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Are You Ready to Coach Your Way to a Better Life?

You’ve already heard my story about my experience with coaching, but that’s just one story. One story among the countless of lives that have been changed, people who have begun to see things differently, paths that have been redirected.

And here is another.

Julie Anne Christoph is a life coach certified through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), but this wasn’t her original path.

Julie Anne began working in sales and she did so for seven years until she was diagnosed with depression. Like so many other women, she found herself on the wrong path in life, and her health was suffering because of it.

Instead of reaching for the pill bottle, Julie Anne headed to the gym.

“I didn’t want to take medication to get out of it so I started exercising… I was really doing it for how good it feels, spiritually and mentally, how you just feel good afterwards. I wanted to share that with the world.”

And she did, by opening her own Curves gym.

Her Curves immediately thrived. She had over 880 members and was running a successful business she loved with one goal in mind: “My goal was impact and inspire one woman to love life again, just like what exercise had done to me.”

Julie Anne achieved that goal and in a bigger way than she had ever imagined. One day a member of her gym came up to her and told her “When I came here I had heard so many great things about your club and I said I have to go and check it out because at that point in my life I did not want to be on Earth….If that had not worked I was going to kill myself, but that was six months ago.”

Julie Anne was stunned by this. She realized that she had reached her goal, and that this goal was the key to what she wanted to do with her life.

“I spent time to think about what I was really doing different and what I wanted to do with that. So I went into coaching and when I found iPEC…I said ‘Oh my God. This program is absolutely life changing; it deals with consciousness, with awareness, with energy, with what human beings are’… It’s really finding yourself so you can share your gifts with the world,” Julie Anne shared.

So she became a Certified Professional Coach and shared her best insights on what coaching is with me.

WWRI: What would you say are the three main things that you have learned from coaching?

JA: That it’s important to be objective, meaning not jumping into other people’s stories. Being non-judgmental. There are so many perceptions from one situation. There are so many options to choose at every moment for how we want to perceive our world and create our world. Also, coaching has nothing to do with giving advice. Coaching is there to help you see clearly who you truly are, and be aligned in everything you do. Coaching guides you to be the best you possible.

WWRI: What has it taught you about other people?

JA: People get stuck in their own story.

People limit themselves.

People have so much potential and when they choose to open it, they bloom like crazy. They become very different people. When they choose to face what’s stopping them, they accept it and they realize that really what was limiting them was all a story that they made up themselves, they literally change. This is how we get in our own way, whether we’re conscious of it or not. It’s how people work through any potential blocks or challenges or stories they’ve hung onto, that will determine how fulfilling and abundant life will be. We do have more control than we think, in terms of how we “show up” in our relationships, career, and all other aspects of our lives. Coaching is a viable tool to plant these seeds of growth.

WWRI: What would you say to people who don’t think that coaching is a necessary thing?

JA: A coach is no longer seen as someone you go to in order to tout your problems. Coaches are now in such high demand grooming leaders for growth and greater possibilities. In fact, women who hire coaches to help them with their careers are shown to increase their productivity and confidence, helping them to speak up more, make bolder and stronger strategic decisions, and improve upon their work/life balance. In just three years, according to a Sherpa Coaching survey, coaching has fast become widely used as a leadership development tool.

And, right here in Canada, the Sherpa survey revealed that over 50% of individuals find coaching to be a credible and effective return on their investment. So, while coaching may not be for everyone, I say anyone can benefit from self-development heightened communication skills, and finding alignment with oneself – one’s values – my journey through iPEC’s Coach Training Program proved to be priceless… I love my job, family, and my outlook on life because everything is in alignment. I am passionate in what I choose to do and coaching was my springboard in getting there. I loved it so much that I now own iPEC Canada. I really wanted to make this incredible program accessible to Canadians.

WWRI: What about becoming a coach? How about that?

JA: When you become a coach then you go through the certification process to become a masterful coach, following a certification program through an ICF accredited school is recommended. People follow a Coach Training Program for different reasons, some for personal growth, some to start a new career and others to bring the new skills and tools back into their organization.  You could just want it for yourself, you could want to bring it back to your own organization and be a different leader and interact differently with your employees, or you could just choose to coach.

Many people ask me about a career in coaching (either life, executive, or business coaching.) The first thing I say is, it’s great that you’re curious – the best coaches use their curiosity, intuition, and listening skills, day in and day out, to help move their clients forward. And, nine times of out ten, the people asking me this question are drawn to the profession because they truly want to make a difference in the lives of others.

If you want to become a coach, do your homework. Be sure that the coach training school is ICF-accredited, that is, it has passed strict rules and regulations set forth by the industry’s governing body, the International Coach Federation (ICF).  Again, take a look at your values and that of the coach training school. Ask yourself if they are aligned, and be sure to investigate the quality and experience of the trainers. I can tell you one of the things that sold me on choosing iPEC was their business development component. iPEC not only teaches a unique, inside-out approach to coaching, they incorporate business development and marketing tactics to help you become a successful entrepreneur…or womenpreneur, as I like to say!

WWRI: What is one weird thing about coaching that most people don’t know?

JA: Whatever a coach is hired for, whether it’s in corporate, in business, whatever field, it all ends up being about life coaching. You never know when those “ah ha” moments are going to come or where they might stem from. In order to get to the bottom line, whether you aspire to engage your employees or become a more authentic leader, coaching will get you there. It’s the journey, however, that is a weird, fun, zigzagging adventure and the rewards, in truly finding out about yourself – how you operate and what you want to improve upon, are simply endless.

WWRI: What about people who are scared to take the leap?

JA: To get a coach: I would ask what are they scared of finding?

People who want to become coaches: How much do you believe in yourself? We all have the capacity, it’s just about choosing if we want to or not. And some people choose not to.

Through my talk with Julie Anne I learned that becoming a coach, or getting a life coach is not for everyone, but that it could benefit anyone. It just depends on where you want to take your life and if you’re ready. If you’re ready, then take the leap today!

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is an Associate Editor at Goddess Connections for the Women Who Run It E-Mag. She graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications Studies. She is a resident of Toronto and she has a passion for exploring topics on health and fitness, and enjoys writing stories about women’s issues. She also enjoys writing about business and how to build a career. When she is not working for Women Who Run It you can find her exploring Toronto, going for jogs, or simply enjoying life as a strong, empowered woman who runs it. Her goal is to share stories that help women of all walks of life take control of their lives and create balance with ease.

Comments (1)

  • Avatar

    Destiny Giakatis


    I have seen many people seek coaches in recent years and it is a wonderful way to help people get back up on their feet. People need a little push sometimes and it is nice to have someone to listen to your problems and give you great advice on how you can deal with it. Julie Ann’s story is very inspiring and I think its important for people to understand that its all about perspective and trying to make positive changes in one’s life.

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