We had the good fortune of connecting with Carolyn Freyer-Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carolyn, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My thought process was, “I don’t know how to do this. Can I do this? Will I be able to do this?” I had a lot of thoughts, many of them fearful ones. Having my coach with me throughout was the key to me proceeding and seeing that I could do it, and I could do it well. I was not concerned about my ability to coach others, I knew I could do that, I had done that part-time for a while. Could I run a business doing it full time, and really make it work?
It was clearly my next step – the professional position I was in was not allowing for more growth. My best friend and business partner was leaving her job as a full time lawyer – so I had someone to venture into this new territory with and I was glad about that. AND – my thoughts went from fear, to doubt, to excitement, back to fear and doubt.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am a professional leadership coach, facilitator and speaker. I also lead the only school (CFJ Coaching Success School) for professional coaches that focuses solely on teaching coaches how to build a financially successful practice through slowed down, meaningful conversation.
I have been coaching for over 15 years. The foundation of my work came from the University of Santa Monica where I earned a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Psychology. The Master’s degree program changed my life in profound ways, it changed how I looked at everything, most of all myself. It was at USM that I realized I wanted to work with people – not as a therapist, as a coach. Prior to my USM education I was walking around in the world as a victim, upset at many things – my family, my husband, and more. I no longer look out into the world with upset – I look into me for where the upset is and I know how to work with it.
I was not planning on ever being a business owner – I figured I’d have a job and be paid by someone for the rest of my life. When I met my best friend and business partner Michelle I was the director of admissions and marketing at USM – I had decided to take a position there after I graduated. It was a fantastic place to work – and it was also limited in it’s opportunities for growth given it was a small university with a small team. I had done probably everything I could do there – and I wanted more.
When I met Michelle things changed. She ended up applying to USM, realizing she no longer wanted to be a lawyer. She asked me if I’d consider leading a group with her. I said yes – and it was amazing. We loved being together, filling our groups, leading and coaching women together – we ran small coaching groups for women. This was a magical time in my life.
As this took off, we both started to look at leaving our jobs. We were afraid and excited. Our coach Steve Chandler was the person who walked us to the doorway of being independent business owners to the other side of full entrepreneurs. We each had individual coaching businesses and our joint work together.
Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer a little over 6 years ago. This was both an amazing and difficult time, as Michelle worked with her illness. This time changed me – and . I devoted much of my time to serving her and her family and coordinating people assisting her, along with continuing to run my individual business and our joint business. Michelle’s individual clients all knew me, and I knew them, many of them had done our group work. Michelle changed – her awareness of the preciousness of life deepened. Then, a year later, the cancer returned.
This time was different. Things progressed quickly – and it was again, both a challenging time and an amazing one. When people are very ill everything shifts focus. We already had a very deep friendship – and it deepened further.
Her passing changed who I am as a business owner and a person. I don’t know that I would have ventured out on my own to the degree that I have. Starting my own school was something I would not have considered. My work with Michelle made this a possibility – our time together increased my professional confidence, and it increased my willingness to be generous. My coaching business, as it is now, is beyond anything I could have imagined for myself – and – at the same time it totally makes sense given everything in my background.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting it would include:
coffee at Mavro, near where I live
coffee and food at Tartine in Santa Monica
beach visits, lots of walks
lots of good meals at Clutch, Tar and Roses, Quiadaiyn, and drinks at Accomplice
shopping, walking around wherever
time sitting around with each other.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My coach Steve Chandler is responsible for at least 85% of my professional and personal success. He was the person who helped me see that I could do more in my work, he was the person who helped me see I could go out on my own, he was the person who helped me see I could navigate my professional life after my best friend and business partner passed, he was the person who helped me see I could launch a successful school for coaches.
My husband has also been a champion and support every step of the way!
Facebook: Carolyn Freyer-Jones
Youtube: Carolyn Freyer-Jones
Courtney Lindberg photography