Coach Interview Series: Jessica Nixon

by Brandon

Jessica Nixon

Owner of Finding Your Inner Compass, Life Coaching for Women

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 Jessica Nixon. Jessica is a Life Coach, Counselor, and Mental Health Advocate based in Melbourne, Florida.

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

Jessica: Finding Your Inner Compass, LLC, provides life coaching for women in all stages of life looking to simplify, clarify, or re-identify aspects of their life. We offer guidance, coaching, and consulting services to women in various transitions of life; whether just starting out, with families, in a professional realm, starting over, ready for retirement, or ready for a change! Every stage of life requires a new perspective, and sometimes that can be confusing or scary as to what to do next or what to expect. Having a coach to motivate, encourage, empower, and help validate, refine, or determine steps to accomplish a smooth transition can be an ideal option for these big changes in life.

As a life coach, I work exclusively with each client to support them with their individual needs. It is important to have an initial Discovery Call to determine compatibility between the client and coach to move forward toward a working relationship, based on what needs of the client as well as the capacity for the coach to effectively assist her. Subsequently, the Discovery Assessment is conducted to get pertinent information about the client to delve further into creating a working plan with the coach. This, and all sessions, can be completed in person, via email, over phone or video chat.

Our coaching involves addressing and acknowledging the concerns but also stepping away from the emotional blocks in a situation to focus on how to approach and overcome the obstacle at hand. Once a Navigational Chart is completed, the coach and client team begin the deep work of processing through the phases of their coaching plan for the predetermined time of 3, 6, 9, or 12 months, based on the client’s needs. Working with a coach, is just that: work. If someone just wants to talk about their feelings and experiences to better understand them, they have alternative options to go to a counselor, a close friend, or family member. Working with a coach is on a different level because they are not only trained to be there and help find the emotional gaps, limiting beliefs, or reasons that have become an obstacle, but also to unveil and discover, with the client, the potential of developing into their strong, true, authentic self!

It is about listening, learning, and growing with the clients to find the right path for them. Sometimes the journey is an easy flow with lots of smiles and celebrations, and other times it is the perfect storm of tears and deepest fears; but they all are a necessary part of the process to achieve overall success.

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

Jessica: My experience as a licensed school guidance counselor and mental health clinician stemmed my interest in pursuing a career as a life coach. I have my bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a specialization in Business, a master’s degree in Counselor Education and Doctorate classes in Psychology. I have spent 15+years helping others (ages 2-82) with their mental health well-being, but found that these clients needed more than just a counselor – they needed tools and resources.

The counseling theories have good foundational work to begin unraveling the underlying issues, but then the session is over, and the client returns a week later to bring more situations that occurred based on these same issues. Speaking is healing, but without tools, this cycle is a pattern. This can become emotionally discouraging for both the client and the counselor with time invested and not feeling effective or practical to everyday life.

I realized that once I was able to identify the ‘themes’ of the client’s concerns, we could break them down into segments of growth and rebuild the perception of their circumstances (what’s within their control) while offering a new perspective of the adapted transitions provided with the interactive tools from a life coach.

Working with the Tony Robbins-Madanes Life Coaching Training program and team has allowed me to better understand the different intricacies and strategies that are necessary to enhance my abilities as an effective life coach, motivational speaker, international best-selling co-author, and empowerment educator.

NCA: What is the most rewarding part of your career?

Jessica: Starting my career in the social service field of psychology, counseling and mental health therapies, I have recognized how easy it is for people to be influenced, distracted, mislead, manipulated, and damaged in life. These imprints on the mind, and heart, are not easy to alleviate, turn-off, redirect, or alter. A person may carry this pain, confusion, fear, or anger for many years without even realizing the long-lasting effects of this burden or how they may even be unknowingly punishing themselves for it. These scars can permeate through so many aspects of a person’s life, affecting their personal and professional success, happiness and relationships. The social, emotional, physical, mental and spiritual balances may all become contorted as they grow and morph their reality around this type of ‘normal’. Eventually, it all comes full circle and the variation of truth, usually different than expected, is revealed. And the sad fact is that most people don’t know what to do about it.

My ability includes helping others process through these intertwined layers of their existence and give them more than just a reassurance of hope, but a solid foundation to begin the platform and trajectory of positive life changes. This industry can be confusing, convoluted, and requires a lot of patience. As a life coach, it is about listening, learning, and growing with the clients to find the right path for them. Sometimes the journey is an easy flow with lots of smiles and celebrations, and other times it is the perfect storm of tears and deepest fears; but they all are a necessary part of the process to achieve overall success.

My reward is the rewards that my clients experience and discover in their search for freedom:

It is the client who is scared of the unknown in working with a life coach, but tired of living a limited life.

It is the client who is ready to work at making a change, knows that it is not going to be easy, but determined not to just ‘exist’ in mediocrity.

It is the client that wants to find clarity and is ready to invest in a newness that will help them find a fulfillment in life that they can share with others.

It is the wife, mother, daughter, friend, neighbor, co-worker, boss that feels overwhelmed and just wants to be able feel joy and laugh again.

These ladies have come to me from all different places, experiences, and backgrounds: their burdens and baggage have embodied themselves in all shapes and sizes, their perspectives of all color hues and tones, their songs with various melodies and harmonies, but their hearts all beating with the same desire- just to be happy and whole!

NCA: What is the most challenging aspect of the work that you do?

Jessica: Lack of progress is the biggest challenge that a life coach may face when working with a client. Of course, the goal of life coaching is to process through various aspects and overcome negative influences within a designated time frame. There are many reasons that a client would not be able to progress forward: denial of limiting beliefs, fears, stigmas, false expectations, misdirection, lack of understanding, and impatience.

Oftentimes, there is confusion between counseling and life coaching that may also need to be explained to better determine the benefits and processes of each. In comparison, Life coaching is not a drive-through, quick-fix service. Overall, a person has spent years molding their life in a certain manner, forming habits and thought patterns that may take more than a few months to rebuild or redirect. These could be in the forms of shifting perspective, putting practices into place, and making the permanent changes that will fulfill their vision of success. The life coach can offer all the right guidance and resources, but the client must truly want it and believe in it for the actual adjustments to take place and get out of the rut in which they have been living.

Once the client has made that decision to be ready whole-heartedly with their mind, body, spirit toward their goal by investing the required time, money, energy and effort, and most importantly, believe that they truly deserve it, then the beautiful transformation may begin!

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

Jessica: Although there are many wonderful, influential, powerful and successful leaders, life coaches, and influencers in the world, my mentor is my mother.

She has shown me how to work hard, live a good life, be a good person, never quit, always keep looking up, dust myself off when I stumble or fall, not worry about what others think of me when I know it’s the right thing, be brave, find my inner peace, listen to my heart, say my prayers, enjoy the silence and all it reveals, be perfectly imperfect, be punctual, organized, responsible and respectful, use my manners, don’t be afraid of hard work or working multiple jobs, apologize and mean it, step out of my emotions and do what needs to be done, fight for my beliefs, plan ahead, save money, don’t let my ego get in the way, be humble of my beginnings, spend wisely, invest in those that deserve it, lift people up, be gentle and patient, surround myself with good people, be open-hearted to accept new opportunities, be open-minded to learn from those around me, always be a student of the world, smile through the pain because everything in life is temporary, be grateful, be fair, protect others, don’t gossip, send others positive vibes – even when they are not being nice because we don’t know what they are going through, be beautiful from the inside out, take care of myself holistically in mind, body, and spirit, that it’s sometimes okay to be selfish and take time for me to recharge my own energy, help others, be giving, love unconditionally, dance with my heart, sing with my soul, laugh from my belly, smile with my eyes, love myself as much as she loves me, be honest, be real.

My mother is also an icon of a woman that surpassed her roots from a 3rd world country, overcame poverty, abusive relationships, single parenting, working mother with multiple jobs, homelessness, with nothing but a certificate and a determined heart to achieve her destiny. She has now been a multimillion dollar realtor for over a decade and lives a fulfilling life with her husband and family, while continuing to give back to others. She demonstrated to me the capability to overpower the limiting beliefs of so many years of suppression, prejudice, stigma, and abuse in order to rise above the status quo and prove that it is possible to succeed. I know that the stamina, perseverance, and tenacity of her inner woman warrior also lays dormant in all of us.

With the diligence it took to not give up or give in to all the pressures surrounding her, my mother was ready to make the necessary changes throughout all the various stages of her life to fulfill her childhood dreams. Through this example and her constant support, encouragement and consult, she has helped lead me toward fulfilling my own dream. We see and hear life examples everyday of similar success stories that we know it is possible; we just need to believe we can achieve and accomplish whatever we decide!

[My mother] demonstrated to me the capability to overpower the limiting beliefs of so many years of suppression, prejudice, stigma, and abuse in order to rise above the status quo and prove that it is possible to succeed. I know that the stamina, perseverance, and tenacity of her inner woman warrior also lays dormant in all of us.

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

Jessica: It can be a huge learning curve not only in becoming a life coach, but also in starting your own business. These are two different entities, but very important to consider as you begin the journey. Both take a lot of time and work to learn all the important information, then to put it into practice with success. While starting a business involves more physical development and understanding of the marketing to your target audience, budgeting finances and projections, attracting and maintaining clients; deciding to become a life coach is more of a mental and emotional exertion.

It seems so much is happening at once, but beyond the unknowns, there is hope! When making the decision to become a life coach, these tips are some good advice:

Do your Research: find out about the various types of life coaching by asking questions, attending webinars, podcasts, videos and interviewing to see which avenue is best suited to your strengths and skills.

Find a Training Program: there is so much to offer as a life coach and the different strategies taught in a hands-on and interactive program is very beneficial.

Be Diligent: stay determined to make things work, even on the bad days. Make a schedule and keep your area sacred to your work time.

Budget: balance your time, money, energy and focus. It can be a humbling experience and may be redefining of who you are now versus who you will need to become throughout this process.

Be Strategic: your investments need to be savvy to what your overall goals are, the timeline you are working within and the audience you intend to target.

Be Excited to Learn: it is all about learning, especially from our mistakes. Everyone you encounter will not only help you to become a better life coach, regarding both professional practice and personal development in learning more about yourself.

Don’t get Discouraged: there will be days of doubt, confusion, worry, fear, and feeling behind. You may be, but it is normal to assess and reassess progress monthly, quarterly and yearly. Just reset and keep going!

Don’t Quit: failure is guaranteed if you quit, but it’s ok to take it slow, take a break, and regroup. It’s not a race, it’s a journey. Building a strong foundation is the most reliable factor to assure success.

Know your Competitors: it is wise to be knowledgeable of other coaches in the area and their specialties. This is not to compete with them, but to utilize each other’s strengths as valuable resources for your potential clients.

Find your Tribe: surround yourself with supporters, mentors, and professionals in your field or within the business mindset to help you navigate your way through any hiccups you may encounter. Even the most influential people in the world have advisors!

Be Flexible: there are always different ways to solve a problem or overcome an obstacle. What works for one coach or one client, may require a different strategy for another.

Be Human: forgive and accept yourself, your limitations, short-comings, the unpredictable bumps and unforeseen pitfalls. Things are not always going to go as planned, but it is still going, and that is better than not.

Don’t Get Lost: it’s easy to become consumed with all the upkeep and productivity necessary in this field, but don’t lose yourself and the greatest asset that you bring to the table for your clients: You. The best way to maintain that is to give yourself permission to have a personal life as well as being a rock star life coach. Just breathe, the clients will appreciate and respect your decision to protect your valued time the same way you are teaching them to do for themselves.

Have Faith: believing in yourself is the biggest surge of your success, but also having faith in the vision, process, mission, your supporters, clients, and all your inspirations (faith-based or otherwise) is important for continued positive growth as you strive through the highs and lows of your professional expedition.

Smile: regardless of what you know is supposed to happen, others don’t. All they see is you smiling and that in itself can help motivate you to push through or learn to let it go and just have fun!

Previous post:

Next post: