Patricia Hardy is the founder and chief coaching strategist of Prevalent Hope Coaching & Consulting in Maryland. We hope you enjoy this interview!
Coaching Focus: I support women aged 40 and over as they bounce back from life-altering experiences, including but not exclusive to health diagnoses, losses, relationship status changes, etc. Using self-care, time and stress management, goal setting, and more, I strive to help my niche obtain the health/wellness and lives they desire.
Tell us about your journey as a coach.
In the like manner of Golden Girls character Sophia Petrillo, picture it—my kitchen table, May 2020. I had been a marketing and communications professional for years and was working remotely like most. While typing an email, it hit me. What is it that you want to do with your life? I knew it was God’s voice—partly because it was so soft, yet authoritative, and partly because I got a chill. I had asked myself this question for years but constantly avoided answering it.
If I were my own client, I would ask, “What did that question do or change for you?” I’m sure you may be wondering the same. It made me pray. It made me research. It made me get off of my butt and reach for the career, and calling, in which I was meant to be.
Fortunately, I found and enrolled in the Health Coach Institute, entering its dual health and life coaching certification program. After a year of extensive preparation, I acquired my certifications and launched my practice in September 2021. A practice client from my certification program wanted to be my first paid client—what an honor!
Today, I provide 1:1s and group sessions, and I recently expanded to offer my services to businesses and organizations as staff wellness benefits. Quite a change from my kitchen table moment!
I’m blessed. My greatest influences are women in my family who had the brains but lacked the means or societal allowances to be their best selves.
What courses, programs, or certifications have you done? Would you recommend them, and for whom?
I have dual health and life certifications from the Health Coach Institute in Boise, Idaho. I recommend this for those who feel led to do “double duty” in health and life coaching.
I have a board certification in health coaching from the American Association of Drugless Practitioners in Galveston, Texas. I would recommend this for health coaches who want a wider reach in the holistic industry.
I have a Certificate of Coaching Behaviors and Resistance from the Universal Coach Institute in Atlanta, Georgia / Charleston, South Carolina. I recommend this for coaches in general who want to better understand client behaviors and resistance.
What advice or perspective might you give to a new coach trying to get their first clients?
My advice for new coaches is to be hopeful and driven but to be realistic. Success does not happen overnight! Keep pushing and your big break will come.
What are your thoughts on “choosing a niche” as a coach?
Establishing a niche can be challenging. By nature, I think coaches want to help as many people as possible. But that can be an unrealistic sentiment. Figuring out your niche allows you to serve a particular need for a particular demographic.
For me, when trying to figure out my niche, I considered to whom I felt most connected, what information I could offer, and how I could offer it. To those experiencing niche drama, I suggest gaining an understanding of whose lives would be most changed by what you can offer them.
What books have significantly influenced your life? What are your key takeaways from these books?
The book that has significantly influenced my life is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Although I was just a teen when I first read it, I was touched. It is the story of every woman—coming of age, making mistakes, loving for the first time, overcoming catastrophe. My key takeaway was that none of us are immune to life’s right hooks, but that we can surely recover from the blow, and better yet, learn how to duck!
If you received an extra $10,000 to spend on your business, how would you spend it and why?
I would spend it on paid advertising and marketing. As a self-made entrepreneur, I have established my practice using my own marketing and communications skills. While those efforts were fruitful, it would be nice to have others who currently thrive in that industry to help boost my practice.
What are some of your favorite affirmations? Why?
“You are enough” is one of my favorite affirmations. The only piece of original art I own says just that. It hangs on my bedroom wall and is one of the first things I see each morning.
As an entrepreneur, there are times when doubt sets in heavily. This is a welcome reminder that no matter what, I can and will succeed because I’m me—not despite it.
When you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or have lost your focus or motivation, what do you do?
When I feel overwhelmed, stressed, etc., I start with deep breathing. It slows you down and lowers your blood pressure quickly. I also pray because it diverts my focus to my faith, which is the source of any positivity in my life. Journaling is also important. Sometimes thoughts, particularly negative ones, need to exist outside your brain. This can help free you of some of the load stress forces you to carry.
Do you have any embarrassing (at the time) stories from your work as a coach? Or a time when putting yourself out there really paid off?
No embarrassing stories as of yet! The times I’ve put myself out there as a coach were times when I was vulnerable and transparent. It can be uncomfortable and leave you feeling exposed. But clients seem to respond positively to it, leaving your session feeling as though you can really relate to them.
If you could put a message on a huge billboard—getting a message out to millions—what would it say and why?
“Be good to yourself! It’s the best investment you’ll ever make.”
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