An Interview with Wendy

Q: You’re a coach AND a therapist? How does that work? 

A: Life is an evolution for all of us, isn’t it?

I started off as a psychotherapist. Even as a kid, I was always the one others turned to for support, encouragement and guidance. So it’s no surprise, really, that I’ve been a therapist for well over two decades, helping lots of folks with all kinds of issues in a wide variety of settings. I’ve loved every single minute of that work, and I still have a full and thriving private counseling practice here in East Tennessee.

By this point, though, I’ve also started 4 businesses, served a term in public office, created, chaired or implemented all kinds of community initiatives, and generally had a full and happy life. I must have a restless soul, because my professional life has been more like one Adventure after another. I like variety, for one thing. I like a challenge, for another. 

So I’ve done a few things, and I’ve learned a lot.

But here’s the deal. 

There has been one powerful, coherent and consistent theme that runs through everything I’ve ever tried. In short, I love it when people are proud of themselves, especially my women clients. And I love it even more when I can help them build that pride, when I can help them recognize the courage they already have inside, and turn that courage into the kind of deep, in-your-bones confidence they’ve always wished for. 

And my absolutely favorite way to help them do that, is by helping them succeed in owning, managing, and growing their own business. 

Because when you love your business, you love your life.

And when you love your life, you love your self.

So it probably shouldn’t have been a surprise when my clients, colleagues, and even friends, began asking me to coach them in running their business. I resisted at first – but eventually gave in. After all, if the Universe keeps sending you the same request, there comes a time when you need to say Yes.

And what I’ve found is that I love this work. So much. It’s like therapy for your business!
And it makes just as powerful a difference in the lives of my clients, their families, and their communities, as anything else I’ve ever done. 

So today, I do both – counseling, and coaching, Two flavors. Same ice cream. And it’s all delicious.

Q: How are you different from other therapists or coaches? 

A. Well, for one, I don’t sit there and nod my head a lot, saying, “Hmmm….” :)

Here’s what my clients say about how they think I’m different. 

“You’re not pushy. You’re motivational…”

That’s what one client said when I was apologizing, somewhat sheepishly, for being so pushy with her. The truth is I can be pretty pushy – but my clients actually prefer it that way. Essentially,  I will always challenge you to become your best self, to take the steps you need to take to reach the goals you want to reach.  

“Thank goodness – because that’s what I need…”

That’s what they say when I tell them that I’m pretty much a straight shooter. I am always going to tell you what I really think, because you count on that from me. Sometimes that might mean telling you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear. 

But I don’t believe in beating people up, because my guess is that you do that enough to yourself already. No – I will just gently, and directly, point out the patterns that might be tripping you up. And then I’ll help you change them.

“I just needed to hear your voice…”

I believe in my clients sooooo much, that I can’t stop myself, really, from pouring that into you when we talk. I really am a “radical enCourager”, who will do whatever I can to lift you up, to help you stand on your own two feet, proud, strong. Confident. My clients seem to know this, and draw strength from this. 

“I love your energy…”

And people often talk about my energy and enthusiasm. I haven’t thought about that much, but it’s true that I am an optimist if there ever was one. In fact, I’m told that my ability to see the good side of almost anything can be a little irritating sometimes. 

But which would you rather have around? Someone who notices how much brighter the flowers seem to be on a gray rainy day? 

Or someone who just complains about the rain? :)

Q: Who are your clients? What kind of people do you work with? 

A: Here’s a description of someone I typically work with. See if she sounds familiar to you. 

She’s usually somewhere between 35 and 65, because, seems to me, you have to get a little older before you even begin to realize that things can be better.. 

She’s sick and tired of tolerating things in her life that don’t make her happy, and she’s ready to step up in a bigger way to change those things. She’s restless, frustrated, and usually tired. Exhausted even. She often looks like she’s got her act together to the outside world, but inside she struggles with self doubt, self criticism and overwhelm. She takes care of everything and everyone but herself, and she has no idea how to change that – though she knows she needs to.

She may have an idea for a business she wants to create. More often, though, she’s been in business for a while already, but things aren’t going the way she’d dreamed they would. Often, she’s in a heart-centered service work, though not always. She loves what she does, but she doesn’t love the business side of things so much, and she can’t figure out why she’s stuck. 

She works way too much for way too little, and wants to change that. But the truth is, she feels a little guilty about wanting more at all…

Wherever she is, she has this sense that there has to be more to life than this, whatever ‘this’ is, and she’s ready to discover what’s possible. She’s eager to focus on the future, ready to break through roadblocks that prevent her from success in her business.

Bottom line, she’s ready for things to be a whole lot better, and she’s willing to do the work, and make the investment in herself to make that happen. 

But what about the guys?

I’ve been asked, and yes – I do work with men as well. :)

Often, they have the same struggles as my women clients. In some ways, it’s even harder for them, especially when they worry that asking for help might be, well, a little un-cool. But I love working with guys who are excited and creative and ready to follow THEIR hearts, too. 

And besides, we all have issues!

Q: What kind of clients do you NOT work well with? 

A.  If you’re more interested in being negative, in blaming people and situations around you than in taking action yourself, if you’re looking for someone to rescue you and do the work for you, or if you’re more interested in staying with the status quo than you are in making changes needed to reach your goals, then I’m probably not the right person for you.

On the other hand, if you have a sense of humor, if you’ll tolerate imperfection (in me, certainly, but in yourself, as well), and if you’re willing to tell me what you need, we’ll do great.

If you’ll do your homework and be willing to try something new, if you’ll stay in close touch with me and allow me to help you think things through, so that I can really be a present and active resource in your progress, we’ll do great things together.

Q. How do you work with people? What can I expect?

A.  Counseling is a different process altogether, but this is how coaching works for your business.

Most of our work takes place by phone in the form of 30 minute coaching calls, usually 3 per month. Periodically, we’ll add in a longer session of one to two hours, usually in person at my office, though we can meet by Skype if needed. I’ll also ask you to send in an email update each week so we can both stay on top of your progress.

And, you’ll have access to the Courage Academy, my coaching club, which includes two extra training calls per month, along with peer support from others on this path. 

Q. I really just want to talk to you about one thing. Can I just sign up for one session? 

A.  Nope, not really – and here’s why. :)

I have had folks ask to see me “just once or twice”, usually because they want to talk about some particular thing that’s bothering them like figuring out how to raise their prices or how to manage their time better. And I’ve done that. I’ve met with them, as we dive in to whatever it is that’s top of mind. 

But inevitably one of two things happen. Either they quickly discover that this is the ‘tip of the iceberg’, that there is in fact a whole host of things that they really want – and need – to work on. 

Or, they leave with a long list of steps to take, ideas to implement, and all the excitement of those new ideas. Then they get home, set their notes on the shelf, dive in to whatever is next in their day, and never take the first step.

My own coach calls this “shelf help”, instead of “self help”.

To grow the way you want to grow, to make the kind of progress you want to make, takes time.

And focus. And accountability.

The simple truth is that my clients do MUCH better when we work together longer. We need at least 3 months to get things started in the right direction, and really, 6 months to a year to make big changes. So, these days, I only work with folks for either 6 or 12 months at a time. (And often, they choose to continue much longer – because this works.)

But this is not news. I do better myself when I commit to a long term strategy with the right kind of help and accountability system in place, no matter what it is that I’m working on.

We all do.

Q. Does this really work? What results can I expect? 

A.   Well – I don’t have divine powers and I don’t work magic. But if you stick with me long enough, between the two of us it may feel like magic – because amazing things happen when you commit yourself to real growth. 

Most of my clients surprise themselves at what they are able to accomplish. That  ranges from significantly increasing their income to improving their self care, from getting more clients to getting more clarity.

Sometimes the work is more about the way they think, as they begin treating themselves with respect, and insisting that others do as well.  

All of them develop more confidence in who they are and what they want to do in their lives. And that is the beginning of everything.

Q.  Why do I need you? Can’t I just do this on my own? 

A.  You don’t “need” me. And yes of course you can do this on your own. You’re perfectly capable of reading the right books, making the right lists, taking the right steps, figuring things out. 

That’s not the point. :) 

The point is that just because you can (do this on your own), doesn’t mean you want to, or even that that’s what’s best for you. 

Here’s the thing.

You’ve been doing this on your own, already, right? How’s that working out? My guess is that it’s a mixed bag. Some days you’re rocking it, other days, you’re lost. Through it all, you struggle. 

The reality is that it can be really hard to see the way forward when we’re in the middle of the mess. An objective outside observer can see things that you can’t see, help you figure out what to do when you’re lost in overwhelm, boost your confidence when fear freezes you in your tracks. 

On one of our Secret Adventures (something else I used to lead), we did a 7.5 mile canoe trip down the Little River that flows out of the Great Smoky Mountains. Paddling a canoe is a little tricky – but it’s not rocket science. We could have handled that on our own, right? Of course we could.

But it was worth it to me to search for and hire a guide, the right guide, to lead us through. I needed someone who knew the river well, so I didn’t have to worry about how to handle the rapids or what surprises might be around the next bend. 

Yes, you can do this on your own. But if you are serious about building a business that feeds your soul as well as your family, wouldn’t it be so much easier if you just had a little help in making that vision happen?

And yes, you DO TOO deserve it.

Don’t even get me started on THAT.

Q. I’m soooo busy and totally overwhelmed. How much time will it take before I get results? 

A.  That’s completely up to you. I’ve had clients who made significant progress within 6 weeks of getting started. For others, it’s a slow and steady process. 

Our work together will create the map to help you figure out where you want to go and the steps needed to get there. How fast you get there, though, will depend on you – your ability to take action, your willingness to make time in your calendar to do this work, your determination to try things that may feel a little uncomfortable at times.

I am responsible for bringing you my very best ideas, my clearest feedback, my complete and total support for changes you want to make. And I will hold you accountable to the goals that you tell me you most want to achieve.

You, though, have what my coach calls the “response-ability” to respond to whatever choices and opportunities come up for you in this work. You are “at cause” in your business. That means you are the one with the power to do, or not do, whatever you will with what you learn along this path.

And isn’t that the way you want it to be? 

Q.   Can I contact other clients you’ve worked with? 

A.   Absolutely!

If you’ll provide me with your contact information, I’ll put you in touch with a couple of people who’d be glad to talk with you. Sometimes you can tell what my clients think just by reading their comments on my Facebook page or after some of my blog posts too, so it may help to check those out as well.

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

A.   It’s scary, isn’t it?

I know. The first time I made the decision to hire a coach, it took my breath away. I’ve done it several times now, each time making a bigger investment with someone who I knew would be exactly what I needed at that stage in my growth. And I usually cry, because it scares me to death – but I have never, ever regretted it.

When you make a commitment to what you want, and you make it clear what it is that you so deeply desire – the Universe will rearrange itself to bring that desire to you.

Your decision to hire a coach, and then to start implementing the steps needed to move you forward, is a commitment to your business, and to your Self.

Amazing things happen with that deceptively simple, but powerful decision. 

Q. If I’m not quite ready to get started, is there a way to sample your work or get to know you better? 

A.   One of the best ways to get to know me is by following me on Facebook, or by reading my blog at Sign up there for my brief video series on tips for coping with the fears that are such a natural part of life for entrepreneurs.

Q. I have a few questions for you. Can I talk with you on the phone? 

A.  I’d love that! As a matter of fact, I have a few questions for you, too! :))

Why don’t we set up a get-acquainted call where we can talk for 30-45 minutes about where you are in your business right now, what’s working, what isn’t, and where you’d like to grow. Doing so will give both of us a better feel for whether or not coaching is right for you.

Click here to contact me, and let’s schedule a time that works for both of us.

Because I can’t wait to hear more about where you want to go. :)