Coach Interview Series: Pam Thomas

by Brandon

Pam Thomas

Mindset 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 Pam Thomas. Pam is a Mindset Coach based in Cave Creek, Arizona. She is an ICF-certified Professional Certified Coach (PCC).

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

Pam: I specialize in mindset coaching. My ideal clients are women similar to myself who over the years have probably gotten tripped up over some of the mindset stories that they tell themselves that make them uncomfortable in their own skin. I work primarily with women who want to become more comfortable in their own skin. What we believe about ourselves — and this is based on personal experience — has an impact on what we do and how we do things.

NCA: Do you work with women of all ages or is there a specific age group you tend to focus on?

Pam: I find that primarily, my clients over the last 15 years have been between the ages of about 25 and 65. A good majority of them are either other coaches, brand new coaches, coaches who have been in the industry for a while, entrepreneurs, and women in leadership roles.

Although I do have some men in my practice, which is amazing, a good majority of my practice — probably about 85% — are women.

NCA: What initially got you interested in this becoming a coach?

Pam: Before I became involved in coaching, I had an internet production company in the mid to late 90’s. We were developing interactive websites. This was before Facebook and all of the other social media platforms. We were helping out the folks who wanted to identify and connect with their clientele in real-time.

As it so happens, we started having coaches contact us because they saw a definite benefit in being able to connect with their clients regardless of geographic boundaries. I kept having these coaches say to me, “Pam, why aren’t you coaching? This is what you’re doing. Why aren’t you coaching?” And I kept saying, “Because I’m working on my Masters in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.” Then it got to the fourth person who finally said, “You know what, Pam? You really should be coaching.” At that point I thought, “Somebody’s trying to tell me something and I better listen.”

I’m grateful that I did because 15 years later, I’m doing something that I’m passionate about. Like most coaches, I’ve been doing variations of it for a good majority of my life. I got trained and became certified and became a mentor/coach. I also teach for a coach certification training program. I absolutely love it. I’ve had a great time watching the industry change and grow and supporting other coaches, as well.

Remember that the fires you have walked through and continue to walk through are the fires that are going to help other people walk through their own. And that gives you the credibility and the viability and the skills and the talent to be doing what you’re doing.

NCA: What is the most rewarding part of your career and on the flip side of that, what would you say is the most challenging aspect of the work that you do?

Pam: The most rewarding obviously is when a client, through the process of coaching, recognizes just how amazing they truly are. It’s when they start to change their thought process and the way in which they see themselves and the things that they say to themselves. It’s when they become more comfortable in their skin and more effective as a result. More effective as a leader, as an entrepreneur, as a person. I would say that’s probably the most rewarding piece.

When I first started coaching, I just wanted to coach everybody. A lot of new coaches say that too: “I think I’ll just coach everybody.” I think my greatest challenge was really identifying who it was that wanted to work with and now that I know, it makes things so much easier. That was my greatest challenge.

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

Pam: First and foremost, my own mentor/coach was such a pivotal role in me a) becoming a successful coach and b) staying in coaching. During the first year I coached with her, if I had a dime for every time I said, “I suck at this, I’m going to quit,” I’d be an independently wealthy woman. [laughing] I’m so grateful to her because she helped me cut through my own mindset stuff and to really see why staying in a profession that I absolutely love was so important. My hat goes off to her. She was awesome.

Also, I have to say, Brandon, a lot of the folks that I coach have served as mentors in a multitude of ways. I learn with my clients, right alongside them and from them. I’m really grateful to those folks for the opportunities I’ve had not only to support them but also learn and grow as a result.

NCA: What is one piece of advice that you would offer to somebody who is just getting started in their coaching career?

Pam: As someone who teaches in a coach training organization and who mentors a lot of coaches, one of the things I hear is “I don’t have enough experience yet. What makes me credible and viable as a coach? What makes me think I can do this?” Essentially, Impostor Syndrome.

My one piece of advice to all coaches, whether they’re new to it or somewhat seasoned, is to remember that the fires you have walked through and continue to walk through are the fires that are going to help other people walk through their own. And that gives you the credibility and the viability and the skills and the talent to be doing what you’re doing.

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