What the heck is a Transformation Coach? And how I became one...

It's Saturday morning, I've got my back door open and a blanket thrown over my shoulders, sitting in my PJs at my desk writing this.  My kiddo and his dad are out running, and we are off to pick pumpkins later today.  I love the weekend!

I didn't always.

I used to work as a trainer and Spinning instructor 7 days a week.  Saturday and Sunday mornings were just another exhausting work day for me. The two days my husband was home, and I was out the door at 5:30am.  I'd come home around noon, exhausted, shower and take a two hour nap while my husband and son would go do something fun together.   I had spent Monday through Friday mornings training and teaching from 5am to 11am, before I'd rush to my son's overpriced pre-school to pick him up.  Then I would spend the rest of the day with my infant>toddler>3 year old, wiped out and waiting for my husband to come in the door from his awesome job in NYC, the city where I used to work at my fun, well-paying, tv producing job.  My life was exhausting, and I was depleted physically, mentally and emotionally.  My new career path was also taking a serious toll on my relationships with my family, too.

You see, I had always been an independent, professionally and financially successful woman.  I proudly graduated from Bryn Mawr College in the late 80s.  I traveled the world, had wonderful friends and enjoyed my life while working in the art, music and entertainment worlds for my entire adult life.  I was taught by my mom early on that it was crucial that I make my own money and be financially independent so that I'd never have to rely on a man for my well-being.  She was speaking from experience:  she dropped out of college to put my dad through law school.  When I was five, she remarried another lawyer and was a happy homemaker until he left her when I was about 12.  I had the importance of financial independence and a wariness about men's trustworthiness ingrained in me from a very young age.

Fast forward, I was almost 38, single and thought I'd always be when I met my husband.  I moved from Los Angeles, a city I loved, back to New York to see if he was The One.  Turned out, he was.  But I gave up my entire life I had built in LA to build a new one with him back in NY, a city I never thought I'd return to.  I continued to produce tv and landed at a morning show I loved.  It was there that I started to specialize in producing our health and wellness segments.  I was fascinated by the mind/body connection and also personally interested in losing those "last 20 pounds" I'd basically carried around with me my whole life.

We were married a month after I turned 40, and I was pregnant six months later. When I was 8 months pregnant, our show was canceled.  Now I was a 41 year old newlywed, living in the suburbs of NYC, about to be a middle-aged mom, with no income, no structure, no community, no local family for support.  We lost over half our income when I was laid off. And there were no jobs to be had.  Not that I had the bandwidth to look or network anyway.   

I turned to Spinning out of sheer desperation to stay sane.  And to lose the 50 pounds I'd put on when I was pregnant.  I became an instructor (an awesome story in and of itself, that changed my life) while I still continued to look for producing jobs.  After enough people asked, and there were still no producing jobs for me, I became a personal trainer.  I was a good trainer, but what I was really great at was developing strong relationships with my clients. I felt there was a missing component to what I was offering, so I became a nutrition specialist.  This covered the nutrition side, which was huge - You can't out-exercise a bad diet...but there was still something missing.  My clients would work with me to reach a goal - usually motivated by a big life event - and they would reach it.  Then we'd stop working together, and I'd run into them at the gym or out and about, and they'd put their weight back on and then some.  Not always...but MOST of the time.

It was a frustrating and vicious cycle.  And I didn't know what I was doing wrong...but I knew in my gut there was a missing link between diet and exercise and the client's "why" .

Fast forward, my husband got a wonderful new job in another state, and we moved.  I left my clients, my classes and my exhausting schedule behind.  And once again, I had to start over from scratch.   

I just couldn't do it.  I was fried.  And injured.  I had no network.  I knew no one in our new town.  

Now, this was five years ago.  Before online everything was a thing.  Although I talked to my NY clients about trying to figure out a way to train online...I never really knew how to make that work. So, I decided to go back to looking for producing work:   part-time producing work.  (I'm so cute…)  Maybe focus on health and wellness again.  

In case there was any doubt, there’s no such thing as a part-time producing job.  Not for any existing networks anyway.   I cast my net wider:  non-profits, marketing, working for my church.  Surprise!  How’d I like to make $12/hour?  

What the…??  

As a producer, I made close to six figures.  As brutal as my hours and schedule were as a Spinning instructor and personal trainer, it was at least worthwhile because I was being paid $50/hour for classes, $60-80/hour for training.  Even in my 20s in NYC, in the 80s and early 90s when I was just starting out, I made $15-25/hour.  What the hell happened to our economy?!  

My stepmother knew my predicament - and had also helped to finance my college education - and introduced me to an online skincare company that I could run myself.  I was incredulous at first.  But then, I tried the products, loved them, did copious amounts of research on the company and the founding doctors and was convinced, this could be the ticket: build a big business, partner with other women and coach/lead them to great success, provide a fantastic life-changing product and still have time to spend with my family.  Well...here’s what really happened:

I gained a lot of customers right out of the gate.  And I had two business partners pretty much right out of the gate.  And that’s kind of where I stuck.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t build a team.  It was frustrating.  But I absolutely LOVED the business model, the online everything, the no-party model, I loved reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.  I loved the idea of helping people with so much more than skin care….but ultimately, I didn’t find it soul satisfying.  I gave it a good go for 3 years.  I still have lots of loyal customers, for whom I’m grateful because they’re happy, and because they’re happy, I get a check every month.  But I never got into the business to be a skincare salesperson.  I wanted to create a forum to be the leader I knew myself to be.  I got into the business to help other women achieve their big dreams, their big goals.  I wanted to do the same for myself.  

After a few months in our new town, I went back to teaching Spinning again, now, just for fun.  I started getting asked to train again.   I got certified in a few more modalities I love:  TRX, Barre, HIIT.  But...that thing, that idea of helping other women achieve big dreams, hit their big goals, change their lives for good - that still stuck with me.  And I knew I wouldn’t find it simply teaching classes and training.   The year I turned 49, I decided:  it’s now or never, Caroline.  Connect the dots:  what do you WANT to do?  Figure it out, and DO IT.   

A few months after my 49th birthday, I went to a national personal training conference. It was there I met Todd Durkin.  In the 3 hours I spent with him, in a room full of  150 other people, I had the massive realization, holy cow:  I want to be a COACH!  I want to make other people feel like THIS!!!   This guy connects the mind and the soul with the body - he makes me feel I can accomplish anything!!  And he makes me feel unique and filled with purpose.  THIS is what I want to give to my sisters.  I want them to know that they are powerful beyond their wildest imagination, that they CAN change their habits, their minds and their bodies if they just start thinking differently, and taking action.

This, my friends, is how I figured out the missing link:  until we change our minds, we’ll never actually change anything else.  

I needed the skill set, I needed the training to link exercise and diet with behavior change.  I became certified as an ACE Health Coach.  I built a website.  But still….I was still missing the HOW.

How do I deliver this?  What is the format, what is the way to go about it?  And how do I do it without burning myself out?  One on one coaching is limited because I only have so many hours in my day - and it’s intense:  pouring yourself into each person a few hours every week.

How can I serve a larger number of women, without burning myself out and still offering them a curriculum, a new WAY that actually works?  

I kept searching.  I knew this is what I wanted to do.  The skincare business had taught me the power of technology and online done right.  I knew that online was the way to go.  I wouldn’t need a studio, I wouldn’t need  to worry about clients canceling on me at the last minute.  I wouldn’t have to wake up for someone else at 5am anymore!  I could offer more for less money and therefore work with them for a longer period of time, because real change doesn’t happen over 12 weeks.  REAL change happens over months.  Small, consistent steps over time.

I hired my own coaches:  one to help me with business and one to help with my own mindset.  I made more and more discoveries about the power of mindset.  I enrolled in a coach-based top level nutrition specialization certification (Precision Nutrition).   I fell in love with habit-based coaching.  And the science.  And the BRAIN connection to everything.

I discovered Mel Robbins, Tony Robbins (not related), Katie Byron, Brene Brown,  Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Motivational Interviewing (MI).  I started to build my business as a transformation health coach: I started with 1:1 clients at first...to hone my skill set, to figure out what worked and what didn’t, to get results.  I also realized right out of the gate, the kind of program I am offering made it impossible for me to have more than 7 clients at a time because I worked with each of them 3x/week.  And the prep and the follow-up doubled the time to more than 40 hours/week.  

I refined my work. I refined and tweaked the program.  I made it longer, I took out the 1:1 personal training component.  I helped create programs that work for the individual and supplement it with a world-class daily program for nutrition and lifestyle coaching.  I also continue to refine and level up my coaching process and my nutrition expertise.  

I enrolled in the graduate level coaching program for PN - and I started integrating more coaching with the online curriculum I offered.  I created a private group for Facebook to test and run ideas past a small group of select women who were serious about changing their health.  I realized that the coaching aspect is still the most important component of the whole thing - mindset, awareness and coaching/accountability, also that community support is super vitalizing.  

And you know what, I fell in LOVE with my work, because it doesn’t feel like work!  It’s my passion. It’s what every job, every life experience, every failure, every success, every low point and high point has led me to.  This is exactly where I am meant to be for the rest of my life.  

I love the women I work with.  I love seeing the mental and physical breakthroughs they have.  But mostly, what I love is being on this journey with them - the one we are meant to have in this one life - the one towards greatness.  Inner greatness.  

Our life story is ours for the writing.  I realized, at 50, that there is no such thing as a late bloomer or the wrong time or a waste of time.  Your timing is always right.  How you spend it is up to you, but none of it is worthless.

As I started to access and activate my own superpowers, I realized my life’s calling is to help you access yours!   So we can all live the very best life for the rest of our lives!  

Being a Transformation Health Coach is more than my job, it’s my calling.  It's a spiritual thing.  Not just an occupation or a way to pay bills.

I’ve never felt more clear about anything.  It just took 50 years to figure it out.  But I am lucky.  Some people never figure it out. 

It's my passion to make sure you do, too.

I am grateful to be right where I am, right now.  I don’t regret or begrudge anything I did or didn’t do up to this point, because I wouldn’t have the clarity that I have right here and now nor the life experience I have to bring to the table for the benefit of and in service to the women I work with.

I encourage you today to embrace where you are and then ask yourself, what do you really want?  Really. Want.  

Dig a little.

Tony Robbins says, “If you want a better life, ask better questions.”  You already have all the answers.

It took me asking myself:  “What do I really want from the rest of my life?  Really want?” The Universe always answers.

And, no matter where you are on your journey:   be excellent to yourself - you are worthy of love and care.  

xo Caroline

**If you would like to have a clarifying Breakthrough conversation with me to figure out what you really want - it's free - and I'd love to help you.  Book right here:  https://calendly.com/hello-227/breakthrough-session**

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