Today, I'm excited to debut the first in a series of interviews about coaching - starting with my beloved client of over 18 months, Lauren S.

Lauren is a treasure of a human being. She is smart, original, creative, thoughtful, and dedicated. She's more than a little weird, in all the best possible ways. She's made a lot of brave choices on her journey, including not wearing makeup (or shaving), which we chatted about in Episode X of the podcast (listen to it here!). And she's about to finish her Masters at Columbia with a SICK children's television show pitch. I know how I feel about working with her (it's been a serious privilege), but I was curious to learn more about her experience of coaching. So I asked her a few questions...

To start, can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?

I’m a filmmaker, comic artist, and doula. 

I’m originally from Oakland, California and spent most of my adult years living in LA, where I worked as the Post Production Manager on the preschool series Dora the Explorer.  I moved to NY in 2015 to pursue my master’s degree in Children’s Media at Columbia University.  I graduate this May!

When did you decide to look into coaching, and why?

When I met Colleen, I was just getting out of a relationship, beginning grad school, and feeling isolated in a new city. I didn’t know it yet, but a life coach was just what I needed.  I had started seeing a therapist, but it wasn’t having a noticeable impact on my quality of life.  I started coaching because it was a more fun, holistic, and practical form of support.

Why did you choose Colleen / Rowan Coaching at this point?

I met Colleen at a friend’s birthday party where I was reading tarot cards for people.  Colleen turned the tables on me and read my cards.  Even though she had no prior experience with tarot, Colleen impressed me with her intuition, intelligence, and insight.  She gained my trust that night and made me consider coaching for the first time!

If you had to describe what you wanted to work on or change in 2 sentences or less, what would they be?

The ongoing project I’ve been working on with Colleen is my master’s thesis project, a storyboard and pitch for a preschool television show! She’s also helped me to create and self-publish my first zine of comics, develop a card game, plan parties, and get the most out of my time in NY!

At the beginning, coaching felt…

Magical.  You know the tingly ASMR brain feeling you get when someone is holding space and giving you their full attention?  Lots of that.

The longer I worked with Colleen / Rowan Coaching, the more I realized…

Not only do I have a lot of fun in our sessions, I’m actually getting a ton of things done! Things I’ve always wanted to do, but never had time for…now I’m making time for them.  Every week, I set goals and am held accountable to achieve them.  And each completed goal motivates me to dream bigger next time because I’ve seen that I can do it.

How long have you worked with Colleen / Rowan Coaching?

1.5 years

What are your top three insights from working with Colleen / Rowan Coaching?

1. Work with your brain!  No more marathon work sessions.  Break up the day with fun, variety, and movement…and fully enjoy the breaks.

2. Schedule unstructured time.  I need a few hours each week where I don’t have anything planned so I can wander around outside and follow my intuition.  That allows for the incubation period that leads to creative insights!

3. Focus how you want to feel, rather than what you want to do with your time.

In fact, one of the most important things I learned about myself is...

It’s okay to feel awkward, uncomfortable, or unconfident.  These feelings signal opportunities for growth, learning, and mindfulness.

What do you like about the process?

I like that the process can be so tailored to my personal interests.  I can spend an hour doodling or go on a vision quest in the mountains and those can both be meaningfully integrated into my work.

What would you change about the process, if you could?

Looking back, I now wish [I had a] digital record of all the notes and work we’ve done over the past year and a half. That would allow us to track progress and over time and save key insights!

What tangible progress or change has occurred in your life as a result of working with Colleen / Rowan Coaching?

A surprising side effect is that I doubled my essay-writing speed! I fully attribute this to the neuroscience-based schedule optimization that Colleen helped me with.  This has been a life-saver in grad school, and allowed me to actually have a life outside of school.

Would you agree that coaching has a significant Return on Investment (ROI)? Why or why not? 

Totally!  To me, the value lies in all of the things I’ve created over the past year and a half.  A 600-panel storyboard, a comic zine, a card game, a board game, a children’s book, and a million other little fun projects. It would have been so easy to let that time go by without making or sharing anything, but instead I have made consistent progress and have tangible results I’m proud of.  All while maintaining a 4.0, working a video job, and certifying as a doula.  And with the magic of coaching I managed to stay sane and still enjoy my life!!

Three words I would use to describe Colleen are…

Brilliant. Dedicated. Honest.

Colleen / Rowan Coaching are exceptionally good at…

Making creative connections.  When I’m working on a project, she brings me inspiration from film, animation, gaming, burlesque, marketing, theater…Her arts background and designer’s eye make her an ideal collaborator on creative projects. 

Coaching has definitely improved my confidence in / ability to...

See and market myself as an artist.

Having worked with Colleen / Rowan Coaching, it is obvious that she stands for...

Inclusivity.  Defying convention.  Celebrating individuality.  Unconditional support.

If you’re thinking of hiring Colleen / Rowan Coaching, I would say…

DO IT DO IT DO IT

What are you hoping to accomplish next? 

Make a kids’ TV show and publish more comics!