Lucy and You

I am a life coach. And I’ve spent years now wrangling with how best to describe what I do, wrestling with the rule that I had to have my “elevator speech” down pat, so that in sixty seconds or less I could convince someone to hire me.

The thing is, I don’t want to convince anyone to hire me.

In fact, what I “do” with clients doesn’t feel like work at all. I listen, I support, I challenge, I reflect, I question.

I’ve gotten my bee in a bonnet trying to figure out how to “market” myself and my services, only to realize that any marketing or networking that feels forced lands me home alone feeling lost and confused.

So, I am hereby announcing an indefinite vacation from the mental gymnastics that clearly have comforted me in some twisted way for some time. I’m done. I’m out. By no longer trying to sound like the coach I think I should be, I’m opening up room for me to simply be myself, to walk my talk more authentically. And to trust what’s next. Yikes!

This brings me to the Bloggy Giveaway – which I heard about over at Momma Zen, where Karen is giving away a signed copy of her magnificent book. (I suggest you click on over there to leave a comment!)

A few months ago, a client inspired me a post I called This Is Your Farming. Today, I received a note from her. I want to quote it here in its entirety, because she is that cool, and because her story embodies the best of coaching.

Hi Jena, I have a big update for you! I just got back from Maine for a job interview. I was offered the job – and took it! I’m excited – and scared. I had also gotten a job here and was planning on staying. Now I’m moving, and starting over. But I couldn’t pass it up. It’s year round work, the most money I’ve ever made farming, and I get my own place off the farm (ie, not a shack!). The farm owner is really nice, and the farm has everything that I want to do (horsepower, chickens, sheep, veggies). Plus, it’s not in the middle of nowhere! It’s close to Portland, and I have friends 20 minutes away. So, THANK YOU for all of your help. I hope I told you how much our sessions helped. I was in a really tough place for a while – I needed to be reassured and pushed. Thanks. Take care of yourself – continue running, blogging, and breathing! Lucy

I feel like a proud mama.

I’ve been conscious not to use this blog as a “marketing tool.” Somehow that seems corrupt or self-serving. Well, at least for tonight, I’m coming out from the shadows to shine. Lucy’s email reminded me that apologizing or downplaying is the last thing I want to do about my work. My work! It’s all about shining, and God knows the world needs more of that.

So leave a comment and you could win my giveaway of a free coaching session. You can be anywhere in the world, as long as you’re ready for love – love of your life, your work, yourself. After a random drawing, I’ll announce the winner here on Sunday, by 9:00pm East Coast time.

33 thoughts on “Lucy and You

  1. Meg Casey says:

    Jena-
    I know you are struggling with marketing yourself as a coach but I must imagine you are so GOOD at it. Helping people see the beauty in the now. I read the Farming post and really related to redefining what it means to be “Farming”.
    xo
    Meg

    Like

  2. Jennifer/The Word Cellar says:

    I’m with you on the angst over the elevator speech and networking. I worked in the realm of “entrepreneurship education” for five years, and while it helped me to launch my freelance writing business, it also sucked the life out of my soul a little more every day because there was very little room for *my* approach to entrepreneurship. I’d love to have a coaching session with you, by the way!

    Like

  3. Lillithmama says:

    Hi Jena, I’ve found you through many blog surfs!

    I’m glad I found your writings, I’ve read through some of your posts and they are so raw and direct..and so very real! LOL ~ I’m not commenting to get your free giveaway, I don’t even know what “coaching” is…I just had to say hello, that’s how much I like your place here! I”ll be back…

    peace,
    Lil

    Like

  4. bella says:

    I hear you.
    I go through the same thing, with my birth work.
    I’m just not willing to aggressively go after self promotion. It doesn’t feel right. and the elevator speech? It gives me nightmares.
    Yet, as you have captured here, the alternative is not hiding under a rock, refusing to be seen, ignoring our own offerings.
    IT is simply to be authentic, whatever that means in the moment.
    I have no doubt you are an inspired coach. And I’m happy to see you celebrating this.

    Like

  5. Jena Strong says:

    Meg – You are MOST definitely a farmer.

    Jennifer – Either way, let’s do it.

    Lil – Good to meet you!

    Bella – Down with the elevator speech.

    Like

  6. Susan says:

    Wow! It just occurred to me that I would really benefit from a coaching session, free or not. I am, for lack of a better word, stuck.

    Like

  7. Jenny says:

    This may be just what I was looking for. I’ve been a SAHM for 9 years and just need alittle help getting started in a new direction.
    Crossing my fingers!

    Like

  8. Jena Strong says:

    Susan –

    Be sure to let me know how to reach you in case you win! And if you don’t, well, be sure to let me know how to reach you so that we can get you unstuck.

    xo Jena

    Like

  9. Debbie#3 says:

    Now that I think about it, I do think I’m kind of stuck where I am, unsure of what I want or how to move forward. This would be a really cool thing to win…

    Like

  10. susa says:

    finances. livelihood. my evolving heart…oh let me count the reasons why i would be COSMICALLY THRILLED to have a free coaching session with YOU. count me IN. xo

    Like

  11. Mika says:

    I guess when you try not to market yourself, you market yourself! People feel the honesty. Sounds like you are letting go too, or letting things come maybe…

    Like

  12. Lisa says:

    What an exciting time for you! I know that my sound silly, but you have this great part of yourself that you’re putting out into the world! Being courageous and vulnerable at the same time.

    Just go with what’s around you. Stay in the present. Don’t put too much weight on having to market yourself THIS way or THAT way. Go with the flow and if something feels right, do it..realizing, without attachment, that if it doesn’t pan out, you can move on to another idea. I totally believe the Universe will respond to your quest for authenticity.

    People who need your coaching will come into your path when the time is right for both parties. (And if not, you can always fall back on this audience of bloggers who seem so willing to accept your offer, right? hee, hee).

    All My Best,
    Lisa

    Like

  13. Shelli says:

    I think marketing oneself is terrifying, but it’s necessary. If you are honest and you are yourself, you can’t go wrong. We all have to toot our own horns once in a while because God knows no one else is gonna do it!

    Like

  14. Teri says:

    I could use this prize…I’m currently struggling with finding happiness in everyday life when all I’ve been able to dwell on for the past 2.5 years is our infertility.

    Like

  15. Holladay Family says:

    I need it to lose weight. I am huge and only going up. With your assistance I go down (in a good way!)

    Thank you for you having such a generous giveaway! Would LOVE to win!

    My email is holladayfam(at)gmail(dot)com.

    Thanks again!

    Like

  16. Shawn says:

    I’d love to win this and pass it on to my hubby. I’ve been wanting to get him coaching lessons FOREVER. He needs to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up (he’s 47). : )

    Like

  17. Qtpies7 says:

    I would love to win this for my mom. She is leaving a bad marraige and moving “home” to live with us. She is great, and I want her here. I would love for her to be encouraged and excited about her new life and job search. She wants to branch out on her own, but I am not sure she will do it.

    Like

  18. Paige says:

    Wow, what a great prize. I need help losing weight, but I don’t know if one coaching session would help that. Do you do weight loss?

    Like

  19. Jena Strong says:

    Nothing like free stuff. I’ve never had so many comments on a blog post before.

    Laura – Thanks for the giveaways.

    Reeva – Good luck!

    Faerie Mom – I entered your giveaway, too.

    debbie#3 – Glad you entered this.

    the trier and jen – will do.

    Susa – I was cosmically thrilled to read your comment!

    Mika – Funny how that works, isn’t it. I’m so glad you’re here.

    Lisa – Courageous & vulnerable at the same time pretty well captures it. Thanks for this note.

    Shelli – Toot, toot!

    Teri – I’d love to talk with you.

    Holladay Family – Where else would you like to go, besides up and down? Let’s talk.

    Shawn – Does your hubby know you’ve entered him in the contest? :)

    qtpies7 – This is a loving gesture on your mother’s behalf.

    piseco – I’m happy you made your way here.

    paige – I don’t “do” anything, really – just help you stay accountable to your goals… I’d love to speak with you. Thanks for commenting.

    marta – ah, I have agonized over the pricing thing. What is your work and how do you deal with the challenges of marketing it/yourself?

    katie – you’re in. Thanks for coming.

    kj – I left you a little note on your blog. Congrats on your win so far.

    heather h – yes, a little direction never hurts!

    Like

  20. Jen Ballantyne says:

    Good for you Jena, I think it’s wonderful, you should come out of the shadows to shine, not for just one night but for always. Talking about your talent/vocation is just a part of who you are, I think you should be able to discuss it on your blog and if people want to hire your services because of what they read on your blog, then great! You are right you don’t need to apologize or downplay your work, share it as it is part of you and it is something that can greatly assist people to change their lives for the better, a noble and generous calling.

    Like

  21. marta says:

    To answer your question–the work I get paid for is tutoring in ESL. Soon, for the first time, I will get paid for my art (I’ve got my first show ever in October and, in theory, someone might actually buy something). I don’t get paid for my writing, but maybe someday…

    Glad to have been clued in to this space–free stuff or not.

    Like

  22. John says:

    Marketing. Yeah, a very challenging thing to do. When my business was new, I made SO many cold calls, and came to accept (mostly!) that rejection was just part of the process. Enough folks said “yes” that I got off the ground and now rely mostly on repeat customers and word-of-mouth. What I’m offering is a service, but almost always ends up in a tangible product. So I could SEE when someone might need my skills. For you, my dear, the people who need you most cannot be so easily identified. They are not wearing “Help me!” tags on their foreheads.
    People who are drawn to your blog are excellent prospects (such a creepy word, I know) so why not say, “This is who I am, and this is what I can do.”
    Please don’t enter me in the drawing. You have already done so much for me. Let a new soul come in to your community.

    Like

  23. RocketMom says:

    Would a coaching session help me feel more sure of the path I think I’ve chosen? Would it help me find the stars in the daytime sky?

    Don’t be afraid to blog about coaching – we won’t be offended when you are yourself.

    Like

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