Ep #204: Why You Need a Coach

The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley | Why You Need a Coach

For so many years, I didn’t know myself fully. I didn’t know how to manage my mind and my relationships. But then I started working with a coach, and everything in my life and business completely changed.

Most people don’t have an ongoing relationship with a coach, whether it’s because they find the whole idea of it a little too woo or because they can’t justify the reason to invest. But believe me when I say that working with a coach is the single most important thing you can do for yourself, your family, and your business and I’m sharing why this week.

Tune in this week as I share what a coach is and what it is not, how a coach differs from a therapist, mentor, or teacher, and the impact that working with a coach has had on my life. Hear some of the reasons you could benefit from working with a coach, and why I truly believe that everybody needs a coach in their life.

If you want help creating a business with thriving revenue streams so that you can design the life you really want, get on the waitlist for the next round of my Design You Coaching Program. Inside, you’ll get access to a whole new course where I share my complete design system with you. You’ll receive every template, tool, SOP, worksheet, downloadable, video, and more that I have created and used myself, and receive a complete step-by-step for how to run your full-service projects. 

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • Why coaching can enable you to overcome obstacles.
  • Some common misconceptions people have about life coaching.
  • The many ways coaching has changed the trajectory of my life and business.
  • How a coach can change your life.
  • Why the stigma around coaching needs to be overlooked.
  • How working with a coach could be the missing piece in getting the life you want.
  • Some of the things that thought work, mindset work and coaching can help you with.
  • Where to start when it comes to working with a coach.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to the Design You podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 204.

Welcome to the Design You podcast. A show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth and joy, here’s your host, Tobi Fairley.

Well, hey there you all. I hope it’s going well in your world. 2022 is going pretty good over here so far thankfully. But as we know that could change at any moment. I think you know what I mean. But I’ll take good any time I can get it. Okay, so welcome to the podcast today. I’m so glad you’re here.

Today I want to talk to you about why you need a coach or why we all need a coach, myself included. It may sound like a silly question or an obvious one but based on the fact that most people don’t have a coach and don’t have ongoing relationships with coaches and many can’t justify the reason to even invest in a coach. I think the reason we all need one may be less obvious than one might think. So that’s why today I want to talk to you about this process of what a coach is, what they are not, how they differ from a therapist, or a mentor, or a consultant, or a teacher.

Let’s get really, really clear so that you can know how a coach might benefit you in your business and in your life. And I’ll even tell you about some different types of coaches that I have used and what kind of coaching my team and I do because you likely don’t even really know what’s out there. Okay, so what is a coach? Well, I guess it depends on the type of coach we’re talking about. Are we talking about a life coach, a business coach, a sports coach? There are all types of coaches.

But let’s start with life coach or that can also be called a mindset coach. According to an online site called A Very Well Mind, a life coach is a type of wellness professional who helps people make progress in their lives in order to attain greater fulfilment. Life coaches aid their clients in improving their relationships, their careers and their day-to-day lives. Life coaches can help you clarify your goals, identify the obstacles holding you back and then come up with strategies for overcoming each obstacle.

In creating these strategies life coaches target your unique skills and gifts by helping you to make the most of your strengths. Life coaches provide the support you need to achieve long lasting change. I really, really love this definition. And one of the reasons I love it is it talks about helping you create and achieve greater fulfilment on your terms with your unique skills and gifts, your strengths. That is exactly how I think of a life coach.

And to me the difference in a life coach and a therapist is often that life coaches are helping you go from a generally good life, or business, or relationship but helping you take it to that next level to create more fulfilment and joy. A therapist on the other hand, and when we say therapist here we’re talking about a psychotherapist, not a therapist who works with injury or impairment like a physical, or occupational, or a speech therapist. But a psychotherapist is what we’re talking about.

So, a therapist or psychotherapist are licensed mental health professionals who specialize in helping clients develop better cognitive and emotional skills, reduce symptoms of mental illness and cope with various life challenges to improve their lives. So, it is similar but they’re different. As opposed to helping you go from generally good to the next level of fulfilment which could totally happen in therapy also.

But in general, I think of a therapist helping you deal with life challenges as this definition says. Oftentimes these are things including traumatic events. And a therapist helps you process these with your cognitive abilities and your emotional skills to really reduce trauma, reduce stress, reduce symptoms of mental illness so that you can thrive in your life. So many times, therapists are digging into the past where oftentimes coaches are helping you create a different kind of future.

So, I hope that helps you see some differences there. And of course, therapists are licensed and regulated. And at the moment the coaching industry is not which is a whole other episode we can talk about some time. But there are definitely good life coaches out there that are really, really worth their money, and their weight in gold, and have transformed lives even if it’s a non-regulated industry.

Okay, then there are other roles of teacher, and consultant, and even mentor. And those are definitely roles that I also fill along with being a coach. So, I teach, I’m a teacher when I’m teaching webinars, or on podcasts like this one, or in my courses. I’m a consultant when I’m giving business advice which also happens in my programs and on coaching calls. But it’s technically different than coaching because coaching is rarely about telling you what to do and more about helping you figure out what you want to do.

Consulting is more when you just need advice on something like pricing, or an app, or a system. And I actually give you my advice on what I would do. So, one’s helping you figure out what you should do just by asking the right questions, helping you see your thoughts. One’s me telling you, “Have you tried this? I would try this. I would consider this. This is what worked for me.” And then a mentor as you can imagine is sort of a guide, a cheerleader, someone who believes and supports you.

And in a lot of these roles, I play a mentor to multiple people. Sometimes that’s paid, sometimes that’s not. So, I think it’s important to see that coaching, and therapy, and teaching, and being a consultant, and being a mentor are all totally different things. But often in people’s minds they are combined, especially coach, teacher, consultant, mentor, those kind of all get wrapped up together.

Sometimes therapy, again which is legally required to be separate and even people who are both certified coaches and licensed therapists are required to be upfront when they’re acting in one role or the other. You have to be clear because of the legal ramifications for therapists. But aside from therapist all those other roles end up getting lumped together and they’re not the same thing. There are so many different types of coaches and therapists actually for that matter. And we will dig into some of the coach types in a bit a little bit more.

But one thing that both professions, therapy and coaching seem to have in common is the stigma surrounding them that if you need one, something must be wrong with you. And this perception keeps many people from investing in both coaches and therapists. And I believe that’s one of the reasons we see such epidemic proportions of stress and mental health issues.

Stress a lot of times, stress and overwhelm come up in coaching so often. And then a lot of serious mental health issues go undiagnosed and untreated that should really be something that people are working with a therapist on. So, I hope if you get nothing else out of this episode you get that both coaches and therapists are much needed parts of our lives. And if you’re interested in growth, and fulfilment and joy, you really want to consider working with these professionals.

I have a therapist. I love my therapist. She helps me with everything from my marriage and my relationships with my parents, and my daughter, and especially my relationship with myself. And in particular we tackle the more traumatic events that are somehow keeping me stuck or holding me back. And let’s just be honest, we all have traumatic events, some of them might be considered like a big T trauma which we can imagine some things that are majorly traumatic.

But everybody deals with sort of what we say in the industry is small T traumas on a regular basis, just feeling rejection, feeling failures in business. Those are also traumatic and sometimes those can keep us really stuck. So, I have my therapist who I love. And I also have many coaches that help me work on all kinds of things, including also relationships and work, my business choices and more.

But we’re typically doing the work with my coach and my coaches less about traumas and more through thought work or what you might be calling mindset work and feelings work. In order to really help me create the desired results I want to happen in the future. Both are amazing. I can’t really imagine having a situation running a business going through life without both my coach or coaches which I’ll tell you who those are in a minute, and my therapist.

And let me tell you kind of how I work with both of these people. So typically, I work with a life coach every week or every other week. So, I work with my coach a lot. And I like this because I’m a person who enjoys personal development, and goal setting. And I prefer to deal with thoughts and feelings as close to real time as possible so I don’t get kind of stuck in not processing those emotions or feelings and going into some mind dram and getting stuck there. I like to keep growing consistently if possible and working with a coach really helps me do this.

On the other hand, I work with my therapist usually when I’m struggling with a particular block, or a trauma, or just something that I’ve kind of known was there for a while that I’m in the future when the timing is right I’m going to go dig into this a little bit more, see what I can learn from it. And so, we meet every week or every other week usually for several weeks in a row, maybe a couple of months’ worth at a time when we’re really digging into a particular thing that I want to work on.

And then with her I usually take breaks in between for maybe several weeks or even a few months. And then when I’m ready to tackle another unresolved issue or something that’s feeling like it’s really problematic, or that I just can’t shake and it’s just really keeping me stuck. That’s when I go back because something else has popped up. Now, that’s just my way of working with a coach and a therapist. There are many people who see their therapist every single week and don’t work with coaches at all.

So, there’s just all kinds of ways you can do this work. But I want to make sure, and I’m definitely as you can tell pro therapy, I love therapy. I love that a lot of the people I follow, mentors like Brené Brown, the teachers that I follow talk about seeing their therapist all the time.

But I want to talk also about why you would consider a coach especially if you haven’t worked with one before. So, this is a really good question I think and one that comes up a lot for people I work with. So let me start by giving you an example of some people who didn’t know they needed a coach and kind of what this all looks like. So, in my Design You coaching program we recently took a survey of our students or members and 84% of those surveyed said that their favorite part of Design You is the coaching calls and the mindset work, so basically having a coach.

But if you ask almost any person in my program, and we currently have about 200 members or so right now, or if you even ask any of our past members which there are hundreds of those people as well. I think almost a 100% of those people would tell you that they didn’t join my program for the coaching. They didn’t think they needed coaching. They didn’t think they needed any mindset work. And they came to the program for our courses and our content instead.

Yet overwhelmingly when we get testimonials, or do student success calls, or take surveys like the one we just did, and you may have seen some of those testimonials and student success calls before. Any time we do any of this usually about 85 to 90% of our people say the number one thing they got out of our program was a complete transformation of their mindset, the way they now think is totally different. And as a result, it didn’t just change their business but it changed their entire life, and all their relationships, and the way they show up in the world which is huge.

Just think about that for a minute. It changed all their relationships for the better with clients, with industry partners, with friends, with spouses, with their children, their siblings, their parents and especially themselves. And this is the feedback we get. I’m not elaborating here. I’m not exaggerating. This is the actual feedback we get. And in particular we hear a lot how authentically our members and past members are now willing to show up, how much people pleasing they stopped doing, how much drama they cut down in their minds and their lives, that it was a total gamechanger.

And that is exactly my own experience with the benefits of life coaching. But the funny thing is, is that almost all of these people and we’re talking about hundreds of people now. Who give rave reviews about our coaching and how it’s changed their lives, say something to the effect of, “But yeah, if you had told me that Design You was a life coaching program I probably never would have joined.”

And they also say something like, “I joined because I wanted something different for my business and you were getting success in yours and you were also in my field or a creative, so in a similar field. And you seemed kind of like me so I took the leap to learn business from you.” Isn’t this so interesting? They wouldn’t have joined if they had known it was life coaching. They didn’t think they needed mindset work.

They joined to mimic my success or to learn from me yet overwhelmingly 85/90% or more of people say that my programs completely change their mindset, the way they think, the way they show up in all of their relationships. So, if you had heard that I was teaching a life coaching program I’m curious if you would feel the same way. Would you just think that’s woo, woo?

And like one of my clients who’s done a ton of her own mindset work now, she’s one of our members and has taken a ton of my stuff since I launched Design You said, “Yeah, mindset is great but that’s one thing I don’t need.” Which we laugh a lot about now because she’s like, “Oh my God, did I ever need it? You changed everything about the way I think.” But I was like, “Yeah, yeah, that’s good, it’s woo, woo, it’s fine. But that’s the one thing I don’t need.”

And I even have people sometimes preface when they first come on a coaching call. They’re like, “Okay, I just want you to tell me what to do today. My mindset’s good.” And every single time of course it’s always the mindset that’s in the way on those calls. So, it’s so interesting. But I want to tell you this, if you are a human you need mindset or what I prefer to even call thought work, you need it, I promise you do. It’s not something you fix. It’s not something you arrive at.

I have been doing thought work in particular specifically for about six years now and I will never again not have a life coach, if not several. It’s a non-negotiable for me now just like going to the dentist or the doctor. Because like the amount of times a day we use our teeth and therefore need a dentist, we think somewhere in the range of 15,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day according to different sources, and research, and science. And many of those thoughts are not helpful at all.

And to me without (a) having been trained to understand our own thoughts which would be trained in life coaching, or reading, or really done some in depth work. And (b) even if you have been trained as a life coach, you’re still too close to those thoughts. They are your thoughts and you believe them even when they aren’t the truth. So, without really fully understanding thoughts and emotions, and thought work, and having someone help you reflect on them, and see them, and not necessarily believe them.

There is no way I think we can reach our goals and be emotionally and mentally healthy and really, really create the life we want, 15,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day are impeding that. So, you need a professional coach to help you see what you’re thinking because most of us aren’t writing it down.

Some of you I’ve talked into journaling and the practice of seeing your thoughts on paper. But even then there’s confirmation bias, there’s desirability bias which is wanting things to happen so you kind of start to believe them. There’s all these biases that keep us from really seeing the facts and not just believing our own thoughts.

And so, you need someone to help you see not only what you’re thinking but what results that thinking is creating for you. And if it’s in alignment or out of alignment with what you really want in your life, or your business, or with money, or with your family it is critically important. So even if you are like my other clients who think, no, I don’t need a life coach or a mindset coach. I want to tell you why you actually might.

So, I’m going to give you a list of reasons. And if any of these things that I’m about to list are something you deal with or even would say you struggle with then you definitely need a coach, a life coach even, a mindset coach. Okay, so here we go. Imposter syndrome or confidence issues. People pleasing. Overwhelm or exhaustion. Confusion on what steps to take next in your business or relationships. If you struggle with a lack of self-care, overworking, not charging enough.

If you’re afraid to hire or spend money to grow your business. If you have a general malaise or apathy about business, one that you used to be excited about but you’re kind of over now. If you have decision fatigue. If you have fear of showing up or being seen online, or in videos, or in photos, or in speaking engagements, or on social media, or anything that would help you grow your business. If you fear technology and progress or how to use new and innovative ideas and apps. If you have a general fear of failure.

If you have a fear of rejection, including having clients or prospective clients say no to you. If you have a fear of success. If you have money mindset issues or what we might call money baggage in any way, which trust me, we all do. If you’re attaching your worth and your worthiness to your achievements and wanting external validation from others about those achievements. If you want everyone to like you. If you want yourself and others to be happy all the time.

If you have a fear of confrontation, a fear of charging enough or raising your rates. If you fear starting your own business or closing your business because you don’t really like it anymore, and going back to work for someone else. If you struggle with delegation, struggle with time management and your schedule and your calendar. If you’re always flying by the seat of your pants and beating yourself up for it. If you have any negative self-talk or mean girl talk which who doesn’t?

If you struggle with perfectionism, or shame, or blaming others instead of taking responsibility. If you struggle with procrastination that keeps you from living up to what you want to achieve. If you have any kind of obsession or even addiction to productivity or hustle culture. If you have body image issues or a love hate relationship with diet culture, especially if how you look is holding you back in your business and keeping you from showing up in the world or experiencing real pleasure and joy.

If you buffer with wine, or shopping, or gossiping, or other habits instead of doing what you’re supposed to be doing or want to be doing. If you have a fear of being judged, or a fear of what people will think of you. If you fear being authentic and honest because no one will like you or you’ll lose business over it. And if you’re thinking business is just too hard and you can’t do it, or something must be wrong with you because you just aren’t as successful as other people you see out there.

And you’re like, “Okay, you covered everyone on the planet, Tobi.” And that’s my point. And just as long as this list is, it’s just a few of the many things that thought work and mindset coaching help you with. These are just some of the things that I’ve seen in myself and the hundreds of people I have coached who struggle with these things, and get stuck with these things.

And for many they’re just not willing to get vulnerable and get coached on these to overcome these things, or at least move further down the path towards their goals. But they don’t think they need mindset or coaching. And I get it, it’s scary. It’s kind of like you’re afraid to open pandora’s box of what might be lurking in there. But I promise that getting coached actually brings a lot of relief and a lot of solutions. It’s a pretty amazing list though. It’s hard to deny.

My own coach, Suzy asked me just a couple of weeks ago, we were talking about something in one of our sessions. And she said, “Where would your life be without coaching, Tobi?” And my answer was that I would likely not still be married to my husband. I would quite possibly be out of business because either it would have failed or I would have given up because it was just too hard. I wouldn’t have the close and loving relationship with my mom, and my daughter, and my brother and his family, and my dad, and my husband or myself.

I would not be working in my passion and serving others with my gifts in a way that doesn’t exhaust me and in fact really lights me up. I wouldn’t have found my current team or collaborated with them to build our amazing company culture that we have now. I wouldn’t have found my people, my friends, and team, and clients who are truly the right ones for me. For so many years I felt like I didn’t quite fit in. And that was because I didn’t really know myself and therefore I couldn’t really find my people but that’s not true anymore.

I wouldn’t have shown up so authentically and been courageous to be my true self here on the podcast or out on social in the last few years. There are just so many things that I wouldn’t be without life coaching. But really mostly that last one. I wouldn’t have been able to show up here the way you all have watched me do on my podcast, and in my social, and in my business in that truest sense of myself, standing up for what I believe and being honest. And being publicly open about it. And just pulling back the curtain and not apologizing for who I am.

And that I think has been the most important growth of my entire life. And it really kind of makes me emotional when I think about it. I’m deeply, deeply grateful that I found life coaching, first for myself and doing my own work. And then because I was trained in it to serve others. It’s one of the top five, if not number one single greatest financial and time investments of my life. And when I say that, that sounds kind of dramatic I guess because of course my family is my most important time investment.

But really if I dig into that, my life coaching may even rise above my family commitment because without the coaching my time with my family wouldn’t be as healthy, or as meaningful, or as joyful. It would have a lot more conflict, and a lot more stress, and a lot more overwhelm because it did before life coaching because I didn’t know how to manage my own thoughts, and how to think on purpose and create the results I wanted in these relationships.

So, I think there should really now after hearing this, I hope for you there should be no doubt on why I have a coach and why I think every single human adult and many humans that aren’t yet adults should have a coach and a coaching relationship and also consider therapy in their life.

So, I hope that this podcast episode and more conversation about coaching will have people stop believing that they need to come to me for business help and then leave with a new mindset. But rather start to understand that the work that you do with a coach is so important and where people will start seeking me out and my team out specifically for the life changing transformative powers of coaching. Because they’re really the most important thing we do.

And when that starts happening, when people start seeking us for coaching more often than not then I will know that we are getting this very important message out into the world. And that the stigma around coaching is maybe starting to fall away, at least a little bit. And that will be one of the most exciting days for me ever. But it will even be more exciting for all the people that are going to be helped with coaching.

So now let me tell you a little bit more about what I personally have used coaches for in the past and today. And I’ll tell you also about my own coach certifications and specialties, and those of my team and our programs so that you can start to see a real world scenario of how this works for me and how it can work for you.

Okay, so I’m going to break down all the coaches I currently have in just a second. But I just want to add that in the past 23 years I’ve worked with many business coaches prior to working with life coaches. So back in 2004 I worked with Mary Knackstedt in business coaching. She changed my life. I worked with her probably until about 2009. I also worked with Julia Molloy probably around 2009 and 10. And they were really two great business coaches for me.

You may have heard of both of them if you’re in the interior design industry. But they were my first foray into really using any kind of coach to up-level my business and they both certainly did in different ways. And so that was back in the early stages of my business. And I couldn’t have gotten to where I was or started charging what I charge. I mean, Mary, revolutionized how I charge in my business.

Julia, I mean as much as Julia helps with operations and did help me think about that, in a lot of ways she was just an ear. She was such a great listener and helped me through some real stress. Now, I wasn’t managing my mindset very well back then but without her it would have been difficult to get through some hard times. And so really grateful for the influence they had on me in that part of my career.

And then starting in 2017 I learned life coaching from Brooke Castillo and many of the other people that are on her staff and that train under her. And I got certified by her. And then I worked with another Life Coach School certified master coach for female founders named Kris Plachy in 2020. And I love Kris. And she was really doing business coaching for me as well, but some mindset coaching mixed in.

And then last year you may have heard me talk on the podcast, I worked with another coach named Lauren Cash for about six months who’s also a Life Coach School certified coach. And she’s currently getting certified in human design. So, she was my first introduction to the concept of human design which I’m really thankful for.

And there are many, many, many more teachers and consultants I’ve used over the years. Every single one of these people have been helpful in many ways. They have all been part of my growth trajectory, and people from the design industry, people from the coaching industry, people from the online business industry, seminars, programs, webinars. I am a collector of information.

And I have been greatly impacted and so has my personal development, but also my business development from the many coaches, and teachers, and consultants. And actually, I would say Mary and Julia were more consultants under the definitions that we’re giving here. Where Brooke Castillo definitely was more of a life coach as were some of the other coaches that I worked with after 2017 when I really started getting into the mindset work. So that’s kind of up until 2020 what it looked like or 2021.

So, who am I working with right now in my life and my business? Let’s talk about that. So, as I’ve mentioned several times I work on a weekly or biweekly basis with my coach, Suzy Rosenstein. And actually, I’ve been working with Suzy for a while. She was my coach trainer when I got certified in life coaching in 2017. So, I’ve pretty much been working with her since then. She’s been a consistent figure in my life for a long time. And she’s been on my podcast, you may have heard her.

She has gone through certification and master coach certification at The Life Coach School. So, she’s a master certified life coach and her specialty is working with middle aged women. But I started working with her, she works with women in their 50s and older. I started working with her prior to being 50, total gamechanger. And I’ve tried a few other coaches since Suzy and mixed people in but she’s just my person. You just find your person sometimes with coaching and she gets me and we make so much progress together.

And I feel like she will be in my life as long as I’m breathing and she’s still coaching. So, Suzy is an ongoing kind of factor in my growth and my success.

I also am currently working some with a coach named Kit Yoon. And the work we are doing together is around body and intuitive eating. She also brings in a lot of spirituality. She’s certified by The Life Coach School but she also has other certifications and educations in history, in eastern or Chinese medicine. She does acupuncture which I don’t work with her in person. So, she doesn’t do acupuncture for me but it’s something she does for her in person clients at least right now. She does hypnotherapy. She does inner voice therapy. She’s certified in intuitive eating.

So, she has a lot of knowledge and wisdom around functional medicine and spirituality. And I love working with Kit as I continue my journey with intuitive eating and anti-diet living as I call it. So, I’m working with her in, I think about a 12 week series right now of one-on-one sessions. So, every couple of weeks we have a session. And then I don’t know if we’ll keep going for a while, if I’ll take a break and come back. But this work has been transformational in my own personal journey with food, and body, and body acceptance, and spirituality. And I’ve just really loved working with her.

I also just started in the last couple of weeks a program with a coach who’s also a Life Coach School coach. I go back to Life Coach School coaches a lot because they come from the same training as me in that the framework that we use for coaching is the model that we’ve learned at The Life Coach School. So, I enjoy a lot that we’re already working from the same tool most often. But a lot of these teachers as you can tell already bring in all sorts of other tools which is what I like about them.

So, I’m not just pro Life Coach School but I do find a lot of amazing people that come out of that community. So, I’m working with Victoria in the six month program, I think it’s called Anchor. It’s new to me. And it’s specifically about doing somatic or body movement work to overcome things like codependency and a lack of self-care. And it’s just a deeper dive into the work really that follows along with what Kit and I have been doing. So, Victoria’s courses and coaching are part of this program that go deep into somatic and psychology based teaching.

So yeah, she’s a certified life coach but she puts the science behind our feelings and helps those of us who like me spend way too much time in our heads and helps us sort of reinhabit our bodies and start listening to our bodies again. So, this work is really again, part of that journey that I’m on with my body acceptance and anti-diet culture. And really it has been freeing, it’s been liberating. And so, her work totally complements the work I do with Kit to help me further love myself. And I really think both of these are pretty woo.

I mean pretty woo but I’m a 100% here for it and it’s making a difference in my life. Okay, so there’s those people. And then I’m also still currently working with my diversity, equity and inclusion coach, Trudi Lebron, who has changed my life and my business. She works with my whole team in regular sessions but also my COO, April and I are in Trudi’s 18 month certification program for equity centered and liberatory coaching in leadership.

So basically, Trudi’s teaching us trauma informed consent based equity centered coaching. So that we can do less harm and be equipped to work with and create a safe space or container for a diverse group of people that may have different identities or lived experiences than me and each other. Different from my own, especially but including not things limited to racial and ethnic diversity, all gender identities, LGTBQIA folks and other marginalized groups.

And so far April and I have done about six months of foundational work in this certification to really learn about things like inclusion, and anti-oppression, and othering, and liberatory leadership. And we did a whole section for about six or seven weeks on trauma informed practices which is really important and not something I had been trained in before.

Because as I talked about before, we don’t really deal with the trauma so much as a life coach but we need to know when trauma exists, know what to do with it. And know when we might want to refer a coaching client over to a therapist. So, it’s really, really important and it’s something that’s missing from a lot of people doing coaching work out in the world. And then we are working on this together, April and I. So, we just started the six month portion of the 18 months that we’re in the coaching track.

So, these are one-on-one weekly small group sessions, not one-on-one, but we get a lot of one-on-one work. But they’re small group sessions with Trudi. Trudi’s there in person. And it’s already making such a difference in my coaching skills. It’s invaluable, not only am I learning all of this myself for my own personal development and learning a lot about myself in the process. It’s making me a much better coach.

And then next month because I am an overachiever, which maybe that’s hustle culture showing up again. I’m starting Kara Loewentheil’s advanced certification in feminist coaching. And it’s the only certification that combines the most powerful cognitive change tools in the coaching business with an inner sectional feminist analysis.

So, it’s a holistic social, political, historical and intellectual lens on coaching tools and the coaching industry, and personal change in social progress, which if you know me, and you know my beliefs and the things I champion you can see how this is important to me.

So as Kara says, or Kara says, if you are coaching a woman of color, or a fat woman, or a woman living with a disability, or an LGBTQ+ woman, or a woman who lives across more than two of these marginalized identities, or any other marginalized identities. And you don’t understand the history, and the theory, and the impacts of the social forces that have shaped their experiences, and their minds, and their lives then you can’t really effectively coach them, which I completely agree.

So, this certification also fits well and just kind of tucks right in there with Trudi’s certification. To help me be best equipped to coach the diverse women in our programs, women and a few really progressive dudes as we say, to reach their goals no matter who they are, or what lived experience they have, or what goals they have. So, it’s all very exciting.

And so, all of these coaches I work with personally on my own personal development work. Because every one of these truly, even in Kara’s program it sounds like it’s for business when I describe it. But what I most hear is it just changes you as a person and that’s true to me for all of my coaching certifications. But also, just to remind you, I have my original coach certification from 2017 at The Life Coach School. And then my master coach certification from The Life Coach School that I finished in 2021.

Just like that long list I read earlier about why you need a coach, this is a long list of coaches and certifications, I get it. So, in a nutshell I have two one-on-one coaches, Kit and Suzy. I have one personal coaching program with Vic for my own wellbeing and really tackling things like body acceptance and codependency and all those things.

And let me just say, while I’m in Vic’s program I’m going to take a break from my one-on-one sessions with Suzy and maybe just see her once every month or every six weeks or so just to kind of make sure that I don’t need her to check-in on anything or help me process something. But it gets to be too much to do all of these things at once. And I’m sure that’s what you were thinking when I was reading all of that stuff. So, I’ll take a break from Suzy but I’ll pick back up with her after I finish Vic’s program this summer.

And that’s the thing with Suzy, I work with her almost all the time but occasionally when I ‘m doing some other specific work on a specific topic or concept, or block, I’ll take a break and then I come back. But because of all of these programs I will be definitely an even better coach. And then I’m doing the two coach certifications, the equity centered and the feminist coaching. So, it’s a lot. And it’s exciting because honestly I’d rather learn, and study, and be a thought leader, and study history than do anything else in my job.

So, I love this stuff. But when I finish with all of these things and I also do have my sight set on a human design certification later, but when I finish these, not only will I be even more authentic, a more self-aware person, but I have more skills and more tools to help a lot of other people. But you have to remember when you’re hearing how much I’m doing, again I live to learn, it’s my jam, it’s my zone of genius. I collect degrees and certifications like a lot of women collect shoes. It’s what I love.

So, by no means, I mean zero means unless you are like that too do I suggest you start out this way because way back in 2016 when I first started introducing myself to life coaching for personal growth, before I even started in my certification with The Life Coach School I just started listening and learning. And then I started with one coach or program at a time because in the beginning there’s so much to learn and shift that you don’t even know that you need. In fact, like we said, most people don’t think they need this stuff.

So, doubling up, or doubling down, or doing the amount of intense personal work that I currently do on myself can be very overwhelming. So don’t try to mimic this. This is not just the fancy highlight reel that you should aspire to because that’s falling into hustle culture. I worked my way up here but I also do this for my job. It’s my training, my continuing education, it’s building up my tools to be a better coach. And unless that’s a goal you have you’re probably not going to be taking on this much at once.

But what I do recommend is that you at least start, start with life coaching or mindset coaching because mindset coaching, life coaching, thought work, whatever you want to call it will likely be the piece that you have been missing to create the life and business that you really want. It is so true for me and is so true for many, many of my clients. It’s the thing that helps us get out of our own way.

And besides me with all of my overachieving collection of certifications and degrees we also currently have two other certified life coaches, Summer and Lauren in our programs. They’re our success coaches, they teach in our programs. They do some one-on-one coaching in some of our packages. And we now only hire certified coaches in our program. And we also are working with Trudi as a group like I said, this year to make sure that our entire staff is trauma informed and equity centered in their work that they do on behalf of our company.

So, they’re not all trained yet but we’re in the process of training them in those very important things, you all. I take this stuff so seriously, can you tell? If we are coaching you, if we are having a piece or a part of your journey, I want to make sure that we’re creating safety. And that we’re really helping you get the results that you want. It’s really kind of what my momma taught me. If you’re going to do something, do it right. Or as we say in my company, we never half ass anything, we only whole ass around here.

So, I bring my whole ass to my own coaching journey and my coaching skills and certifications. And I hope that after hearing this episode you’ll think about at least dipping your toe into working with a coach even if you’re not whole assing it yet. And maybe you decide you want to whole ass it with a coach but at least dip your toe in and be open to the fact that if anything on that list I read resonates with you, that you could benefit from working with a coach.

And if you don’t know where to start and you are a creative or a designer of any kind, interior designer, product designer, web designer, event designer, all the people in creatives we work with. If you are looking for someone to help you with any of those things I mentioned earlier on that list of what coaches do, confidence, fear of failure, money stuff, so much more, we would love and be so honored to work with you in Design You. We have weekly coaching calls in Design You and it’s so much fun and so exciting.

So, if you want to talk to us about that program, our Design You program, you can DM us at Tobi Fairley on Instagram or you can email us at info@tobifairley. And if you do that email can you put podcast on coaching as the subject line so we know you heard this show and you want to know more about what we do. And then you can also check out our programs on our website tobifairley.com under the Design You tab.

Okay friends, coaching is so important, it is life changing. I think it’s the single most important thing you can do for yourself, your family, your business. So, I hope you give it a try and I’ll see you back here next week when we start our next podcast series called The Value of Design. It’s another series, it’s going to blow your damn mind so don’t miss it. Okay, bye for now.

Thank you so much for listening to the Design You podcast, and if you are ready to dig deep and do the important work we talk about here on the podcast of transforming your mindset and creating a scalable online business model, there has never been a more important time than right now. So, join me and the incredible creative entrepreneurs in my Design You coaching program today. You can get all the details at TobiFairley.com.

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Hi! I'm Tobi

I help creative women (and a few really progressive dudes) design profit-generating, soul-fulfilling businesses that let them own their schedule, upgrade their life and feel more alive than ever!

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