Kind Kindred : Michelle : The When I Grow Up Coach

Ha-ha-happy Monday!! I hope each of you had an amazing weekend, filled with Light & smiles. Today’s Kind Kindred post features Michelle Ward, and in case you didn’t know, Michelle Ward is one cool cat. She’s a certified life coach, part of the gals at Spring AND she’s introduced me to the ever-so-charming Pierre François Frédéric of The Declaration of You fame. Not to mention she’s funny as all get out, I mean come on now. Yeah, I’m super excited about this week’s post, hahaha. Enjoy! -Jenn

Day 3 - Me in so many ways...

New Yorkers are rude, your dream is impossible and 3 other things that I’ve found to be untrue.

Falsity #1: New Yorkers are rude.

I’ve lived in New York City for 14 years, and I’ve found that New Yorkers are nothing if not helpful. If you don’t believe me, get on the subway and ask a nearby passenger whether or not the train stops at such-and-such Avenue. I’d put money on the fact that, even if they don’t know, they’d do their best to help you figure it out. Then, I’d put more money on at least one other nearby passenger offering their knowledge if the first person doesn’t know the answer or seems unsure of it. In fact, I was looking for an address recently when I realized I was going the wrong way. I got halfway down the block before I knew it, and when I turned on my heels to walk in the opposite direction I heard from a passerby, “Do you need any help?” I laughed a bit, being a native myself, and smiled. “No, I’m good. But thanks for asking!” Yes, New Yorkers might walk down a city block in under a minute, headphones on, not making eye contact, but when someone needs help, we ask. We offer. We’re kind.

Falsity #2: Having an online persona will open the floodgates to Nasty Nellies.

Ever since I started blogging over two years ago, I’ve been waiting to be attacked. A rude comment, a passive-aggressive tweet, a nasty remark to a Facebook update – I had my armor up for it all, anticipating the Nasty Nellies. And here I am, still waiting. I have experienced nothing but sweet words, positivity, and thanks from my online community. I’m oh-so-glad that I didn’t buy into the words of caution, and jumped in anyway with my thoughts, my viewpoints, my vulnerability and my quirky personality. The online world is kind, and I have made some of my closest, supportive, like-minded friends through that connection.

Falsity #3: Asking someone for help means that you’re being an annoying bother.

In my determination to make a full-time career as a creative career coach actually work, I had to ask for help: to my friends for my lack of availability, to my husband to build my website (and continue to update it), and to coaches I admire to share what worked for them. As I work with clients who are looking to change careers, they have to ask for help, too: explaining to friends and family what new job they’re looking for and whether they know anyone in that field, passing along their resume, and/or asking questions for an informational interview. “I’ll be bothering them,” they say. But they do it because (a) it’s their homework and (b) I’m really mean. I’m never surprised when they come back with, “Wow, everyone was so helpful! I got some good responses, and now have more knowledge about what XYZ career entails,” which most of them do. When you allow people to help and/or talk about themselves and their experiences, they will more than likely oblige, in kind.

Falsity #4: The other shoe is always going to drop. Just wait.

I used to be an optimistic pessimist (or a pessimistic optimist – I could never quite figure out which one), meaning that I’d expect the best to happen, but would wait for a snafu along the way. Got the part in the show I wanted? Great! Turns out it’s the same day my best friend is getting married? Of course! It got to the point where I’d constantly be looking for the other shoe to drop, which allowed me to always find it. But once I stopped looking for it and ceased believing in “jinxes” or “luck” or, um, pessimism in general, I didn’t see it any longer. These new beliefs are absolutely me being kind to myself, my work, my opportunities and my experiences.

Falsity #5: Your dream is impossible.

There is always a way to get what you need/want for yourself – you just have to invest the time, energy, and patience in finding it. When I decided to get certified as a life coach and make it my full-time career, it seemed impossible in an expensive city like New York without someone else paying my salary. But I knew that I could feel more comfortable leaping into the world of entrepreneurship if I gave myself a large safety net: a corporate 9-to-5 job that paid me well and gave me benefits, a financial nest egg that consisted of 5-6 months of my full-time salary, my life coach certification, coaching clients during my lunch hours/nights/weekends, and a steady stream of consultation calls. It took 2 years and 7 months from the time I started my corporate job & life coaching classes until the day I left (6 months and 1 day ago!), but I made more money last month as an entrepreneur than I did at my corporate job. It took time, but I discovered and respected what I needed to make my dream possible, and I did it in kind.

Michelle Ward, aka The When I Grow Up Coach, works with creative people to devise the career they think they can’t have – or discover it to begin with! A certified life coach by the International Coach Academy & a musical theater actress with her BFA from NYU/Tisch, Michelle has been featured in “Newsweek” and “Metro News”, is a co-host on Spring & is about to embark on The Declaration of You with Jessica Swift. She could be found coachin’, bloggin’ & givin’ away free stuff at whenigrowupcoach.com.

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