Jessica Summers is an intuitive life coach and empathetic energy coach who uses hypnogenics to guide clients to transform their lives. We hope you are inspired and enlightened by this interview!
Coaching Focus: Jessica helps empathic coaches and entrepreneurs to connect with their authentic voice. She discovered that many of the problems we face as empaths in business are mainly due to playing small, and says, “once we have found our unique voice and Big Mission, we begin to fly.”
Connect: You can find Jessica online at her website and on LinkedIn.
Editor’s Note: Don’t miss Jessica’s article here at Life Coach Magazine: Are You Comfortable with Your Pricing?
Tell us about your journey as a coach.
I believe that as coaches it’s so important to walk our talk. In 2005, I shut myself in my bedroom, unable to hold down a job and utterly overwhelmed by the world. I was a control freak, a raging perfectionist, and suffering from severe anxiety.
I came out of that room two weeks later determined to truly live my life. Three years later, I received a first-class degree in English and was accepted into the prestigious Teach First program. Whilst training as a teacher, I created a north of England hub for a creative writing charity: First Story.
When I became pregnant with my daughter, I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to helping others. I retrained as a hypno-psychotherapist. In the last six years, I have supported hundreds of clients to transform their lives. Thanks to my clients’ dedication, I have developed a truly foundational modality to ensure the greatest change in as short a time as possible.
I work rigorously on myself, and I expect a great deal of commitment from clients. I like to say: don’t worry about the ‘how’, that’s my department; you just commit to changing it, whatever it takes. It’s simple, but it can take a lot of vulnerability to commit to that level.
Luckily, the empathic people I work with are experts at courage, even if they don’t know it yet! They soon realise how powerful they are, and their life’s work becomes the perfect expression of themselves, without a lot of ‘doing’.
What advice or perspective might you give to a new coach trying to get their first clients?
When you are just beginning your journey as a coach, the very best advice I can give you, both for you and your clients, is to be kind to yourself. When you are relaxed and in a spirit of exploration, you can access insights that can drastically change someone’s life.
Develop your craft, yes, because when you are starting out there will be times when you feel powerless, lost, and not good enough. However, managing these feelings and being kind to yourself is such an important part of your development—don’t rush it!
If you are hard on yourself, your clients will be too. Be in a constant state of development and your clients will follow suit. The clients you get are the clients you need—coaching is a symbiotic relationship.
What are your thoughts on “choosing a niche” as a coach?
This is such a great question! I believe that a ‘niche’ has to be big enough to absorb your whole life.
I’ve niched unsuccessfully in a few areas over the years, and it’s always been an uncomfortable experience. Usually this is because I’ve tried to make myself fit into a niche I thought would be successful rather than what I genuinely cared about—mainly because I thought no one would understand my point of view. Fortunately, I’ve learned that there is always someone who will get your unique point of view.
I recommend that you look honestly at what you already care about and feel enthusiasm for, even if you can’t see how it fits. For example, I loved walking in the hills and photographing nature. You might think that’s not relevant, but in my latest True Grit challenge, all of those photos played a pivotal role in attracting people who could really relate to my message.
Don’t judge anything about your unique passions; acknowledge it all and your ‘niche’ will be revealed. You will know exactly who you are here to help—which is all a niche is, actually.
What books have significantly influenced your life? What are your key takeaways from these books?
This is like Desert Island Discs! How wonderful!
One of the most influential books in my life’s work (a phrase I use a lot!) is Guinea Pig B by Buckminster Fuller. Fuller lived his whole life as an experiment and ultimately in service of humanity. For perfectionists and control freaks, this is incredibly liberating. It is amazing what a client can embrace (that they would otherwise run a mile from) when it is approached in the spirit of experimentation and exploration.
My other pick is Wolf Hall by the late, great Hilary Mantel. It might seem strange to include a work of fiction here, but I draw inspiration from all areas of life. I read this book constantly for two years after the birth of my daughter. Its insights into the psychology of humankind are staggering, and it has left me far wiser than when I picked it up. Can you ask for more in a book?
If you received an extra $10,000 to spend on your business, how would you spend it and why?
I’m happy to say that I can think of nothing that $10,000 would materially change in my business. I think we too often assume that if we had more money in the business we would be more successful.
In my opinion, a perceived lack of money can be one of the most damaging distractions from just going out there and creating opportunities. The marketing industry exists because, in general, we are not willing to go out there and just talk to people—we want it all tied up with a bow first.
If you’re in this position and come into some money, spend it on a really good speaking coach and get out there and spread your message—but even then you need to first focus your energy on finding your powerful message, and that costs nothing. It all starts with you, so believe in yourself—I believe in you!
What are some of your favorite affirmations, mantras, thoughts, and/or journal prompts currently? Why?
“Come on lass, you can do it!”
That’s about it; I’m lucky enough to have a no-nonsense Yorkshireman in my head who tells me, affectionately, when I’m wussing out!
When you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or have lost your focus or motivation, what do you do?
I tell someone. This is the very first thing I do now. I used to pretend I was fine and struggle on, but now I share where I’m at with some of the fabulous people I am lucky enough to have in my life. They are usually the ones who tell me I’m doing too much!
After that, I make sure I stop what I’m doing in my business for a day or two and firmly shift my focus to my body and family. I write a menu for the week, I breathe deeply, listen to Kay Gardner’s Rainbow Path, and have hot baths with rich essential oils to emphasise the physical. My intellect is very strong, for which I’m grateful; however, sometimes it needs de-emphasising!
Do you have any examples of how a “failure” set you up for later success?
Failure is the biggest asset in my business. The day I realised that I only wanted to succeed in order to avoid failure was the day I freed myself to really live. If you are not prepared to fail, then you will never be truly innovative, and you will never fully relax. To be successful in a meaningful way, you must be prepared to fail.
If you could put a message on a huge billboard—getting a message out to millions—what would it say and why?
“It is so simple to be a happy, productive, effective human being. All you have to do is commit to yourself 100%. That’s it.”
This article was written by the Life Coach Magazine staff. We cover everything from personal development, to coaching tips, to how to grow your coaching business.
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