Well, hello there!
It’s been well over a year since I’ve sent anything to you.
The reason I’ve been quiet is pretty simple. I haven’t felt inspired to write or share ideas …until now.
I’ve recently embraced how important it is to not force it. People can feel it when you’re doing something out of obligation vs enjoyment.
And over the last year or so, my tolerance for doing anything out of obligation has completely vanished.
As a recovering people pleaser, it has felt pretty darn good NOT to do anything unless it feels really good.
I used to think this was a selfish way to be. Now I know it is and that’s the whole point.
I can’t possibly show up as my best unless I’m ruthlessly selfish with my time, self care, and attention.
Has this irked a few people? Oh yeah!
But I care more about my sanity and well-being and that is what’s guiding my decisions.
Which leads me to a long overdue update.
My coaching business, my perspective, and my personal life have all changed quite a bit over the past year.
I’ve started working with two other coaches to provide leadership and executive coaching to organizations.
I teamed up with my dear friend and baller executive coach, Mary-Beth Frerichs, and my amazing wife, Jill Knouse, to offer coaching, training, and retreats to key executives and their teams.
Here we are facilitating a leadership retreat in Sunriver, Oregon.
I’m also continuing to work with a handful of emerging and established entrepreneurs one-on-one. I’m including Jill in many of these coaching engagements because she brings such a rich and soulful approach that seems to complement my coaching style perfectly.
One of the gifts from the pandemic is that Jill and I had a lot of time to reflect on our work and see how we wanted to evolve & grow. My work didn’t change all that much during the pandemic but Jill’s work as a yoga teacher, trainer, and retreat leader was flipped upside down.
Since Jill wasn’t teaching yoga classes, leading teacher training programs, or leading retreats, she enrolled in a nine month coach training program and we experimented with working together.
Now we’re coaching together most days of the week!
And lately, we’ve been bitten by the travel bug and last year we spent 9+ weeks living and working from Mexico (Puerto Vallarta, Cabo, and Isla Mujeres), Belize, San Diego, the Oregon Coast, Central Oregon, and Colorado.
And this year will be similar with travel to Costa Rica, Utah, Croatia, Bend, and Mexico.
Enjoying the beautiful beach vibes in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Another gift from the pandemic was that we realized we’re no longer tied to a specific location for our work.
We can coach from almost anywhere and the primary focus of Jill’s yoga business is now her retreats which take us to some pretty cool places. 🙂
Life-work integration has become a big priority for us and it’s fun to experiment and expand how this can look. The only real downside is traveling to places that don’t allow us to bring our dogs along. But we did manage to find the best house/pet sitter ever!
A shift in perspective
About a year-and-a-half ago, I noticed that I was feeling unsettled. My business was great but I began thinking about how it could be easier and more fun.
Maybe it was the pandemic induced feeling of days running together but I remember sharing with my coach at the time that I needed to infuse some new energy into my business.
She listened and promptly encouraged me to do the following:
- Stop trying to force things to happen.
- Create space for new opportunities – literally create more white space in my calendar for new opportunities when they show up.
- Get back to my roots and do what I do best – which in this case meant nurturing my network but without any expectations from others.
- And the big one – releasing all expectations of how I thought things should look going forward.
I was happy enough to do these things but part of me felt like I wasn’t going to make meaningful progress. I wanted answers now!
Within two weeks of starting this process I got a call from one of my coaching peers and she informed me that she had an opportunity she wanted to run by me.
I said “sure” and she shared that a CEO had reached out to her about facilitating a two day retreat for their leadership team. I felt drawn to the idea immediately but for some reason I started to mentally dismiss the opportunity.
I remember literally thinking to myself; “I don’t facilitate executive leadership teams.”
And that’s when it hit me.
I was unconsciously blocking opportunities from even happening!
I immediately recognized that this could be exactly what I was asking for even though it didn’t look how I expected it to.
Despite my initial resistance, I said “yes” to the opportunity and we facilitated an amazing two day retreat for a group of 16 executives at Sunriver Resort near Bend, Oregon.
This led to another opportunity – the chance to propose a year long leadership development program to the same team we worked with at the retreat.
Here I was thinking I needed to launch some group coaching program and an even better opportunity landed at my feet.
Why this made sense
Even though I didn’t recognize it at the time, this new opportunity gave me everything I was looking for and more.
- It was just the thing I needed to re-energize my work.
- It was easy and fun – I didn’t really feel like I needed to sell anything because the client was already looking for the solution.
- I got to be part of a coaching team instead of doing everything myself.
- I ended up working about 30% less than in years prior.
- I was having more fun!
It’s remarkable what can happen when we embrace a vision without getting too attached to the details and then get out of our own damn way long enough for good things to materialize.
My ‘New Look’ Business
My business and personal life have taken a beautiful turn and I’m embracing it fully.
I’m fortunate to work with a dream team to help purpose-driven organizations empower their leaders and build courageous cultures.
We help key executives and leadership teams:
- Adopt life-work integration
- Develop earned trust
- Boost mental fitness
- Embrace empathic communication
- Cultivate impeccable accountability
And I’m also partnering with Jill to serve a few select entrepreneur clients to help them:
- Simplify their business model
- Create a foundation for sustainable growth
- Uncover blind spots and shift mindsets that are hindering progress
- Step into their highest point of contribution
- Achieve what matters most without pushing so hard
On the personal side of things, Jill and I have been mindfully crafting our lives to include the things we enjoy most while cutting out the rest.
I recently read a great book called Four Thousand Weeks which reinforces the idea that the human lifespan is absurdly, insultingly brief.
If we live to be 80, we’ll have had about 4,000 weeks of life. In other words, our time is finite and we had damn well better make the most of it.
And here’s the catch, this doesn’t mean driving ourselves crazy trying to do everything while exhausting ourselves in the process. It means realizing that we’ll never have enough time to complete all the things we want to do and instead dedicating ourselves to the few life choices that are truly most important.
For me, this looks like:
- Traveling 8-10 weeks of the year with Jill
- Spending time with family, a few close friends, and our wonderful dogs
- Prioritizing health, fitness, and overall quality of life
- Logging as many ski days as possible
- Cooking healthy meals
- Reading & writing
Life feels more peaceful and I’m increasingly content with the simple decisions I’ve made.
What to expect going forward
This is the part where I get a little nervous because I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing and it feels a bit daunting to commit to something.
I do have renewed creative energy pumping through my veins so I’ll promise you this. I’m committed to writing two articles a month in the foreseeable future.
My focus will be sharing the elements of life and work that are most interesting to me and (hopefully) useful to you.
It will likely be a blend of my latest thoughts and practical experience with busting through mental barriers, how to increase mental fitness and resilience, navigating the path of leadership, and my attempts at pushing the edges of what’s possible with life-work integration.
And there will be pictures of dogs …guaranteed! 😉
And if none of this resonates, no worries. Hit that little unsubscribe link below and it’ll be one less email in your already crowded inbox.
Here’s to the (new) journey ahead.