We had the good fortune of connecting with Janine Durso and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Janine, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?

I was a creative director at a New York City ad agency. Tight deadlines, travel, long hours, and getting home way after dinner time were the norm. It became hard to juggle the career alongside life outside the job with my toddler and husband. Even though my life was great on paper and I had a great job and family, why was I so unhappy? It all felt like too much and I wasn’t dealing with it well. I kept searching for things that would make me happy but nothing worked. I kept a smile on my face, even though I felt like I was drowning.

When the stress started to affect my health in 2018, something had to give. I needed to change what was going on inside me…my mind. My way of interacting with everything and everyone around me was doing me more harm than good.

I started looking into options and decided to go to life coach school because I needed tools to manage my mind and I wanted to learn the them deeply so I could apply them not only to myself, but also share them with those I mentored at work.

When I started to apply the coaching process I was learning to my own life, it really lit the fire under me. I was learning the science behind why we do what we do as humans. I was learning how our brains work. I was learning the power of my thoughts and how to think on purpose to create what I want in my life. It changed the way I think about myself and everything and everyone around me. It was so powerful and unlike anything I had learned up til then. Practicing these tools was the only way I could see solutions where I couldn’t see them for years before. My life started changing without anything in my life having to change!

Over the last 3 years, as I coached and taught this process to women, I could see the impact it was having on their lives. They became more confident, more sure of who they are and what they want to do with their lives. They no longer search for outside validation because they now know how to give it to themselves. Their greater sense of self worth has shown them what is possible for themselves in a way they hadn’t seen before! I decided that this is the conversation I want to have every day. This is the help I want to put into the world.

So that’s how my business began. In February of this year, I decided to leave my 30-year advertising career. I am now a full time Certified Life Coach and I help women create the life they really want.

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 consider myself a unicorn slayer.

I spent most of my life chasing the things that I thought would make me happy; another job, new relationships, validation from others, the next promotion…always on to the “next thing” to fill the void. I thought if only I could get XYZ then I’d be happy. We are conditioned from a young age to chase those outside things, to keep climbing the ladder, to keep going and striving. We were told that happiness lies in the achieving, the getting, the having. But there was always more to achieve, get or have!

It occurred to me that I was chasing unicorns my whole life. Those things that were supposed to make me happy were just shiny mirages. Those were not the things, and the chase was making me miserable and resentful. My happiness had been tethered to that which I had little to no control.

It was time to kill the unicorns.

This doesn’t mean I had to kill my goals or dreams.
Quite the opposite. Once I did the deep inner work, I realized I can create everything I want in life without chasing. My happiness is no longer dependent on the outcome of what I choose to do. I go after everything I want in a whole new way, because I’m already happy from the inside out.

Whether you realize it or not, your thoughts have created your life up to this point. This is great news, because once you know how that has been happening, you can learn how to use your thoughts on purpose to create what you really want. It’s a process, and I show my clients exactly how to do it. It’s not “think happy thoughts” or “good vibes only”. It’s based in science and has been honed into a 5-step coaching construct that you can use for literally any situation in your life.

I teach this to my clients in my Kill the Unicorns programs—I offer private 3 month 1-on-1 coaching and 8-week group coaching. The programs are a powerful blend of tangible tools (the 5-step coaching construct being just one of them), along with deep mindset work around belief, abundance and possibilities.

Belief in yourself is the foundation to creating what you want. And when you truly believe in yourself, your possibilities are limitless. But we often don’t know how to tap into that. We have lost that part of ourselves over time and we have believed all the stories we have told ourselves that keep us stuck where we are. I always start with belief work with my clients, which is often the most challenging for them but the most rewarding when they can reconnect to themselves.

Making big changes in life is not going to feel good all the time. We’ve all heard that everything you want is outside your comfort zone…but no one teaches you how to survive the “discomfort zone”! One thing that sets my program apart is we focus on how to be uncomfortable so you can move forward even when self-doubt and fear creep in.

The shift in your life starts not by changing your situation, but by changing what’s going on in your mind; how you see yourself and talk to yourself. When women change the conversation they are having with themselves, it changes the conversations they have with everyone around them and the ripple goes out from there.

The best part about building this business is that I have done all the things I’m teaching. And I am now creating a life I love everyday. It totally lights me up! This is a huge shift from where I was just a few short years ago and the tools I teach are the only way I was able to make that happen after all these years. I am the example of what’s possible for my clients and there is no limit. I am continuing to create more of what I love and I love to help women do the same.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live just 20 mins outside of NYC which is an incredible place to be. Everything is right here. Mountains, city, beach, whatever you want!

I lived in NYC for years so I know it well, and if friends came and really wanted to be in the city we would go. But otherwise I would love to show them beach. We would drive east towards the tip of Long Island where there are fewer buildings and more trees. As you start to smell the salt of the ocean, any stress you have melts away. We would drive right to Montauk and spend the morning and early afternoon on the beach at Hither Hills. There’s nothing like Atlantic Ocean waves! On the way back we would stop in Sag Harbor and walk the length of Main Street. Duck into K Pasa restaurant for some yummy tacos and the best guacamole and smoky salsa! Next, a stop at Big Olaf’s Ice Cream shop to scoop up some homemade ice cream in a freshly made waffle cone is a must. Strolling by the yachts on the wharf is the perfect end to that day.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

Shoutout to my husband for being my ultimate rock in life. He and our 8 year old daughter are my cheering section, my support, my encouragement, my everything. I am inspired by them daily! My daughter loves to discuss my Kill the Unicorns podcast (she has a cameo at the beginning of most episodes) and she is quite good at brainstorming new ideas.

For the last three years, my 4 main mentors have been Dave Moreno my incredible Badass Business Coach; Sheri Salata the Transformation Doula; Cathy Heller the Abundance Manifestor and Brook Castillo the Life Coach School creator. Being in their proximity has changed my life profoundly.

Last but not least, I also have fabulous family and friends who have been phenomenal mentors to me over the years, in life and business. I have been so fortunate to have their wisdom as my guide.

Website: www.janinedurso.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janinedursocoaching/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-durso-serio-a092003/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janinedursocoaching

Other: Kill the Unicorns Podcast: https://killtheunicorns.buzzsprout.com

Image Credits
Photos by Heather Masters Styling by Julie Kraus and Judith Gaton

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.