Coach Interview Series: Jen Hope

by Brandon

Jen Hope

Business and Executive 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 Jen Hope. Jen is a Business and Executive Coach based in Seattle, WA.

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

Jen: I’m a business and executive coach for leaders and entrepreneurs.

NCA: What initially got you interested in the world of coaching and how did you initially fall into this career?

Jen: I studied psychology alongside marketing in college. These days, I have a beautiful opportunity to do a hybrid of those two things that I am deeply passionate about. The world of coaching has been interesting to me because I believe that through individual transformation, we transform the world around us.

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 is the most challenging aspect of the work that you do?

Jen: The most rewarding part of my day is when I can see that there has been a deep trusting built in a client relationship. When that trust is there, clients generate powerful insights and then truly start to transform. I feel incredibly grateful to do what I do and to be a part of that support team for my clients.

As far as challenges, being a business owner is more challenging than I ever thought it would be. I knew how challenging it would be to be a business owner, and it’s still more challenging than that!

Give yourself a runway.

Give yourself a long path in front of you to find the confidence that may not be there right away.

I don’t know too many people (or anyone!) who start something brand new and have it all figured out.

NCA: Can you think of a mentor or a coach in your own 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?

Jen: One of my mentors has been instrumental in expanding my understanding of compassion. I learned how to be my own coach and now I’m sharing that skill with clients, it has been an incredible gift. Having that mentor — somebody who’s gone so far ahead of me in herself development and who is willing to come back to where I am and teach me things — I just respect her so much and feel grateful for her beyond words.

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

Jen: To intentionally bring perceived “competition” closer. Over the last few years, I’ve intentionally spent quite a bit of time getting to know the people who had been doing this for a long time, much longer than I have, and we continue to share notes on what’s working in our businesses. It was really helpful for me to get some insight on what had worked for them and how they had evolved.

The beauty of those connections is that they also gave me a lot of encouragement to just do it — to just start. I didn’t realize at the time how much I was still needing permission to play amongst these people who I respected so much, and their encouraging words were, “Just start and you’ll figure it out.”

One other perspective that I have found quite helpful for folks is to limit the idea of being an “overnight success.” In the start community, there’s an expectation that for every overnight success we see, that company is generally seven years in the making. Whoever we think is an overnight success, there’s actually somebody who’s been working on that project, idea, etc. for seven years.

I give myself that coaching as well, I tell myself, “At year 7 we’ll see how far we’ve come. But until then, stand down in judgment and know how far you are.” Give yourself the opportunity to just put in a bunch of focused, quality work and stay out of judgment along the way.

One last thing I would add: if this is a career change and this is something brand new for you, give yourself compassion and space to be a beginner. Even if you’re coming from another career and you have 5 years or 15 years of experience under your belt in that career, remember that here, you’re brand new. Give yourself time to find confidence and to find your footing.

Give yourself a runway.

Give yourself a long path in front of you to find the confidence that may not be there right away.

I don’t know too many people (or anyone!) who start something brand new and have it all figured out.

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