Coach Interview Series: Megan Ladd

by Brandon

Megan Ladd

Business 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 Megan Ladd. Megan is a business coach based in San Diego, California.

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

Megan: I work with female entrepreneurs, leaders, and change-makers: women who know they’re here to do big things but keep getting in their own way, and are tired of trying to figure it all out on their own. I help them break free from whatever is holding them back, reconnect to their highest selves, and build a life that’s in full alignment with who they truly are and came here to be.

For each of my clients, I evaluate where they’re feeling out-of-balance, and then create a customized plan based on their needs. We tend to look at things through the lens of their career and life purpose, but we work on all of it, getting everything balanced and operating together in tandem.

NCA: What are some of those challenges that the female entrepreneurs that you work with are facing? What are some of the common hurdles that they have to cross?

Megan: One of the most common hurdles is perfectionism. Most of my clients have operated this way their entire lives — always trying to be the best at everything they do, and constantly pushing themselves to be better. They’re high achievers and have experienced a fair amount of success with operating in please-perfect-perform mode. They put a lot of pressure on themselves. It can feel like the hardest thing in the world to change this way of doing things, especially if it’s all you’ve ever known in terms of how to create success and growth in the past.

Usually what happens is people reach a plateau and get tired of all the pressure. Sometimes this looks like experiencing physical, mental, and/or emotional exhaustion. Other times it looks like wanting to take a full-on sabbatical and retreat from their lives altogether. Or simply not finding the same amount of joy in their work that they used to (despite loving what they do). Whatever the indicator is, however it shows up — they realize it’s time for a change.

Another common obstacle is imposter syndrome. Any time you’re doing something that you haven’t done before, it’s normal to have thoughts like, “Who am I to do this?”, and feel like a fraud to some degree. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t experienced feeling like an imposter at some point in their career. I experience this all the time, and I have to remind myself, “I’m just a human being with a very human brain that loves to stay where it is. This is me stepping into something new. This is what growth feels like.”

Many of my clients also tend to be disconnected from their feminine power, and have gotten used to showing up in the world with more masculine energy (especially at work). They’re stuck in a nonstop cycle of doing and don’t remember how to just be, play, have fun, nourish themselves, feel their feelings, and trust their intuition…while also creating prosperity and outer success in their lives. Once they relax back into the feminine, and learn how to artfully blend it with the masculine, they reconnect to this magnetic force inside of them that’s always been there — it just got unplugged somewhere along the way.

NCA: It’s all a bit ironic because the primary appeal of becoming an entrepreneur is the supposed freedom you’ll enjoy. No bosses, no set schedules. It’s all you. But that independence can ultimately prove to be quite limiting if the entrepreneur doesn’t learn how to take care of themselves.

Megan: Yes! A lot of people become entrepreneurs because they want to experience that freedom. Freedom is my number one value. It’s a lot of my clients’ number one value, too. They want the personal freedom to do what they love and the financial freedom to do it forever, on their terms.

Then they unintentionally create a prison within their own business, this rigid world filled with expectations, where they can’t really unplug and are hustling nonstop. They take the same achiever tendencies and mindset they’ve always had and apply it to their business…except now they don’t have a boss or coworkers or job to blame for how they’re feeling. They start to see how they’re the ones getting in their own way. That awareness can be a harsh reality check, but also a powerful motivator to finally make a change and work on themselves.

NCA: In working with your clients, what would you say is the most rewarding part of that process and on the flip side of that, what would you say is the most challenging or perhaps unexpected hurdle that you found yourself trying to climb?

Megan: The most rewarding part is watching the transformation in my clients throughout the process — from the moment they decide to work together, all the way through their final session.

It’s the best feeling in the world to know that someone has invested in an experience like this — that they’re all-in on learning a different way, and creating the kind of life they’ve always wanted. The transformation begins the moment they say yes to themselves.

From there, the results show up on every level, at every stage in the process.

Physically, people start sleeping better and taking better care of their bodies. Instead of feeling like a “should,” self-care begins to feel like a desire — stemming from a place of self-love. As they nourish themselves and prioritize their wellbeing, they begin to glow from the inside out, and feel more energized than they have in years.

Mentally, they learn how to calm their minds down, so they spend way less time in their heads and feeling anxious. As a result, they experience peace-of-mind on a daily basis, and they feel clear, focused, and productive in their work.

Emotionally, they experience childlike joy and aliveness (often for the first time in years), and feel more connected to themselves and the people in their lives. They no longer suppress their emotions, because they know how to work with and manage them. This creates a sense of empowerment and freedom, as well as new appreciation for their own inner strength.

Spiritually, they get clearer than ever on who they really are, how to hear and trust their intuition, and what living in accordance with their most authentic selves looks like for them. They feel connected to a higher power, more aware of the divinity within themselves than ever before. As a result, they experience a deep sense of trust, knowing they are always supported and guided.

Every piece of this puzzle, every bit of this unfolding, is so fun and fulfilling to watch.

The most challenging part for me is also the most challenging part for my clients, which is bumping up against my own stuff and moving through the inner obstacles that come up along the way.

Any time we’re on a growth path, we’re inevitably coming face to face with our fears, insecurities, and limitations. In order to become the next-level version of ourselves, we have to be willing to look at that stuff — and leave behind the comfort of how things are right now.

The outer actions we take to achieve our goals aren’t nearly as challenging as navigating those inner obstacles. Success is an inside job, and our brains work very hard to keep us safe and playing small and not rocking the boat. That’s why I value having my own coaches, too: I’m committed to always evolving and working on myself to be the best that I can be, and I know that any transformation I’m seeking starts from within.

NCA: As you alluded to earlier, one of the most common challenges new coaches face is self-doubt and 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?

Megan: The fact that you’re feeling this and that these thoughts are going through your head is by no means an indication of how capable you actually are and how much you have to contribute. Imposter syndrome is something that people experience at every level of growth.

In these moments, shift the focus away from your own brain and back to what you feel called to do and who you feel most called to support. Anytime you do that, it’s like taking the fast track out of your own head and back to a place of service.

If you’re just starting out and you feel like coaching is a great fit for your personality, I would think about what you know you can help someone with right now. It can be something simple that you’ve gone through in your own life or a way that you’ve been successful in the past — maybe a breakthrough or transformation you’ve experienced recently. It could be the smallest thing. Don’t worry about finding the perfect niche. Instead, ask yourself: What’s the one thing you know how to do that you could support someone with right now? Start there, and focus on giving. It’s impossible to be in that headspace and swept up in your own doubts and insecurities at the same time.

As you grow your coaching practice, you’ll find that you encounter opportunities for personal growth every step of the way. The discomfort of growth is inevitable, so remember that experiencing things like imposter syndrome is normal. Nothing has gone wrong and nothing is wrong with you for feeling this way. It’s all part of the process, and means that you’re right on track! Keep going. It’s worth it to become the strongest, most empowered and evolved version of yourself — and help other people do that too.

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