As we go through life, sometimes we get stuck and need a little help.
Other times we get lost and need a bit of direction.
And occasionally we even find ourselves wishing we could blow up everything about our lives (or maybe just one thing) and start over entirely.
That was me about ten years ago.
2009 was a tough year. That was the year my dad died.
My son Leo, who had been born 14 weeks prematurely at just 2.2 pounds, spent months in the hospital enduring one brain surgery after another.
I was working in our family business in a job I didn’t love, lacking the courage to follow my dreams—not even sure I still had dreams—living a life I thought others expected of me.
On top of all that, my marriage was disintegrating.
Of course, I didn’t see my fault in any of that.
Then one day I was hanging out with my best friend (the woman who’s now my wife—and still my best friend), when I mentioned that I felt stuck and thought maybe I’d benefit from working with a coach.
She’d seen me reading Jack Canfield’s book The Success Principles. “Why don’t you call Jack?” she suggested. “Maybe he’ll coach you.”
So I did. The lady who answered the phone told me that Jack would coach me one-on-one, but he had a waiting list, and it would cost $100,000 per year.
“Do you have anything regular people can afford?” I asked.
She told me that Jack offered a Train the Trainer program. It wasn’t one-on-one coaching, but it was designed to help people get clarity and move forward in life.
It was for people who wanted to develop themselves as public speakers, facilitators and coaches.
It entailed attending three weeks in-person over a nine-month period, with lots of work in between. It cost $15,000 and was capped at 70 participants. Oh, and it would sell out.
It turned out to be one of the best investments I ever made.
During the program, one of the things Jack taught us was coaching basics. Then he had us practice on each other.
In practice sessions where I was coached by someone with no prior experience, I got incredible value. I found clarity and discovered how I wanted to move forward with my career and in my relationships.
Possibilities appeared where previously I hadn’t seen any.
And when it came time for me to coach, I loved it. And the people I coached told me I was pretty good at it. I was hooked.
My brief coaching experiences during Jack’s Train the Trainer program helped me to get clear that this is a path I want to follow for the rest of my life.
I went on to earn my certification from the International Coach Federation (ICF), to coach many others, and even developed my own Coach Training Program.
That Train the Trainer program transformed me. In it, I wrote a life purpose statement that guides me to this day. I made and carried out plans to help shape our family business’s culture.
I became a more effective and confident public speaker.
I conceived the idea for Behind the Drive, a book of stories I wrote about my dad as a way to honor him by preserving his lessons and memory.
I made lifelong friends, including the founders of the Pachamama Alliance, who I ended up journeying to the rain forest with.
I learned lessons I use every day about loving and accepting myself more fully and taking responsibility for my life.
And, as I’ve already said, I fell in love with coaching.
Coaching is beautiful because it honors the fact that we have our own answers inside us already. Our work is often to know that we know.
I believe that everyone can benefit from having a coach, and that coaching is as valuable to someone who lives in poverty in a developing country as it is for a CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
It can benefit a stay-at-home dad just as much as the president of a nation or a startup entrepreneur.
An effective coach doesn’t tell you the answers—she helps you find your own answers. She honors your innate wisdom.
Coaching provides a space and a process for that wisdom to reach your awareness and then to find expression—for you to act on it.
There’s a reason the top performers in every field have coaches.
Effective coaches help you be accountable and encourage you as you release patterns of thought and ways of being that no longer serve you.
They help you to arrive at insights that you then integrate into your everyday life—and to find new ways of living that contribute to your health and happiness, and the contribution you make to others.
So, the next time you’re feeling stuck or lost, or like you want to blow everything up or burn it all down, see if a coach can help you find your way forward.
If you do find yourself in that last scenario, may the bridges you burn light your way.
If it would help to talk with me about the benefits of coaching for your life—either finding a coach or even becoming one—I invite you to schedule time with me here.
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