How I Never Imagined I Would Launch A Professional Coaching Business for Women!
Written By Laynne L. Holloway, Chapter You Coach & Co-Founder
At an early age in my career, I made the bold statement that “I wanted to retire at age 50.” Truth is, I didn’t have the ability to think beyond the current week and I surely had no real idea when I wanted to retire.
In fact, I didn’t really even know what that meant! But, I established it as my dream and put it out there. I didn’t think about it much, other than an occasional mention at a party when I needed a good conversation topic.
Fast forward to 2010 when I realized I’d be celebrating 5-0 in two short years!
Was I really ready to retire?
I didn’t feel “old enough,” I loved my work and the people there, and I had NO CLUE what I would do with my time. Strengths, skills, passions – I had none! The best thing I could come up with was that I enjoyed “helping and connecting people.” (So lame!)
How had I made it to this point of my career and life so quickly, and what was I going to do next?
It Was Time For A Plan
I continued to work, for five more years. During that time, I considered what I might enjoy doing in my next chapter. Many wise counselors implored me to have a plan before I pulled the trigger. I tried to create a plan, but could not seem to tap into what I’d be good at doing.
“Many wise counselors implored me to have a plan before I pulled the trigger. “
July 17th, 2018 I retired, and I didn’t have a plan!
Instead, I decided on Day 1, to become a life-long learner! I began to seek out new things to see and do. I had a blast meeting new people and experiencing new things. My mind began to explode with ideas of what I could do in my next chapter of life. Before long, and through a series of serendipitous moments, Michelle Taliaferro and I decided to give Career Coaching a shot.
As we began to share our ideas for Chapter You, many people told us how perfectly career coaching aligned with our strengths, skills and passions!
I was floored! How did they know and I didn’t?
Looking back now, I see clearly that I spent my first career actually DOING what I loved to do! But I simply couldn’t see it then!
My Entire Career Led Me To Offer Professional Coaching Through “Chapter You”
I loved the chess game that was corporate America. Figuring out the strategy of how everything fit together was mesmerizing. Leading teams, mentoring and sponsoring future leaders, and connecting people brought immense joy. Helping customers, even when it wasn’t my job, instilled pride in my company. Facilitating many high-pressure, high-risk discussions with people who were not like-minded, fueled me. All the while, a focus on treating people at all levels with respect and trust was my guiding force, and I loved it all!
What I’ve learned, is that our strengths, skills, passions and values are often right under our nose, and we often don’t recognize them in ourselves. Not knowing what we’re good at prevents us from dreaming big.
Women in particular tend to be shy about naming and claiming these important attributes in their lives. At Chapter You, our goal is to change these trends and encourage everyone to take regular inventory of what inspires them, and makes them feel alive. We often say, “you don’t have to be Oprah or Mother Theresa to have a dream or to confidently state things you’re good at.”
Once you begin to know what you do well and what you love to do, you’ll feel the freedom to begin dreaming big.
“What I’ve learned, is that our strengths, skills, passions and values are often right under our nose, and we often don’t recognize them in ourselves.”
Where Strengths, Skills, and Passions Aligned
I took quite a circuitous route to find the dream I’m currently living. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t change much other than to claim my strengths, skills and passions along the way.
I spent too long telling myself I wasn’t really good at anything. Looking back, I would silence those limiting beliefs, ditch the worrying, and be more intentional about owning the things I did well, while dreaming big about my future.
What’s your dream for your future?
What do you do well?
What do you most love to do?
Where are your strengths, skills, and passions?
Maybe you’ve been, like me, learning more and more about yourself the entire time and preparing for the best next thing… Keep your eyes open.