Today we’d like to introduce you to Lucy Meadows.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I had several careers before I became a coach—college admissions, international development, public health, and workforce training.
When I first started coaching I didn’t realize it was coaching. As a manager, I always enjoyed helping people figure out what they wanted and how to get there.
Then, after having a killer job–one of those learning experiences that’s great once it’s done—I was ready for a change. First, I became certified as a life coach. Then since I kept helping my clients with their careers, I became certified as a career coach too.
I love being a coach. It’s wonderful to develop trusting relationships with clients and to see them make progress—often lots of progress. In fact, when clients are ready to end coaching, it’s hard not getting to hear their stories any more.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I dealt with lots of challenges as I built my business. On the personal side, there’s a lot of hard work involved in becoming a coach. You need to understand your own challenges well so that you don’t have blind spots when you help other people with theirs. I had been through enough challenges in my life, though, that I had a head start!
Creating a business is a slow process. Luckily, I had already started another business before I became a coach, and wasn’t surprised by this.
Building a clientele has been the biggest challenge for me, as it is for most coaches. Coaches need a niche so people can know if you’re the right kind of coach for them. It took me a while to find my niche. After a lot of experimenting, I became a career and life coach for women in their late 20s/30s.
Another challenge was getting the right kind of support. My business picked up after I hired a marketing coach who helped me build an online presence. It took a couple of years but more clients now find me online than through either word of mouth or the workshops I lead.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I specialize in coaching younger women on career and life issues and that’s what I’m best known for, though I also coach men and older women. I offer workshops on various topics including taming procrastination, how to do a successful job search, and salary negotiation for women.
Two main things set me apart from many other career coaches. First, almost all career issues involve life issues as well, and I provide both kinds of coaching to my clients. On the career side, I help clients build their skills: figure out their strengths, skills and interests; set goals; build a network; create their LinkedIn/resumes/cover letters; interview and negotiate. And to make all this succeed, I help clients figure out how to stay energized and productive.
At the same time, I help clients deal with the emotional challenges of their work and life. Many times, this means the way their inner critic may be holding them back. Pretty much everybody has an inner critic that tends to lie, exaggerate, bully us and try to keep us from changing. I’m working more and more on helping clients to stop giving their inner critic so much space in their head, and to listen instead to their inner wisdom. That’s the part of us that always tells us the truth. Our inner wisdom can be tremendously helpful once we start listening to it, which takes some practice.
The second thing that makes me stand out as a career coach is that I bring almost twenty years of management experience to my coaching. So I’ve known many workplaces. I’ve done lots of hiring and some firing and a great deal of supervision. I have experience in several sectors.
What am I most proud of? My strong relationships with my clients, and the way I’m able to help them move forward in their lives and their work. It’s deeply satisfying.
What are some things people may be surprised to learn?
The right kind of networking isn’t painful and can even be enjoyable.
People are usually very willing to help people who are job-hunting – they’ve been there and they know what it’s like. So don’t hesitate to ask for that information interview!
Even when people think they don’t know what they want to do with their life, inside themselves they know more than they realize. Every client is an expert on themselves and may just need some structure and support to figure out what will be fulfilling for them.
There isn’t only one perfect job out there for each person. People often wind up in a satisfying career just because, for example, they sat next to someone who had a friend who was hiring, or they happened to meet someone whose organization was about to post a position. You need to be prepared, to know yourself, and to be open to possibilities.
What were you like growing up?
As a kid I was smart, well-behaved and a little shy–so I know it’s possible to outgrow your limitations. (All of those can be limitations, including relying too much on your head and not enough on your heart.) I loved reading, hiking, playing in the neighborhood and vacations.
- Address: Impact Hub Boston
50 Milk Street, 15th floor
Boston, MA 02109
- Website: lmeadows.com
- Phone: 617-322-9622
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org