Coaching focus: I work with women 1-1 to identify their ideal career and learn to become fearless so they have the confidence to shatter glass ceilings, live authentically, and achieve everything they want.
Location: Frederick, Maryland US (serving clients nationwide)
Tell us about your coaching journey: My mission is to advance women in the workplace so that there is greater equality and equity–to help women become fearless to go after what they want and to have that ripple effect to their children so that our society has changed to where women and their children know they truly can be and do anything. My work is influenced by psychology practices from my graduate work, positive psychology principles, and thought leaders, doctors Susan Jeffers, Carol Dweck, and Brene Brown.
Prior to this year when I started my coaching practice, I was a leader in Talent & Development in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry. I have always felt a passion to help others. Whether it be volunteer work, leading a development network for women to advance their careers, or working for companies whose missions are to save the lives of others, it’s always been my calling. I am originally from Wisconsin but now live in Maryland with my wife and two children. My hope is to leave this world positively impacted, to provide great service and value to everyone I encounter.
What are some courses, programs, or certifications you’ve taken part in? Would you recommend them, and for whom?
I’m a Certified Career and Life Coach with a Masters in Organizational Psychology. I’m also trained in positive psychology. Working with women in careers, my Masters is especially relevant to understanding the work climate, how to break barriers in organizations, cultural and inclusion issues, and being an excellent leader.
My coaching certification is through an International Coaching Federation (ICF) accredited organization, which is the highest standard in coaching. Being certified means I have gone through rigorous training, practice, and been tested to demonstrate my skills as a coach. I would recommend anyone interested in pursuing a coaching business to be certified and continue training and education to up-level the field and create lasting change for clients.
What is a book that has significantly influenced your life?
A book I love is Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Dr. Susan Jeffers.
It is simple, science based, and action-oriented to help you understand it’s normal to feel fear, it doesn’t need to cripple you and how you can learn to do those hard and scary things.
What advice would you give to a new life coach?
To take the “expert advice” with a grain of salt.
It’s normal to want to consume and learn from those that have made it to where you want to be but your unique talents and voice are what is going to attract your clients.
Over consumption is keeping you away from taking action helping people. Believe you know exactly what to do for your business and your clients need you just as you are.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
I ask myself what thoughts are creating these feelings and how is this helping me right now.
I coach myself on what I can control and what I cannot and have learned to swap or alter thoughts that aren’t helpful to ones that will enable me to accomplish the result that I want.
In the last five years, what new belief has most improved your life?
That I can truly have and be what I want.
We are told this as children but there are certain things we think are not available to us. For me, it was that I always had to work a stable corporate job or that I couldn’t make my own money.
I left a 20 year corporate career, I left a career where I was a performance and career coach for a large pharmaceutical company making 6 figures to create my own business. Believe it or not, I had to get coached to make this change. It was a shift in identity. I did it though and I’m all the better for it. My experience led me perfectly to where I am now.
If you could have a huge billboard anywhere with anything on it—metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions—what would it say and why?
There are two:
“Just say yes”
Say yes to opportunity, go toward things that scare you, they are for your growth.
“You can’t turn down something that hasn’t been offered to you”
We spend so much time worrying about things that haven’t happened, to wonder what choices we should be making and it keeps us from living, from taking action, from going after our life goals. Go after those things and if and when you have a decision to make, make it then, and make it powerfully.
Connect with Melissa
You can find Melissa at her website: www.melissamlawrence.com