Was this my destiny after all?
Last week I wrote about your mission as a sentient being that chose you to co-create with. It chose you not only for your gifts but to offer itself to you for your development. I asked you to think about why it chose you – what do you offer it, and what does it offer you?
This is a tremendously helpful way for me to think about my mission. Neither my reserved temperament nor my “good girl” socialization makes it easy for me to market myself as a coach. But I’ve found that thinking of myself as a collaborator with a mission – in my case, the mission to help people stop suffering and start living – takes the focus off me and helps me to be braver and bolder.
Also, I think it’s just true. I know because I tried to quit my mission once, but it wouldn’t let me.
A Bad Boyfriend
It was December 2018. My coaching practice had dwindled to just one or two clients. The bright spot in my professional life was the part time job I had taken at my kids’ high school. You may remember that my first mission was to be an English teacher (see “Calling” ). That calling receded with motherhood and the frequent moves of Navy life. But now we were settled in Omaha, and being in a school again rekindled that old feeling.
From my little perch in the Attendance Office, I found myself looking at the teachers with envy. I should be you, I thought. Out in front, leading, serving, fully employed.
It was so frustrating! I loved coaching! I just couldn’t figure out how to make it work as a business. It was as if business were a barrier to a career in coaching, instead of a path.
Year after year I tried to cultivate a different relationship to business: I studied it, copied others, tried to “relax” about it and make myself more attractive to it…
It reminded me of another impossibility, from my girlhood. My mother had been dismayed at the intensity of my crushes. “Don’t be so serious!” she told me. “It’s off-putting. Play it cool.”
Ugh. I didn’t know how to be cool. I was warm! Earnest. Sincere. If business was like one of those boys whom I could only attract by being cool, business was not for me.
Business was a bad boyfriend, and I was breaking up with him.
I Can’t Quit You
To be clear, I wasn’t breaking up with coaching. I was quitting business. I would always coach – family, friends, perhaps my teaching colleagues or my students once I was back in the classroom.
I set my sights on enrolling in the teaching licensure program at my local university, only to find that I’d missed the deadline to apply by a single day.
Even so, my mind was made up. On Saturday, December 8, I wrote a Letter of Intent to my coach, detailing the course I had decided on and my impeccable reasons for choosing it. I emailed it to her and felt peaceful.
On Sunday, December 9, Sarah Fruehling, the owner of Fruehling Coaching & Facilitation called me. Sarah and I knew each other socially, so I thought she was calling to invite me to coffee.
But no. She was calling to offer me a job.
Her business was growing beyond her personal capacity, and she needed to hire an associate coach to meet the demand.
I was so stunned that I actually said no.
“I’m going to go back to teaching,” I told her.
“When?” she asked.
“Well, the program starts in a year.”
“So, why not do this for a year and see what happens?” she said.
Yeah. Why not?
Then it hit me that this offer was exactly what I said I wanted: to coach without having to build a business.
And then I laughed out loud! My mission batted classroom teaching right out of my hands. Coaching would not let me quit it!
What You Want Wants You, Too
After that, my business – yes, my business – grew. The more I coached for Fruehling Coaching & Facilitation, the more my confidence grew, which attracted clients to my business, Allison Evans Coaching, in a virtuous spiral. Three years later, the income from my business exceeded my income as an associate coach!
The path has not always been smooth. But I never lost heart again because I knew the mission wanted me as much as I wanted it. I had evidence now that this was a co-creation.
It’s the same for you. What do you feel called to do? What do you yearn to create in the world? That – that business, that creative work, that cause – wants you, too!
If you are ready to declare your intention (or first get clear on it) and take action to co-create it, have I got something for you. Be the Heroine is my year-long mastermind for women who yearn to make a greater impact and are ready to prioritize it.
Through lessons, group coaching, peer mentoring, practices, challenges, and one-to-one coaching with me, this program is designed to help you take action consistently, with less effort, more fun, and greater results than you could achieve on your own.
Please visit the information page for complete details.
Three women have said yes already. Five spots remain. Enrollment closes December 16 or when those spots are filled.