If you have been following me for a while and mainly know me from my work at 40+style, you may wonder why I also am so interested in personal development & business coaching.
Today I will tell you how why I became certified as a life coach and why personal development training is now part of all business coaching I offer.
Who is Sylvia?
First a quick introduction if you're not yet familiar with me.
I'm Sylvia, born in The Netherlands some time in the 60s.
After finishing an international marketing degree and working for several companies, I moved to Australia in 1997.
I quickly discovered that I didn't want to work for other people anymore and that I wanted to do something more tangible, more creative.
After some thorough soul searching, I decided that, since I understood marketing and was good with computers, I would teach myself web design.
Soon after, I set up my company Escala. That is STILL the name of my company today.
When I first heard about personal development
As a new entrepreneur I needed to learn how to make it successful so I started attending business events.
That's when I first heard of personal development and the concept of life coaching.
I became very interested in this topic and embarked on a personal development journey together with my husband. The programs I followed really helped me with my confidence and business skills. My business grew as a result.
I had a son and moved to Singapore
When I felt settled in my business and it started gaining momentum my husband and I decided that we were ready to start a family.
After a few bumps my son Luca was born in 2002.
Then, after 7 years in Australia, my husband got a great job opportunity in Singapore and we decided to move.
I was a bit reluctant at the time because I enjoyed my life in Sydney, but the adventurous part of me was all ready for it.
Since I could operate my business from anywhere I would just continue my business there.
Life in Singapore and China
We settled in Singapore and then after 1.5 years moved to China for 1.5 years. These were times of travel, making new friends and parenting.
At the same time I was working on my business. I still worked for my Australian clients and acquired new ones in Singapore and China.
However, when I moved back to Singapore after 1.5 years in Shanghai, I was ready for something different.
Working for clients on a per-hour basis still felt too constricted for me and I was essentially building other people's businesses with my skills. Also, if I didn't work, I didn't get paid. I wanted to build an asset that would earn passive income as well.
Exploring the world of business and personal development
I had always been interested in personal development as I have always wanted to grow as a person.
Some bad experiences in my youth left me with low self esteem and confidence issues and I had started to take personal development courses in Australia which had helped.
In Singapore I decided to get my certification in NLP.
Naturally, when I started to think of ideas of creating my own website, personal development and internet marketing were at the top of the list of my list of topics.
Internet marketing was an obvious choice as Marketing was my major at university and I had acquired lots of knowledge on this topic through my web design business.
At the time I decided against it, as I felt i needed more experience. I first needed to have created my own successful site.
My other favorite topic was personal development.
I started a site called Bestlifeweb and wrote articles for it on a regular basis.
My experimentation phase
The thing was, I also had multiple other topics I wanted to explore. I was truly multi-passionate.
Can you relate?
Here are just some topics I started websites on:
- Yoga retreats
- Leading your best life
- Getting fit while pregnant
- Beauty and wellness in Singapore
- How to be successful online
And this is not even the complete list.
I was managing a variety websites at the same time, while still managing websites for clients as well. I was all over the place really.
I got traction with a few of these websites, but none really took off and I was getting frustrated.
I knew I had all the skills to create a successful business with a website, I just hadn't found the right topic yet.
Discovering what I really REALLY wanted
I started looking inwards again to discover what I was REALLY passionate about and that I could be proud of.
Something that could be my ONE THING!
I had done this before in Australia which led to my web design business and I followed the same process this time.
I needed to find a topic I could write about every day, that I was passionate about, but also a topic that I was skilled at and that women wanted help with.
That's when I rediscovered my passion for style and fashion. This had been a red thread throughout my life.
I had wanted to study style and fashion when I was younger. I even studied a whole year through evening classes to get stylist certification.
I had completed the School of Color & Design.
I had a fabrics certification.
I was always getting compliments from other women on how I looked.
Once it clicked, it was like a lightbulb going off. I registered a domain name right away and I was off.
Putting all the experience of my 'failures' to good use
Since by now I had created many websites, I had learned so much about how to do it right.
Sure enough, within half a year I had 50,000 visitors and the site has been growing ever since. To date more than 20 million women have visited the site.
I've been running the site for 10 years now, built a team, created courses and challenges and served more than 1000 customers.
More than 31 million people have now visited my site.
It's become a great income stream with multiple passive income streams and it's a business that allows me to travel with gusto while still earning a good living.
The 7 year itch
Have you heard this phrase?
It definitely applies to my life.
A few years ago it definitely started to itch. I loved my site and my customers but I knew I wanted to go deeper.
I love how clothes and makeup can give women more confidence, but I wanted to give the women that confidence from within.
I want them to feel so confident about themselves that they don't always feel that they HAVE TO look put-together or put makeup on.
I want them to be able to fully express themselves and feel confident and live their true potential.
My other passions got in the way again!
Still my other passion, encouraging women to start a business, was still there.
Now that I had all the "proof" that I could make a website (that was not about making money) a success, I wanted to show others how to create an online business as well.
I wanted to show you how it IS possible to create a business from something you love.
I wanted to show you the power of the internet.
But this is what I discovered
However, as I started creating that business and started talking to customers and other women at conferences, I began to have doubts about the new business direction.
So many of these women had all the marketing skills they needed, but they were still taking course after course because they still didn't have the confidence to put all that they have learned into practise.
I'have certainly not been immune of doing this myself.
I realized that what most new entrepreneurs need is NOT new marketing skills and tools, but help with their mindset, confidence and beliefs.
They need help in managing their mind.
I didn't want to be the person to sell them yet another course, only for them to fail again and not make their money back.
Again, I wanted to be authentic even though there is a chance that this is not the message you may want to hear.
What you prefer to hear is then you follow these 5 steps, you will make a million dollars.
The truth is though, that's now how it works.
Switching to mindset training
That's when I decided that I return to personal development and switch to mindset training. I became a certified Life Coach and the Self Confidence Formula was born.
My new training is a 4 step process to help you build true self confidence. It's a proven process that I have personally used and tested with clients and it will help you in all areas of your life.
It will help you tap into your truest, fullest potential!
Now I have come full circle and am in the process of developing a business program that offers comprehensive business training that focuses on a business that fits your lifestyle. For most people, that includes a business with passive income streams.
Personal development and mindset topics are still an important part of the business journey so those will get attention too.
I have learned SO MUCH in my 20 years of being an entrepreneur and online publisher
I have learned:
- to let go of my perfectionism;
- to love myself and know that I'm 100% worthy;
- that failure is just another word for learning;
- that others cannot make me feel anything without my consent;
- to be uncomfortable, but to see it as a necessary part of growth;
- how to build a profitable online business;
- how to manage my time and get everything done;
- how to help others get clarity and build the life they want;
- how to postpone instant gratification so I can achieve my bigger goals which is ultimately a lot more satisfying;
- how to delegate and trust in others.
I'm still learning every day and will never stop learning.
Learning, developing myself and growing as a person is one of the great pleasures in my life.
i believe that everyone benefits from having a coach
We all get stuck sometimes.
We are so used to our own thinking brain that we often don't see other possibilities or realities.
Plus, in business coaching especially, your coach may have lots of experience in areas that you still need to grow.
A coach will be able to pinpoint where your current mindset or business blocks are and will help you resolve them.
A coach is not a therapist. A coach is very future focused and largely works with people who are generally healthy, but feel that they can use extra support to overcome some of their blocks or get support in achieving their goals.
Investing in your mind is the best investment you can make
I've learned so much over the years.
One of my most vivid memories is when I started on this journey of self-development.
I was doing a course and our assignment was to stand in front of everyone and tell them the 3 things we liked best about ourselves.
I broke down instead. I trembled, I cried.
I just couldn't do it.
That's when I realized how low my self esteem was and that I had work to do. I went through the course and made a plan, started self coaching and started to do hard things. You can read the full story here.
Now, 25 years later I'm such a different person.
And I just read through my mission statement that I wrote 25 years ago and what I wanted to achieve in my life. it has all come true!
And I don't think I would be where I am today if I hadn't invested in my mind.
Want to know more?
As mentioned I'm going to be sharing a lot more over the coming months and years about everything that I learned, and that I believe will help you too.
If you want to be sure not to miss anything, get yourself on my newsletter list.
How do you feel about coaching? Is it something you would ever consider for yourself?
Let me know in a comment below!
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