Season 1 | episode 16

Welcome to the Coaching Studio Podcast

This podcast features fun, lively conversations with masterful coaches who are creating an impact. Get to know them, their journey into coaching, and discover what wisdom they would offer you about being a better coach.

Let’s go!

the Coaching Studio Guest

I am very excited to welcome Michelle Akin, MCC to the Coaching Studio Podcast.

Quick Links from Episode
Learn more about Breaking up with Your Bullshit here on Michelle’s website.
Find Michelle on LinkedIn


  • Host: Lyssa deHart, LICSW, MCC
  • Music: Frolic by Harrison Amer
  • Production Editing: Lyssa deHart
  • Social Media and Communications: Michele Logan

About This Episode

Read the transcript of this episode of the Coaching Studio Podcast:

00:00 Lyssa deHart Hey, Lyssa deHart here and welcome to the Coaching Studio. Today my guest is Michelle Akin, she is an MCC coach with the International Coaching Federation. Michelle is a coach for creatives who need a kick in the ass. Through her coaching coach, group programs, and community of artists. She supports people to break up with their bullshit and get their art into the world. Michelle is an artist herself, starting off as a, really is the original, Youtube Vlogger. She does comedy and singing as well. Michelle is the senior program leader with Accomplishment Coaching the coach training program where she serves as the certification chair for the company supporting coaches in the credentialing process. Michelle lives in New Jersey with her husband and their gorgeous and hilarious daughter, Amelia included in this mix are her two awesome dogs. And again, I just Michelle, I just wanted to say thank you so much for being on the show.
01:04 Michelle Akin My pleasure and I love this breakup with your bullshit, I’m glad me too,
01:10 Lyssa deHart It’s really that’s just awesome. So you have a very interesting story around how you found your way into coaching and I would love to hear a bit about your own journey into the coaching world.
01:24 Michelle Akin Sure, yeah, I was a video producer as you mentioned, I was Youtube vlogger before, that was a term. Uh Youtuber before, that was a term and I started making videos for really anyone who would hire me at the time producing them if you’re an editor, you have to also use a camera and know how to do lights and sound. I’m not very good at all of that. I’m a very good editor. So I had to learn all that other stuff and I was kind of a one woman production company for a bit and then I started to get some bigger clients and I needed to start bringing on a team and building a whole actual business around it, which I did. Um but I really just, I chose filmmaking as a major because they forced me to choose a major. And I mean I waited until the very last possible moment to choose a major and I took every class in communications pr radio journalism, I was good at all of it, but none of it really sparked anything for me and video at any was the one thing that I could just get lost in for hours. So I figured well I guess I’ll do that. Um but I got hired by a coach named Marie Forleo, who is, she was trained back in 99 in Coach U, but she’s not a practicing coach now, she’s more of a marketing guru. And but back when she, she found me, uh I started working for her and I was working on the marketing videos for her program, B-School, which is now this gigantic, amazing thing out there that is like a household name. Um in fact, she’s such so much of a household name that one of her phrases I found it on a random thing at home since I was in like you know, home goods store and I found the phrase everything is figure out a bill written on some random little piece of wood and I’m like wait that’s wow, okay, so like something that she created as that just become really like that well known, but back when back when I met her not, you know, she wasn’t as well known, she had already done quite a bit and since she was a coach, I started, I didn’t even know that life coaching was a thing. And so I got introduced to it by her and I started producing all these videos for her and supporting her with her online content, she loved my Youtube videos and she said can we, you know can you help me do this? And so I started her Youtube channel for her. And I, I was literally the first video on there, it’s like I’m holding a camera without, I don’t even have a tripod, I’m just standing in front of her holding a camera and hitting record and we would do one take. And now she has a production studio now she has her own production studio in a huge team. But anyway, because of doing that, I started to kind of get the bug and look into what coaching is and there’s a lot of stuff surrounding all of this. But the the bottom line is that I was researching life coach training. And lamenting the fact that everything looks kind of the same and it’s a little different now, but especially this was in 2011. So I really, I think there were 100 accredited coach training programs at the time. Whereas I don’t know how many there are now, but it’s way more than 100. Uh, so I was just like, why, why is this so confusing? I wish someone would just tell me which program I should take. Because I really can’t tell. And the moment I had that thought I got a notification on my iMac that said, you just, you know, new email from Ali Rodway and whose Ali Rodway? I click on it and she’s a coach and she’s been watching my Youtube videos, which shifted from comedy to personal development mixed with comedy. And she said, have you ever thought about being a coach? Because you seem like an innate life coach to me? And I was like REPLY, wow, Ali, wow, what a time you just caught me and um, this is, this is not a mistake, you know? So I hopped on the phone with her. I ended up hiring her as my coach the next day and then I signed up for the coach training program a few months later.
05:27 Lyssa deHart That is the universe going, “Hey, pay attention. “
05:31 Michelle Akin Exactly.
05:32 Lyssa deHart I want to support you in this new endeavor in the direction you want to go in your life.
05:39 Michelle Akin That’s funny you say that because she replied to my email and the first line was the universe is not an idiot.
05:44 Lyssa deHart Ha the universe is not an idoit, I think we’ll probably see that at HomeGoods soon too.
05:49 Michelle Akin Right, a lot of fun catchphrases.
05:52 Lyssa deHart Yeah, well, and then, so that’s really sort of how you got into coaching. What has had you stay in coaching? Like what you here because you’ve gone from, you know, ACC, PCC, MCC that is a commitment that somebody makes. So what invited that level of uh interest?
06:12 Michelle Akin Such a good question. Uh, I am very much a onto the next thing, new shiny object type of person, by default, that’s how I am. Uh partially ADHD partially just don’t want to actually give anything my full heart because then I could get hurt, you know, so, and that stuff I’ve distinguished now, that wasn’t how I thought of it. Then I’m like, oh, I just, you know, I want to do lots of things, which is true. However, when I think about three years into my coaching journey, you know, the Accomplishment Coaching program is a year-long and then I stayed on for the graduate Leadership Development program and about two years into my Leadership Development program, I wanted to quit, convinced myself I, you know, talk to my therapist. And if you say all the right things to a therapist, they’ll agree with you. Um, so I just like got other people on my side like, yeah, you should quit coaching, you should quit this company, like don’t do this anymore. And my coach Jodi Larson was, who is also an MCC and she’s a program leader with Accomplishment Coaching. She just said, you know, I see several things if you’re open to them, I can’t tell if you are decided and you’re saying, you know, I’m done or do you want to, what do you want out of this conversation? Because it was my weekly coaching call and said, well, I want to hear what you think. And um and so she gave me a list of all of her things that she was noticing based on knowing me for a few years and she asked me which ones I was interested in hearing more about and probably the one I picked first was uh that this seems like my pattern mm where I get into something and then I decide it’s not the thing and I move on. And it certainly was in relationships. I and I was in a long-term relationship at the time that I was, I think the same day that I said I was quitting coaching. I picked a fight with Justin and uh, were we married? We were married? Yeah, we got married during my, my year of training. So I picked a fight with my husband, he stormed out and that was the door shut. I just want, oh, the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. Like I’m just quitting. I’m just, I’m just giving up and I don’t have to stay in coaching. But something I got from the call with my coach by the way, I was very angsty on this call and I kept trying to fight with her and she’s like, look, we could just get off the phone. I don’t, you know what, I’m okay, you can do whatever you want. You know, I’m just reflecting. I’m just just a mirror here and uh but I heard a lot of what she said and it all started clicking for me that if I don’t stay committed to something, I’m probably not going to be a commit er in general. And I could just see flashes of like every relationship that I quit too early. Every project that I quit too early, just every endeavor in my life that I took to 80% including video games, Lissa like video, like certain role-playing, video games will tell you what your progress along the path and always around 80 to 85. I just feel like, you know what I got what I came for out of this game. It got a little hard and I think I’m done now and I just decided I didn’t want to be that person anymore. And so I would use coaching as the thing that I actually stick to and not that I have to do it for the rest of my life, but let’s take it all the way, like let’s take it to MCC let’s take it to a thriving business that I really love before I start to bring in music, or another thing that I’m going to go do and so that was the turning point for me that had me actually commit to staying here.
09:56 Lyssa deHart Yeah. You know those words how you do? One thing is how you do everything really the land really solidly because I think they’re so true that we give up on ourselves often far faster than anybody else would ever give up on us. And I love your awareness around, you know? Yeah, I don’t, you know, I’m just not interested, I’m moving on versus also the other aspect of like what’s the benefit of moving on so quickly.
10:26 Michelle Akin Yeah.
10:27 Lyssa deHart What’s that secondary gain, I don’t have to get messy um Right,
10:31 Michelle Akin I don’t have to potentially fail at this. I mean…
10:34 Lyssa deHart Be rejected whatever the story is that we create in our mind. Yeah, and that’s just so powerful Michelle that, you know that I think that’s something that we all grapple with on some level, right? And until we kind of, I don’t know, I remember a friend of mine’s calling it a bit of a come to Jesus, you know like you need to sit down, have a come to Jesus about this issue. And I really resonate with what you’re sharing because I have my own experience with something very similar because it’s just because it’s been a great default defense strategy to just quit before we fail, you know?
11:13 Michelle Akin Yes. Which like I first, yeah, or I’m going to disengage from the relationship, get interested in someone else. This is the story of my entire life, literally everyone that I’ve dated pretty much I decided to end it in my mind before I ever talked to him about it. Got interested in somebody else. Um and either had them discover that and hate me or like just remember moved myself in some way from the relationship, but they all overlapped, It was always overlapping, so I very rarely had like a moment to myself, I was a serial monogamous. Yeah. But never fully
11:53 Lyssa deHart in either. Yeah. one ft in, one ft out, always waiting for the next door to open versus well, and there’s something really messy and honestly this is a really beautiful metaphor for the coaching journey itself, which is life is messy and that self-reflective piece is a part of this journey towards even, I mean not everybody wants to be an MCC. I totally get it. There are great coaches who are not MCC So I also want to just really acknowledge that many great coaches who aren’t even involved in I C. F. And I totally get that also yet I think there’s a common thread for all really great coaches, which is they’ve done that internal work. Yeah. Right. And then they looked at a whole life. Yeah,
12:43 Michelle Akin yeah, not just not just and when I entered my MCC process I said to Theresa Pool, who was my first mentor, I said to her well, because she’s asking me about my goals with it and on the one hand, I wanted the letters after my name, I want to be the youngest MCC, which there’s actually no way to tell because they don’t track ages, which Carrie at the told me, Yeah, we don’t track age, so I don’t know, you can tell that, but maybe you’re pretty young, so like maybe you are. Um but I wanted that like title from from ego and which Theresa called me out on, she couldn’t even like for two seconds hear me say that without being like, wow, we’re going to take a look at it like that. But she also asked me about bigger goals and I said, well, I think whatever is in the way of my MCC is also in the way of my marriage and really loving my business and just like my whole life working on another level and absolutely, that was absolutely correct. It’s also why I dragged my feet around my MCC for two years and ended up doing almost double the number of mentoring hours that you need to do because it took such a long break that I had to like kind of start over because I was terrified, I mean terrified. Like I even had moments of maybe I don’t want my MCC, maybe it’s good enough just to have my Pcc and be good at what I’m good at and I’m a little too stubborn for that. Um and I don’t think it was necessarily MCC it was deciding to like next level up which we have to do regardless of credential,
14:11 Lyssa deHart right, right. That evolution and growth, I mean MCC is really just a mile marker. It’s not like a destination totally. What was it that allowed you to push through that discomfort,
14:24 Michelle Akin accountability in other people specifically? Um My good friend and colleague who I took the coach training within 2012 Christine sacks, I’m going to give her big props here because she was my accountability partner around a lot of creative things, but then she also reached out to me and said, why aren’t you using me for accountability around your MCC? And I was like, well probably because then I’ll actually do it, you know? But yeah, I don’t think um I don’t think I would have done it when I did it if she hadn’t just been like all I need, I don’t need a lot in terms of being pushed, I need Ninja’s, just like boop. I could have one person be like I really like that type of video you did last week, are you going to do more. And I’ll do five more just because one person said it. So it doesn’t take a lot but you know, she’s not scared of me. She’s not um seduced by my charm or like whatever good reasons. Like a lot of people in
15:25 Lyssa deHart Like your bullshit?
15:26 Michelle Akin Yeah, I bullshit. You don’t buy it. I think you have to have key people in your life that don’t buy your bullshit because it’s fine to have some people who do and we certainly need soft places to land and we need places where we don’t have to perform or show up to offset all the places that we do, but we definitely need a solid like five humans that just don’t buy it.
15:48 Lyssa deHart Yeah. I mean I think the world is filled with people who will go, “Oh you’re doing great Michelle. Like you don’t need… “
15:54 Michelle Akin Exactly.
15:55 Lyssa deHart “You’re fine, just the way you are. ” And it’s not that they’re disingenuous, it’s just they’re busy with their own lives. And I think that there’s you know, and honestly I think we think so much about our own lives. We assume everybody else is thinking our life the way we do, right? And I mean I agree with you, I have probably a good solid 4 to 5 people in my life who will call me out on my BS. And it’s been crucial. Like that is such a generous place to come from. Because I know they love me, I know they want me to be successful but they’re not all that attached to what success looks like they’re much more attached to, you know, I’m noticing a pattern here, like, you know, and it’s so funny the way our patterns show up, like mine isn’t necessarily running away from one thing, but it is like running towards many things. And so I have so many pokers and so many fires and then you’re just like juggling so fast, you’re just like, ahhh.
16:54 Michelle Akin can’t even juggle, you can’t even, you have to drop things then you have to be dropping a lot.
16:58 Lyssa deHart Yeah, so how do you do that consciously versus just accidentally dropping balls everywhere you go? Yeah, yeah, and I think that is that, you know, having those people who, I love how you said, you know, sort of a ninja accountability. Like I don’t need a lot, but a little poke here, yep, like that do this, it’s enough. Yeah, yeah. What is keeping your, you know, what is this coaching journey that you’re on, like where do you see yourself on it, and what is the place that you’re sort of focusing on heading with your coaching?
17:33 Michelle Akin Well, a while back, I noticed a lot of people leaving coaching because they couldn’t be a parent and do creative work and do this. Mhm and I think when I decided to stay, I made a really clear decision that I want to be the example of integration and being able to have it all. Not having these things in opposition to one another. So my journey right now is discovering what it actually looks like to do all of those things and be all of those things. And uh and it’s really challenging because it requires asking for a lot of support and being really clear what you need and planning ahead and basically everything I’m bad at like.
18:20 Lyssa deHart Rough edge.
18:22 Michelle Akin Yeah, even people have paid. I, I feel bad asking for things. You know, it’s that built-in, I shouldn’t, I should be able to do it myself nonsense that when my friends do it, I yell at them and want to shake them. But that’s because me too, so asking for things and being clear, and creating agreements with people has been revolutionary for me. And I’m very aware of my limits with it. Like for example, I said that I would have this song I’ve been working on done by tomorrow. Just I realized and I looked down at the calendar today. I’m on my Apple watch. I was like, oh, that’s tomorrow. And I’ve been sort of like, yeah, it’ll get done in the back of my mind. But now it’s tomorrow. So I reached out to my mother-in-law and I asked her she can take the baby tonight. She can baby, she’s five, but I’m not a baby, she’s a baby, my baby. Um, and then I texted my sister because this office is in my sister’s house and I texted her and said, hey, what’s going on in the house tonight? I was thinking of staying late and working on this song. I would need the A/C. Off, I would need uh no laundry because I noticed she’s doing laundry today. I’m like oh it’s the laundry room is right next to mouth, you can’t do laundry. And her son’s bedroom is right above me. And sometimes it sounds like he’s doing aerobics in his room. So yes yes just jumping around. I don’t know, it was like I can’t have any of that. So like what’s happening tonight? And she was like actually I have to take him to this place at 5: 00 and we won’t be home till eight like all right. And I and I was just making lunch and remarking on how I left that to chance. So speaking of growth, like I was just going to leave it to chance, you know? Whereas I could have planned what day I’m working on this many weeks ago. Or that I don’t know something. So I’m still leaving a lot of stuff to chance and I’m still not totally designing my life but I’m working on it, you know it’s it’s moving in the direction it needs to. So the people I’m working with are creatives who are not as far along on the journey as I am. Or some of them have the same amount of experience on YouTube but maybe haven’t been in personal growth or healing work. Uh I’ve been in a lot of healing work as well as the growth work. So I mean they’re both growth but you know. Um, so I feel I’m leading a charge and eventually where I see it going is that I, my main thing becomes my music. I offer coaching, but it’s kind of velvet rope, one-on-one. Which it already is that honestly the people who can actually afford to work with me when I’m one. Um, and then my group programs grow too much larger numbers, which is something I’m actively working on. I’m running a group right now of creatives and I’m going to re launch in September and try to more than double the people in it so that eventually it’s in the hundreds, not the tens, you know.
21:21 Lyssa deHart Yeah, I think this is really good also, I mean for people to hear because I think there is… Coaching is a really interesting thing and I think there is a lot of misconceptions around how we build a business. And it isn’t anybody who’s an overnight success, typically, not always, but typically has a whole lot of background of stuff that they’ve done leading up to that overnight success. Very rarely to somebody, I mean I’m not saying it’s impossible, but for a sustainable long-term success. I haven’t seen anybody who does that with just sort of accidentally stumbling into it. Like there’s a lot of work.
21:59 Michelle Akin Yeah, I had been building a YouTube audience and a tumbler following for seven years before I became a coach. So I got seven paying clients in my 1st 10 days of being in training uh,
22:12 Lyssa deHart Leveraging relationships, you’d already created.
22:14 Michelle Akin Yes, yeah, I had a huge network. So uh and it was ab novelty, everyone’s like, you, oh, you’re a coach now, I’ll talk to you, I know a friend who wants to talk to you too. I was inundated with requests for my first year and change and that that eventually, you know, wore out and I needed to go create new networks and keep going and keep generating. Uh but there’s people in my group right now that have been following me since before I became a coach.
22:43 Lyssa deHart Yeah, you know, and I think that it’s really interesting too because the thing that shows up the thing that I see a lot is that that people think of coaching and selling their coaching as its like its sales and, and people don’t want to be a salesperson and I really look at it quite differently. I really see it as relationship building. And so how are you intersecting with people and becoming somebody who they know. Um and that require, that’s a whole lot of work that maybe you’re not even to your point, you may not even be talking to them personally, but the Vlogging right? Like you’re out there, you’re, you’re sharing value. You’re really communicating a story or sharing a perspective that is that then aligns with where other people are and what they’re looking for. And it’s and it’s not as like, I don’t know, I know a lot of people are like, I don’t want to take a new person on on LinkedIn and I know for myself, I get like LinkedIn request to be connected and as soon as you say yes, you get a download of advertising from the person. You know, and it’s and I get the I don’t know, the desire not to have that happen because it’s so inauthentic and I think what you’re talking about, which I really hope new coaches here is how do you start where you are, building relationships, you know, communicating what is important to you, that stuff might change. It’s not like you’re locked in for the rest of your life, right? Like, I mean…
24:17 Michelle Akin It’s like um Taylor Swift, she started out in country slash pop and then the one album that she put out was fully a pop album, 1989 and then she did this other thing that was like super dark or darker, more like edgy. Um which I love is my favorite album, Misreputation, but uh you know, she keeps changing her vibe and it’s like, you know, the true fans are going to go with you and it’s okay if they don’t and you’ll get new people then. And I mean I’ve changed my vibe multiple times over the years and thankfully I had the example of seeing people like Marie Forleo or some of her contemporaries, like changing their brand. To completely revamping their website, changing their their names. Um and so I got to see, oh, right, you can do that and you’re not gonna die,
25:06 Lyssa deHart Right, Right, But you continue, but I mean, you’re still, I mean, we still leverage the stuff that we’ve built the foundation, right? Because those are relationships that have been built, you don’t have to, like, wipe them off the face of the internet, right? Like…
25:19 Michelle Akin Which I wanted to, I wanted to, you know, I think uh took the opportunity of getting married to change my name, not because I wanted to change my name because I wanted to wipe the slate. Which was silly. It was silly in retrospect. It was like, well now I just kind of lost something, like, I actually lost something when I did that. And I, I didn’t lose the email subscribers or the Youtube subscribers necessarily, they’re still, they’re not that I’m putting content on those channels, but um but I did lose something when I changed my name and I thought about hyphenated or changing it back just to like, get that part of my identity back. Mhm, because my last name was Vargas. And every, like, I’m Puerto Rican, that’s like my heritage, you know. Like, so people would hear my last name and speak Spanish to me and like, know, that that’s something about me and now that’s gone. And so are many years of videos, they still exist, but if someone looks at Michelle Akin, they’re not going to find Michelle Vargas, you know?
26:17 Lyssa deHart Yeah. You know, it’s, it is really interesting. So I got married many years ago. Um, I’m actually celebrating my 23rd wedding anniversary this year, still friends. Um, but when we got married, I did not change my name for the reason that you’re talking about. At about the 15 year mark when I decided I was going to move up to the pacific northwest and shutting down my private practice, I decided I would change my name and then I hyphenated and then it was very long. But I didn’t have, you know, it’s like, I don’t fit in all the boxes anymore. I’m running out of like a little spaces for letters, but it was that sort of evolution. And now I’m really comfortable is Lyssa deHart. But man, I needed that. I needed that shifting tide to kind of go with my shifting experience of myself.
27:11 Michelle Akin Is deHart your maiden name or you’re married.
27:13 Lyssa deHart That’s my married name. But I was Lyssa Danehy, then Lyssa Danehy deHart for many years before he was, he was a keeper. So I figured I would, you know…
27:27 Michelle Akin Well, honestly, like my name got shorter. I went up in the alphabet terribly. Uh, so that was nice for many years. People, my friend Grace in particular who was my comedy partner, she would still call me Michelle Vargas up until a few years ago now and then she likes, I mean I get it, I have, my friend Emily got married and I still call her by her maiden, she has two kids, I still call her by her maiden name because it was just like we would call her her last name.
27:54 Lyssa deHart Yeah, Rolls out of your mind, it rolls out of your mind so easily. What do you think I’m gonna go back to the coaching because I’m really enjoying this. And I also, you know, I think it’s um I’m curious about what do you see as sort of the misconceptions. Because you work at a coaching school. So you, you see new people coming into the coaching industry, what do you see as some of the biggest misconceptions, new, maybe one or two of the misconceptions, you see new coaches coming in with?
28:24 Michelle Akin ah I think the most basic one is that they think they have to know like the content. If they, if they work with a hedge fund client, they need to know about hedge funds. If they work with a video producer, they need to know about video production. And in fact, as I’m sure, you know, it’s easier when you don’t know what they do.
28:42 Lyssa deHart Not as much of a hook if you’re not already Yeah right,
28:46 Michelle Akin It’s extremely difficult for me with my musician clients or my Youtube clients and uh, and even the coaches I work with now for me to not devolve into giving advice and, and telling them what I think. especially when they want to know. But that’s even worse. I need your opinion. Um, and like, you know, you don’t, you don’t die if you give it, if it happens, it’s like, it’s okay. But also takes away from the, the magic of what actual coaching is. So I think new coaches think that. So that’s, that’s number one. They also think that and this is sort of like if you, uh, if you thought you could read about riding a bike and then do it. They think that they can academically understand this.
29:36 Lyssa deHart Speak more to that. That I think is, yeah.
29:39 Michelle Akin They think that I don’t want to go get a practice client or even get a paid client right now because I’m not good enough yet. I’m not ready yet and I’m afraid I’ll hurt somebody or not. And I need to study more. I need to be in this program longer. And I say, well, you know… This is kind of actually really funny metaphor when I was younger for whatever reason, maybe because my mom went back to work or something, no one ever taught me to ride a bike. And maybe I was uninterested. I don’t know, but I got to a particular age, was far beyond most kids already knew how to ride their bikes and I didn’t even have a bike, I didn’t know how to ride one. And my sister Donna had this blue banana seat bike, it’s really cool and I would go out in the backyard every day and just try to balance on it while not moving, which I have found out is a bit of an extreme sport. That’s the thing people do, it has a name, I can’t remember the name. But I used to try and balance on it while staying still because I thought that in order to ride a bike you have to be able to balance while staying still. And that’s not true. Obviously. Like the movement forward is the thing that creates the momentum that creates the balance right. And so that’s coaching, you can’t you can’t stay still and expect to learn how to do this. You have to coach people.
30:55 Lyssa deHart Yeah, it’s really, I love the analogy of the bike and I also really love the, you know, the thinking of this is this is an intersection between two people. And we’re so habitual ist in how we tend to intersect with other people, it’s so easy to default into that. And kind of going back to your, you know earlier point about being an expert, we want to share our expertise. And so coaching, if you don’t practice learning how to listen, if you don’t practice how to really stay in presence with another person, it’s so easy to get hooked because your clients are always going to say, “And Michelle, what do you think? Or does that make sense? Or you know, what are some tools I should use? ” I mean there’s all these hooks that are available to us and if we don’t know, we haven’t had the opportunity to practice. But I think that could apply to anything, bicycles or their great, great example. But anything that you learned to do well, you probably did not start off doing well.
32:04 Michelle Akin No, but most people are in a rush to feel competent. Yeah, It’s really that low bandwidth for it.
32:08 Lyssa deHart Yeah, it’s that movement from, I’m noticing something that I’m not good at to instantly performing right? But they’re not going through the exploration in the practice. Yeah. Yeah. Super, Super crucial. What’s something that you think that all coaches need to hear from you?
32:28 Michelle Akin Mm um to stop obsessing over the rules. I think that there’s this, especially in the MCC process. How do you hit all of the markers of the competencies without losing who you are as a human. Not necessarily your personality, or your ego, but like you’re natural connected lens that you hear and speak through. That’s that’s everything. That’s, that’s your entire value right there is just that you you have a unique lens. You have a unique here. You’re no one else here is what you hear. Listen, no one else here’s what I hear someone, we might have cross section with other humans, but on the whole, if we took a whole coaching call, there’s gonna be a twist or a turn that another coach would have gone a different way always. And none of them are right. So I think people get so caught up in doing it right? And so in their head that they throw out who they are and their unique lens in the process, which could be true by the way of any creative work, especially I’m in music production right now. So worrying about what’s right, what’s right? Um, it’s rampant. It’s just my mind is especially because I’m new to it. And so it’s triggering all of my incompetence. Yeah, and I did to, I trust yourself.
33:53 Lyssa deHart I think that’s a really important truth and thank you for being so vulnerable in sharing it. Which is I think anytime we start something new, we spend our whole lives like I know for myself with coaching, I spent my whole life becoming an expert in therapy, in the type and the situation of therapy that I did, which was really very specific complex trauma ptsd dissociative disorders and relationship therapy. So, like I was an expert expert there, I spent a lot of time getting there and two step into coaching meant that I had to, in beginner’s mind and let go of all that expertise, man, that was not a comfortable, right. It was not even a little comfortable,
34:38 Michelle Akin I’ve trained a few therapists in the coach training program, uh they all come into my mind because they all had such amazing bedside manner, so to speak with people that a lot of new coaches don’t have because they have an interface with people in this one on one way before. So there’s so much skill that you come in with and then there’s so much skill that is not going to help you and its uh I mean talk about kicking and screaming, I feel like especially I’m thinking of one of my, my people that I worked with very recently who was a therapist and just uh I needed to believe in this person when they couldn’t because as their trainer, I had to just be like, you’re going to get past this thing, okay, you’re going to get past this and you just need to keep practicing. You just need to keep hearing the feedback, listen to your own coaching here, yourself, go into that mode. Just, it’s not wrong. It’s not bad, It’s just that you’re not practicing. It’s like, we’re trying to ride a bike and you’re like, but how about
35:37 Lyssa deHart this scooter? That’s great, good job disaster, right? Yeah, maybe I’ll make an electric bike. See, I’m like, but
35:45 Michelle Akin the whole point was to learn how to paddle, not to sit still, and you know, and so that’s it’s a big ego, IQ letting go.
35:54 Lyssa deHart I really think it is. I mean, I’m not sure ego, it is a word, but I’m going with it because I like it, but I think it is a real, but any time we’re moving from expert to novice, there’s an egoistic letting go, right. And, and I think you really nailed it too, because I think for many therapists, we’ve been trained to be psycho educational and because a lot of clients come to us that are not ready for coaching, they really, there is a mental health issue that needs a level of support that requires a lot of psycho education. And I think for me that transition to your point was that ego if letting go that I needed to hold the space of the psycho educational that I could let that go because I’m working with whole capable creative human beings who I could leverage there inside out experience, right? Which is what we teach in coaching schools so that they can have their own experience. But I think that, that that step out of the ego is a big one for most human beings rough.
37:05 Michelle Akin I mean, I also think of things like it’s sort of like if you’re a sculptor and we ask you to paint and then you just suddenly you put the paintbrush down in your mold and some clay all of a sudden because that’s where you’re comfortable or like my husband did improv for 12 years on the same team and then was like toying with the idea of doing stand up, But it, first of all, the lifestyle was not something at that point in his life that he wanted to commit to, because it’s a lot of late nights and dive bars and nonsense, but also there was this element of which I really relate to of like I’m already really good and well known at being this. So if I go over here now and try to be this, that’s going to be really uncomfortable, and so it requires a level of commitment to the end result that he was really, it was more it was less than he was scared to look bad. It was more than he was like, I don’t really know that I want to be a stand up, so I’m not going to put myself in this scenario because it’s just it’s too much and he’s right, it’s too much. Unless he was hell bent on being a stand up.
38:02 Lyssa deHart Yeah, you have to have a passion and I think that’s really important. Like that is so key. You don’t you can’t really to your kind of full circle on our conversation if you’re only going to put 80% into it, it’s probably maybe something to consider whether you really want to even bother doing that. Yeah, because it’s going to take time energy, all of those things to make something work.
38:27 Michelle Akin And having said that, I don’t know, I mean, I was passionate enough about coaching to stay in it, but I wasn’t, like crazy, passionate the same way, I wasn’t crazy passionate about video editing, but it was what was in front of me. And so I was like, well already I already put all this time into it, this could be my vocation that pays for my creative stuff. How about that? Okay, that’s the life I want to design, this is the thing that is funding everything else, but that’s not the right thing to do, that’s just what I decided it was going to be
38:57 Lyssa deHart right and I think that’s and I think that’s that place to, like, I mean it just isn’t reflection. I mean there was a passion also that you talked about of really completing something to really to learn that skill of completing something and you chose this is your something to complete. Yet the passion doesn’t have to be about the thing you’re completing, it can also be about the process totally, totally, I love that, I love that. Is there something like, tell us what you’re up to is we’re coming, coming to a close here in this conversation,
39:30 Michelle Akin so sad.
39:31 Lyssa deHart Um uh
39:34 Michelle Akin well what am I up to? So I am in the process of, I mentioned learning music production,
39:42 Lyssa deHart it’s hard.
39:45 Michelle Akin if I had like a really great creative partner that I trusted and and was going to work for me and be my person right now, I would probably have them doing it, but I also think in order to create that person, I need to know something about what it is in the first place. So I can’t even talk to them. So, so I’m learning it even though I’ve had a lot of uh, resistance to that over the years and it does suck. It totally sucks. I feel so stupid. Every time I like sit down with the program, I hate it. But I really like the end result. And honestly, because I did video production for so long and video editing, I do have a leg up on people who didn’t do any of that. So there’s some intuitive things that I know that I don’t even realize our skills because I did some work on sound when I was in video. I have a friend who has a performance space in Brooklyn who asked me if I want to do a show there. So I have all these ideas now about a show I could do and we could live stream it and charge for livestream tickets. And this could be a whole other revenue stream that I never thought about before.
Especially it combines the internet, my life that I’ve had with performing, which I didn’t, I hadn’t seen a real way to cross those over. So that’s very exciting. I just um just moved into this awesome new space in my sister’s house and painted and like I have my piano over here and acoustic sound treatment all over the walls and like, it’s basically my dream office that I have. Uh, so that’s really great. And I mentioned I’m doing the program for creatives right now who want to build a fan base and it’s called the spotlight Series. And it’s like about putting yourself in the spotlight and actually seeing your work as you know, good enough to deserve an audience. Art needs an audience. You’ve been saying a lot
41:32 Lyssa deHart your audience, I mean, and that, that sense of, I mean artists so personal, whether it’s, it doesn’t matter what creative outlet you use, it’s personal and it’s and that’s stepping into that, putting it out there for public, you know, everything. Peanut gallery Yeah, the peanut gallery responses that run the spectrum and just being strong enough to be like, yeah, doing it anyway, I’m going to do it because I love it
42:00 Michelle Akin and want to have enough support around you that you don’t stop because that’s really quickly enough structures that you don’t stop. And that’s all I’m just trying to create a community that provides structure so that people aren’t left to their own devices because I know left to my own devices, I will do nothing. I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t have this business. I would just sit and I would just play video games. I was just doing nothing.
42:22 Lyssa deHart I’d love to, yeah, I’d be taking photographs just a nice fun, you know, but you know, and I really appreciate this because I think again, you know, anybody starting their own business or learning a new skill set, it’s bumpy until it’s not, then it’s bumpy again and we’re always on this learning curve of the evolution, self evolution. So I so much appreciate hearing your journey into coaching and thank you so much. I’ll be definitely putting links below for people to, I’m gonna go check out your blog because apparently doing it for a while, I can probably see there
43:06 Michelle Akin Are, I mean there are five YouTube channels, so good luck all of
43:12 Lyssa deHart it. Maybe like it’ll be my long weekend, oh my
43:15 Michelle Akin gosh, it’s a bit of a vortex once you get in there, but if you search my maiden name, you’ll find it.
43:22 Lyssa deHart Excellent, Well I am so glad to have had this time to spend with you Michelle, thank you so much for being on the coaching studio.
43:29 Michelle Akin Thank you.


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Lyssa deHart, LICSW, MCC

Lyssa deHart, LICSW, MCC


Lyssa deHart ditched her therapy practice to become a Leadership Confidence Coach. Along the way she discovered a passion for professional coaching and wanted to find ways to share that passion with the world. Come join her in discovering and meeting some of the most amazing professional coaches on the planet. Her goal is to inspire coaches. Lyssa is the author of StoryJacking: Change Your Dialogue, Transform Your Life , and The Reflective Coach. Lyssa is an ICF PCC Assessor, Certified Mentor Coach, and budding Coach SuperVisor. Lyssa uses her understanding of the ICF Core Competencies, combined with her knowledge of Neuroscience, to work with people to become extraordinary professional coaches. Let's Go!

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