I am happy to share a recent interview I gave that covers a lot about me, and my work. I always find that great things happen in a conversation, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to answer these questions.

How long have you been a coach?

After a rich career in design, I launched my “encore career” as a coach over 5 years ago.

Why did you become a coach?

Having owned a design firm for nearly 3 decades, I knew something important was missing in my life. When I decided I needed to move on, I did not set out to be a coach. What I did know is that I wanted to dive deep into the mystery of creativity, because personal creativity had always eluded me — it actually frightened me. I wanted to figure that out, and my 2 years of serious study opened me up to a vast resource in my life that I’d been missing. Reflecting on how powerful it had been to have a coach in my life for the previous 4 years, I decided that I wanted to create a coaching practice of my own. I knew that helping other women to access and accelerate the power of creativity to live their best lives was what I yearned to create.

How did you become an expert coach?

The training I received was amazing. My teacher, an Israeli psychiatrist, has long used creativity in remarkable forms as a way to heal people. I learned to teach his method of Intuitive Painting and I studied his Pyscho-Creative methodology, which helps people to overcome pain and a vast array of challenges that limit them. When I knew that I wanted to fold everything I learned from him into a coaching practice, my own master coach offered to train and mentor me to develop my coaching skills. Everything I studied, and everything I learned from my brilliant mentor, informed the coaching practice I created — that I named Creative Core Coaching. I know that each of us comes into the world with a rich core of creative capacity, and that we can all be artists — in the broadest sense of that word — in our lives. My mission is to help people bring a creative mindset to every aspect of their lives and learn to break through their limitations when they understand that they are creators. They learn to create remarkable lives — to live big.

Who are your clients?

My clients are accomplished women who, in spite of all they have achieved, find themselves facing limitations and challenges that overwhelm and block them.

My clients are often figuring out what’s next in their lives — following a toxic work experience, or as they contemplate an empty nest, or as they consider retirement.

My clients are sometimes aiming for leadership positions at a higher level.

My clients are often trying to reconnect to their true passions and desires, having worked in an arena that no longer lights them up.

My clients are sometimes struggling to restore diminished confidence, or to turn around a life that’s fraught with overwork and stress.

My clients are often facing a major transition and seek support to help them navigate through it.

Some of my clients know their creative spirit is struggling to be fulfilled, or want a coach to be accountable to as they aim to expand their creative output.

My clients are not content with self-help books, or struggling on their own, or prolonging their frustrations or difficulties. They are ready to have an expert guide who will help them to make important changes that will have a lasting impact on their lives.

How are you different from other life coaches?

First, I am not a one-size-fits-all coach. I tailor my work with each client, choosing from my special tools to help each of them to get clear about the challenges they face; deeply explore the fears and stories that limit them and start clearing old patterns; connect to what they truly want; and take action to create significant change in their lives.

Second, I teach my clients to believe in their agency to create their realities. No matter what their challenges may be, I teach them how to stop reacting and start creating in every part of their lives.

Third, when my clients learn to adopt a creative mindset, and have powerful tools to call on, they start to gain keen insights. They experience important shifts that have a huge day-to-day impact. They learn how to build on their progress and continue to grow.

Fourth, even those clients who are sure they are “not creative” when they begin the coaching work, are guided through creative processes that amaze and delight them. These experiences inform their outlooks and beliefs in all that they can create in their lives. And, for those who do know they are “creative” when they start to work with me, the expressive work I do with them opens wider pathways and brings bigger insights that they are able to apply to their creative work and their lives.

Fifth, I combine my deep work related to mindset, self-care, and creative expansion with real-world strategies related to career matters and professional and personal relationships. My background as a business owner and marketer informs my guidance for clients, enabling them to work and live smarter.

Sixth, I am always reading, learning and I continue to work with my own coach. I know that there is no limit to personal growth and development, and I am committed to doing that work in my life.

Seventh, I am committed to expanding my own creativity. I am now a painter, and my personal creative practice informs my insights and coaching every day.

Eighth, I am deeply committed to serving my clients. Their successes — the smallest and the biggest — light me up. This is the most important and most meaningful work I have ever done, and I feel privileged to work with my remarkable clients.

How do you work?

Many coaches do one-off coaching, or meet with clients for a few sessions here and there. I don’t, and here’s why.

My clients come to me to make big change in their personal lives, their work lives, and often both. They want to resolve big challenges. The significant changes they seek entail transformation on many levels, and significant transformation takes time, commitment and investment. I have found that those who desire serious results need to spend time with me — at least 6 months.

I know that “quick-fix” approaches sound tempting to some people. I am committed to supporting my clients so they achieve important, sustainable and long-lasting results.

Does this really work?

Yes! I see it with my clients all the time, And, this is not magic. It requires you to be willing to embrace the process and go deep. It requires that you believe that you matter, and can learn to take steps toward the desires you want to realize. And it requires commitment — to yourself, and to the focus and effort that you will be called to bring in order to implement remarkable change in your life.

What results can I expect?

Naturally, it depends on the kind of effort you are willing to put in. I do not make guarantees — you have to want to do this.

Here are some of the results my clients have achieved:

• Recovered from the emotional damage of working in a toxic corporate environment and launched a vibrant consulting business

• Explored and found a new city to move to and happily settled there; set healthier personal boundaries; improved her working relationship with a business partner; leads more effectively in her business; and creates in many exciting new ways

• Went from killer 80-hour work weeks in her business to being able to let go of bad clients, establish criteria for great clients, set more reasonable turn-around expectations with clients, and generated more income — all while enjoying ample quality time for herself and with her husband

• Showed up in a bigger and more effective way as an executive working with a difficult and demanding CEO; retooled her resume and has been interviewing with confidence to make a major career move to CEO

• Found renewed creative energy for her business; gained greater clarity and developed new courage for ways to expand her business and income

• Having retired from an executive position at a major corporation, embarked on a new professional endeavor, and created a portfolio of board, volunteer and consulting work that has been exciting and enriching

• Learned to move through frustrating blocks as a writer; now writes productively and consistently

• Stopped being a people-pleaser, and stopped living with fear as a driver; is living and working more happily every day

• Got clear about what works and does not work in a current career, and is moving toward a new way of working that calls on aspects of the work that are most satisfying

• After a layoff, confidently applied for new positions; navigated intense interview processes; showed up prepared and confident; is thriving in a wonderful new job

Many clients report that they experience changes they did not anticipate. When they have learned to honor themselves they set healthier boundaries, in their work, and with family and friends. They communicate more effectively. They find joy in new ways of creating, that they did not have in mind when they started the coaching. Some returned to playing a musical instrument that had been in storage for years. Some have found their gardens to be a place for expression and satisfaction that has been a bright spot in their lives.

A universal report from clients is having a renewed outlook on life, having attained remarkable levels of confidence, and having a deep belief in their abilities that surpassed what they thought was possible. Add to that, things like reports of better sleep and more overall happiness — qualities that enrich everyday life in wonderful ways.

Achieving sought-after successes and feeling like a true creator in life helps my clients with many things that had been holding them back. They learn how to overcome countless limitations.

Can’t I just do this on my own?

Let me ask you this: How has “going it alone” and “DIY” worked for you so far?

I have seen time and again that one cannot do work at this level alone. We are not trained to get past what overwhelms us, recover from burn-out, and get over the emotional stumbling blocks that keep us stuck. Even if we can sometimes see the way forward for others, doing this work ourselves is difficult, if not impossible. We all need help, guidance, accountability and support to navigate the ups and downs in life. And having someone who sees more of our possibilities than we are able to see for ourselves, to encourage us when we feel unsure that we can reach that next level, is invaluable.

I’m really busy. How much time is involved in working with you?

It takes time and commitment to do this work and make changes. And, big change is worth it.

An investment is needed for things to change, and that investment entails time, money and a real commitment to yourself and your future.

There will be time spent in our coaching sessions, and I will give you some assignments between sessions. And, you will be putting in time that really counts — to be mindful and self-aware as you create changes in your daily life.

The important efforts that result in significant transformation require that you make investments of time, attention, energy, money, and usually all of these are required. But what I see that is really remarkable, is this: When my clients invariably hit a challenge that knocks them off course a bit, they are able to resume their upward progress quickly because they have learned to make subtle shifts in their daily lives and their thinking, They are able to return to those practices and build on those insights and habits. This is where the big impact shows up, as they start to deeply transform their lives.

So, how long will it take for you to see results? Most people start experiencing meaningful changes quickly, but this is big work and it takes time to make big changes and significant transformation. It’s typical to see dramatic results in 3 to 6 months, and big growth continues to build from there.

Every client is different. Some have more ease than others in “peeling back the onion” to gain clarity, and letting go of old limiting stories, beliefs and scripts. But those who are motivated, who are tired of tolerating the status quo, and make this work a huge priority in their lives, get life-changing results.

It depends on you.

I’ve never invested in myself like this before. How can I justify this expense?

This is different than spending money. This is about investing in yourself, investing in who you want to become.

I invite you to think about what it’s costing you not to address the issues you are struggling with and start to make a big shift in your life. Then, think about the life you want to create — without the blocks and lack of clarity that limit you now. 

You certainly have the option to read lots of self-help books and sign up for web trainings, and struggle without support.

But this is what I know, from my own experience. When you invest in yourself things move faster. You are grounded, you really do the work, and you have the kind of personal guidance that is not available in books and on-line programs.

Unlike spending, investing brings returns. I believe we all owe it to ourselves to live the best life we can, but you need to believe you are worth it. This investment is the path to creating the life you want, and to being a leader in that life.

If I’m not quite ready to get started, is there a way to sample your work?

Sure. You can use my Roadmap to Clarity to dive into getting clear about questions and issues on your mind, and start making meaningful changes. I also write monthly newsletter articles, and blog posts and I do speaking engagements. If you are in the Boston area, you can attend my workshops, and I have a monthly series of IgNight Creative Experiences and Creative Excursions you can join.

I have a few questions for you. Can we talk by phone?

Absolutely. I offer complimentary Introductory Coaching Calls, with no obligation. Email me to set up a time for us to talk. I’ll walk you through the work I do and you’ll have a chance to ask me your questions.

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Each of us is an artist of our days; the greater our integrity and awareness, the more original and creative our time will become.
— John O'Donohue