Love, Sunday is honored to shine the spotlight on Career and Business Coach Crystal Marsh of Crystal Marsh Coaching. I found Crystal when I was doing my own search for a coach after I had moved to Los Angeles. Crystal worked as an attorney in Los Angeles for several years before organically finding her calling to be a coach. Read about Crystal's take on what it means to receive coaching and what it can do for you. The benefits are countless and Crystal beautifully articulates what coaching means to her. Also, 2 huge BONUS offerings today! Crystal is offering group coaching services, which is great for building a supportive community. If you're interested, please read about the promo for Love, Sunday readers! Also, I will be offering 2 ambitious and committed women with a 3 session package for leadership coaching, to begin in July and end in August (mid). If you're interested, please email me and let me know why you'd like to receive coaching!
What is your current role? CEO of Crystal Marsh Coaching, Career and Business coach.
What does a coach do? What does it mean to receive coaching? A coach facilitates growth, progress, and decision making for the person being coached. Ultimately, coaching is about helping the person being coached find direction and answers within him or herself. Although coaching can involve teaching, the basic idea of coaching is that each individual already has the best answers within himself/herself. Having someone outside of you serves as a powerful reflecting tool so that you can discover more about yourself then if you were simply self reflecting. Receiving coaching means that you will be asked questions and reflections will be posed that allow you to expand the way you think and see yourself. Coaching may also give you tools to create a vision and goals for yourself so that you can accomplish far more than would be possible otherwise.
Tell us a bit about your background and how you came to start your own business in career coaching. I came to career coaching when I was in the same place that most of my clients are when they come to me: I felt dissatisfied with my work and felt I was not fulfilling my potential. I was working as an attorney in Los Angeles and while there were aspects of the work that I loved, I wasn't convinced that I was on the right path for me. I had a meeting with a client that opened my eyes to the fact that I wasn't truly stuck. (Check out my website for the full story). I had always loved the job hunt and it was something that I was very good at so I just began helping my friends and the business just evolved from there.
How did you know that coaching was the right career path for you? I didn't know if coaching was a viable career option when I started doing it. I honestly just thought it would be a fun thing for me to do in addition to practicing law. But I knew that I was going in the right direction when I got my first paying client. I loved all of it, even when I first started out and was working with people for free. I always heard people say, "You've found the right work if you would do it without getting paid." I was coaching people without getting paid so when people started paying me, the deal was sealed! I had found the career path that suited my interests.
Did you work with a coach prior to pursuing a career in coaching? Yes! I worked with a legal career coach the year prior when I was switching jobs. She was excellent, but I was too afraid at that time to look for work outside of law even though I wasn't particularly happy.
What was the biggest benefit you received from coaching? I've received countless benefits from coaching! Coaching has literally changed the way I see myself in the world. I would never have created the vision that I'm currently holding for myself if it weren't for coaching. If I had to choose the single biggest benefit, it would be that - I see things differently. I am more open minded with the way I see everything - including myself, my thoughts, and my feelings. Before coaching, I had never considered that my thoughts might not be true. I had never considered that when I'm upset, I haven't lost control in that moment to feel differently. That was powerful a realization for me. Overall, I'm happier, calmer, and I embrace change in a way that I never would have expected of myself.
How did you learn how to be a coach and what are some of the key skills you developed and use in your practice? I took many classes and still take classes. Currently I'm enrolled in 3. I also hired and worked with a coach myself to help launch my business. Some of the key skills I developed and use in my practice are my intuition and listening skills. I don't believe that a coach can be effective without those two things! You can train and study to be a coach, but without learning how to hear your own inner guidance when you're working with someone else, everything remains cold and the deep transformation that is possible with coaching will not be achieved.
How did you know that you were ready to leave the law? What made you finally take the leap? It was becoming more and more difficult for me to want to go to work and practice law. I was happier overall after I had started coaching and doing other things to enhance my life, but going to the law firm everyday bummed me out. It didn't feel 100% like the right time, but I sort of just decided to take a leap to leave.
What were your biggest challenges in pursuing coaching and your own business? Any that you didn't anticipate? I knew it would be challenging, so it didn't really shock me, but I missed having an office and colleagues I saw daily. I also missed having an assistant and other support. Now I do have support, but not full time like I did while practicing law. Most of the challenges I've had to deal with have been around my mindset blocks. Before beginning to coach, I didn't have much awareness of a concept of "prosperity consciousness." I just got a paycheck. I had not ever put much thought into the role I played in creating my life nor how my beliefs shaped my reality. That is something that I began working on diligently and continues to be a huge part of my work.
What were some celebratory milestones along the way? My first paying client felt like a big deal. The first time a client got hired after our work together. The first time a client reported a huge pay increase. The first time a client told me I had changed her life. The first time I earned $10,000 in one month.
What should one expect to experience when working with a coach? If you really apply what your coach shares with you, you can expect massive results -- a total life transformation.
What should one not expect to experience when working with a coach? You should not expect the coach to do the work. Its one of the only things one can do "wrong" in coaching - expecting the coach to put in the work for you or blaming the coach if you don't get the results you desire.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue this route? What types of strengths does it take to do this line of work? It takes a lot of strong people skills and other strengths that one could easily anticipate - good listening skills, intuition, intelligence, etc. One things that may be less anticipated is that it does take a strong desire to learn and an entrepreneurial spirit! You have to build a business. You can be a phenomenal coach, but if you don't have an ability to run a business and sell you won't have much success unless you work for someone else.
How do you find your clients, or how do they find you? What is one of your most successful ways in reaching or finding clients? My clients range in age from 21-40s and usually find me from various sources - word of mouth, articles I've written, talks I've given, podcast interviews, etc. One of the most successful ways I've found and reached clients is through speeches. There is nothing more effective than having someone fully experience me in person. They get a clear picture of who I am, what I believe, how I communicate, etc. Purely in terms of getting new clients, speaking has been very successful. It also allows me to reach more people at once. Even for those who are not ideal clients or who would not be interested in working with me may still benefit from something they get from a talk I give.
What is the most common issue you hear from your clients, and how do you advise them? The most common issue I hear from my clients is that they are stuck and unhappy. Its not such a simple question how I advise them - that's what coaching is for! I think something that needs to be recognized is that you're never truly stuck. If you commit to making a change then anything can happen, but you must be willing to take that first step. There will never be a perfect time - you just have to do it.
What do you think needs to change/be improved about how we view our carers and define success? I think there needs to be greater recognition that everyone's path is going to be different. I think there is far too much comparison and for most people that is going to leave them feeling defeated. Stay in your own lane and focus on defining success for yourself.
What changes do you see in your clients after working with you? How long does it usually take to see change? Many of my clients experience whole life transformations. They have increased vitality and enthusiasm. They're excited about how life is unfolding and they see themselves as creators of their lives rather than as victims of random circumstances. Additionally, they're likely in a job that they're very happy with or they've taken a leap and are launching their own businesses.
What are 3 of your strengths and how do you use them daily? The fact that I love learning is a huge strength as a coach. I'm constantly learning new things - new coaching technique, new career trends, and how to run a business. My ability to pinpoint deeper issues has served me as a coach - I can tell when a client is only sharing a surface issue and can help guide them to get into the heart of the matter. Another strength is that I'm open to feedback - I want to improve.
What are you working on next? I'm working on a group program for women who are feeling stuck in their 9-5s and are ready to move forward but not sure where to start. The group coaching is powerful because not only do they get plenty of support from me, but there is also a wonderful aspect of community support. This group will be especially powerful for women who are leaning towards leaving their regular jobs to launch their own businesses, but will serve women in the corporate world too! The program is by invite and referral only and will be beginning in August 2016. Please reach out to me at Crystal@CrystalMarshCoaching.com for more information.
BONUS! Crystal has graciously offered a special discount to Love, Sunday readers. Please email Crystal and let her know that you read her site from Love, Sunday. And don't forget to join our email list for more great interviews and programs like this one!