Whether I’m editing a 200-page RFP (Request For Proposal), creating a speech for a C-suite executive or building a communication/marketing strategy for an artist, my clients inspire me with the callings that drive them. Writing a case study for Lynne Watts, president and founder of Dream Achiever Coaching, meant diving into her work and words to learn her “voice.”
Lynne empowers her own clients “to discover their calling and live it out with passion and purpose,” and I think she sounds like the no-nonsense, encouraging angel on your shoulder, only funnier. The enthusiasm she weaves into her newsletters is contagious. My favorite motivational punchline from Lynne? “Get off your big ‘buts’ and take the next step!” She likes to say she knows about excuses because she’s used them all at one time or another. Instead of jumping right into action steps and strategies, her coaching focuses on uncovering mindsets that hold people back.
Privacy and confidentiality matter to Lynne, so I created a fictional character instead of constructing a traditional composite from multiple clients for a standard case study. Lynne’s coaching techniques are real, but “Anne,” a woman whose dreams are bigger than her day job, is not.
Like many people, Anne has dreams percolating under the surface of her busy schedule. The details are always unique, but the heart of the story is the same for all of us. We’re on a journey through life, often derailed by obligations and distractions, until we have a “wake-up call.” The catalyst might be big or small, but something grabs our full attention. A new path is waiting, even before we know what that path is.
Anne’s wake-up call came when a coworker, overweight and under-exercised but with no other known health challenges, suddenly died of a heart attack. He was only 50.
“Bill was such a great guy, always ready to laugh, but he never liked the job all that much. He kept talking about how he wanted to stop working as an accountant, and maybe start his own consulting practice. Or, he said maybe he’d even go back to school and become a licensed therapist, a counselor.
“I’m not much younger than Bill, and I don’t want to keep talking about making a change. I want to do… SOMETHING.”
Anne was at a delicate but exciting point in her life – a crossroads. Some friends would encourage her, and others would want her to stay on her current path, with them, all the way to retirement. “I make good money. I want to resign, take that leap of faith, but that’s part of it…a salary handcuffing me to the office. I feel stuck.”