Happy Solstice! This is one of my favorite days of the year — the longest day. If it’s not pouring down rain like it has been all spring, I’ll be spending the first day of summer outside until the sun goes down –which takes it longer today than any other day of the year.
Today is also a great day to get to know one of the more recognizable faces in freelance writing: Anne Wayman.
When I first started in full-time freelancing, Anne’s was the first site I located. She was at About.com at the time, and she’d created a forum and a presence that drew people in and made a community out of strangers. When she left About and started her own site, nearly everyone followed.
That takes a special kind of personality. So it was no surprise when Anne told me she was going into coaching. It’s a natural fit.
I talked with Anne recently about her coaching business, and about how changes, both personal and professional, are easier to make than you might think.
What interested you in coaching?
It probably started when I began working with coaches myself. I found another person’s view, particularly someone I knew was on my side, could be helpful – often extremely helpful. The next step in my coaching journey was when I realized I had learned enough about the freelance writing game that I could coach writers and those who were considering writing. It turns out I’m a pretty good coach for writers. What also turned out to be true that often our sessions would expand beyond writing and delve into life in general.
Meanwhile, I had been working with a business coach whom I came to fire, but before I did, introduced to my current coach who is the one who invited me into learning to be a life coach. My coaching mentor.
For you, what’s the goal in each session or with each client?
My working premise, and this actually developed during the writing coaching is that each one of us is the true expert on our own lives. My job as a coach is the listen deeply so I can shine an extra bit of light for the client – provide a different angle or version – so they see themselves more completely. That’s the goal – to help the client find their own solution.
How do you get clients to a state of conscious awareness of their lives?
Most people are more aware than they or anyone else recognizes. I assume they know what they need to know and ask questions until I get a sense of what the direction that might make sense for them. Or suggest they ‘tell me more,’ or ‘imagine if that (what they want) were true.’ Sometimes I’ll tell a story about me that may open some new thinking. It seems that no sooner do I get an idea the idea also comes to them, but tailored to their real needs.
What one thing can people do to kick start changes and improvements in their lives?
My own experience tells me I have to get honest first with myself – about what I really want. For example, I went around for years saying I wanted to write a detective novel with a strong female lead (who doesn’t?). I started I don’t know how many times and always bogged down. One day I looked a little deeper and realized I didn’t want to write that novel, I wanted to have written it! Next I recognized at that stage of my life, and perhaps at any stage, I simply wasn’t willing to devote the time to it would require to actually write it
How to you get honest with yourself?
I think it takes first a real willingness, then some quiet time when you can sort out what you want undisturbed. Might happen in 10 minutes, 10 days, or 10 weeks.
How can life coaching, or business coaching, help freelancers?
I’ve found I’ve always benefited from some coaching – both informal as friends will often do for each other, and formal. That’s why I’ve been willing to pay for it. That other or new view has always been helpful. It does shed new light, opens my thinking, allows me to chew against a new idea or a new version of the old idea. Coaching, when the client agrees, also provides real accountability… which has always been a big help for me.
Questions for Anne? Post them below. Also, you can reach Anne via email.
You can also learn more about Anne’s coaching at her Life Coaching on Purpose website, where you can learn more about a gift coaching session.