On a good day, I felt restless. On a bad day, I felt like a caged animal.
Exasperated, I came home from work to my dark, musty, basement apartment – a glaring reminder that I was not just figuratively, but literally, underground. Drowning in student loan debt, I rarely answered my phone because collection agencies were calling me daily. Trying to find my way in the world wasn’t easy. Emotional and practical baggage of difficult family dynamics and estrangement seemed to be hitting me all at once. I felt like a victim of circumstances, dealt an unfortunate hand, profoundly alone in my struggles.
The job I begrudgingly got at an Ivy League university to establish some stability, looked good on paper, but my soul was dying, a little more every day. The last hour or so of each day was especially hard. Often finishing my work early, I’d sit at my desk waiting for the clock on the wall to say 5:00 so I could leave. I absolutely hated that.
Things were done in inefficient ways for no reason other than it’s the way they’d always done it. This felt archaic to me, but rethinking conventions wasn’t welcomed or encouraged. And the starched button-down shirt I wore, because I thought I should, felt like a straight-jacket, a costume that belonged to someone else – but not me. It all felt like an insult to my personal integrity, pride, and instinct for innovation.
I knew I couldn’t stay.
While going through the motions on all the things I thought I was supposed to do, I was losing myself. On autopilot, I’d drive to work, or the grocery store, or the gym (when I could get myself to go) feeling more and more disconnected from who I was. I wasn’t challenged, or inspired. I felt contained, micro-managed, and caught in status quo games that I didn’t want to play.
Truly, I felt like I was drowning, and I knew no one was coming to save me.
Underneath my restlessness and frustration, was a growing sense that I was meant for MORE, that this couldn’t possibly be all I was meant to do, be, or have.
I knew I needed to take the reins and reshape my life, to reshape my reality, to figure out how to not live in a basement apartment forever, to create a life that was my own, that reflected the truth of who I was.
It was from that dark, musty basement apartment that I gazed out that teeny-tiny window with a view of the sidewalk and the tires of cars passing by … and I’d dream.
I dreamed of having the freedom to travel when and where I please. Longing to work from anywhere, I dreamed of having my own location-independent company. I dreamed of a home with lots of natural light. Knowing I had books within me, I dreamed of becoming a bestselling author. I dreamed of wealth on my own terms. I dreamed of finding love. And I dreamed of having time and energy for creativity and play. I dreamed of making a positive impact, serving others in meaningful ways that made their life better. I dreamed of being myself without boundaries.
The voice of my soul, and seeds of my own self-actualization, were surfacing.
There was a huge difference between the caged, soul-crushing, autopilot life I felt constrained and uninspired by, and my dreams.
The problem was I couldn’t figure out HOW and where to find a bridge between the two.
A few things were missing, and when I finally figured those out, everything changed. Quickly.
What was MISSING was…
- Belief that my dreams were possible – that dreams were not just for other people, but for me
- A way to see and transform my blind spots and expand my thinking
I needed to step up for myself, rather than waiting around for things to change, or others to approve. I needed to go from complaining about what my life currently was, to becoming the person that COULD and WOULD move out of it.
What I needed to LEARN was …
- How to manage my energy
- What to do with fear
- How to navigate naysayers
I needed the skills and support to take the REINS on my life, to listen to my heart, and really take ownership of the life I dreamed and envisioned for myself. I needed to get out of my head, stop fear from running the show, and shift my focus from all the seeming limits of my current circumstances to finding strategies and ways forward that I couldn’t yet see but chose to believe were there to be found.
What I needed to DO was …
- Get the right support
- Take brave consistent action
- Show up fully for what I was saying I wanted
I needed support from someone who’d been there. I needed perspective OUTSIDE what I’d already tried, a shift out of what had created the life I had, and into creating the totally different life I wanted.
So, I got support. And I changed my thinking. And I became a different version of me.
Spoiler alert: It worked.
Not only have I achieved my “impossible” dreams and the freedom I so craved, I have built a business and a profoundly fulfilling, decades-long career around helping others rethink conventions, chart their own course, live their dreams, rediscover themselves, and realize what’s possible.
I help you create the life you think you cannot have.
Your dreams, like mine, are fuel on your path to self-actualization.
The first step along the way to THAT life? Want the key to reclaiming what’s missing, to create everything you want for yourself, to finally make that change? >> The Only Skill You Ever Need
PS – You know what doesn’t suck? I’m in San Francisco this week to attend a women’s leadership conference where my company is a sponsor and where my book is featured in the swag bag given to every attendee. 😊 Proof that dreams come true.
Ready for that dream life of yours? Grab my totally free and totally updated Only Skill You Ever Need guide and bonus chapter. It goes through exactly how to KNOW what you want, GET what you want, where to start, and how to face the uncertainty along that climb from where you are now to the life of your dreams.
I don’t call myself a Business Coach.
Even though I’ve been running my own company for nearly 20 years.
And even though I’ve coached numerous clients to create and build their businesses.
Like Martha, who, when we first connected, felt she’d “already done the inner work to move beyond fear” and that “all she needed was nuts and bolts business development advice.” I helped Martha identify subtle beliefs that were holding her back from thinking bigger. We then rebranded the various aspects of her business into one unified message and expanded her product offerings. The result: In addition to feeling more confident as a business owner, fulfilled and aligned with her sense of purpose, Martha reported: “In my first year with Tara as my coach, my sales revenues increased by 117%. As of this writing, now in my second round of coaching with Tara, my first quarter revenues alone (during my quiet time of year) are up 46% over last year. Thanks to Tara, I’ve created a business that is unique to me and I have not had to compromise!“
^ From this testimonial alone, I could call myself a business coach.
When someone is struggling in their business, it is completely understandable for them to think that a better social media marketer, or strategist, or new business coach is what is needed.
But – what my clients have found is that the real difference comes from a shift within THEM.
Another client, Cathie, dreamed of being a consultant for nonprofits, but she wasn’t clear on how to earn what she needed and attract the right clients while also maintaining the kind of work:life:family balance she wanted. Cathie and I mapped out her unique service process, packages, and plan (the 3 P’s) to create $240k in revenue, serving in a way that aligned with her “Big WHY” – all with just 7 client organizations and 4-day work weeks.
BUT – before any of this awesomeness was possible, her WHY needed to be clarified, she needed to learn how to manage her energy differently, and (perhaps most important of all) she had to self-identify as having what it takes to BE a successful business owner!
Her words: “Through Tara’s wise and focused support I have more energy than I’ve ever had, a clear plan to grow my business, more time to pursue a life outside of work, and I’ve learned to ask for and RECEIVE powerful support from other people. … Every day I wake up and am thrilled to be doing what I love! And I know there is so much MORE to come!”
Then there’s Friderike, who was able to double her income and generate her best revenue year ever! And, she added, “I didn’t kill myself in the process and had fun with it.”
✴ Despite all of this AND the fact that people tend to be far more willing to pay top dollar for business coaching than life coaching, I still don’t call myself a Business Coach. ✴
Because experience has taught me that you really can’t separate life coaching from business coaching, ESPECIALLY if the ultimate goal is a fulfilling and satisfying life.
And that’s certainly my goal for my clients. No matter who I’m coaching.
But – in order for that to happen, life and business MUST work together.
Yes, we strategize. Of course we strategize! Yes, we adapt and customize business models. And we most certainly create plans, test new approaches, and map out action steps – all to help ensure desired outcomes.
But even more than THAT … it’s the internal shifts, personal shifts in how you think, prioritize, and choose to spend your time and energy. This is what makes everything better, easier, bigger, and more powerful.
Businesses benefit from life coaching because business owners (like Martha, Cathie, Friderike, and numerous others), benefit from life coaching.
Just as non-business owners benefit from life coaching.
When ‘the Business of Life’ thrives, YOU thrive.
Having the support of a skilled coach who knows how to create transformation within your personal psychology and help you live a fulfilling, impactful, joyful life creates a ripple effect, beneficial to every area of your LIFE – from your relationships, to your health, to your business, or whatever career path you may choose.
Like Melissa, who shared that before connecting with me she’d “spent the majority of life doing things for all the wrong reasons.” Though she very much wanted success, she wasn’t sure where or how to focus her energy. Together, we uncovered a belief she had that was holding her back: that success was hard and that it meant sacrifice – none of which (understandably!) was how Melissa wanted to live.
Upon realizing that her dream is not one particular passion but, rather, a passion for how she wanted to live (free to decide her own schedule, with autonomy and plenty of time for not just work, but for herself, her friends and her family) it became clear that real estate encompassed all the things she wanted out of a career, while also allowing her the freedom to live life the way she’d dreamed she could. In Melissa’s first year as a real estate agent, she made over $2.5 million in sales! And, to quote her, “the really amazing thing is … it felt effortless and FUN.”
Having this kind of support on your side is invaluable and goes way beyond business!
Bottom line: None of this is unique to business owners. Whatever you’re up to, coaching together can help!
I am a coach who’s not afraid to ask the hard questions. I’m a coach who has an astutely attuned ear. I don’t let you stay on the track of old thought patterns and behavior patterns that aren’t serving you. Together, we stop, look at it, shine a light on it, name it, deconstruct it, and then implement new strategies and build new habits in those areas where a break in the old pattern is going to support you far better. (a.k.a. brule breaking)
It’s who I am. I see what goes unnoticed by most. As I learn your personal psychology, and I learn what your go-to behaviors are, and I see the default path that your thoughts and beliefs tend to follow over and over and over again, and I pinpoint the assumptions you make over and over again … opportunities for the applied psychology of change abound!
That’s the fun part. 😊
Yes, your business may grow in the process. But that’s not ever going to be the primary measure of your success – or, frankly, mine.
There’s one more piece to what really makes private coaching such a powerful combination: LOVE. I adore my clients. It’s why I don’t stand for them standing for their own BS. It’s why I lovingly help them see that. It’s why pattern interruption strategies are a must when what’s been happening isn’t serving.
And, lastly, I believe it’s why my clients trust me to do the deep work. To tell me the truth, even when it’s hard or has shame attached to it.
They know that I have their best interests at heart. They know I’m not here to judge them. In fact, in large part, what I do is help them understand how NORMAL what they are feeling shame about IS, and how wonderful it is that their bravery to share it anyway is already a break in the old pattern.
With this shared understanding, and my decades of education, training, and tools for how to apply the psychology of change in a customized way, it then becomes easy to team up and help my clients effectively apply new practices and make new choices and see new possibilities that allow them to grow, to meet and exceed their goals, and make their dreams happen – business or otherwise.
Are you next?
Go HERE to read the full testimonials of these clients and others, and, if you’d like, claim a complimentary Assessment Call so we can connect 1:1 and explore how I might serve YOU – and your professional goals and aspirations too. 😉
One key part of my mission is to turn complex behavioral and psychological concepts into suuuuuper accessible, user-friendly, easy-to-apply strategies that help you experience more joy and wellbeing in your life.
Because I love you and want you to thrive.
Because you don’t need to have studied this stuff for years or have degrees in behavioral psychology to learn from someone who does … that is, so long as that person (me) keeps it REAL and breaks things into simple, relatable, straight-talking micro-steps that make your life better.
So. That’s what I’m committed to.
With this said, can we talk about breakfast for a minute?
What I love about breakfast, besides the eating part, is that it’s a habit we ALL have.
Regardless of WHAT you eat. (This is not a message about your diet.)
Regardless of WHEN you eat. (Perhaps you fast until 2pm, or eat early. Do you.)
Unless you’re in the midst of a daylong fast … somewhere in the course of your day, I’m going to assume you, quite literally, break-fast.
From an applied psychology perspective, this is great news for two reasons:
- Because eating breakfast has built-in rewards … namely, that hunger gets satisfied, but also the pleasure of happy taste buds. (a.k.a. positive reinforcement)
- Because eating your first meal of the day is part of your routine. (a.k.a. conditioned behavior pattern, an established habit)
Here’s how this simple, daily, built-in habit provides you with a fabulous opportunity:👇
The behavioral and brain science is clear. Changing habits is most effective when you add a new habit (as opposed to trying to stop an old habit).
Let’s say, for example, that you aspire to:
- read more books, or
- build more physical strength, or
- learn a new language, or
- prepare more healthy meals, or
- start a meditation practice, or
- (fill in the blank with something that’s true for you)…
Since breakfast is an already established habit, it presents a PERFECT opportunity for you to add, in an effort to build on and establish more helpful habits into your routine.
For example, you might add …
- 30 minutes of reading, or
- 50 squats, or
- a Duolingo lesson, or
- making a big salad so it’s ready to eat for lunch, or
- 10 minutes of meditation, or
- whatever new habit will best support your goals
… all BEFORE you get rewarded by having breakfast.
To be clear, I recommend picking ONE thing you’ll add to your routine. ONE thing you decide you’re going to be sure to do BEFORE you eat breakfast. I also recommend doing it for at least 7 days, consistently, before considering adding any other new habits to the mix.
So, what supportive new habit will YOU add to your pre-breakfast routine? I’d love to hear!
Small changes add up. And small steps – if they’re the right steps – can be absolutely transformative: they build your confidence, they break old patterns, they free up energy, and they make you that much more ready and able to take on the bigger stuff.
Want to learn more ways to disrupt old patterns, build positive new habits, establish expansive new levels of empowerment, and experience a new kind of freedom in your life?
JOIN ME for my upcoming in-person special event where we’ll not only break bread, we’ll break brules! 😉 Click here to learn more and claim your seat at the table!
Brule is not just a sassy word to know, it’s also a word to understand!
On September 23rd, I’ll be sharing something I’ve never before shared publicly: a personal story about navigating a huge blind spot. Other than the exception of a few close friends, I never imagined I’d be telling this story. After some debate, I’ve decided to do it for one reason: it is the best way I know to demonstrate a teaching that has the power to change lives.
So share, I will. And – you’re invited to be in the room when I do.
Inspired by my book, The Brules of Life, I am hosting The Brule Breakers Brunch – a special in-person gathering for people who want to break the “brules” that hold them back from the life they desire.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, “brule” is sassy slang, for bullsh*t rules. 😜 BUT – it’s so much more than a sassy word!
Brules are psychological and behavioral blind spots that impede and prevent people from thriving. And they’re sneaky. They tend to hide in plain sight! (read: We ALL have them!)
Like, for example, “Be independent” is a brule. Independence is a lie. A delusion. A myth. An impossible goal given that the truth of our interdependence is inherent and unavoidable, with evidence of this fact everywhere! (See chapter 7 in The Brules of Life for more on this critical brule to break, especially if you’re someone who feels stubborn pride – as I did before I busted through this brule – about your so-called “independence.”)
The brules that tend to hold us back the most are the ones that SEEM true and therefore go unquestioned and remain a blind spot in your unconscious, impeding you from thriving.
Blind spots happen when “brules” become embodied beliefs.
Understanding the significance of what this word really means and really represents for YOU is critically important to everything you desire in life … because seeing a blind spot and breaking even ONE brule can change the trajectory of your entire life.
It did mine!
Brule is a sassy word to know AND understand!
What if … you are just one shift, one decision, one brule-busting breakthrough away from everything you want?
I will be presenting at a special first-of-its-kind event in Exeter, New Hampshire (1 hour from Boston, 2 hours from Providence, 30 minutes from Portsmouth Airport).
JOIN ME for this special in-person event!
In addition to good food, new friends, raffle prizes and presents, you will learn:
- the applied psychology of brule-breaking
- how to go beyond seeming “limits” to create the life you think you cannot have
- how to powerfully deconstruct any brule
- the top 3 brules to break and how breaking them can open the door to a new kind of freedom.
This is an intimate event – space is very limited.
If you can be there, great! Save your seat here. I can’t wait to see you!
If you can’t be there on September 23 but still want to learn more about brules … I’ve got something for you too: Grab my FREE Book of Brules bonus chapter,The Only Skill You Ever Need. Learn the skill that makes all the difference, especially if dreaming feels carefree in ways that you do not.
Every time I sit down to write to you, my goal is (1) to provide thoughtful ways for you to feel more free and get to know yourself better, (2) to inspire you to trust your dreams more than your fears/more than you did yesterday and (3) offer some ideas for how to develop the personal habits and actions that make those dreams REAL.
In this bonus chapter, I believe I have done all three.
To success on your own terms,
This accidental poem fell out of my mouth during a recent client coaching call:
“You don’t have to hate it, to delegate it.”
(I’m a poet and I didn’t even realize it. 😉)
Look, here’s the thing: Just because you’re *able* to do something, and just because you don’t totally dislike doing that thing, does not mean it is best that YOU do it.
Hear me on this!
Competency does not = required to be done by you.
In other words, just because you CAN does not mean you HAVE TO.
** Most people assume (or at least act like) it does. Consider this one more way you can be different than the masses and color outside the lines of groupthink. **
Another common belief that often trips people up is the belief that you need to be rich to start handing off your “things I’m capable of doing but don’t necessarily adore doing” list.
No. You do not need to be rich.
What you do need, though, is to be willing to realign your priorities.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if I asked you “What do you want so badly it hurts?” and “What do you wish you could devote your energy to 100%?” … that the following things would NOT be on that list:
- Grocery shopping
- Paying bills
- Troubleshooting with tech support in an online chat
- Getting your printer to work
- Sitting on hold with customer service
… just to name a few.
One thing my private clients and I often work on together is building their Dream Team – their support team – because, truth be told, the ONLY way to ever even come CLOSE to doing the top things you wish you could devote all your energy to… is going to require that you:
(1) get super efficient with your time
(2) be super discerning and diligent about how you manage your energy, and
(3) that you delegate tasks to others
Nothing shoots your dreams and joys in the foot faster than “I have to do everything by myself” beliefs.
In order to free your time, your energy, your creativity, and in order to be able and available to focus on and DO more of what you’re wanting to … you’ll need to stop with the “I do it all” nonsense. (Bossy, I know. I’m not sorry about it. I’m on your team!)
So, to help with this effort, today I’m sharing a few valuable tips and tools so that you can experience MORE of the delights and benefits available to you – all by intentionally simplifying, outsourcing, systematizing, and delegating. Yay!
Please note: None of the links below are referral links. I don’t earn anything for referring you to these websites or companies. I share because I care. (Hey, another poem!) 😊
Ok, here they are, in no particular order:
- TaskRabbit – An online marketplace that matches freelance labor with local demand, allowing customers to find help with everyday tasks, including furniture assembly, moving, delivery, and handyperson work.
- Fiverr – This online platform connects freelancers to people or businesses looking to hire for a diverse range of skills, delivered virtually.
- Upwork – Like Fiverr, this online platform connects freelancers to people or businesses looking to hire for a diverse range of professional services, from short projects to full-time positions.
- Geeksquad – Offering both in-person and remote support to solve computer problems, get troubleshooting support for a range of products and tech questions, or finally learn how to use all the buttons on that remote control. 🙂
- FancyHands – This online platform connects you with a large team of virtual assistants able to get tasks done for you, day and night.
- Peapod – A great time-saver that allows you to order your groceries online and have them delivered to your doorstep, be it once a week or once a month.
- Rover – This worldwide online marketplace is a global network for pet care. No matter where you are, you can book a trusted person to care for your cat, or walk your dog, be it day-time services or overnight care.
Lord knows, there are countless ways to use technology to support you!
Like, for example…
- Maybe you set up automated payments for all your monthly bills (resulting in one less to-do on your list).
- Maybe you set Alexa to play your favorite workout playlist at the exact time you’ve promised yourself you’ll exercise.
Speaking of exercise, do you have a gym membership? If so…
- Go VIP by springing for a locker rental. Get yourself duplicates of your favorite shampoo, deodorant, etc. and store them in your locker along with a few outfits, protein shake mix, and whatever else helps you feel supported. This way, each time you go to the gym, you can go directly from the gym to wherever you’re headed next with one less thing you need to think about or plan ahead for. This’ll help ensure you get your workout in and have more ease in your day.
Decide that you are worth it.
Little decisions to invest in yourself add up and can make a big difference!
Here’s one more tip …
Do you miss friends and family and wish you talked more often?
- Make a list of who those people are. Reach out to them and propose setting up regularly scheduled phone-dates so that you stay in touch and ensure too much time doesn’t pass before you speak again. Easy-breezy.
Again, these are obviously just a few ideas. There are COUNTLESS ways to customize and find creative solutions based on your needs, resources, interests, priorities, etc.
Pick one or two and start there.
Oh, and, psssst…
Especially if you’re feeling short on cash…
This list of resources and companies aren’t just places you can hire from. Many of them are also places you can set up an account, create a profile, and provide services through. Be it renting out your guest bedroom on Airbnb, or offering your love of gardening to the lady with the unkept yard down the street, or providing editing services, or dog walking, or app building, or face painting, or whatever your talents are … you can use one or more of these freelance platforms to earn yourself some extra money. (Money that you can then choose to reinvest in building out your own Dream Team and getting the support that’ll make YOUR life better, and better, and better.)
Last by not least, here’s a client example to get your wheels turning about how you might apply this to your life:
A photographer client of mine does private photo shoots for her customers. She then edits those pictures before showing them to the customer, who chooses their selections. A very talented photographer and artist in general, she doesn’t hate photo editing. In fact, she enjoys many of the creative aspects involved in the editing process. She also enjoys having creative control when it comes to making edits according to her eye, her specifics, and her style. BUT – editing photos is very time consuming. The more edits she has to do, the less time she has available to line up more photo shoots, and the more “behind” she feels due to customers eagerly waiting to see their images. One option, of course, is she can book fewer photo shoots, allowing more time in between for editing. But this means less time spent doing what she loves: photography and the in-person connection that comes with time spent with her customers during photo shoots.
What would YOU do?
Where do you see yourself in any of this? How might this example apply to what YOU want to be doing more of?
Comment below and tell me where you’re going to delegate more.
What if, rather than spending less time doing something she truly loves doing – and making less money doing it – she were to delegate the editing? And what if she finds someone with a keen eye to edit her photos for her? What becomes possible when she frees up more time and energy to be available to do what she loves, and profits from, most?
As you to apply this to yourself, consider:
- What would you rather not do?
- What would you prefer to do instead?
- How can you delegate, streamline, and optimize in order to support more of what you want and less of what you don’t?
Coaching helps with ALL of this. If you’re ready to expand your Dream Team by adding your favorite life coach 😉 to YOUR support team, reach out today so we can explore how I can best serve YOU!
PS – For more client inspiration, click here to read what my clients say about our work together and, if it feels right, book a call so we can talk about what us working together can do for you.