Going Costume-free

Just before starting my business, I had what I would describe as a stuffy research job. An ivy league university employee, it looked good on paper. But good god! It was all wrong for me.

In theory I could have hunkered down like those around me were doing, and embraced the cushy life of a retirement-track university employee, though I never seriously considered it. My soul would have needed to die to endure that haul. I was adamantly unwilling to be another retired zombie who played it safe.

My mantra was, “For now, not forever.”

Often, while sitting at my desk, just feet from where my supervisor sat, I’d be chomping at the bit waiting for the clock to hit 5:00 so I could leave. More often than not, I’d finished my work hours earlier, but I was clock-bound nonetheless – something I always found stupid, belittling, and maddening.

I strongly dislike being micro-managed, and the rigidity around how, when, and where I did my work felt utterly confining. Maybe you relate?

While others did a good job at looking busy, I was planning my escape, fueled by a disgruntled disdain for the need to pretend.

I distinctly recall staring at a crack in the wall and fantasizing about being a spider that could sneak through the crack and escape.

This inspired my Halloween costume that year, Tara the spider.

(2003) This silly photo was taken by my friend Carianne, at a Halloween party, in her kitchen. She was a disco ball. I slithered, she spun. Good times. Looking at it now, I see a woman caught in her own web, which sort of underwrites the desire for freedom that inspired the costume. But nonetheless, my low-budget costume was an outlet for expression, trusting I’d find a way out.

In an attempt to make it fun and keep my spirits up, I told myself, “Tara, you love Halloween and theater, so put on your research assistant costume (which generally involved a plain button-down shirt) and go play the part of a 9-5 university employee.”

This privately held inside joke – with myself – helped me to reel in my bad attitude.

“For now, not forever,” I reminded myself. “Pretend that this is all just a character study aided by a boring costume and unnecessary meetings.”

This helped. But as much as I love Halloween (a lot), I didn’t like wearing the same costume five days a week!

Have YOU ever felt like you were wearing a costume or playing a role meant for someone else?? 

Truth is, I’d had quite a bit of practice. It wasn’t the first time I felt this way.

As far back as I can recall, I’ve felt like I was being asked to fit into a mold that simply didn’t fit. From very young, I’d always questioned parents, teachers, bosses, even friends, about status quo expectations and norms that seemed foolish to march in step with when there were such obvious alternatives – to me, at least.

I soon learned they weren’t obvious to everyone, which had me feeling that much more like a rare bird in a cage.

In a very real sense, when, in 2004, I decided to start a location-independent business and chart my own course, it was the beginning of the rest of my life.

I dreamed of having the freedom to travel when and where I pleased. From day one in my business, I worked with clients remotely — even if they lived in the same city! Back then, smartphones weren’t in every pocket, the internet was not accessible everywhere, internet marketing wasn’t mainstream, and the term “digital nomad” had not even been coined.

I’ve helped thousands of people, spanning five continents, to go beyond striving and wishing and “someday-ing,” to create a life they truly can’t wait to get up and out of bed for in the morning – a life and business they don’t need a vacation from. And yet even all these years later, it’s work I still love.

I assure you, I know how it feels to be cast in a role that, in your heart of hearts, you know will always feel confining or contrived, and will only lead to restlessness, frustration, and dissatisfaction.

Determined not to live this way, I broke free.

I learned how to manifest horizons and implement energy management tools that changed my life forever. I cracked the code on travel and mobility, making the world my office and busting the myth that home is a zip code. I learned how to build a business from the ground up and create wealth on my own terms.

Today I help clients master and create these very things.

And I no longer wear unwanted costumes.

I love my coaching clients. I don’t love the coaching industry.

I love my coaching clients. I don’t love the coaching industry.

I love my coaching clients.  I don’t love the coaching industry.
More than 16 years as a coach, I see so much in my industry that is problematic, unethical, or just plain false … all of which makes it incredibly hard for a prospective client to discern who the heck can actually help them.
This is deeply concerning to me.
But this article isn’t about that.
One common standard for success and measure of results-orientened coaching is dollars.
One problem with this is that true wealth is NOT measured in dollars. You don’t have to look far to find unhappy, stressed-out people with money. And more money is not their solution.
I coach my clients to create a no-vacation-needed life.
In doing this, I hold firm to the big picture dreams for their life. I remind us both periodically that a goal without a dream is a recipe for dissatisfaction, and that money alone does not a dream make.
This said, when money comes through aligned action – yeh!
Earning money doing work you love is cause for celebration – woot!
Successfully working smarter not harder is reason for a happy dance hoedown.
Two of my clients this week had big wins in this department and I am so friggin’ proud of them.
One client hired me to help her turn something she loves and “would do for free” into a business.
Yesterday was our kick-off session.
Step one in this realm requires understanding that the fact that you love doing something doesn’t in any way minimize the value it provides for others. By the end of our call, she had prices for her services and a plan to tell people about it.
Less than 24 hours later, she has two paying clients. Woot!
She said saying her price out loud was hard.  It’ll get easier…
Another client of mine and I have been strategizing about how she can work smarter not harder in her business. The goal around building her business is to intentionally allow her more time-freedom. Yesterday we celebrated that AFTER paying a new team member, her business made $2240 off of that team member’s effort, with little to no time required from my client. Go girl!
We’re now putting wheels in motion for her to bring on yet another contractor and do it again, x2. Repeat, repeat, repeat, scaling her business by building her team so that my client can focus on bringing in new contracts and customer care, while her team does the bulk of the work.
One more …
Last week, another client wrote to me with this realization: “My business HAS provided me with the time and money freedom to pour into my family and to be the mother I want to be for my daughter. This makes me very, very happy, proud, and grateful.”
This is wealth.  >>> Doing work you love, leveraging your time through team building, and feeling supported and able to really pour yourself into family and the people that mean the most to you.
Now, to be very clear, my clients created these results.
I merely coached them.
Their results are THEIRS.
Too often, I see coaches claim responsibility for their clients results. This is not only an act of hubris, it’s wrong. Especially when those very same coaches are first to say that they are not responsible for the lack of results that other clients of theirs received.
Anyway, I am really friggin’ proud of my clients and so honored to be able to contribute and serve and play a supporting role in their progress and success — as defined by them.

How I’m NOT writing a book – and why you’re invited!!!

 

 

I made this video for you while in Taos, New Mexico.

In it, I share:

    √ A great big dose of high-desert soul soothing goodness

    √ A true confession about something I do in my sleep

    √ An invitation to join my unique new project

    √ How I’m rewriting the rules – and how you can too!

Click HERE for all the details and to join!

Big love,

Tara

 

Make the story GOOD.

What makes a life well lived?

Six months after embarking on a nomadic living experiment (turned lifestyle), I made this video, reminiscing about apartment living and stresses of the lifestyle I used to live … while sitting on one of my favorite beaches exploring ideas about what makes a well-lived life.

I think it’ll make you smile and maybe even learn something.  Enjoy!

Have you grown accustomed to a bit too much of the same-old-same-old?  Routines can provide comfort and stability, but they can also cause your mind – and your life – to go into autopilot.

You don’t have to settle for status quo expectations and life on autopilot.

This doesn’t need to feel mysterious. Apply these simple powerful strategies and you can make your life what you dream it can be. Life so good you can’t wait to get up and out of bed for it in the morning…

And it’s my gift to YOU >>> Claim the FREE Dream Acceleration Strategies training video I made – with love and behavior modification know-how.  😁

Claim it now and start today to put these 9 simple powerful strategies to work for YOU on behalf of your best, most story-worthy life!  (You’re welcome.)

 

xo

Tara Sage

Before Hiring a Coach, Read This.

Before Hiring a Coach, Read This.

I’m Tara Sage, and I believe in transparency.  As you may or may not know, the coaching industry is unregulated. There are many coaches who do not want you to know this. I DO.
 
Behind the scenes, there is great debate in the industry as to whether it matters if a “coach” has formal training. Some argue that life experience is all that’s needed. Others say formal education is the answer. Some say coaching is an art, others say it’s a science.
 
On your behalf, I say … the “either/or” mentality around this topic concerns me deeply.
 
As a full-time coach, in business since 2004, I have coach training + a BA in Psychology with a behavior modification specialty + a Masters degree in Holistic Leadership.
 
At the time of this posting (July 2019), I’m a few days away from my 44th birthday, marking 44 years of life experience. Over the years, I’ve had a wealth of life experience and certainly no shortage of “school of hard knocks” lessons learned. I’ve traveled extensively, left a marriage that was full of dishonesty, dug myself out of debt, built a business from the ground up, and many more personal milestones. All invaluable.
 
Prior to becoming a coach, I was told many times that I am “gifted”, a “natural coach.” Natural ability is fine and great, and following its lead as we each choose a vocation, makes a whole lot of sense.
 
BUT – just like I want my doctor to: be someone I feel comfortable with, have graduated at the top of their class, AND have good bedside manner … given the wealth of “coaches” to choose from, I personally see no reason or logic behind hiring a coach who is lacking both professional training and a wealth of life experience.
 
While a piece of paper does not a professional make (it’s no secret that there are plenty of terrible doctors, teachers, etc who have earned degrees) … and while I do not in any way diminish the value of life experience, the bottom line is: life experience is not one and the same with coach training.
 
I have personally witnessed “coaches” who have basic misinformation and misunderstanding about what coaching is. Unfortunately, this misinformation gets perpetuated by others who, despite good intentions, also lack the proper training and understanding.
 
As it stands, anyone can hang a shingle – without training, checks or balances. No bueno.
 
Life experience does not make training unnecessary. All it does is water down the credibility of the industry – my industry. Coaching is a learned skill, one that goes far beyond advice-giving and personal lessons learned.
 
Done well, it is immensely powerful. A skilled coach knows the intricacies of how to unlock the psychology and the wherewithal for a client to have their own success.
 
To emphasize my point, I personally have never:

  • moved to Costa Rica
  • bought a dream yacht
  • sold $2.5M in real estate in the first year as an agent
  • lead a mindfulness meditation program
  • sailed around Antarctica
  • successfully negotiated a salary 40% higher than the one she was going to ask for before coaching
… or any number of the things my magnificent clients have succeeded at.
 
And yet – I have coached clients to accomplish these very things successfully.
 
HOW could I have coached people to do countless things that I have never personally done or experienced?  >> It is through the application of universal coaching principles and techniques, things I learned through training.
 
My education and training is as wide as it is deep. Sometimes I go by professional titles other than Coach, like, for example: Life Strategist, Leadership Trainer, Business Consultant. All are true. In addition to my having a Masters degree in Holistic Leadership and a Bachelors degree in Psychology, I also earned a certificate from one of the first coach training institutes worldwide, back when there were only three to pick from.  
Add to that … 15+ years in a business built primarily on referrals that resulted from happy clients who sent their friends, and, darn it – not only do I want to help you succeed, I have a strong application, orientation, foundation and track record for how to do so.
 
My professional education + 15 years in business + countless client success stories = QUALIFIED. 
 
Given the lack of industry regulation, unfortunately the burden falls on the client to discern which “coaches” are qualified and which are not. Many unsuspecting clients find themselves buying a service that, in actuality, the practitioner is not qualified to deliver.  
 
Despite the charlatans in our midst, be assured: there are many highly skilled, highly qualified coaches – myself included – who are ready to serve you in the highest way.
 
If you’d like to explore this further, claim a comp session and let’s hop on the phone together.
Whether you join one of my programs and decide to work with me or someone else … here’s my recommendation: With so many coaches to choose from, ONLY hire those who have both professional coach training and a wealth of life experience.
 
To your success,
Tara Sage
 
[Please feel free to share this message if you think it might serve others. Thanks for reading!]