Coaching Others Through Building Their Businesses

podcast Oct 31, 2022
Coaching others



More interviews? Don’t mind if I do! For today’s post, I was interviewed by my incredible coaching client, Karley. She asked some very thought-provoking questions about how I got started coaching others, and I think many of the answers would be beneficial to you. So without further ado, let’s get into the good stuff!



Path of Most Resistance

Karley: Katie, I am so excited to be talking to you today. I'm going to start you off with the same question I start everyone off with: what is a time you took the path of resistance, which led to a more beautiful result over taking the path of least resistance?

Katie: I feel like I take the path of resistance a lot lately, but it wasn’t always that way. I followed the path of least resistance for a long time, and then one day I looked up and realized it wasn't leading me to a place I wanted to go. And then I continued to try to pretend that it was all good until God stepped in and pushed me on another path.

From there it became a process of realizing that for me, it’s not so much about the path, but about the destination at the end of it. Knowing the end goal is so important. For me, that end goal at the end of the path of resistance was exiting corporate.

Karley: Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Katie: Long before I was coaching others, I always used to follow the path others laid out before me. I went to school, got straight A grades, got a job, saved some money. I was class president, had a couple of jobs in high school, went to college, picked accounting because I knew that I would be good at it. I finished with that, got a corporate job, went back and got my master's, took the CPA exam, passed that, went to a CPA firm, came back, became a manager at a multi-billion dollar company at twenty-nine. I’d taken all the steps, and then I felt like I could relax a little bit. At the same time that was happening, I was pregnant with my first son. All of the things were coming together…and then, out of nowhere, it hit me. I’d always known I wanted to be a mom, even while following this corporate path. And it took until I got pregnant for me to go, “How do these things work together?”

Even so, I was suppressing that thought. I didn’t even say it to anyone else, and I didn’t let myself think about it too long because I didn't see another way. But when I was halfway through my pregnancy with my son, I was on my way to work, which for me was an hour commute each way on a good day. It was 30 miles in rush hour traffic in South Florida. I was on this commute to work, and I got in a four car accident. I was the third of four cars. It was unavoidable for me. Now, it wasn't that bad of an accident, because it was rush hour and we weren't moving that fast.

But the van was new to me. I’d driven it off the lot ten days prior. So there I am, pregnant with my first kid in this minivan that I’m planning to raise a family in. I already knew I was going to have three kids, which I have now, and I was building a life for that already. I bought a four bedroom house. I got a double stroller with my first kid anticipating there would be another. And I got this minivan, and now there I am sandwiched between two cars on my way to this job.

Of course I was worried about the impact on the baby, but it wasn't that bad of an accident. So the thing that really had me broken down, sobbing on the side of the road, was the realization that for me, I really couldn't see how motherhood and corporate life were going to mesh. I couldn't keep silencing that thought, because the commute by itself was dangerous and unrealistic. This was pre-2020, so back then everybody was commuting to work, and they weren't going to make a special accommodation for me at a very big corporate job to let me work from home just because I was pregnant. There were lots of working moms that were somehow getting the job done.

And I didn’t want to leave at the time, either. I liked my job, I didn't want to disappoint my boss, but I just couldn't see how I could do it.

I called my boss to let him know about the accident, and he told me to stay home that day and the next, since it was a Thursday when the accident happened. And it was on that Friday, when I was just trying to pull myself back together, that the company announced a voluntary separation incentive plan. They called it a VSIP. Essentially, the package was for people who had worked for the company for five years or more, and you had the option to take the package and take a bonus and a twelve-week severance. It was 36% of my salary as a bonus and a twelve-week severance, so it was a very generous package. It was more money than anybody had ever offered me at one time. So I got to make that choice, but I knew I was leaving my career behind. I was selling my career for roughly 75% of my annual salary. That was still a hard decision to make, because I had always worked. I'd been working since I was fifteen years old. But while it wasn’t an easy decision for me, I couldn’t ignore that push. Between the accident and the buyout, I knew it was the closest thing to a sign I was going to get.

That was the point where I did something I would not typically do, and it ended up being the catalyst to everything that happened next. None of this would've happened if those two things hadn't.



The Barking Dog

Karley: You mentioned suppressing that feeling, and that's a subconscious thing, right? A lot of people have those feelings, but they continue to suppress them. You ended up consciously making a decision about it, but the thing that actually helped you do that was the car accident. Would that have happened without the car accident and the offer to be bought out?

Katie: I think it had to be both things at once. I had to be rattled and paid. I didn’t really choose to listen to it; I didn’t even know it was there until the car accident made those thoughts conscious.

The way I like to describe it is that some people get bothered by the sound of dogs barking. But if my neighbor has a yapping dog, it's ambient background noise to me. Somebody will have to point it out for me to hear it. So when it came to this, it was like the neighbor's dog yapping. When you point it out to me, I'll hear it, but before that, I'm not hearing it. Before the accident, I couldn’t hear the voice asking me how I was going to manage everything.

This is why I started coaching others to do the thing that I had to be literally pushed to do, because I didn't even allow myself to dream it. I didn't know it was possible. And I only found out it was possible through a unique set of circumstances that ended up being incredibly fortunate and aligned. They made me realize that I could have a life, and I didn’t have to sell my entire existence to a corporate job. I didn't know, so I scream about it now to let people know that's possible.

We talk through this a lot in my program Life By The Books. While coaching others, I tell them to pay attention to their thoughts, and the reason that I say that so much is because I spent twenty-nine years not hearing the voice in my own head. I don't know how long I would've continued to do that without the pushes I received, and now I make sure I’m coaching others to do the same.

I think there's a lot of things at play with that, but especially as women, we're more likely to lean on the compliant side. We’re more likely to suck it up, to be a good girl, to try not to ruffle feathers, to try not to disappoint people. So even if our thoughts are screaming, “You don't want this,” we're going to say, “Shh, you don't want to get us in trouble.”

When that voice inside me was going, “How are you going to do this?” I immediately shut it down and told myself, “Look around you. That woman is a mom. That woman is a mom. That woman is a mom, and she looks happy. She's smiling today. There's got to be a way to make this work.” My own mom was a stay-at-home mom, so I didn't have that working mom model in my house.

Now when I think about those women, I get chills, because I know that they just put on a face. There's no way that's easy. I don't care if they have the most supportive husband, I don't care if they have a stay-at-home dad. It is still not easy to be a mom and go into a corporate job and do the nine to five. It’s not easy even without kids. But so many people feel they don’t have a choice.


The ”Why” of Coaching Others

Katie: I looked around for the evidence of that thing that I didn't think was possible, because other people were doing it, and they seemed happy. But in hindsight, I want to hug them, because I know now that they were just putting on a face. They might not have heard the barking dog yet, or maybe they just don’t know that it’s possible to have anything different.

I’ve found my “different.” I’ve seen what’s possible, and now I feel like I'm the tour guide. I'm coaching others and pushing people out of the plane because I know what's on the other side.

I've watched circumstances unfold in very different ways at very different speeds with very different circumstances while coaching others. The way that I guide people now is by knowing that it's their journey and really trusting that it worked out for me in my way, and it's going to work out for them in their way. While coaching others, I'm not trying to force or even interfere with that. I'm just here to help it go better, smoother, and allow that person to make it happen a little bit faster. The same outcome would probably happen regardless of whether I was coaching others or not, but it might take longer, or it might feel worse along the way.

The thing where they’re ignoring the barking dog would go on longer without somebody saying that there's a dog barking, so that's what I do now. My method of coaching others is to help them hear the barking dog, and to tell them there’s a way to calm it down. There’s another way to live.



Thanks, Karley!

This is only part of what Karley and I discussed during our interview, and the rest is just as important for you to hear. If you want to know more about my way of coaching others, my programs, my client experiences, and how I built the coaching side of my business, you can listen to the full interview in Episode 106 of Profits + Prosecco here: 

If you're looking for more tips for bookkeeping, insight on how to become a bookkeeper, and how to say hello to a more confident business model, enroll in Become A Bookkeeper (BABs). 

Or to learn more about growing your bookkeeping business and hiring a team, enroll in Life By The Books™ (Libby).

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