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How I got started in coaching

How I got started in coaching

I believe my journey to coaching differs from many coaches out there. When I meet other coaches through networking, many tell me of how they found themselves burnt out at their jobs. Some share that they have gone through a traumatic shift in their relationships. Most of them mention that they found coaching through someone else who was a coach or training to be a coach.I didn’t even know what a coach was or how coaching worked. I did however have a “wake up call” as many would say.

A wake up call that led me to a profession that feels custom made for me.

The catalyst toward me becoming a coach was an MRI.  

I was knee deep into planning a large event for the non-profit I worked for. My stress was a bit high. It all took its toll. I had lost feeling on the right side of my body after experiencing migraines for several days. It was all too much and I was finally ready to face some facts.  

I headed to my primary care doctor who sent me for an MRI. The following day my doctor's office called with the MRI results. They told me I needed to go immediately to the emergency room as the MRI showed what could be a possible brain bleed. I packed up my things from work, delegated a few tasks for the event and called my husband.

That evening I had several exploratory procedures done and spent the night in the ICU. The next morning I met with a neurology team who told me I did not have a brain bleed, but I did have a left venous malformation. A vein in my brain was twisted and drooping, causing it to look as though it were dripping. Basically, I learned that veins are not supposed to be shaped like teardrops and mine was. The doctors explained that because of it’s location surgery was not a great option. It was made extremely clear that lowering my stress was not a choice but a MUST as the malformation now means I am at high risk for a stroke and/or brain aneurysm.

This was my wake up call. The reality that my life can be cut short at any moment.

So, while I was at a job I loved, I needed to make a change. Having owned my own business before, I began exploring options for how I could once again be my own boss. I knew I needed to be able to set my own hours and work at a pace that was sustainable for me. I immediately thought of becoming an aesthetician. After all, how much stress could I have doing that? Working the majority of my day in a candlelit room with soft music playing and essential oils diffusing into the air sounded perfect.

This led me to discovering Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA), an accredited school in Tempe, Arizona. They had recently opened a second school, Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics (SWINA). I checked out both schools online and scheduled to meet with an adviser.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived and recognized the adviser. She was a previous volunteer at the nonprofit I worked for but I didn’t know she worked here. This felt like a sign that I was on the right path.

She asked me many questions, reviewed my answers and then looked up at me and said “I know you came here for the aesthetics program, but I think you’d be an amazing coach.” I was befuddled. What was a coach? Why did she think I’d be a good one? Was I not going to be able to go to the aesthetics school now? She went on to explain.  

SWIHA (the parent school of SWINA) offered a coaching certification program. She also explained that she had a scholarship available for SWIHA’s Transformational Coaching Program. A scholarship only available to someone who worked for a non-profit. The catch was that the certification program started that weekend. I had only 72 hours to make my decision. So, I came home and discussed things with Hubby. That night Hubby and I  decided to go for it. Why not? It was free and if I didn’t like it, I didn’t have to sign up for the full program.

So I went to the first intensive weekend coaching classes. By the end of the first night I was very intrigued. Hearing from former students who now had their own coaching practices and learning the basics of how coaching works made me very curious (and to be honest, I was already starting to dream of what it would be like to be a coach myself). By Sunday night I had dived in and was practicing my coaching skills. Sure, I only had learned one or two coaching techniques but were they powerful. Of course it also helped that my peers were saying things like “Wow, you’re really good at this. It’s like you’ve done it before.” I hadn’t, but I was seeing how my natural instincts fell smoothly in line with the coaching techniques I was learning.

That weekend Hubby and I were figuring out how we could arrange the budget and life to make it happen. Two months later I enrolled in the full coaching program. I loved it! I was hooked! I’ve never looked back at my original idea of being an aesthetician. In retrospect, the only reason I had that idea was so I could find SWIHA, meet with an adviser and learn about the coaching certification program. The lesson here is how sometimes you’re going for one thing but end up somewhere better. The place you were really meant to be.

I felt like I found a custom made profession -- a perfect fit, just for me.

I started coaching part time with clients just a month after starting the program. Turned in my notice and left my job two months before my coaching program ended. By the time I graduated, I was a full time coach. I haven’t looked back since. I absolutely LOVE coaching. And I still find myself astounded by the results coaching can create.

I’m grateful to have much lower stress. I’m really grateful that year after year my brain scans come back with no change in my venous malformation. I’m grateful to Dawn, the adviser who saw my natural gifts and placed me in the perfect program. I am grateful for the training SWIHA shared with me. I’m grateful my husband believed in me (and still does).

You don’t have to wait for a wake up call. Watch for signs. Be open to seeing them and receptive to following them. Don’t worry if your journey toward your new business is a bit different than most. Embrace it. Share it. Allow your story to inspire, motivate and move others forward. #YOUGOTTHIS !!!

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