An Empath and a Badass Walk Into a Meeting...

What happens when an empath hires a badass for coaching?

It’s not every day that deep and revealing moments happen in our businesses and lives. Often, we work to “move the needle” and “plant the seed” and all the other clichés. We wait to see if our efforts bear fruit. We grow impatient. But we grow because we want to live our life’s purpose and share our gifts with others so they can be better, stronger. We all want to discover—and live—with purpose and make meaningful contributions to the world.


When the stars align and we can answer Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” and the “why you do what you do” makes sense deep within our souls and not our heads, we’re on the right path. It’s our calling, our purpose for being here in this moment called life.     

So, here’s the truth. MY truth.

A client –a self-described empath entrepreneur—Heidi Armstrong in Austin—hired me because she wanted to learn how to pitch her story and get publicity for her business.

Two months ago, we quickly dove deep into tightening up her e-mail pitches, messaging and story. In just a few weeks, she accepted my challenge of getting at least one interview by the end of July. A competitive professional athlete, Heidi rose to the occasion and landed a fabulous placement with a TV reporter in Washington, D.C. Talk about momentum and confidence-building. I’m not easily impressed, but this was beyond good! My heart was full knowing Heidi was quickly getting the results she wanted.  

And I felt a sense of purpose and “WHY” doing the coaching work I love. Having a meaningful impact on another human being. I’ve been feeling energized and whole. Again.  

We had our weekly coaching call yesterday afternoon. In the morning, Heidi texted me that she has another interview lining up with a different TV reporter who likes her pitch. We would talk later, but in the meantime, both of us were doing the Happy Dance.

Something unexpected happened at the end of our call. I was floored. Heidi turned the tables on me.

She proceeds to thank me for all of my support and help and says this:

“Obviously we are different people and I’m working with you because you think very differently than I do. But there’s a whole other beautiful side to this story that you may or may not want to know. Working with you is helping me find my voice. It’s about so much more than what you can see.”

In that moment, I felt a deep sense of peace, meaning and alignment that I hadn’t experienced for a long time.

Let’s get real here. I’ve been rebranding my business this year. “Visibility” and “voice” are among my buzz words and keywords. The Donald Miller “StoryBrand” clarity moments have been helping me craft the coveted “one-liner” of what I do.   

It’s taken me a painfully long time to uncover my newfound “WHY.” For someone who has been writing news and storytelling for 30 years, you’d think I had this linguistic “stuff” down pat. Wrong. I discovered this past year that the language and words I’d been using were “outdated” Many people didn’t know what “PR” is??? But they know what WTH means?? This can’t be…But it was, and I was rebelling against reality and the shifts in my industry.

If I wanted to grow my business with online offerings so I can help more people, I had to keep up with the lingo, among other things. Me. The writer. The wordsmith. I had the words all wrong.   

Countless days have unfolded into months of frustration, confusion and self-sabotage. Breakthroughs have crashed as big and bad as the Hindenburg. It’s been more than a rebranding of my 20-year old media relations company. It’s been a therapeutic journey inward and one that I wasn’t truly prepared for.

But I’ve walked this planet long enough to understand that the most difficult lessons in life push us inward. The dark, introspective work has to be done in to bring growth, discovery, and, yes, even self-compassion. I joke with my sisters that our entire family tree is “missing the compassion gene.” This one lesson alone is a real doozey for me.      

Yet, Heidi, my coaching client, manages to connect the dots for my business in a short amount of time, and she conveys her insights and feelings to me raw and beautifully.

“Working with you is helping me find my voice. It’s about so much more than what you can see.”

It’s taken me an awfully long time to connect the dots in my own business. To find the right words. To be clear in my messaging, my mission, my purpose. Look, entrepreneurs and leaders need accountability partners, coaches and relationships that bring others in so we can get a fresh perspective, a new set of eyeballs to see what is often screaming so loudly in front of us that we cannot NOT pay attention to it.

It was a client who connected the dots for me.

I’ve been saying all along this re-branding journey that my core purpose—the mission of my company—is based on the Power of V-4. It’s my signature story when I speak to women’s groups:  

  • Vision
  • Values
  • Voice
  • Vulnerability

Women are biologically made (and wired) to nurture, to build homes and communities. We are life. That's why when I speak to women at events and webinars, I share the "Bonus V- is for va-jay-jay"--Oprah's word, not mine.)  

Yes, I birthed two human beings (now ages 26 and 23) who have shown me and taught me beyond my wildest imagination. Still, it’s my 3rd baby—my business—that has challenged me in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined.

It’s people like Heidi who connected the dots by simply being raw about what she said is the beautiful side to the visibility (PR) story.

“Working with you is helping me to unravel all of the messages I heard for four decades of my life.” Heidi continued: “I remember our 1st call. 30 minutes into it you told me: ‘You need to get out of your own head.’ And I thought –I love her; she’s exactly right.”

And that’s what happens when Heidi the empath meets a badass. We both learn. And we connect the dots so things make sense.


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