How to Find Fulfillment and Meaning in Your Career with Sarah Gibbons, Coach to Execs & Entrepreneurs

About The Guest

After more than a decade of pioneering the tech-business economy in North America and Europe for companies such as Amazon.com, IMDb.com, and Fox, Sarah realized she was experiencing a drive and hunger for a different kind of fulfillment.

Sarah now works with leaders who have been so focused on their career, they’ve pushed all other responsibilities, duties and personal development opportunities to the wayside.

She challenges and refocuses these highly successful individuals and helps them achieve better balance in their life – something we can all learn from her today… before it’s too late.

Talking Points
  • 06:22 – Pivoting from corporate to entrepreneurship.
  • 12:14 – What does fulfillment really mean, and what does it have to do with non-linear, exponential growth?
  • 15:53 – Challenging the definition of leadership.
  • 18:36 – Do you know what your values are?
  • 22:57 – Spiritual psychology and how to stop yourself from getting triggered.
  • 27:09 – Quantifying the ROI of coaching.
  • 31:12 – Feedback loops & habits.
  • 33:23 – Coaching red flags.
  • 39:45 – Life lessons for entrepreneurs.

Show Links

  • sarahgibbons.co
  • twitter.com/sarahgibbonsco
  • instagram.com/sarahgibbonsco

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What is the Success Story Podcast?

On this podcast, you’ll find interviews, Q&A, keynote presentations & conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups and entrepreneurship.

The podcast is hosted by entrepreneur, business executive, author, educator & speaker, Scott D. Clary.

Scott will discuss some of the lessons he’s learned over his own career, as well as have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.

Read The Transcript (Machine Generated)

Scott: [00:00:00] Welcome to the success story podcast, the most useful podcast in the world. I’m your host, Scott D Clary. And today we have an incredible episode. I sat down with Sara Gibbons. Sarah is ex Amazon. Ex my space, X news Corp. And she has an incredible corporate career, but she pivoted into entrepreneurship as many of my guests do.

And I unpack her story, how she started working with leaders who were at a certain point in their career where they weren’t feeling, they didn’t feel fulfilled. They felt like they were missing something, even though they had these accolades on paper and she walks through how she. With leaders to actually find fulfillment and happiness and their career.

We speak about leadership. We speak about self-awareness. We speak about how to follow your passion, then to even understand what those passions are, and then hold yourself accountable to actually achieving those things. So that at the end of the day, you don’t go through your entire life. Wake up when you’re 70, 80, 90 and realized that you’ve been doing something for your entire life, that you aren’t happy about or that you weren’t satisfied with.

So she has some great lessons for anybody that has reached that point in their career. And I was really happy to sit down with her and she just unpacked all this stuff that I think we usually just glance over. When we’re busy in our day-to-day lives, just doing, doing, doing anyways, really enjoyed the chat with her.

I hope you enjoy it as well. Also, this episode is sponsored by Gusto. Gusto is the complete payroll solution provider. They have a special offer for everybody. Who’s listening to the success story podcast. If you want to get rid of headache, admin work, payroll, work, HR work in your business, stay tuned, and you’ll definitely want to try them out.

They’ll further ado. Another episode of the success stories.

All right. Thanks again for joining me today. I am sitting down with Sara Gibbons. Sarah is a leading success coach. She works with creative executives, entrepreneurs in the arts and entertainment industry. She specializes in helping them thrive at the intersection of creativity and impact how they actually can Excel in their careers and with the people that they work with.

Sarah has been featured by London day. Thrive magazine. She just finished an interview with a world renowned photographer. Jeff Lipski on her own legacy talk series. She’s a digital media veteran. She’s worked for giants like Amazon MySpace. That’s throwing it back and NewsCorp in the early days, leaving their sales team, both domestically and in London.

She’s the mother of three boys and she is obsessed with helping people live their legacy through refining their leader. Basically, that is how people relate to each other situations. And it’s the only thing that we truly have control over when we build out our careers or our businesses. So I’m very excited to, to walk through her career especially with some of the names that she’s worked for in the past and how she’s pivoted from that into entrepreneurship and also how she works with people and what she does for them.

Because I want to dive into what success coach actually means. And how it can be useful for people. So Sarah, thank you very much for sitting down. I appreciate you taking the time.

Sarah: [00:03:19] Oh, I’m excited. Thanks for having me, Scott. We’re gonna have some fun.

Scott: [00:03:22] Yeah, no, I’m very excited. I’m very, very excited.

Let’s dive into your background because I always like teeing up where you came from. So Amazon MySpace and news Corp where did your career start?

Sarah: [00:03:37] So I, I, I chalk it up to, I was in the right place at the right time. So I’m from Seattle and I ended up at a little company called Amazon, which also owns a company called IMDV.

For those of you who are in the entertainment world, you notice internet, movie, database. And I was hired to be their advertising sales rep. And at the time there was only one other ad sales rep. This was in 2000. And so that person, same as John Gibbons. He’s now my husband, but of course he wasn’t at the time.

And so it was really the wild west. When you think about digital media back in 2000. And so I was very much thrown into it. I had a bit of a sales background prior. And then coincidentally, you know, times were so different. I was at a Sundance film festival for work and ended up meeting the founders of my space.

And we were all flying to LA the next day. And this relationship was taking off with this guy, John. And so I thought, God, I better part ways. So I was at Amazon for quite some time and then ended up going over to my space, which then became news. And then the stars aligned and we both were able to go over to London.

He opened an office for IFDB and I was able to go into the news Corp office over there in London and help manage those teams. And it was wild and phenomenal at the same time, but it was very much I mean, online advertising back then, it wasn’t something that was taught in school. And so I really Figured it out.

I mean, everything is sort of figure out-able, but that’s how I got to. And then once I had my first child, I kind of always knew as much as I loved digital media. And I loved the tech industry. I loved how fast it was. I was missing something that was more service oriented and I’ve also, I love sales. I also like to beat to my own drum.

And so I had the opportunity to, I met a gal who was over in London, who happened to also be from the Seattle area and ended up helping her grow a company called baby Chino kids. And so I parlayed into entrepreneurial. Got my feet wet there left news Corp. And then few years later when we came back to the U S was recruited by some old NewsCorp veterans got back into digital media.

And then I just. Truthfully. I just knew as much as I loved the people I was working with at the very fast paced industry. I liked the just the flexibility and of course the money and all of that was there, but there was something that was missing from a fulfillment standpoint. And that’s where things started to started to turn.

And I started a whole new, new chapter.

Scott: [00:06:22] Walk me through the steps that you actually took because you had, you had gone and you’d done some, I don’t know what the term is, side hustling while you were, while you were working.

Sarah: [00:06:34] So I I started working, actually, my husband was working with a career coach and she was a phenomenal career coach.

She was coaching all the Sony execs at the time. And so when he finished up with her, I said, well, I’ll do some work with you. I didn’t really know. I’ve always loved managing teams. And at the very end of our work, she said, would you consider checking out this program and getting a master’s and spiritual psychology and truthfully I’ve thought, oh my God, that sounds so we really, this is going to be like a bunch of yoga teachers and my ego is just having a fit.

But anyway, she said, go check it out. And so I went, it was a program that had been going for over a year. 20 or 25 years here in Santa Monica, California. It was run by, well, it’s still going Dr. Ron and Mary whole neck. And so I went, I was like, wow, this, this program, it’s a two year program. It’s a, master’s in psychology.

And it just really grabbed me very experiential. But at the same time, the points around leadership really interested me. And so. I was pregnant with my third child. I went back to grad school and I was managing a sales team. I don’t know how my marriage survived it, but it did. And at the very end of the two years it became apparent that I did not want to go back into digital media.

That I really, the part that loved me was always hearing people’s stories, but also Getting into people’s leadership and really helping them see what’s possible beyond what they were currently doing. So even if things look really good on paper, I fundamentally believed. You could still feel a sense of fulfillment and a sense of joy.

It didn’t have to you didn’t have found the experience that I had where just because it was good on paper, you couldn’t want more. And so I you know, ended up after those two years started my coaching business and then everything. With a lot of trial and error to where I am now, but that was about yeah.

Nine years ago.

Scott: [00:08:33] Good for you. That’s a big, that’s a big leap. That’s very scary. I always try and understand. Yeah, very, very no, I always, I always try and understand the mindset of people that like pivot into entrepreneurship. Triggers them to do something that is almost like it’s counter to the safety and the, and the predictability of a career.

And it’s just interesting that you, so actually, what would, what would you say that was for you? What was the thing that triggered you? You said you took the course, you took a course that you thought was a little bit at the onset, a little bit airy fairy high-level, but then you actually found value in it.

 

Sarah: [00:09:12] I think it was a couple of things. I believed in what I was learning. So first and foremost, I, it woke something up in me, Scott, and I felt like if other people had access. To these kinds of tools, then they would experience a greater sense of fulfillment. I think for me, I have always been chasing a sense of a likeness ever since I was young, I would read obituaries and I would, and I would sort of joke with my industry, friends from digital media saying, I don’t want to get to the end of my life and feel like my obituary only says that I have been, you know, head of online advertising sales and et cetera.

And so there was. I always had this thirst for growth. I had a thirst for impact and had a thirst for feeling a sense of a liveliness. And so I think that, you know, that vision w acted like a magnet and started to pull me through what were really difficult choices because you’re right. Leaving a corporate job is not easy.

We had children at the time we had a mortgage, we had, you know, just a lot of responsibility, but I also. For me, it also, I got really present to how I define success and that success didn’t just look like material things. It didn’t look like a really perfect CV, having all the good job titles and the big corporate companies that if it all came to an end, I knew I wanted to feel differently inside.

And so that became the catalyst for me. I think also I worked in reality. So this is one thing I. I coach, you know, obviously I coach entrepreneurs. I spend time with some, you know, people who are really growing their coaching business. And one of the things I tell people is that we have to work in reality.

So I think it’s naive to I hear a lot of entrepreneurs say, well, I’m just going to quit my job and I’m going to start the side hustle and go for it. And that isn’t always the most responsible thing. So You know, for me, I was managing a sales team. I was coaching clients on the side until I got to a place where I felt like I could properly make the leap without jeopardizing my family and the contribution that I’d been making.

You know, of course financially. So it happened over time, but I was very much aware of a feeling that I was having insight and that feeling of a liveliness was what I wanted.

Scott: [00:11:43] And, and you went after it and I liked the way that you phrased it, that having the perfect credentials on a CV or having even a great paying job is not a success fulfillment once you’ve achieved it for a significant period of time.

And that’s something. And also also, you know, it can be also, it can be fine for people to it. It depends what that is. So, so what is fulfillment? This course you took this two year course. Was this identifying what actually drives you in life? Is that what? Yeah, so,

Sarah: [00:12:14] Yeah, that’s a good way of looking at it.

I think for me, what I, one of the biggest lessons I got out of it was that most people are. Look at success as very horizontal. So you go to school, you get a job, maybe you get married and maybe you buy a house, et cetera. When I went back and got my master’s in spiritual psychology, it started to introduce to me a way of leading that used practical tools, particularly around communication.

That helped me realize, okay. The way in which fulfillment works is through exponential growth, not through doing this thing, that’s on a horizontal line, which is what we’re trained. And so when I started to play with that and I started to look at things like, what does it mean to live from my values?

What does it mean to really connect with my own intuition? Start to make choices that honor what I want versus these expectations that I had for myself based on parental influence society influence and all of that. I started to realize that I was relating to life in a very different way. And I think more than anything, what I got out of it was that.

I don’t like the word control, but that I had a lot more influence over my life than I thought. So in most of us human beings, and I still very much have moments of this. We are very much at effect where we are at effect of our circumstances. Whereas when I went through my grad school program, what I got was.

There’s an opportunity for me to really co-create my experience, whether it’s with the universe, whether it’s with God, whatever your belief is, but it was so empowering because I realized my gosh, I can create what I want, as long as I get clear and I’m paying attention to my mindset and my intention and I’m taking action.

What I know to be true is that then the universe meets you at the point of action. So it. A very different way of experiencing life, but I gained very tangible tools that I now teach my clients really around communication and leadership. And so they’re having very similar experiences. It doesn’t mean that their by no means does it mean that they are getting out of their current jobs?

I mean, some are, but many of them are staying in their current roles, but they’re experiencing a level of fulfillment and impact that they didn’t think was possible. So. It’s a very long way of saying, answering your

Scott: [00:14:44] question. No, it was a good answer. And the reason why I was, I was digging into that is because there’s a lot of, a lot of wisdom there.

And I wanted to highlight that because I knew, I knew that you were going to go in this direction. But that’s something, that’s something that I think over the past, Two years that that feeling of losing control when we thought we had everything figured out and career in life gone, right, completely thought sounded very, very practical.

Example would be people that have been in careers for 30 plus years that thought those careers were stable and laid off furloughed, whatever. And that’s no longer a thing. So I appreciate what you’re saying and it’s been, and I also, I’ve never heard it described the way you’ve just described it just now, but I subscribed to a similar.

Outlook on life about, can I say control, I guess a little bit more freely, because I like to think that I, I can have some control over the outcome with the, you know, if you have a certain amount of input then you can have some sort of control over the output, but that’s, I like that a lot. And that’s, that’s what you teach.

So that’s, that’s a perfect segue. So that’s what. Individual. And this is, this is what you do. This is what you,

Sarah: [00:15:53] this is what I do full time. You know, at the end of the day, the only thing we have control over is how we show up and relate to people, situations, events in our life. And so I am fascinated with that because what that, where that got me thinking was.

All right. That’s what we’re really talking about is leadership leadership as a way of being, not leadership as this position, as a hat that we wear as a title, as you know, as wake up in the morning, I’m a leader. And then I come home from work and I’m not a leader anymore. I realized it was like a Tiffany.

If I start to look at leadership, like we’re all in leadership. Yes. Some of us have titles where we manage people, but when we wake up in the morning, we show up and how we lead throughout the day and how we impact people, how we, how you and I converse how I talk with the barista, how I speak to my children, how I work with my clients, that leadership is really my legacy.

And so if at all, were to end and love knowing. Your legacy, doesn’t have to be, you know, building a water well in Africa, your, your legacy is how you show up and lead throughout the day. And so that got me really excited because I thought, wow, I have an opportunity here to really help people grow their leadership.

Even if it’s just by 4%, if we just shift it by a tiny amount, they’re going to create different results. So I work with people. I have a boutique one-on-one business. So I work with a handful of clients there, and then I have several corporate groups and then I have my own groups that I’ve put together.

Based on, you know, I work with a group of dads, which I love, I work with a group of moms and then I work with a group of executives. But it’s all based on a principle and foundation that I set that I’ve created. That’s unique to me, that’s unique to my business called the board, called the boards.

And so I have different boards groups for, depending on who the audience is.

Scott: [00:17:57] I saw that I saw when I was checking out your website and okay. So let’s So I, I want to dig into that point. You just touched on leadership and obviously, so, so great points. Leadership is not CXO. Leadership is how you conduct yourself in your life.

And I think that that mental shift of that lens that you look at leadership through is an important distinction. So what are, what are some practical steps just for we can, we, a lot of people here are obviously executives, but also moms and dads, what would be. Overarching step that people should try and take to be better leaders in their life and envision and understand their impact.

Sarah: [00:18:36] Yeah. I love that question. So one of the first think about leadership as who you be and forms what you do. So if you are disgruntled, overwhelmed, and anxious on the inside, then as you are doing whatever it is you need to do, that’s the experience you’re going to have. So. One of the best ways to get really clear on who you are is to define your values.

And it’s amazing, Scott, I’ll start working with clients and I’ll say, okay, let’s talk about your values. Do you know your values? And they’ll say, yeah, yeah, I know my values. Okay, great. Tell me your values. I’m sorry. You scratch the surface a little bit. They don’t know their values. For anybody who’s watching.

Actually you can go to my website. If you sign up for my email, I have put together a super simple turnkey guide to help you figure out your values. Everyone has around five to seven values. And once you get clear on your values and you define them on your terms, then you have a very different experience.

Because if you think about, if you start to make decisions from your values, Rather than expectations of what you think you should be doing or what you think your family should be doing already. You’re going to have an experience that is much more in alignment with what matters to you. So for me, one of my top values is connection.

So as I’m moving throughout the day as well, I’m asking myself, what value does this align with? If I need to make a decision? Okay. Is this an accordance with my values? That’s a very different experience than all right. What is it I need to get done today? What should I be doing? And so it allows people to feel so much more empowered.

So I would say for anybody, who’s watching. Very first thing you could do, if you did nothing else was, get clear on your values, define them and the start to play with. What does it look like to live from your values? What is it like to make decisions from your values? And you’ll be amazed at the different kind of results you get both in the workplace and at home

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And I guess my question, cause everybody, he said thinks they know their values. And even if they, even if they do have an understanding of what their values yeah. We slip, we slip all the time. I slip, you know, 200 times a day on, on, on, I think I’m a good person. I think I have good values, but something, you know, rubs me the wrong way.

And then I react or the conversation after the thing that rubbed me the wrong way is now you know, that the emotion that’s gone to that conversation is a negative emotion, even though the person had no bearing on what actually triggered me in the first place. These are very common human tendencies.

How do you get rid of how do you. Yeah,

Sarah: [00:22:57] you so really great point what you said. So one of the biggest principles I got out of my masters program in spiritual psychology is that if, if we get triggered as human beings, it’s an unresolved issue that belongs to us. It’s getting triggered and actually has nothing to do with you.

So if you were being. Disrespectful to me, it doesn’t mean that you get a hall pass for being that way, but it’s on me to look at, okay. Why did that trigger me so much? So as a coach, one of the things that I do is I invest a lot in my own mentorship. So I work with a team of coaches, which by the way, for anybody who’s looking at a coach, you want to make sure you’re the coach that you’re working with is actually investing in themselves.

One of the best tools is called the completion and. It’s a process where you are getting complete on your side of the fence of what you’re bringing to the table. So the ultimate goal is if you’ve got energy on you, Scott, about something that is going to carry over into how you show up and relate to someone.

So you want to take on a very practical exercise, which is called completion. It involves writing three different letters. It takes no more than 20 minutes, but what it does is it helps you. First and foremost express, what’s there for you, whether you’re mad, you’re frustrated, you’re upset, whatever it is, get it all out.

Then it’s about taking a look at, okay, what’s there for me to own, what can I be responsible for? And then the third piece is around. What can I acknowledge both the other person and both for me. And sometimes. I have to do completion multiple times around the same situation at the same person, but it is truly the only tool that I have learned that my coaches have taught me if I want to be able to come into a situation and feel neutral so that I can approach it from the very clear leadership then that’s, that’s on me to get complete and it doesn’t require anyone to apologize to me.

It’s, it’s, it’s really on me. And I think that’s. You know, if, if people went around in the world getting complete on their own stuff, so they weren’t lobbying their own stuff over to other people, we would have very different experiences throughout the day. Cause you’re right. We’re human beings. It’s not that we’re, we, we go through the day and it’s not that we’re in leadership, 24 7 it’s that we fall out of leadership.

And what I always say to my clients, it’s like, how quickly can you get back into leadership rather than withdrawing for a day? Or getting into it with a colleague and, you know, going down that rabbit hole.

Scott: [00:25:32] Great question. I love that. I, and I, I keep wanting to, you know, just re double down on the fact that this, this definition of leadership is truly changing who you are to be a better person.

That’s that’s really the end goal. That’s. And, and that actually, you know, when, when we first connected, one of the things I wanted to speak to you about was coaching as, as a concept, Yeah, of course. When you, when you look at it through that lens, when you look at the ability to become a better person in everything you do, it’s not hard to understand why that could be a good thing to subscribe to, but let’s, let’s speak about let’s speak about coaching and as opposed to me just going on, you know, I said, it’s funny, cause I, I don’t go on YouTube and I don’t investigate this, but say, say I need to be sold on, on.

Right. I just, well, why would I pay somebody to teach me this when I can just go figure it out myself? So, you know, that’s something that I think always comes up with coaches because people need to, people need to buy into it. They’ve either already bought into it. Or a lot of people will say, I have no need for that.

That’s not going to positively impact me. They end, you know, it’s funny because people get a personal trainer, but I know they, but I think it’s a physical, like they see the physical result. And how do you measure the ROI on a coat? How do you measure, how do you measure whether or not a coach? I don’t think anybody would shirk like a good coach or somebody that can actually help them.

But how do you sell somebody or how do you not sell somebody? How do you prove to somebody that you can actually help them impact their life?

Sarah: [00:27:09] Oh gosh. It’s such a great question. And so many places that we could, that we could go with it. I’m just thinking where I want to start with this.

Scott: [00:27:21] I think from,

Sarah: [00:27:24] yeah, I do.

You know, the coaching industry is becoming. One of the biggest industries where money is spent. And at the same time, the bar is so low that anybody can get into coaching, which is dangerous because it can create an integrity issue. And so I can’t speak for other coaches. I can only speak for myself and why, why I invest in coaching and why my people invest in coaching.

And I think at the end of the day, It’s because we, by nature want to be comfortable. We don’t want to feel any sense of discomfort. If you are wanting to deepen your connection with clients in service, to doubling your bottom line, if you are wanting to create a bigger impact, whether it’s in your personal life or your professional life.

Any of those goals are going to require you to do something and behave differently than you’re currently doing. In order to do that, you’re going to have to feel uncomfortable. We don’t like to feel uncomfortable. A I know for me, I joke with my clients, but I truly believe at the end of the day, the reason that they pay me isn’t necessarily for accountability.

It’s because I’m willing to say things to them that nobody else would say. So for example, a couple of years ago, I was in enrollment conversation with one of the top creative executive creative directors in the country. He’s just an unbelievable human being, but his work is out of this world and he kept repeating this story.

And finally, I just looked at him and I said, can I give you a reflection? And he said, yeah, And I said, I am so bored by the story. I’m bored by it. You must be bored by it. And he laughed. And he said, you’re the first person that has told me they’re bored by. He said, I’m so bored by it. But it was a story in an event that happened in the news that he was a part of a company that had a huge issue with.

And he said he hired me on the spot. I mean, that’s the only the conversation changed. And we started to talk about what would it look like to work together? So I truly believe. People who value growth by nature will be interested and will want to consider coaching. But really the role of a good coach is to keep reflecting back to clients, what they’re seeing in their way of being.

And we all know this, but our relationship to feedback, including my own. And I’ve done a lot of work around. That is not easy to hear or work with. And so it’s less about, okay, here’s the program we’re going to work and here’s what we’re going to do right. Every week. It’s like, no, let me tell you what I’m noticing right now in your presence.

Let me tell you what I’m noticing in your tone. Let me tell you what I’m seeing. And so that kind of level of work required. A whole different type of leadership, if you want to have a different experience in the physical world, but also internally. So,

Scott: [00:30:42] and that’s what, you know, it’s funny. I think that half of, of finding the right coaches, having the right mindset going into it like anything in life, the success is dependent on again, your own, your own input.

Right? Completely agree. Having that mindset and being able to listen to that feedback. And accepting it and wanting to incorporate that into your daily habits in your life. That’s that’s somebody that’s going to be that’s that’s somebody, in my opinion, that’s going to be quite successful regarding I would

Sarah: [00:31:12] totally agree.

There has to be a sense of willingness to want to be curious. They don’t, you don’t have to come in with already being vulnerable and already being brave. But the, I see my role is I am constantly flexing my clients range of being able to sit in the discomfort and the more that you widen your range and you’re able to sit in the discomfort when circumstances, aren’t what you want.

That’s when you’re going to leadership happens in the moment. That’s when you’re going to grow your leadership. And that is when you’re going to start to experience. More of what you want, but you’re right. There has to be a willingness. I had my eye for the first time I had a client leave. One of my groups, wildly bright client, lovely human being, her relationship to feedback, just didn’t jive with the way in which I coach that’s okay.

It’s not a make wrong, but there has to be a willingness there that really you know, really starts to. The person, not necessarily with the coach.

Scott: [00:32:22] No. Very interesting. So let’s, so let’s sort of finish on this note for people that have been, have been listening, and then I’ll ask you a couple of rapid fire questions that I like to get out of people, but yeah.

Any, any last advice for people that have ever thought of, because I know that the people that are listening to this, if they’ve, if they’ve thought about a coach, this’ll be something that will sort of get them to investigate further. If they, if they have no interest, if you said, if there’s no willingness, you’re not gonna, you’re not gonna convert that person to somebody.

Who’s probably going to look into it today, maybe in a couple months from now, but if there was never any willingness, then there’s probably not going to change their opinion. So I would say that for people that do want to look into this more. Those are the people that obviously those are the people that you want to guide down the right path.

What are things that they should, or shouldn’t what they should be looking for or what they should stay away from when they’re looking for a coach?

Sarah: [00:33:18] Yeah. Great question. If I understand it correctly, what should people look for if they’re looking for a coach?

Scott: [00:33:25] Yeah, but also like red, red flags, I guess.

So things that, like you said, there’s a low barrier to entry.

Sarah: [00:33:30] There’s a lot. So I think if you are clicking on ads on any social media and there’s a coach talking about how they grew six or seven figures in a year, I would say that’s a red flag. I think choosing a coach requires really also trusting your intuition and at the same time, It’s a relationship that has to go both ways.

So I know I spend a lot of time in conversation with people, really getting them and wanting to understand what’s working in their life and what isn’t working in their life. So I will spend, sometimes I spend several months with someone sometimes it’s over the course of a couple of years before we start working together.

So I don’t think it’s something that you rush into. I know for For me, what’s important because I invest in my coaching is that I want to work with coaches who invest in their own leadership. So there’s the running of a coaching business. And then there’s your coaching skills? The one that’s really important to me is working with a coach who, you know, is constantly investing in their own coaching skills because at the end of the day, You can’t, I believe you can’t take a client somewhere that you’ve never been.

So if I have not worked in my own discomfort and, and my own level of vulnerability and my own level of what the relationship to feedback, it’s going to be very difficult then for me to take someone where they need to go. So I would say, do your research take a look at what. You know, ask, you know, coaches that you’re in conversation with, what kind of coaching or do you work with a coach, you know, for starters and start to get clear?

The other thing is, I think what also gets what stops people is that, and I hear this a lot, both from men and women. I don’t know what I want. I just don’t know what I want. And then we get stuck in the, how I would say. Don’t stop there. Don’t let that get in the way of you pursuing a conversation with a coach.

I know for me, I spend a lot of time with my clients, helping them get clear on what that vision is. What would it look like for you to use your God-given talents? What would it look like to be in a relationship where you really feel heard and seen and connected that vision out here, and then looking at where you are, then it’s the job of the coach to close that gap.

But I think that’s one of the places where. If getting into a conversation with a coach and, and assessing, you know, how do we work together? What does this feel like? Does this, do I feel uncomfortable? Cause if you do in a good way, that’s a positive thing. If you’re in conversation with a coach and feel like they’re not challenging you and it’s easy peasy, I don’t think that’s going to get you the results that you want.

So it’s a it’s a process. And at the same time, it’s it requires both people to really do, do their homework.

Scott: [00:36:30] Good. Very good. Okay, so let’s do a couple of rapid fire just to pull some things from your career, people that are listening. What was the so there’s a little bit of, a little bit of a pivot.

So what was the biggest challenge in your career entrepreneurial or otherwise that you overcame and how did you do that?

Sarah: [00:36:50] The biggest challenge for me was when I moved to London and all of a sudden I was managing a team of Europeans and I was an American and I had to learn not only how to put deals together with different currencies, but I had to learn how to work with a team that all represented different cultures. And that’s where I noticed my leaders.

More than anything really mattered. If I needed to have a connection very quickly with this team, I needed to build trust with this team. The rest of the stuff would come with time, but I had to invest full on into the connection and the trust so that we could operate as a team and not just a budget.

Superstar individuals trying to sell. So I think that for me was, I mean, it was challenging, but at the same time it was, you know, wildly rewarding.

Scott: [00:37:50] Very good. What’s one person who’s a mentor. Who’s taught you something in your life that you’re thankful for, but also what is the thing that they taught you?

Sarah: [00:38:01] Oh my gosh. Can it be someone who’s not alive anymore?

Scott: [00:38:04] Yeah, of course.

Sarah: [00:38:06] Okay, great. Yeah, so I reflect, worked a lot on my grandfather. It was my mother’s dad. And the reason is because he had a lot of accolades. He went to MIT, he was head of international engineering at Boeing. But what I got from him was really his values and his values were unique to him.

But they stood out so much to me that that is what I, more than anything, that’s what I really experienced for him. So when I think about his legacy, while he did amazing things in the world and the physical world, what I loved so much was this idea of living with a service oriented heart valuing connection, both with colleagues and family valuing connection with the environment.

And so it just really became apparent to me. All the doing out there that I can do is wonderful, but what people are really going to remember is how I show up and, and relate to them and the impact that I have on them. And so I think about that all the time. And I, and I really think that came from the relationship that I had with him, but also watching him and how he interacted with people.

And I think it’s sort of a lost a lost art because we now live in a world that is so focused on. The physical world and what people are doing and you know, it just doesn’t carry weight compared to that.

Scott: [00:39:30] No, I understand. I understand like how that could be impactful, especially because you’re right. We’re in a, we’re in a, we’re more connected than ever before, but yet we’re also more distant I find than ever before.

So true.

Sarah: [00:39:45] Yeah. It’s such an interesting, yeah, it

Scott: [00:39:47] is. Okay. What’s one lesson that you would tell your 20 year old self.

Sarah: [00:39:55] Oh my gosh, stop trying to get it right. You know, you can always course correct, but trying to get it right. Limits experiences, it limits your own potential.

At the end of the day, it’s you can call, you can always call us. Correct. And I think I, you know, spent a lot of time trying to do the right thing and I’m finding now in my business, I’m much more courageous and I’ve certainly made mistakes and had programs that haven’t worked. And now I just can look at it.

And you know, my one thing I tell my team is it’s fine. If we make mistakes, as long as we harvest the gold from it and we identify it and we learned from. Then it’s all good. So I would think just, you know, stop trying to get it right. I love that. What does that even mean? Yeah,

Scott: [00:40:50] that’s a good point. That what is, what is right.

You know, you know, you’re always going to be doing new things, trying new things, learning new things. There’s no, there’s no finish line in life. You’re always doing different than more and whatever. Yeah. What’s a resource, a podcast or a book that somebody should go check out. That’s impacted you.

Sarah: [00:41:12] Oh my gosh.

This is like, you know, when someone asks you what your favorite movie is, and you’re like, yeah, you draw a blank. Oh, I have so many books, you know? Okay. Well, I have one sitting on my desk right now, so I’ll just roll with this one. I go back to this book all the time. Bernay Brown’s book dare to lead.

You know, I love, love that book. There’s a whole phenomenal section on leadership books that you can, you know, that you can get. But I also think I read a lot of memoirs and Brandy Carlisle is one of my favorite favorite singers. I grew up in Seattle. Done work. You know, I’ve known her for 20 years and even her memoir that came out this year, this spring called broken horses.

There’s amazing lessons in it. And so I guess what I would say to people is that if you are someone who doesn’t necessarily enjoy reading, like a tactical book with tools and habits, that’s fine. Pick up a memoir, pick up a book, you know, a memoir, something and just look at someone’s leadership and how they show up.

It interacts with your life. There’s beautiful lessons in that. Or Michelle Obama’s book is a great example of another book where just exquisite lessons. And so I. A slow reader, but I’d like to try to read 15 minutes every day. And I find just by doing that, it expands my, just my thinking and gets my creativity going.

And so I’m noticing all your books back there and I mean, there’s just so many out there. I have lots of resources. You can go to my website and, and, and look at my books. But I will say, I generally always have Renee Brown’s dare to lead book out on my desk and It’s a go-to, especially for my, you know, my creative world that I

Scott: [00:42:52] work with.

Very good. And last question. What does what does success mean to you?

Sarah: [00:43:03] I feel successful at, throughout the day. If I am staying true to my values, if I am out of integrity with my values. Then I won’t feel like a success. And so I keep my values on a note card next to me, or I’m actually my husband’s office today. But if I’m in my office, I’ve got them behind my, you know, behind my computer.

But I know for me, if I’m living from connection and my faith and impact and service, That I am going to feel a sense of a liveliness. So I guess at the very end of the day, I’m looking at the sense, a sense of a likeness for me, one of the worst experiences would be to get through my life and feel like I was either bored or underutilized, not using my God-given talents and that I was just asleep at the wheel.

And so when I say that out loud, I realized it has nothing to do. Owning a house kind of car. I drive the amount of money. Now. It’s not to say that I don’t like nice things. Of course I love nice things. I’d be lying. If I said that I didn’t I love making money. I always have. That’s why I’ve stayed in sales, but it’s, I’m been doing this long enough working in the real world to know that that’s not, what’s going to make me a success or feel successful.

But if I know align with my values, Then I feel pretty. I feel pretty darn

Scott: [00:44:34] good. You’re very, you’re very self-aware, which is that’s, that’s one of the, the one thing that

Sarah: [00:44:39] husband, that Scott, cause he’s like, remember what you do for a living. So I appreciate that. I can be a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black.

I am the first to say like any of my clients are like the coaches I work with. I, my humanity is my humanity and I make mistakes, but I will say I have a very strong toolkit that allows me to take a look at what I can be responsible for, but I too have my blind spots, but I have coaches that are reflecting back to that to me all the time.

And it’s super uncomfortable, but I love it because. The more that I see, the more that they help me see the water I’m swimming in the more that I can be of service to my clients or my boys or my husband or my family. So but I appreciate that, but it’s a work in progress, but I do commit to it. It’s something that I’m proud of.

But I, I put a lot of work and intention into it, for sure.

Scott: [00:45:41] No, it shows, I think that’s also one of the, one of those traits that India is a, is a leading indicator for success that when people, yeah, that’s a great,

Sarah: [00:45:52] yeah, that’s a really great point. You’re you’re right. We I guess I’m a little. I guess I’m a little jaded because I work with people all day who by nature are committed to becoming self-aware.

So I’ve kind of forgotten, but then all I have to do is get on the 4 0 5 and have someone cut me off. And then I’m like, oh, you know, I’m spiraling out. And I’m like, I’m not, I’m just like everybody else.

Scott: [00:46:14] All right. Most importantly, where do people go and connect with you? Your, your website, you know,

Sarah: [00:46:19] Yes.

So go to my website. It is Sarah gibbons.co not.com. And then of course you can connect with me at I’m on Instagram. I’m on Facebook. I do legacy talks. My Instagram is Sarah givens, co I have a legacy TA coming up this Wednesday. They are a live talk series that I do. Once a month it’s and the whole intention behind those conversations are to experience people’s legacy and leadership in the moment.

So they’re really fun. And it’s a really great opportunity to see the results of the coaching work that I do, but also to Ask questions and be a part of a really cool conversation. So follow me on social, drop me a line at my website, and I’m always up for having a conversation. If someone is listening and wants to learn more about coaching and experience my coaching we’ll get you in my diary and time set up, but please don’t sit there and, and, you know, feel anxious or overwhelmed or under utilized because I really am here to, to help you if you want.

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