To say the transition from my job as an Office Manager at a family business of 14 years to Certified Professional Coach, as well as from living in Canada to moving to Mexico to create a new life has been easy would be the understatement of the year!
Change can be scary, like standing on the glass floor of the CN Tower. Wow, just saying that made my legs weak. Change can be also exhilarating like zip lining through the tree tops in Jamaica. Not going to lie, that’s where I solidified my fear of heights, but the zipping was fun! When navigating the obstacles and delays along the road to your goals, it is key to create a roadmap that speaks to what you are wanting to achieve. What I discovered along my route was not only creating a plan for success, but also contingency planning for what or even who might take me off course. I also incorporated co-pilots that became vital to staying on course for those very times when I needed advice, a sounding board or just a little encouragement. By co-pilots, I mean my husband, my friends and yes……. my own coaches! I had some big transitions and some even bigger life changes ahead, and I was going to need to plan for possible roadblocks and detours along the way.
When I discovered I wanted to become a Certified Professional Coach, I researched everything there was to know about my new career. I weighed the pros/cons, played devils advocate, and then closed my eyes, crossed everything I had and jumped in with both feet! I still remember enrolling with Erickson International. It was going to be an intense live online learning environment – 2 nights per week, 3 hrs each night. When I signed up for the 6pm to 9pm PST classes, it was exciting and scary all at once. I mean, it was going to be a lot of practicing beyond classes, in depth homework, as well as some pretty introspective work, not to mention working full time! The timing was perfect and I was all in! Then I heard the sound of tires screeching to a stop, when I discovered I had enrolled in the 6-9pm PST classes, um, different time zone, OMG! That means my classes were really going to be 9pm to Midnight !! Can I handle this? What if I can’t stay awake? What if I can’t handle the workload and working full time as well as my other family commitments? It was like a flashing neon sign that read “WHAT IF I FAIL”. It was like a tidal wave of anxiety and a fear of the unknown were starting to overtake my initial feelings of excitement and anticipation. So instead of allowing it to overwhelm me, I instead set a plan in motion to prepare myself to ensure I kept my eye on the prize. I made lists, purchased supplies, I made sure those closest to me knew my schedule to ensure I gave myself the time to eliminate any cause to feel unprepared. Don’t get me wrong, I was still feeling anxiety, but it was the good kind! I was in action and planning for my success.
By contingency planning, I was creating new habits and routines that I could apply to my goal to become a Coach. All these things were creating a momentum that kept me on track, and with the successful completion of each module of learning; the anxieties and fears that were at first obstacles were replaced with confidence and excitement to what was coming next. Throughout my education, I embraced the importance of coaching and having coaches. Whether we met weekly, or bi-weekly, it was crucial in keeping me on my path. It didn’t matter how small or big the goals were that I worked on, it was all about moving forward and creating a plan to achieve them. It allowed me to create a formula that I could use everyday and that would evolve with any challenges to change in direction I chose. I quickly discovered “what worked well” and with an open mind received “what would be even better.
Obstacles, delays, roadblocks, barriers, however I see them, they have all taught me the importance of patience and the ability to press pause to re-assess. Notice I said “pause” and not stop? They may be annoyances, frustrations and even an internal struggle, but they don’t need to Stop you in your tracks.
My next goal that I set my sights on was to become an entrepreneur and start my own coaching practice! I knew it was going to be a lot of work, but I had also created new habits, routines, mindsets and I had a plan. Sure, I had a long list, and just as long a road ahead. Just like my career change, I needed to prepare for what was needed to start my own business. Wowsa! Did it get real, the list of questions I had just kept growing until I began to feel overwhelmed and started to feel paralyzed with doubt! Website/ no website? Do I create it, or hire a pro? Business cards? Logo? Branding & Advertising? Payment system? What do I charge clients? Government requirements? Social Media Streams? OMG! Where do I? What do I? How do I? When do I? AHHHHHHHHH! Once again, I pressed my pause button and re-grouped. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? So, on the advice of a friend, I decided to sit down with someone I knew who had started their own business. I prepared a list of questions that were designed to provide me with answers to all the key questions I needed to ask, called and set up a time to meet up, and BAM! It was a goldmine of information, advice, and the start of my roadmap to building my business. With the information I needed, and a list of mini-goals to proceed, I contacted my coaches and began my journey to creating my own business.
It hasn’t been a quick road, and sure there have been delays and more pressing the pause button to re-group, but it’s a work in progress that is constantly evolving! When I decided to take the route to entrepreneur, I had a vision of everything being in a beautiful perfect package with a big shiny bow on it! The reality is, it takes time, and there is no one stop shop to creating a business. It is still in progress, and my mindset is that slow and steady wins the race, one achievement at time! For me, its about finding and utilizing my resources, and it has been a valuable lesson that I cannot do it all by myself, that sometimes you need to draw on the talent of others to create something you love and are proud to represent!
Then because creating and starting my own business isn’t enough, came the decision to move from Canada to Mexico! Seriously Stacey, you don’t have enough to do? Insert nervous laughter here! That’s right, as you may have read in my previous blog posts, the past year has been a roller coaster of editing, staging, selling home, moving to my friends home prior to our move to Mexico! Just in case you are wondering, yes I kept my coaches very busy, lololol. My initial plan was to be in Mexico with my immigration papers in hand ready to take on a new country, language and continue to build my business. This goal too had its share of delays and obstacles to overcome. Again, like imagining my business being a perfect package, getting my visa for Mexico was a bit of an eye opener. I thought we would have it all done and be driving down the road to Mexico a few days after Thanksgiving, ahh nope!
First you get the application, and then you have to call the Mexican embassy until someone answers. Once you connect with someone at the embassy, you ask to book the appointment. Now I was calling all day for several days until I finally connected. It was like when you call a Radio Station to win tickets, lol! I thought ‘Awesome I can book for a week from today and we will be right on schedule!’ WRONG! I called at the end of August, and my appointment assigned for my visa application was October 25th! Holy Crap on a Cracker, really?? Yes really! Again, I thought how hard is it to complete an application, get some pictures, some photocopies and some banking records? Apparently, a little more complicated than I thought. Sure I was disappointed and frustrated that our road trip was now delayed, but as it turned out it worked out for the best. The application looked easy enough to fill out, but there were a few tricky spots to complete, so instead of winging it, I asked questions of the Mexican Embassy, which I might add were an amazing resource, and I also contacted someone my parents knew in Ajijic Mexico that knew the process. I contacted Kevin Paulini and his wife Adriana and once again, it was a goldmine of information and assistance. Kevin walked me through the process every step of the way, and his wife Adriana who is a lawyer took over upon my arrival in Mexico!
October 25th came and I was excited that this was the last hurdle to the goal of leaving for Mexico! With all my documents, photos, passport, and application perfectly in order, off we went to the Mexican Embassy! Remember those screeching tires I refer to? Yep, you got it, there were a few things on the application that were not quite perfect! I could feel the blood draining from my face, my stomach flipping, and everything moving in slow motion………a little dramatic I know, but thankfully the amazingly understanding embassy rep said ‘don’t worry, just fill this out again with some slight changes and everything is good!’. I felt as though I was in that game “minute to win it” lolol, BAM! All done, interview great, paperwork all in order, and then I heard the words, “Your visa will be mailed to you in 10 business days”. Ya, so like a kid on Christmas morning, I went to the mailbox every day looking for my passport and visa and in the 11th hour, it finally arrived on November 14th! All systems go to launch our road trip! We left November 16th and we enjoyed a seamless 4,266 km drive from Canada to Mexico!
All the delays, obstacles, detours and contingency planning has provided momentum and confidence that as I move forward with my goals, I have become more resourceful and patient with the process, and as Life Coach and Motivational speaker Marie Forleo says “Everything is Figureoutable”.