Coach Interview Series: Anne Livingston

by Brandon

Anne Livingston

Spiritual 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 Anne Livingston. Anne is a Practical Spirituality Mentor who helps her clients answer the questions “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?”, thereby helping her clients bring their soul’s vision to life.

NCA: What is the story behind the name “Anne the Nomad”?

Anne: I’ve been a coach for the last 6 years and my business has evolved, as we all do. I started my coaching career with Beachbody Coaching through network marketing. That’s where it all began. I started with health and fitness, and from there, I realized that so many of my clients really struggle with the mindset piece. So I evolved from health and wellness and more into mindset coaching. As I embarked on my own spiritual journey, I combined spirituality and mindset.

In 2017, I received the intuitive nudge, if you want to call it that, to sell all my stuff and hit the road and travel full-time with my two cats. It was in 2017 that I became a nomad. For the last two and a half years, I’ve been living full-time on the road traveling around. I realized that so many people really wanted to understand how to live a life of freedom even if it’s not specifically on the nomadic path. I had evolved so much in the last two and a half years by really stripping everything down from my life and going to the bare minimum that I decided to take on that name. I live full-time mostly in Airbnbs, so when I sign guest books, it’s always “Anne the Nomad.” I decided to really embrace that name and put it out there.

NCA: Do you know any other coaches doing exactly what you’re doing?

Anne: Not exactly what I’m doing. Before I became a nomad, I saw other coaches in the spiritual coaching community that were traveling and doing short snippets of traveling around or living in Airbnbs and that was my original intention. When I got the intuitive nudge, I thought it was going to be two months at a time, very structured. [laughing] Like, “Oh, it’ll be two months here, two months there. That’s easy enough.”

Basically, all of my plans had to go out the window and it really forced me to listen to and trust my intuition. I think there are a lot of digital nomads out there, but I never really resonated with that term, so I call myself an intuitive nomad because every single move that I make on the road is 100% intuitively based. It has forced me to grow and evolve and become extremely uncomfortable. It’s given me amazing material to be able to write about. It’s given me amazing material to be able to coach from. And I feel that it gives me a level of experience that most coaches just don’t have.

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

Anne: I work primarily with women, although I have a lot of men in my life who I kind of coach not as clients, but I mentor them a lot besides being friends with them. I work with a lot of people who have gone down that “safe path” that society told them was going to lead them to happiness and that was my story. Teacher, married, lost my teaching career, divorced, and everything kind of was stripped away from me. I feel a lot of that within my clients, where they did what they “should do” in order to follow that path of happiness and then they get the stuff, they get the relationship, they get the job, and they’re like, “Why am I still unhappy?”

The core of what I do is really self-love, which sounds very cliché, but it’s a lot deeper than that. It’s really about “How do we cultivate a connection to ourselves in order to give to ourselves first in order to then show up in the world?” I also do a lot of shadow work, ego work, inner-child work — whatever you want to call it — and that foundation of the inner-child work is really what helps to cultivate this unconditional love for themselves.

[Being a nomad] has forced me to grow and evolve and become extremely uncomfortable. It’s given me amazing material to be able to write about. It’s given me amazing material to be able to coach from. And I feel that it gives me a level of experience that most coaches just don’t have.

NCA: What initially got you interested in this career path and what kind of degree or certifications did you need to complete, if any?

Anne: My background is in Education. I was an Early Childhood Education major. My Bachelor’s is in Special Ed, my Master’s is in Early Childhood and I was a teacher for 7 years. I went from Florida to Texas and then my final year was in Chicago. And my only year teaching in Chicago, there was a teacher strike and there were 50 school closures and I ended up losing my job. And because I had 7 years’ experience and a master’s degree, I was too expensive to hire back that I ended up losing my career. It was really in that moment that I had a choice to either leave Chicago and I might get a teaching job elsewhere–which I didn’t want to do–or to just throw out my hands and surrender and trust that something else would come through.

I ended up becoming a nanny. And then as I was nannying, I had a very clear realization that I never again wanted anyone else to dictate whether or not I had a job and how much money I could make. That’s when network marketing really fell in my lap. That was the door that opened in order for me to step into being a coach. And then I had the realization that because I’m a teacher, as long as I was doing the work first and foremost, I was able to teach other people what I do. As my coaching evolved into a lot of the inner child work, I really understood that my background in early childhood has a direct correlation to what I do with my clients.

NCA: From what you explained, it doesn’t sound like you sought out any specific coaching certification, is that right?

Anne: Correct. I thought about getting certified but what I realized on my own journey was I was doing the work, so I knew that I was leading with integrity and authenticity. That was first and foremost.

And then the second thing was that I really see myself as a leader. My perspective is that if I’m getting certified, then I’m following someone else’s process. And it’s not true for me. If I hadn’t used someone else’s process in order to make changes in my own life, then there’s a disconnect there. That was really my biggest reason.

I know how I made my change, I know how I evolved, I can reflect on my journey and see exactly what I need from point A to point B and then yes, because of my teaching background, I’m able to break it down into steps and a process and I could meet the standards and write a curriculum as a teacher. I was able to take my own experience and break it down from there and then I created my own unique process that I take my clients through.

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

Anne: The most rewarding thing is definitely when I see a change stick within a client. It’s similar to when I was a teacher. It’s like when the light finally clicks. When you see it. It’s an energetic thing. I could feel when the client shifts and when I know that they’re no longer going back to the old ways. I would say that’s what’s the most rewarding.

The most challenging thing for me is really a business-related thing. My business is so non-traditional in a sea of traditional coaching and it has been a challenge at times to feel like my voice and my message is actually being heard. I think that’s the hardest thing — when you feel like you have a message and you believed in your gifts and your callings so deeply, and yet it feels like for whatever reason, you’re not helping all the people that you know you’re capable of helping.

NCA: What kinds of marketing have you tried and what forms of getting the word out have you felt are more effective for your business and what do you think hasn’t worked out as much as you had wished?

Anne: For me, it’s just like my nomad journey, it’s 100% intuitively based. I personally have hired business coaches to try to grow my business. I’m on Instagram, I’m on Facebook, I have a podcast, I have a YouTube channel, I have a blog, I’m on Yelp.

I’ve done a lot of the live videos and then selling my services and selling myself, but that just never really felt good to me. I got the intuitive nudge that was just “Live your life and write about it.” Really just be as real as possible, be as authentic as possible. And I trust that when I show up and just share my own story, my own journey and then my coaching is really through my speaking and through my writing, as far as my marketing is concerned, people are then naturally drawn to me in that capacity because they don’t feel like they’re being sold to.

I think that’s the hardest thing — when you feel like you have a message and you believed in your gifts and your callings so deeply, and yet it feels like for whatever reason, you’re not helping all the people that you know you’re capable of helping.

And I would say one of my biggest struggles with traditional coaching is that there’s this selling of “When you hire me and when I help you achieve this goal — a lot of times the goal is something external like money or something materialistic — and once you achieve that goal then this pain point that I’ve hit on will go away.”

I feel like we’re entering into a time where that doesn’t work anymore. People understand that they’re being sold to and that there’s something deeper that needs to be addressed. So I just show up very real and very unapologetically and show what my own pain looks like. What my own healing looks like. What my process looks like and then I just simply share. I’m doing this in my life and I can help you do it, too. And I think that sometimes, there’s this disconnect in coaching where coaches coach through a pedestal versus side-by-side.

NCA: Can you think of one client or mentor who challenged your beliefs or made you rethink the way you approach your clients or your work?

Anne: I had a spiritual mentor, actually, about a year and a half ago who continued to challenge me. I was in a really tough spot financially and I hired her because I needed more money. She continued to remind me that I didn’t actually want the money, I wanted the feeling that the money would provide. And I was like, “I’m pretty sure I want the money because I’m pretty sure I need to buy some food, I need to pay my bills.” [Laugh]

And what I noticed through working with her–and this really has informed how I work with my clients–is that every time I try to chase after the money or to take action to try to get the money, to try to get the clients — again that’s traditional marketing — it made things worse. My bank account was worse off. And the more that I meditated, the more that I relaxed, the more that I went out and lived my life, the less action that I actually took, the better my results were. And that went against everything that we’re ever taught. We’re always taught if you haven’t achieved your goal, then do more. I consistently come back to that when I notice myself hitting that brick wall. I’m like, “Okay, do less. When you want to do more, do less.”

NCA: Finally, what advice would you give someone looking to get started in the career path that you chose?

Anne: Most people don’t want to do what I’ve done. [laughing]

Consume less content. Consume less information. That’s actually another intuitiveness that I’ve gotten recently. Stop reading the book, stop listening to the podcast, stop trying to be the gatherer of information thinking that the more information you have, the better you’ll be. Because the thing that has led me to any gold mine that I’ve ever landed on always comes from within myself.

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