Coach Interview Series: Erica Rood, M.A. Ed.

by Brandon

Erica Rood, M.A. Ed.

Certified Life Coach

Our main objective here at the National Coach Academy is to enable aspiring coaches to reach their full professional potential. One of the most effective ways to educate students about the world of coaching is by offering them a window into the world of real, practicing coaches and showing them all the different ways coaches make a difference in the lives of their clients.

We hope today’s interview adds another insightful glimpse into the dynamic world of coaching.

Today we are interviewing Erica Rood, M.A. Ed. Erica is a Certified Life Coach for Parents, Teens, and Young Adults. She is the founder of Inspire Balance based in San Diego, California.

NCA: Can you describe your coaching practice and the kinds of clients you typically work with?

Erica: I work with teens, young adults and college students, as well as with parents of teens. I specialize in working with just girls; my coaching practice is very specific. I work with people from all over the country and my office is in San Diego. A lot of my clients meet with me via FaceTime or Skype. It’s a combination of face-to-face sessions in the office or face-to-face sessions virtually.

NCA: Can you speak about why you initially got into coaching and some of the motivating factors behind that decision process?

Erica: My background is in teaching. I was a teacher for about eight years full time. During that time, I always felt like I knew I wasn’t going to be in the classroom forever. In my fourth year into my career, I decided to go back to school to get my Masters. When it came down to writing a thesis, I decided to specialize in relational aggression. I studied girl dynamics and girl relationships and I developed an intervention curriculum that was designed to teach girls about resolving conflict and understanding individuality, celebrating differences and also building their awareness of the unique dynamics that exist within a girl friendship.

The reason I chose that was because at that time in my classroom, there was a lot of that “girl drama” and I wanted to help those kids because I saw how distracted they were in the class. I did what I instinctually knew I had to do, but I was curious what more I could do and also why it was happening. After writing my thesis, I was able to implement a lot of my lessons in my own classroom. We did a pilot program at a local school and I became interested and enthusiastic about social-emotional education.

As days went by, I started to talk with friends and colleagues and I learned about this career called teen life coaching. I thought that sounded interesting and right up my alley in terms of my interests and passions.

I did training with a local woman, Tami Walsh, who is part of Teen Wisdom. Then I started to coach. I went part time in my teaching job, so I still had one foot in the door in the field of education. I started my private coaching practice and now it’s been seven and a half years. I’ve since resigned from teaching and went full time coaching.

It’s absolutely what I’m meant to be doing. I love doing it, especially working with this population.

Girls these days need extra support, guidance and perspective so they can navigate independently and start to feel confident and competent as they reach the college years and young adult years.

NCA: In working with your clients, what would you say has been the most challenging or unexpected part of that process? What hurdles have you had to jump over that maybe you weren’t expecting in the beginning and how have you worked to overcome those?

Erica: The main hurdle was the business side of it. I felt like I could do the tactical side and I knew how to coach, but I didn’t know at all how to start a business, how to market, and how to do accounting because I came from a teaching career. I had my monthly paycheck. I showed up to work. It was automatic. That was absolutely the biggest challenge in the beginning and I would say it even remains the biggest challenge.

But I found business coaches who were supportive. I joined a group of women entrepreneurs who are in very different fields but it’s a very collaborative, supportive and educational environment. I resource as much as I could. I also outsource bookkeepers who could do the stuff I wasn’t good at and I didn’t like to do. It’s probably still my biggest challenge—effective marketing.

Now that social media is being widely used and a lot of people are finding me via social media, I try to keep the content relevant. But that’s probably still my biggest hurdle.

NCA: Can you think of a mentor or a coach in your own career who was the most vital to your success and in what ways did this mentor help you thrive in your career?

Erica: Two people come to mind. One was my business coach who was instrumental in encouraging and teaching me and being alongside for the first couple of years of my journey. She was a powerful influence.

Another is a friend and a colleague. She was the person who first told me about teen life coaching. She opened a lot of doors. I call her my angel because she’s a close person to me, someone who led by example, but also in some ways knew me better than I knew myself at certain stages in life and led me in this direction.

NCA: One of the most common challenges new coaches face is self-doubt. Some coaches call it Imposter Syndrome, where early on they feel somehow inadequate to take on the role of coach. What is one piece of advice that you would give to somebody who is in the beginning stage of their coaching career and dealing with these doubts in their mind?

Erica: Two things come to mind. One, being in self-doubt can be triggered when you are comparing yourself to your colleagues seen as competitors. I think that competitor mindset can trigger self-doubt and start to perpetuate it. Remind yourself that there are plenty of people out there who are in need. You don’t need to see your colleagues as competitors. It’s more important to see them as collaborators and supporters, and it helps to find ways to work with likeminded people.

Another thing is to tap into your Why. When self-doubt is triggered, I often think about why I’m doing this. I connect back with how I feel when I’m in session or after a session and all of that dissipates the self-doubt completely. It reminds me that I’m purposeful and I’m still on track. I know that I’m being authentic and I don’t need to doubt myself because this is entirely what I’m meant to do. That’s what I feel when I intentionally tap into the flow.

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