Onlyness is that thing that only you can bring to a situation, the collective combination of all your experiences, hopes, dreams, achievements, setbacks, meanderings and accidents of birth.
— Nilofer Merchant, www.NiloferMerchant.com

So what is my "onlyness"?  

What are "the collective combination of all [my] experiences, hopes, dreams, achievements, setbacks, meanderings and accidents of birth" that bring me to do this work?

And, just as importantly, how does my onlyness support you as you build your business?


Once upon a time, I was a little girl who loved to create characters and write plays and perform them with my then best-friend.   If I'd known that you could grow up to be Catherine Tate or Tina Fey, that is what I would have wanted to grow up to be.

Around my teens, I lost touch with that little girl and ended up studying law and becoming a lawyer.  I felt like I was the lawyer in "Beaches" when I really, really, really wanted to be the Bette Midler character.

At age 26, I moved to New York for six months.  During the past 21 years, I've gone from being a lawyer to a business owner with some stand up comedy and improv thrown in for good measure.   I feel like I'm growing more and more into that little girl.

At the heart of everything I've done, I'm a story teller.  

Whether it was as a child who wrote plays and performed them with my friends or as an attorney telling a story from the facts that supported my clients or as the owner of a studio offering children's classes or as a stand-up comic or as a business strategist, the theme that connects all of the roles I've played is a passion for stories.

It's how I view the world and it's how I make sense of it.

It's also how I make sense of business and it is the perspective I use to teach business strategy.

 

In 2005, after being an attorney for a decade, I started a business called The Creative Groove Studio offering music, art and dance classes for toddlers and a preschool prep program for 2-3 year olds.  It grew from one class a week in a church hall to a business with 100+ students each week, a staff of 10, two studio locations and a revenue of $200,000+ per year.  

I learned a lot from building that business - I learned what worked incredibly well (I was very clear on my story and my customers' stories which meant that my business story resonated) and I learned how much I got in my own way (no business strategy or planning, zip, nada).  

I worked incredibly hard because I wasn't clear on the things that only I could do.  For years, I did everything in the business - from the $10/hour jobs to the $300+/hour jobs.  It felt like I never switched off.  When I started to hire staff, I overpaid everyone because I valued their time way more than I valued my own.  

The way we do anything is the way we do everything.
— Martha Beck

I knew that there had to be a way of building a business that would allow me to be more ME - utilizing my strengths (my natural skills, talents and passions) while recognizing and addressing my weaknesses (it's absolutely OK to not overpay your staff!).

During the decade when I was building Creative Groove Studio, I pursued my interest in coaching.  I became a Master Life Coach trained by Martha Beck, a branding strategist trained by Reach and, most recently, a Quiet Power Strategy certified strategist.  It was this final training - the Quiet Power Strategy training - that was the missing piece of the puzzle for me.  It showed me how to get clear on my Quiet Power - story telling - and to create a strategy that weaves that Quiet Power through every aspect of my business.

I'm so excited to launch INK - The Art of Business which brings together so many of the adventures and passions I have been pursuing for the past decade or so.

As a Master Life Coach and a Quiet Power Strategy® business coach, I can help you to uncover your business' most compelling story and create a strategy to share that story with as many people who want to hear it as possible.

Without burning yourself out in the process.



Imagine having a plan–a strategy–that keeps you focused, creates the traction you want, and encourages you to express your uniqueness. That’s your Quiet Power Strategy®.
— Tara Gentile, creator of Quiet Power Strategy

GOT QUESTIONS?

Do you have questions about INK and how to grow your business by working more creatively instead of harder? 

WORK WITH ME

Would you like to have a business coach in your corner to support you as you grow your business?


If you're interested in learning more about me, read on ...

At age 26, I left London to work in my law firm's New York office.   I fell in love with New York.  During the past 22 years, I've gone from being a lawyer to a business owner with some stand up comedy and improv thrown in along the way.

When I moved to New York, I was only supposed to stay for 6 months so I lived life to the full!  I did things that I had always wanted to try - like Latin dance lessons and horse riding lessons.  The dance lessons in 1994 ultimately led me to the man who would become my husband in 1998.  We are now the very proud parents of Eva (17), Francesca (15) and Leo (10).

While pregnant with my oldest daughter, my husband gave me the gift of a 10 week session of comedy writing and performing classes at Gotham Writers Workshop.  With a fire and a baby in my belly, I performed stand up comedy for the first time at Stand Up, NY in 1999.

During the past decade and a half, I have performed stand up comedy in many New York comedy clubs including Caroline's Comedy Club where I have performed a number of times.

A couple of years ago, I discovered improv comedy which I love and which has been a great tool to add to my coaching tools!  I've studied improv and writing at the People's Improv Theater in New York.

As a boy I was bitten by a Copperhead snake and almost died. Later I got bitten by improv comedy and started living.
— Yang Miller

During my 22 years in New York, I have met some wonderful individuals such as Martha Beck and Patti Digh whose books transformed my life in many ways.

  • In 2004, I read "Finding Your Own North Star" by Martha Beck, the wickedly talented and funny writer, life coach and columnist for O, the Oprah Magazine.  As soon as I finished the book, I emailed Martha to find out if she trained people to coach people in her coaching method.  I trained with her that year and was one of the first twenty coaches certified by her.
  • In 2005, I started a new business while newly pregnant with my son, Leo (which I didn't know at the time!).  That business grew into a thriving local studio, Creative Groove Studio, which offered music, art and dance classes to toddlers and a pre-school readiness program.  Although I am enormously proud of Creative Groove, the decade I spent building it taught me a great deal about how NOT to run a business.  That hard-earned wisdom has become invaluable to me as I launch my coaching practice and as I coach other entrepreneurs to build a strong foundation for their new businesses or to take their existing business to the next level.
  • In 2006, I qualified as a Reach Branding Strategist and in 2009, I became a Master Life Coach with Martha Beck.
  • As part of my Master Coach training, I experienced Equus coaching.  I am currently an Equus coach in training and I will be working with clients at stables in New York and New Jersey starting in Spring 2017. Having experienced this work as a client, I can honestly say that it is one of the most profound experiences I have ever had - truly life changing.   I am beyond excited to share it with my clients.    Click here to read an article in O Magazine about Equus Coaching.
  • I am a Quiet Power Strategy Certified Strategist.  Click here to read more about Quiet Power Strategy and click here to buy the Quiet Power Strategy book.