Sometimes, we all need a little bit of help – and that’s why people like Valerie Groth exist. I’m happy to feature Val today, and learn all about her business as a life coach.
In this interview, Val shares some of her ups and downs throughout her journey, and even gives us a good explanation of why people should hire coaches.
Keep reading to find out more!
(As always, questions from The Daily Interview are in bold.)
Val, I’m so excited to be featuring you on The Daily Interview today. Inspiration is what we’re all about, and you’re a professional when it comes to helping people become inspired.
Tell us about your journey and business – how did you get started as a life coach? What role does your blog/website play in your business (i.e. is it everything, or is this just one of several ways that people find you)?
Hi Eric, thanks for having me! I have a background in mental health (a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Masters in Social Work) as well as a Masters in Educational Leadership. I had been working as a school social worker in two inner city schools in Chicago for some time, when I began feeling called to do something else – in addition to my work in the schools.
I loved my job and it was incredibly rewarding at times, but it was also very emotionally draining. I worked primarily with crises, which usually consisted of providing hospitalization for suicidal and homicidal students, grief counseling, calling the child abuse hotline for abused and neglected children, and in between those things I tried to teach children and teens about everything from coping skills to social skills to anger management techniques.
The tough part about that job is that it’s often difficult to see progress or results, since you can be the world’s best social worker but those kids are still going back to difficult situations at home and in their neighborhood. I really started to crave a job where I could see more immediate results from my clients.
After all, that’s why I went into social work in the first place, because I want to make change and help people! But I wasn’t feeling that way often enough, not because I wasn’t helping but because the situations I was working with were so dire.
Many of my friends and family members have told me over the years that I would make a great life coach, but I never took their suggestions seriously. However, one day I starting thinking about the fact that I already did provide informal life coaching with many of the people if my life, and that I was pretty good at it. The more I thought about it, the more life coaching fit all of the requirements of my ‘perfect job’ .
Not long after having this realization, I signed up for coaching class to supplement my therapy background, and the rest is history!
Coaching is the ideal job for me in so many ways, and I just love it. It’s so much fun that I can hardly believe I get paid for it! I do all of my coaching over the phone, which makes it really easy and convenient for my busy clients to fit it into their schedules. In terms of your question about my website, I would consider it just one small part of my business. I also reach out to clients through my Facebook page, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and most recently, on my podcast!
What has been your greatest success (or successes) so far?
I am extremely proud of myself for starting a podcast. I had always wanted to start a podcast because I’m a huge podcast addict myself – I listen to podcasts multiple hours each day, and I love that I can multi-task and listen to them while doing other activities like getting ready in the morning and working out.
Starting a podcast was a huge endeavor for me, especially because I’m not especially tech-savvy – so I feel so accomplished that I actually did it!
The Inspiration With Val Podcast is full of inspirational interviews with individuals ranging from successful entrepreneurs, to actors and athletes, to award-winning authors. It discusses happiness, overcoming obstacles, success stories, and everything in between. Each interview delves deep into the habits of successful individuals, and closes with specific and actionable advice for the listener that they can apply to their lives today.
I’ve had some incredible successes with my clients. It’s a pretty incredible experience to be able to change someone’s life in such a dramatic way that I have been able to do.
While it’s hard to “measure” intangibles like happiness, motivation, tenacity, and gratitude, I have been told by my clients that I have been life changing and that they are now enjoying their lives in ways more than ever before, and are accomplishing things that they never thought would be possible.
I have also accomplished some things in my personal life that I’m proud of. I have run multiple marathons, gone skydiving, and most recently, rappelled down a 27 story building! I am not a naturally ‘fearless’ person, but rather the opposite is true: I do those things because it helps to prove to myself what I am capable and it allows me to expand my beliefs about what is possible if I try hard enough and believe in myself!
Even the most successful people have stumbled along the way. What do you consider to be your biggest failure, and what did you learn from it?
Well I’m divorced, which some people would look at as a failure. However, I look at my marriage and later divorce as one of the best things that ever happened to me. I learned so much about myself, what I deserve, and what are my “non-negotiables” in a relationship. I believe that these traits carry over into other aspects of my life, and as a result of my divorce I am a much stronger and more confident person.
I know divorce is never easy, but to take that experience and emerge from it in a positive way is obviously a great accomplishment. Is there a major struggle/obstacle you can think of that you had to overcome within your business? If so, how did you overcome it?
Just getting up the courage to start my business in the first place was a challenge.
I have always had an entrepreneurial drive, but actually taking that first step took a lot of guts! While I knew it was the best decision for me, it was tough making a choice that was so different from the norm. None of my friends or family members had ever started their own business so my move to start mine seemed to be especially outside of my comfort zone. But, every day I’m so glad that I took the leap!
You’ve helped a lot of people, and that’s obviously something to be proud of. What’s your experience been like with helping other entrepreneurs (assuming you have)? Is there a common issue or problem that they seem to encounter, and if so, what is it?
I’ve definitely worked with a lot of entrepreneurs during my experience as a life coach. I would say the biggest commonality that entrepreneurs face is that so many of them hesitate and experience resistance that gets in the way of allowing them to take forward movement.
It’s tough to explain what strategies I use with them to get past this because it depends a lot on the situation and I craft my coaching plans around each individual client, but I would be happy to talk to anyone in more detail about this.
You help people for a living, so I’m sure you have a lot of advice to give (and you’ve already shared some of it here). If you had to take your best advice for other internet entrepreneurs and put it into one sentence or phrase, what would that be?
Similar to what I said in the previous question, my answer would be one of my favorite quotes:
What would you do today if you knew you could not fail? Whatever your answer is: Do that today. [Click here to tweet this]
What are your favorite online resources?
Aside from the ones that many people already know about, like Evernote, my favorite app would have to be Zite.
It scours the internet for thousands of articles, and you can filter it based on specific topics ranging from entrepreneurship to happiness. It saves me tons of time because I often find great articles on Zite that I then post on my Facebook page and retweet to my followers. And, it’s free!
For someone who is just starting out creating a blog or attempting to start a business online, what advice would you offer? What do you wish someone told you about when you first started?
I wasted a lot of time taking steps that I thought were crucial to starting a business, but that didn’t need to happen right away – i.e., getting my business license, paying for an expensive website, etc.
Those things could have waited until much later in the process, and I could have spent those early days focusing on action steps that would have helped my business in much greater ways.
Why should someone hire a life coach, and why are you the best person for the job?
Everyone can benefit from a life coach! All of my clients are highly motivated, driven individuals who are already doing amazing things in their lives, but they hired a life coach because they wanted to push themselves even further to accomplish things that they always wanted to do but had previously thought were impossible.
I’m very introspective, but I still work with my own life coach because all human beings – no matter how intelligent, no matter how introspective, not matter how high their “emotional IQ” may be – are incapable of seeing their lives and their situations with a truly objective lens. We get caught up in negative thought patterns, habits, and beliefs that get in our way – many of them block us in ways that we are not even aware of!
In terms of why I think I’m a stellar life coach – I have the unique benefit of having a background in mental health plus I have gone through a rigorous certified coaching program. Having both perspectives allow me to draw on some highly effective therapeutic techniques in order to overcome the mental blocks and resistance that are getting in their way, which is something that most coaches can’t do.
I am also extraordinarily perceptive and I’m very adept at picking up on ‘what’s not being said’; often, I have the ability to figure out what’s going on with my clients before they have it figured out. I love using a strengths-based approach, and I’m very good at being both supportive and challenging at the same time to push them juuust outside their comfort zone!
Finally, where can people find you online?
My website is www.InspirationWithVal.com. I’m on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/InspirationWithVal, Twitter at @ValerieGroth, and my podcast can be found at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/inspiration-val-your-daily/id784255794
Thanks for sharing your story with us today, Val!
What do you think about coaching? Do you have any thoughts on this interview? Please leave a comment below!
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