My Life As A Business Coach Is A Journey Not A Destination

Success, like my life as a business coach is a journey not a destination
 
Humble beginnings
 
From an early age, work was part of every day life. Sure, there was time for play after we got our chores done. The oldest of five children the burden of responsibility fell on me. If mom and dad had somewhere to go, I watched my brother and sisters. Success was not even in my vocabulary, yet it would come to be in my future.

Beginning in kindergarten we all started working in the fields with my mom and grandparents. Grandma and Grandpa deVore owned and operated a root stock vineyard in a small town called Los Molinos. Saturday mornings we would pile in the car and drive thirty minutes to the job.

Depending on the season, we were either working in the vineyard fields or the orchards. There was always a crop to harvest and an owner willing to pay to get it done. We gleaned nuts, prunes and peaches. Farming is a hard life, your work is endless and there is little time for fun.

When not working in the fields I found work selling Avon products to our neighbors. Peddling my old one speed bicycle miles each way, I delivered catalogs to gather orders. The following week back I would go to deliver their products and get the next order. Success was found in the relationships that were formed in those early years.

When I was old enough to get a work permit, I rode my bike into town to clean hotel rooms. The seven-mile ride got my adrenaline up and ready to clean the guest’s rooms. Of all the jobs, I liked this one the least. People are not very considerate when sleeping in a room they do not own.
 
Graduating up
 
After high school graduation, I knew I did not want to work in the fields anymore. Going to work for the local bank was a job that would be secure and had benefits. Learning as I went I climbed the corporate ladder quickly.

When we started having kids things started to change, I was changing. When life did not go exactly as I thought it should I would blame others. Soon it seemed like nothing was going the way I had planned. The success I was chasing was running the opposite direction, frustration was setting in.

Ten years into my banking career a friend introduced me to network marketing. That seemed like the answer to all of my dreams. Working closely to learn the business roadblocks kept popping up. I achieved a small amount of success while coaching our team. We made some money but still did not reach the goals nor see the success, I thought I should have attained.

One evening we received a phone call from my mentor. He was leaving the company and wanted to take me with him. I was devastated and went into shock. Being a loyal student, I did what my friend asked me to do. I did not even think for myself.

Years later, I would discover that one of my weaknesses was not thinking for me, giving myself permission to have an opinion. This was a skill that was needed to be a coach, a leader.
 
Continuing education
 
As time went on, I learned many things such as it was okay for me to have my own opinion. It was not easy to learn that with an opinion came the responsibility for the outcome, too.

After leaving my first networking company, I returned to the corporate world for a while. In 1997, I found a networking company that fit my lifestyle and needs perfectly. My health had spiraled downward to the point I almost lost it. Learning how to take care of my nutritional needs and health was the key to regaining my life. Finding how to care for my spirituality was paramount to my peace and success in serving others.

This was the introduction to personal growth trainings. Dani Johnson was an example of a powerful leader. First Steps to Success was a monthly training event we attended for over three consecutive years. It was here that I started learning about myself.
 

Forgiveness was a huge issue I needed to work out. Now I understood why I was always frustrated. No one wanted to buy from me. No one wanted to work with me. How was I supposed to succeed and build a business if no one gave me a chance?

As the months and years rolled by, I started to change. My focus shifted to listening to others more. Learning to serve them in their need got the focus off me and my problems. Staying busy working kept me out of the middle of office politics and group gossip. Later I would find it was a real protection for my business and me. This was the beginning of success being attracted to our business.

Years later when I started my auto transport business I was looking for a way to expand online. Searching the worldwide web I found someone I knew would have some answers. She had been a distributor in my nutritional networking company and I trusted her.

Several other supposed online coaches had taken advantage of my time and hard earned money. Therefore, I could see the sincerity in her actions and words.

Sandi Krakowski showed me that I could build a website and start writing about my life, my business and family. Her example of practicing what she preached ensured me that she knew what she was talking about. I could share my journey with others and help them be successful too. My decision to hire her as my business coach was a solid one. However, something was still blocking me from successfully reaching my dreams.
 

Through her coaching sessions, she introduced her students to PJ McClure, the Mindset Maven. I really did not think I needed anymore head work. After all, I had gone through three intense years of monthly training sessions to groom myself for success.
 

Not wanting to have all of my hard work just fall away unsuccessful again, I decided to see what this mindset stuff was. Apparently, my issues were deeper than I thought. Even though I had addressed them and thought, I had solved them I had not. The time I spent working with PJ was like gardening. His patient, probing manner brought to the surface the root of the problem I had been wrestling with all these years.
 
The problem boiled down to my successes, failures, and the cycle I found myself in was the same problem I thought I had eliminated earlier. He gave me an exercise to use to work through forgiving the individual and circumstance I had been holding onto.

To explain it was like that proverbial weed in the garden. You can chop it down but miss the root. That weed will grow back and choke out the flower. However, taking time to successfully work through it, tears and all, allowed me to pull the root out and I threw it in the trash.

Finally, after years of frustration my creativity flowed. I was now able to give freely of myself. Now I could see myself coaching others onto success in their business. With that confidence and joy came students desiring what they saw in me.

What I learned concisely was this. Deal head on with your issues. Find a coach to help you get to the root of the problem. It will not happen over night, so enjoy the journey.

Life, being a business coach and family are not a destination. You do not just arrive successful in any of them. Life is a journey of uphill and downhill, enjoy the scenery the whole trip, it is what makes up the whole of who you are.
 
You are a gemstone in the making. There are rubies, emeralds, pearls and diamonds. All are precious, but the hardest of them all are diamonds, they are not simple rocks lying on the top of the ground.

Intense pressure creates the stone deep within the earth. Time and pressure forms a true gemstone and it will pull out the true leadership within you, too when you enjoy the journey to success.
 
Join us won't you? We need your help to spread the word about these lessons. If you have learned anything at all from our story, send a tweet to your Twitter friends; drop a short post to your FaceBook friends. You can bet they will enjoy and learn right beside you;)

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
 
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  • Rachelle

    Success was found in the relationships – This really is the key. And you’ve got a big one, Carla!

    • admin

      Thank you Rachelle. This wasn’t always the case, as you read in the story. But, I found out the hard way people follow people, they trust others not some product or thing. The journey hasn’t always been peaches and cream, sometimes it was a bowl full of cherry pits. It has been worth it though and hopefully by sharing others will be encouraged to enjoy their journey.

  • Denny

    Thanks for sharing the story of your journey thus far Carla…the part that stuck out for me the most was the realization of the value of your own opinion. So often we defer to others out of a lack of confidence but when all is said and done the answers we need are within us.Great article!

    • admin

      Thanks, Denny. I agree…it took way too many years to learn that I could have my own opinion. This came from early childhood, “shut up, sit down and do as you are told” were words we heard all too often. A person has to want to get rid of that, it takes a real desire to change and I had it deep within. Thankfully my children did not grow up with that, they grew up with Dani Johnson and First Steps to Success. I’m forever grateful for that, even through the tears and angst.

  • Anonymous

    Carla, the vulnerability you’re willing to show in writing this article is proof of the tremendous progress you’ve made on your journey! And that’s what builds the know-like-trust that your coaching clients are seeking. Bravo!

    • admin

      Thank you Sharon. My desire through writing this and becoming transparent is to help others realize we all go through “stuff”. No it is not easy to get through it, but it is so worth it. Looking back, I didn’t like myself, it was a wonder anyone else did. Thank goodness for those surrounding me that saw my potential and the love within me, somewhere. If I can help one other person get unstuck, then exposing my journey has been worth it.

  • Learning is a life-long journey, isn’t it? Mentoring is the fastest, most effective way to transform our lives… and the coaches you mentioned are three of the very best! I love your story, Carla… the progression of your life. Can you just imagine the momentum you have created and where it will take you in the next few years? I’m one who will be cheering you on!

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