positive all the time, it’s about feeling ready to face whatever life has for me.
  1. Got paid- I thought the hardest part of this would be finding clients to pay me. What I didn’t anticipate is facing all kinds of demons about money and value and worth. Gretchen and I dig in deep into my insecurities and attitudes toward money and my own value… I had to learn to own and believe in my inherent value so I could learn to charge what I’m worth.

I learn something every session and my list of accomplishments (and failures) grows with every passing week. Someone I admired once told me that she didn’t want to go to a marriage counselor because her marriage was good and she didn’t want to screw it up. Why fix it if it ain’t broke, right? It’s the same reason I avoid the doctor. But the truth is, you can’t fix it, grow it, remove it, change it…if you don’t understand it first. And by “it,” I mean all of the things you don’t want to face and in turn, hold you back from what you truly want and truly deserve out of this life. 

My coach sheds light in my dark places while reminding me of all the ways I already shine, giving me the freedom and clarity to go after the things I want most. I just got off my weekly call with Gretchen where we clarified my goals for the next 90 days and created a plan to reach them. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to the call at first but now, I feel relieved to have clarity on next steps, anxious to get started, excited by all of the strategies and overwhelmed over all the work I have ahead. The space my coach holds for only me has become part of my self-care, a place to verbally process and move forward. With coaching, I learned not to be so scared of taking a look under the surface.

Taking the time to understand myself and learn about what makes me who I am gives me the freedom to choose who I want to be. And since there are a lot of things I can’t control and thus should let go of (read: stop blaming), I like that I get to at least be in control of who I become.

 

Shameless plug- my job is to help you {re}define the way you lead your life, career and business so you can get where you want faster. Click here to learn more about what I do.

 

Pssst. If you’re curious about how coaching can change your life, career or business, click here to schedule a free 30 minute session with me and let’s talk about it.

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