Working as a solopreneur can be a lonely road. Sure, we do our best to attend networking events and social gatherings, we join co-working spaces (like the fabulous HiVE Vancouver!) and meet friends and collaborators for coffee or lunch. We might even get a dog so that we have a reason to go outside on rainy, dreary days! Yet despite all of our supporters and their good intentions, we really are our own best cheerleader.
Enter: The Business Coach
I am a goal-setting, vision boarding, kick-my-own-butt-into-gear kind of gal, so I never really thought I needed a coach. And, like any woman on a mission, I have trouble asking for help. I have worked with coaches in the past, and I have gotten a lot from the experience, but this time was different. This time, I wasn’t questioning where I wanted to go or how I was going to get there – I realized that I was doing exactly what I wanted to do and I was exactly where I wanted to be…and that scared the heck out of me!
I kept asking myself when will the other shoe drop?
I first met Lisa Princic at a LOCOBC event, an organization that connects values-based businesses to help grow the local economy. A mutual friend introduced us and told me how Lisa had helped her dig deeper into her business vision and get more out of what she was already doing. Yup, that sounded like something I could get on board with! Working with a coach can be a bit like looking into one of those magnifying mirrors – the more you look, the more you notice every line, spot or imperfection. You start to see what needs attention but you also learn to appreciate what is already there. You see things clearly.
Lisa was my New Years Resolution, or at least the experience she helped me create was. My goal was simple (or so I thought): to deepen my own practice and make my business more sustainable. In other words, figure out how to hold onto that awesome feeling you get when you are doing exactly what you love! Now came the tricky part – holding my business up to that darn mirror…
Over the course of 20 weeks, Lisa and I chatted every 2 weeks. We discussed the goals and challenges I laid out from my previous sessions and she helped me set up new ones. It was more than holding me accountable – she made me realize that in order to go deeper and become more sustainable I would I have to allow my business to transform. Transformation. That’s it, that’s what I was afraid of. I had finally arrived at a place in my career where I felt safe, valued and respected…and I wanted to hold onto that. But I soon realized that the part of my business that I loved the most was pioneering into new territory: learning new skills, meeting new people and allowing my perspectives to change.
I came into Lisa’s coaching process with a strong vision and sense of purpose. While I may not have realized it at the time, she opened my eyes to the fact that I was limiting myself by trying to hold onto things just as they were. I was blocking the road, and all along I thought I was driving free and clear.
I spent the past few months exploring my true vision for Narrative Communications and everything kept coming back to the word Story. When I first called myself a Storyteller, people looked at me with confused eyes and a crooked grin. “You mean, like sitting around a campfire kind of storyteller?” No. I meant the deeper stories that exist inside each of us. Jung calls it our Collective Unconscious, Joseph Campbell spoke in Archetypes. I have spent the past 10 years exploring the world of myth. From reading books by Robert Bringhurst, Lewis Hyde and Annette Simmons, to taking courses in narrative psychology, to learning how to facilitate and build community. I have been redefining, mostly for myself, what a storyteller is.
My passion is to harvest and gather stories, to weave and share stories. What I do is bigger than storytelling. It is bigger than any one single story or any one single person. It is about connecting personal experiences with universal themes. It is about tapping into a larger narrative that exists inside each of us and within our collective communities.
It is myth-making.
All of this brought me back to my first passion: Folklore. Fairytales. Fables. The stories we read when we are little and the stories that resonate when we are adults. The stories we feel we have heard before. The stories that are full of nostalgia and brimming with cultural memory. That was why I set off to study a Masters in Mythology at the University of Edinburgh many moons ago. That was why I moved to Ghana, West Africa to host storytelling circles. That is why I set out to start this business in the first place. So what I am?
I am a Brand Mythologist.
There. I’ve said it. It is bigger than storytelling. It is bigger than strategy. It is everything that connects us, it is everything that we are. Let the transformation begin!