10 minutes into this coaching session I was crying on the floor in the bathroom
About 6 years ago I had the opportunity to have a coaching session with a very very successful influential coach. (I won’t say her name to protect her privacy).
- She is a very successful career coach.
- She was voted the World’s most influential Guidance Councilor by INC Magazine.
- She has THOUSANDS of raving reviews and testimonials. I was eager and excited to have the opportunity to have a session with her.
I knew that she has Asperger’s syndrome (like my brother). I thought connecting with her was going to be an amazing experience.
Little did I know that I would end the call hating her, and crying on the floor of the bathroom with the door shut.
I’ve had several coaches throughout my life, and I was always an excellent coachee. I love to learn and challenge myself and I always got to the next level in meeting my own goals with the help of a coach. I was always better for it. This time is no exception.
Even though it was completely different.
The call started out great, she asked me “What do you want to get out of this call? I want to make sure you’re happy, so please tell me what you’d like to achieve from our hour together”
I said “I’d like to have clarity on exactly what I need to do, to get into the type of career that I want. I’m not exactly sure what that looks like, but at the time I was a receptionist & I had big career ambitions. I knew I wanted to be in Leadership.”
Her next question was: “Well what have you already done that hasn’t worked?”
I talked to her about my role as a receptionist with the current Law firm I was at…
After that, it was kind of a blur.
She mumbled something about me not knowing what I wanted.
Me not knowing what it would take to dedicate myself to a life where I could be a VP or CEO… & she asked what would I even do with my life if I had that kind of success?
I said: “I dunno, I’d travel more with work, I’d meet amazing people, I’d have more fun & I’d be able to have a bigger impact”
She responded with:
“People who are happy with their lives don’t’ travel. You need to have kids.”
What she said, hit me like a ton of bricks.
- She spoke with the most certain and albeit influential tone and demeanor…
- She went on to give me very specific instructions for my life.
- She said I needed to leave the guy I was with and go have kids now.
FYI I was 33 at the time of writing this. I’m turning 39 next month.
I’d never wanted kids, like ever, since I was a little girl! I had decided no kids for me thanks.
I had a terrible relationship with my mom & in fairness, I was quite the brat myself.
I couldn’t imagine raising a child that was even close to like I was (what a nightmare)! 🙄
I had yet, recently spent some time with my little nephew who had been around for the holidays and I had thoughts start coming up about how fun it was to spend time with him…
I couldn’t deny that she was onto something, even though I resisted it and wanted to strangle her through the phone because of how she was speaking to me. She held such a commanding tone, even though she hardly knew me.
I Said: “I scheduled this call with you to get clarity on my career direction, but you think it’s ok to tell me how to run my uterus?”
This having kids thing aside though…
She was as adamant about telling me that I wouldn’t have a successful career in leadership. Her reason was that having kids takes too much time & I wouldn’t have time for both.
This woman is not only named the world’s most influential guidance counselor, but she has kids AND a very successful career coaching company.
SHE had Both!
So I took this as her telling me that she could do it but I couldn’t.
I asked her about this! I said, “You have kids and you have a successful business”… So how come you can?!”
Her response: “I have spent hours & hours on my business and I have paid for it with 1 divorce and almost another divorce” (Her words)
The hour came to an end and I was in a puddle on the floor of the bathroom.
I was coming to the very real conclusion that she was right and that I did want to have one kid…
But more so that I had to give up my all my career dreams and stay a receptionist, or worse, not even work at all, maybe at the grocery store as a cashier, you know… To get out of the house.
According to her, my life had to go a certain way, and that was the way it needed to go, the only way.
It was kids or career but not both. (and questionable for me since my personality type didn’t fit into the “Leadership Type”) She said…
The thing that got me was that she was telling me with an unshakable certainty that I could not have it all. Like it was a fact. A provable impossibility.
She was VERY convincing about it, it was almost like she was arguing in a court of law & she was a damn good lawyer too!
She proceeded to name successful women leaders who did not have kids to prove her point.
They don’t have the time, do you know how hard they work?
Do you know how many hours they spend working?
You choose. Either kids or a successful career, but not both.
Any argument I presented she’d have a great counter for.
She’d say well some do have kids but their relationship is shit.
Or she’d say, they do but their husband doesn’t work.
They do but but but… Reasons why it wasn’t a real victory or option.
I wasn’t in the slightest bit prepared for a full-on court argument, and I crumbled thinking she must be right. I know in my heart she’s right about me wanting a kid, so is she right about everything?
It was the worst (or best) coaching call of my life.
So what did I do?
You won’t believe this, but…
I booked another call with her.
Yes, I’m one of those people who like to cause themselves pain, what do you call them? Masochists?
But I couldn’t let this end there. I had to book another call with her.
I needed to express how I felt about how wrong I thought she was, and I needed her to see that.
So on the second call.
I called her out.
I put my big girl pants on and after thinking about it. I spoke my truth to this woman, who had been “bang on” with “thousands of other women she had coached before.” (She does have thousands of testimonials on her site that state this)…
I figured I needed to meet her certainty with my own certainty and she’d be able to see how wrong she was.
I said “You don’t tell me I can’t have it all”
You don’t tell me what I can’t do.
That is NOT for you to decide.
Her approach changed.
Her tune changed, now saying that she wasn’t telling me I ‘couldn’t’ but that it would be so much harder than I imagined. That I would never actually do it. I’d give up because it was a long hard road.
She said “What you think you want now isn’t what you actually want. Only because you don’t know how hard it is to achieve.”
She did a lot of personality typing work with clients using the Meyers-Briggs test.
So she (thought) she knew my personality, she pigeonholed me into being a stay-at-home mom that works at the grocery store so she can get out of the house.
So I pushed through this call, fighting back tears again.
Trying to tell her “what I needed from her” which was a) for her to see that she was wrong and b) Which was a strategy on how to advance in my career!
She wouldn’t go there with me. She kept making the case for why I (the type of person I am) could not do this.
Finally, I lost it at her and said “I don’t care if it’s hard. I’m still going to do it, whether you help me or not.”
What you’re saying is B.S. you don’t know me.
You have no idea & I know in my heart that you’re wrong.
So THEN we were getting somewhere different.
She finally started breaking down the tactical methods used to advance into Leadership.
But the way she described it was very demotivating. Albeit possible.
It felt like she had handed me a “good luck with that” bag of turds.
Oh! And if I want the step-by-step details I’ll have to book another call with her.
So that was that. After 2 calls with This Woman, later I had learned exactly 4 key lessons:
- Some people insist on putting THEIR limitations on you, They think they know better than you FOR YOU (They don’t) No one ever does or Can.
- YOU decide what you want No one else, you can always change it at any time but you’ll be better off for having gone for it.
- YOU Can do it YOUR WAY. There are many different ways to succeed, they all look VERY Different.
- No one decides what you CAN’T do. Enough that we already have our own doubts to deal with. We do not need to compound them from other people.
I have built my business on helping people have it all in their careers. As you can see I believe in that message with my heart and soul.
I went on to prove this woman wrong Several times over.
And I’m proud of this.
So if you’re doubting it. I know You can HAVE IT ALL.
- You can have kids and a career where you don’t have to overwork to produce insane results & get paid really really well
- You can have a career that you love, Time freedom, schedule freedom
- You can have a large paycheque that you know will grow with the value you continue to create
- You can have the most amazing group of people surrounding you that respect your boundaries and lift you up.
- You can have FUN most of the time and do work you LOVE most of the time.
- You can move through your work with flow and ease (While understanding that you’re not going to be perfect at it either) and that’s part of the process!
- You can have the best experience that lights you up instead of always wishing you were somewhere else or at your next goal.
- You can enjoy your success now and create the life you want right now.
- You’ve already done it actually, let me show you how that’s true, and then help you create more from that space.
Because money is not about TIME put in. It’s about VALUE created for the RIGHT people, for the right organization.
That’s what I’ll show you how to do at optimal levels.
Create the right type of value for the right people & present the already created value & Future Value in a way that Subtly lands!
Without feeling like you have to brag or be arrogant about it. It’s just TRUTH. TRUTH that you can feel in your bones.
In the Time to Thrive Mastermind, we are moving into advanced concepts of value creation.
Value creation that takes less hours to create but gives the organization you work for more leveraged value & results.
Which makes it clear and simple for you to ask for your raise and promotion.
Time To Thrive – Career Mastermind HERE.