Coach Interview Series: Sandra Possing

by Brandon

Sandra Possing

Life Coach, Speaker, and Entrepreneur

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 Sandra Possing. Sandra is a life coach and motivational speaker based in San Francisco, CA.

Sandra: I am a life coach, speaker, and an entrepreneur. I typically work with really passionate millennial women who have big dreams and even bigger hearts, but they are holding themselves back in some way. I help them get out of their own way and unleash their inner badass so they can do great work in the world and create an extraordinary life they love.

NCA: You mentioned helping them get out of their own way. What does that mean typically with the clients that you work with? How are they in their own way?

Sandra: My clients tend to be very similar to me in that they’re going through many of the same struggles I went through. They are their own biggest hurdle, and once they recognize that, they are very motivated to work through it. It’s typically things like people-pleasing, perfectionism, and self-doubt. Those are the biggest ones. Simply put, they are believing their own limiting beliefs and stories and holding themselves back out of fear.

NCA: What initially got you interested in becoming a coach when you first got started?

Sandra: If I look back now, I wish I had known that coaching was a thing. I would’ve started much earlier. I would’ve started straight out of college or maybe while still in high school.

I did a lot of different, random things in my 20’s and I kept feeling that I couldn’t just have a job. I couldn’t just have a paycheck and I wasn’t cut out for the corporate world. My family’s in Scandinavia so I needed to be able to travel. I knew I needed to do something I loved but I had no idea what it was. I tried a lot of things and nothing fit.

Finally, I committed to do some soul-searching until I figured it out. I made my job figuring out what job I wanted to have.

At that point, I had become a little bit familiar with the coaching world. I was working in fitness, bartending, working for startups. In the fitness world, I came into contact with more and more coaches — health coaches, life coaches, executive coaches — and I started to realize that they have a lot of things that I wanted. They love their work. They have the freedom.

It was through the fitness world that I discovered coaching. Once I learned a little bit more and realized that this is an actual career path, everything just made sense. I’ve been reading self-help books since I could remember. Everything I did in my free time was personal development study and to think that I could actually build a career out of it — it was just blaringly obvious once I actually found it. And the rest is history.

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

Sandra: On the professional side, the most rewarding is watching a client blossom. It literally feels like I’m watching a flower blossoming real time, right in front of my eyes. It’s so moving. It’s so tender. It’s so fulfilling to see this person become more of who they really are and find their inner strength.

Because a lot of the women I work with are playing so small and they’re so contracted, they become these Pepsi Light versions of themselves through their life. Then I get to watch them unleash their inner badass and become more magnetic. They become radiant. You can see the light come on in their eyes. It’s just so beautiful to watch.

On the personal side, the best part is the freedom. It’s being able to create freedom with my lifestyle and all that comes from being an entrepreneur.

The most challenging part for me is the business side — the sales and marketing. When I started, I had zero experience, zero training in any of that. I had no idea what I was getting into, which is probably a good thing because I’m not sure that I would’ve gone for it if I know how hard it was going to be. [laughing] It took a couple of years to realize, “Wow, I can DIY this, but it’s going to take forever, so I need to get myself some support.”

Once I started hiring business coaches and joining business masterminds, that was really helpful. It still remains probably my biggest challenge, but it’s a challenge that I’ve learned to love. Now I geek out on sales, marketing, business growth and all of that. It’s fun but it’s still the piece that is the most challenging. All the coaching, facilitating, speaking, and writing comes really easily for me, but learning how to make this a viable business and take it to the next level (and the next and the next) — that’s a challenge.

Because a lot of the women I work with are playing so small and they’re so contracted, they become these Pepsi Light versions of themselves through their life. Then I get to watch them unleash their inner badass and become more magnetic. They become radiant. You can see the light come on in their eyes. It’s just so beautiful to watch.

NCA: I find that often the same qualities that make people excellent coaches create challenges when it comes to being effective marketers.

Sandra: Most coaches are so huge-hearted and they just want to heal the world. They feel like they should give it all away for free. It’s a very confronting reality when they realize, “Oh wait, unless I want to do this as a hobby I gotta figure out how to actually make money.”

So many coaches have all kinds of money mindset stuff and limiting beliefs there, too. Probably the biggest and maybe most transformational part of my own personal journey is just realizing how much stuff I had around money that I’ve had to work through. I wouldn’t even be surprised if I end up becoming a money mindset coach in the end, too, because it’s been my biggest challenge. It’s also one of the things that seems the most profound in terms of rewiring my whole brain on how I think about everything, starting with money and looking at abundance versus scarcity, etc.

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

Sandra: The first one was really my first solid business coach. Her name is Emily Utter. Back in 2015, I joined her business mastermind and worked with her for a couple of years. That was the first time I had training in the business foundations, like how to treat myself as a legit company and businessperson rather than a hobbyist. Learning the foundations from her changed everything. It was the first time I went to having an actual, real business. Before that it was just a side hustle.

Most recently, my favorite mentor is Amanda Frances. I haven’t worked with her one-on-one personally but I’ve done a few of her online courses. She has a massive audience — hundreds of thousands of followers and a very successful, multi 7-figure business.

Most of her focus is on money mindset, abundance, manifesting and all the woo-woo stuff which I love. She also has this really unique perspective on life and the world. She’s one of those people where I can listen to her podcast or her YouTube videos for five minutes and it’s as if it resets my entire system internally. I don’t know what her magic is. [laughing] I love what she believes and how she looks at things. She also has a lot of great business strategy teachings, but her mindset about business, money, and life is exactly what I want to get to myself. I tend to kind of binge her content just as a way of keeping myself in a high vibe state and really believing in the possibility.

NCA: What is one piece of advice that you would give to somebody who is just starting out their coaching career?

Sandra: Start before you’re ready. If I could go back now, I would just give myself a kick in the butt and I would just start on day one. What I did was I spread out my coach training. It was five-weekend training courses and I spread them out over for like a year and a half and in the middle of that, I did a 10-month leadership training program.

I had convinced myself that I wasn’t ready to actually start coaching until I had done all the trainings. I didn’t have the confidence and I was so full of doubt that I thought I needed to finish all of this extra training before I could be ready. Whereas, for example, I had a colleague who started her business the day after the first day of coach training. She ended up being several years ahead of me in terms of revenue, her client base, and impact. I realized, “Wow, it’s not more studying and more training that makes you ready. It’s actually coaching people that makes you ready.”

NCA: Getting over the imposter syndrome is a huge, huge challenge, I think, for a lot of coaches.

Sandra: You don’t have to necessarily even get over it. You just realize that it’s a totally normal thing. Most of the amazing, successful people in any field out there still struggle with it. It’s like with fear. If you learn that it’s just part of the process, then you could see it, welcome it, embrace it, and dance with it and realize, “That means I’m just doing great work and I just have to work on my mindset and keep reminding myself that it’s all part of the process.”

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