Hello! Are you drinking your morning coffee while you gather your thoughts for the day? Or have you put your toddler back to bed for the hundredth time and now you can’t get back to sleep in the wee hours of the morning? Better yet, perhaps you’re decompressing with a glass of wine after a hectic day. I believe the universe brings the right people into our lives at the right time. However you found your way here, welcome. My name is Emily, and I am a mom to two preschoolers, entrepreneur, dog lover, grammar enthusiast, web designer, marketing consultant, Type A hippie.
I’m not here to sit on a pedestal and dole out information like some entrepreneurial sensei. I’m not, obviously. (Unless watching all of Disney's "King Fu Panda" movies over and over makes you one??) I don’t have to be in order to support and guide other people. I’m a woman who used to give blood, sweat and tears to the corporate beast before stepping away to have a family and then found myself wandering down the path of entrepreneurship. I’ve learned some things… many things, actually, that I believe can help other entrepreneurs build a thriving business. I plan to use this blog to share ideas, experience and knowledge… some of my own and some from others who inspire me. Maybe you see threads from your own life woven through my story... and perhaps we can learn from one another.
My business name is Shine Coaching & Consulting, which comes from a David Gray song that I love. "Shine" was my motivation song, my catalyst for change that started over a decade ago. I had these lines on a sticky note above my desk at my corporate communications job for years and listened to the song hundreds of times before I finally let myself truly hear it.
Do you have a song that makes your soul sing? To this day, those lyrics still give me chills. Almost 10 years ago, those words, along with a triad of healers I was lucky enough to work with, motivated me to make some pretty massive changes in my life. I submitted my resignation as a Communications Consultant at a Fortune 500 financial company in Massachusetts, sold my house, packed my dog into my car and moved to DC to finish my coaching program and pursue a life as a personal and professional coach. Everyone thought I was crazy... like bat-shit, but, despite their fear-fueled concerns, I trusted the signs from the universe and jumped with both feet, hoping like hell that I landed someplace soft.
I loved exploring DC. I was single and making new friends, dating new guys and having a blast. I had several life coaching clients and I was truly enjoying supporting them. Unfortunately, it was a struggle to follow my passion and also, you know, afford to eat and pay rent. That led me down a path that ended up making me a Director of Marketing & Communications at a tiny non-profit. Long story short, they didn't pay well and there was no medical insurance, no benefits of any kind. So, after pretty much going broke, I caved and went back to the corporate beast for the money and the benefits. Regret followed immediately. I felt as though I was betraying myself and everything I believed in… like I was giving up on everything that moved me to DC in the first place.
Luckily, after a couple of years of my world getting darker and darker as I crumpled under the stress and anxiety of that job, I met this kind of awesome guy on eHarmony (I know, right?) and the world got a whole lot brighter. He was the last thing that I was expecting and everything I wanted. He is the yin to my yang. And a whopping 6 weeks after we went on our first date, we found out we were going to have a baby. Yup, that’s right, 6 weeks. It's not a path I would suggest for all couples, but damn if it didn't turn out awesome for us! Our little unexpected love child made us a family and it was the best thing that ever happened to either one of us.
After my daughter was born, I was a SAHM for a while, completely focused on my daughter. I was changing diapers, not sleeping, singing silly songs, healing cracked nipples, hanging out at the tot lot, changing diapers, not sleeping, trying to make my own organic puréed baby food and watching her spit it right back out at me. Motherhood is deeply rewarding and fulfilling work. Some mothers really thrive in the early years. They are innately good at making up silly games and have saint-like patience for all of the crying, screaming and tantrums. I am not one of those mothers. So, a few months after her first birthday, I told my husband that if I didn't start using my brain for non-baby-related things soon it was going to continue on a downward spiral, and the witty, snarky, Type A hippie he'd married would be gone forever.
In classic Will fashion, my husband was fantastically supportive. He encouraged me to restart my business and rekindle my passion for coaching. So, I did. I started by redesigning my website as a way to kick start my brain and spark my creativity. Then, I ended up creating a website for a friend who was also a business owner, and he was really happy with it. After that, his wife contacted me and said she wanted to pay me to create one for her. I was like, “I'm sorry, what?” I mean, “Yes, I'd love to.” Someone else saw her website and contacted me to create their site. Through all of that, I just kept thinking, “this isn't what I do, I'm a coach, I'm not a web designer,” but the universe had different ideas. Even after taking off nine months after the birth of my son, the universe called me to action through clients seeking me out.
So, what is the point of this long-winded story? The point is that it's possible. It's possible to be [awkwardly glancing around] "middle-aged" and still find yourself defining who you are and what your path forward looks like. It’s possible to feel stagnant for years, and then suddenly start to evolve again. You don't have to be stuck in a phase of life that's no longer serving you. I moved here almost a decade ago focused on building a coaching business, got preoccupied with financial stress and consumed by the whirlwind of a new husband, two kids, a bunch of dogs and, you know, life. And when I attempted to restart my coaching business, the universe had different plans for me.
Oh, also, let me not ignore the big white elephant in the room. I have led a pretty privileged life. I am a white woman married to a white man with a successful career in the tech industry. I’ve been lucky enough to strike out on my own without worrying terribly about the financial impact to my family. Yet, I see clients doing it every day, and many without a safety net. I see them grinding through a work week in their money-making career, as they spend their nights and weekends hustling for the endeavor that fuels their passion. It IS possible, even with obstacles that seem unsurmountable.
So, yeah, I'm 41 and I'm still figuring it out. I feel like by your 40s you're supposed to know exactly who you are and what you want out of life, but meeting the man of my dreams in my mid-(ok, late-)30s, and popping out two babies in 25 months, and all that comes with becoming a mother and a wife has messed with the clear vision of the person I used to think I was. (I know you mamas out there hear me.) Somedays you’re focused on great aspirations and living with intention, and somedays you're just trying to survive the shit show that is parenthood.
Somedays, I live for the planning and organizing, and I feel every bit the Type A corporate consultant I used to be. Other days, I wander deeper into the world of the "woo" as I explore reiki on a more personal level, buy crystals that I don't really understand, and add CBD honey to my tea. The fact that most of the clients drawn to me are lightworkers, reiki masters, psychics, mediums, sound therapists, hypnotists and intuitive counselors helps greatly with my spiritual journey. It's pretty cool that I have clients who seem to be always teaching and guiding me in their own way and I am all in... and forever grateful for the opportunity to support them in return.
Thanks for listening to (er, reading) my story. This year is about self-exploration and trying new things... even stuff that terrifies me... like finding my voice in a public forum like the internet. So, thank you for supporting me. Shine on, people!