During my coach training, there was a lot of angst and discussion around niches. Whether you pronounce it “neeeesh” or “nitch”, it matters not. The truth is that this tiny French word strikes fear into the heart of many coaches. For those of you who don’t know, a “niche” is often seen as a tiny corner where they tried to put Baby and Johnny didn’t like it. For the prospective entrepreneur, it is actually more along the lines of… What is my thing? Who are my people? What do they need? How can I help them? How do I find them? Is it time for a cupcake? God, yes. It is always time for a cupcake. Now, I have some unusual gifts that I’ve had since I was a child. Nothing to warrant my inclusion in a Stephen King novel as the mysteriously gifted girl who is the key to defeating evil, but useful gifts nonetheless. I don’t know from whence these gifts came (Was it the casual 1970s attitudes towards recreational drug use by pregnant women? The novelty of the microwave oven my mother got at the baby shower?) but here is the truth…
I can see the future.
During my many years in corporate project management and product marketing, I was known as a great problem-solver because I am able to envision outcomes long before they happen. (I was also known as a great pain in the ass, because in Corporate America they don’t actually want to know when a project is a dud and doomed to fail, they just want it launched and launched now! But I digress…) As a coach for entrepreneurs, I’m able to help you create a vision for your life and business and help you focus your flow of energy, based on your available resources. Within a short time of knowing you, I can help tease out your dreams, examine your strengths, and then help you “premember” your future. It’s hard to give up on a future when we’ve already been there and tasted its sweetness.
I am a pioneer and love opening peoples’ minds up to new possibilities.
In nearly every role I had in Corporate America, I was the first person to hold the position. This probably has no significance other than the fact that it’s true. And the fact that I see a box and I say, “My. Wouldn’t that make a lovely hat. Or boat. Or you could cut the sides and use it to slide down a hill. Or cover you in the rain.” I am willing to take you where you haven’t gone before. I see the world and my imagination runs wild with possibilities.
I can make sense out of seemingly unrelated information.
Purple, monkey, dishwasher. What do these three things have in common? Well, technically they’re just a quote from The Simpsons, but if pressed I could help you create connections between these three seemingly unrelated things. (Just don’t ask me to do it now, because I feel shy and am having performance anxiety.) I am great at finding patterns in all sorts of things – your interests, talents, strengths, behaviors, choices, experiences, personal style, the men you date, your drapes. You know. Whatever. Once I find the pattern, I help you synthesize it into something new, fresh, innovative for your life and business. Ideas inspire you to action. All the clues can be found from your life, already well-lived.
I help my clients feel seen, heard, and understood.
People. I like ‘em. They’re kind of neat. I love hearing my clients’ stories of triumph over struggle and their willingness to show up, go deep, have fun, be serious, and get silly. There’s this joke about me in my family that I’m very skilled at getting people to cry within 2 minutes of seeing them. Not because I’m mean – although I can be as a mean as a honey badger, it’s true – but because I love to really know how someone’s doing. For example, take this encounter with my cousin, Jodi:
Jessica: How are you, Jodi?
Jodi: I’m fine!
Jessica: (Gently holding Jodi’s hand) Jodi… how are you really?
(Jodi bursts into tears.)
Obviously our time together as client and coach is not all pontificating, pondering, or musing. Sometimes, we just laugh and have fun as we brainstorm and make shit happen. On occasion I may laugh at your thoughts or the stuff that you believe holds you back from your brilliance, because sometimes they are just hilariously untrue! The stories we tell ourselves in order to keep ourselves small and unremarkable become laughable when we just look at them for what they are – nonsense – and treat them as such. As a coach, I can see beyond your limiting beliefs and seemingly inexorable doubts to the shiny soul revealed below. And God, it’s beautiful!
I like to question the rules.
Sometimes I like to fly in the face of convention. For example, I still peg my acid-washed jean legs, tease my bangs, and wear frosted pink lipstick because, really, can 80s fashion ever actually go out of style? Yes it can. Regardless, I refuse to be stifled by tradition or wrapped in routine. Especially when it comes to creating, marketing, and promoting a small business. So many of my clients come to me with preconceptions around the “rules of marketing” or limited views on what a successful business should look like. I believe that my clients get to define their own success and are their own best judge of what great marketing looks like.
I am an idea factory.
I often joke that if you aren’t sure what to do with your life, just ask my sister: she can tell you. <eye roll> It seems that I’ve garnered a similar reputation when it comes to offering fresh and innovative ideas for creating and naming new services, products, packaging, or promotions for your business. By nature, I am a fact finder so I love to research the hell out of stuff. I also have a nonlinear, connective mind so I can quickly draw parallels between similar, although unconnected, things. So if you aren’t sure what to do with your business, just ask me because I’ll probably have an idea or two for you! You can turn to me when you find yourself struggling to generate ideas, because I love to find novel or fresh ways to do things.
I make magic. Real magic. Practical magic.
Here’s the deal: I’m a little woo-woo. No, not in your typical crystal-wearing, poncho-loving, patchouli-smelling way. (Let’s be clear, there is nothing wrong with the people who do fit that description. It’s just not me.) But I do believe in energy – I practice Reiki for example. I’ve taken shamanic journeys. I use the mind-body connection to help people tap into the wisdom of their emotions, body, and soul to help heal and guide their lives. I’ve also dabbled in a little white magic. But let’s face it: I worked in a corporate environment for nearly 15 years. I love technology. I’ve helped make robots (ones that will probably take over the world one day). I take ibuprofen for pain. I believe in science. But I also believe that science is still evolving and there are a lot of things science hasn’t figured out yet. I believe in a balance between the practical and the magical. It’s just who I am.
And I’ll help you make magic, too.
So maybe you don’t believe in magic. That’s fine. I believe in other stuff too. I believe that everything you need to have a successful business and a fulfilling and meaningful life is already within you. Does that make you barf a little? Well, too bad, because it’s true! I also believe we all have unique and powerful gifts. My goal is to help you access those gifts and make them work for you. I believe in inspiring your ideal clients instead of manipulating them. I believe if you build a business based on quality and respect, you will creating raving fans out of your clients and they’ll recommend you to everyone from their grandma to their plumber. And as entrepreneurs, our lives and life’s work are inextricably linked and so I believe our work should feel like play. Hell, I believe in a lot of stuff and you can read more about it below, but in the meantime…