Why don't you call yourself a Life Coach?
I've always felt that the term Life Coach was a misnomer. In all other areas, coach titles typically describe an area of focus or expertise, such as Executive Coach, Career Coach, or Leadership Coach. Life Coach, however, implies no such meaning. If anything, it might be interpreted that the coach in question is an expert in “life.” It's also an unfortunate reality that the term Life Coach is a favorite of self-appointed gurus who operate in the wild west corners of the fledgling coaching industry, further confusing the public on exactly what good coaching can be.
Instead, I prefer the term Personal Development Coach. It has a broad focus but also calls to mind the specific areas that I often touch on with clients: values, beliefs, limitations, blind spots and vision for the "Personal" part, plus the ever-present element of designing action for the "Development" one.
What qualifies you to coach others?
I asked myself the same question for years! Critically, it's what kept me from pursuing this path for a long time. While there are countless certifications in today's world, being an International Coaching Federation coach is the gold standard in this growing industry. I'm proud to say that I earned the ICF's Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential which is the universal hallmark of effective professional coaches worldwide. As part of my training and professional obligations, I continue my own learning and development on a weekly basis. My growth aids my clients, and theirs helps me as well!
What topics do you cover with your coaching clients?
Only those that are powerfully meaningful for them. I have a love for transformational coaching with a focus on purpose and fulfillment through clarity on values. Transformation means different things to each of us, but a key is that inner growth is intertwined with outer growth. Even if we desire external changes, we will inevitably shift, change and grow inside as part of the process. My role is to facilitate a client activating their best, most desired potential, and helping them feel empowered to overcome the barriers on the way.
I work with clients who are looking for more fulfillment, starting or advancing a career, leading, losing weight, building confidence, achieving a more balanced life, being more comfortable in public, elevating performance, achieving financial security and making life-changing decisions, to name a few. The common thread is that each of these has represented a meaningful step toward living a more authentic and empowered life for the individual that has come my way - it is related to their purpose and fullest sense of self.
How much coaching experience do you have, and with who?
One of the requirements to be eligible for the ICF's PCC credential is to have a minimum of 500 hours of coaching experience with real clients. I was proud to pass that point in early 2022; the number continues to grow.
I have coached entertainment professionals, entrepreneurs and startup founders to help them make decisions, build alignment with their authentic selves, improve personal/professional/financial habits and achieve their biggest goals. I also coach leaders and high performers at companies such as AT&T, Warner Bros. Discovery, IBM, Capital One, HelloFresh, FCB, W+K, Chipotle, The US Department of Defense and more. I've found that my own life experience has helped me see when someone has placed themselves in a box; as a coach, I can coax them out!
A drummer and a coach - why are you doing two things with your career?
This is close to my heart. My late father was a huge science fiction fan, so I was exposed to some serious nerd content from a very early age. This quote is from the legendary author Robert Heinlein:
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
While I don't butcher hogs or plan invasions, I do savor the challenge of living this in my own life. In my adult life I've been a student, a teacher, an expert, a novice... I run multiple businesses, prepare my own taxes, manage my own money, make home repairs, good some darn good meals from scratch, raise a daughter, play drums, program live shows, mentor, write, read, lead, and follow all on a regular basis. To imply that one person can or should develop only one skill highly is an extreme underestimation of human potential.
I've come to realize that I am highly skilled and highly passionate as a drummer as well as a coach. Both have value to myself and others; they also represent ways in which I can live according to my core values. I would be less whole if I limited myself to one of these expressions. Instead I simply said, “Why not?”
That's all it takes for an incredible ride to keep on going.
Ready to reach out?