September 20, 2023
What is your area of expertise or focus and who do you help?
My area of expertise is really anytime you’re bringing a group of people together, whether that’s online or in person. I specialize in the ‘how do you make those group experiences impactful so that people are learning what they need to be learning. Are they getting the support that they need, to do what they need to do?’ I also have a very niche expertise in helping authors or coaches, who have this body of work or framework, to create certification programs from their book or their body of work.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My story of ‘how I came to be here’ is centred around my background in terms of learning and development and group programs. I realized I loved what I did (for the past 15 years), but I didn’t love who I did it for anymore. That was when I was done working with executives who were telling me what they thought people in their organization needed to learn and do. Because inevitably, you would end up putting together a program that didn’t quite always fit what the employees or the team members actually wanted.
And so, I took that background as well as my background in coaching and said, ‘How can I make this work so that we’re putting together programs for people who actually want to be in the program?’
What I love is the power of a group and the community that comes from it. The bravery and courage that we can show in a group is just so powerful and can truly be transformational. I want to help coaches and authors create those programs and create those spaces for the people who are in their communities.
I’m an avid reader and avid podcast listener. I’m the person that if you ever have a conversation with me, there’s likely going to be an ‘I listened to a podcast’ or ‘I read a book’ or’ I read an article’ that’s in relation to what we’re talking about. New information is like these nuggets of possibility and I just love taking them in and then seeing where they either take me or where they can take other people. What I truly love doing is learning, which is why what I do, is what I do.
I’m also a really big fan of trying out different kinds of energy modalities. Things like Reiki or floating. The list continues in terms of what I like to do, but I would say that my fondest times are having great conversations with people about new ideas, things that they’re trying in their life, and things that I’m trying in my life.
What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about being a coach?
For me, it truly is that potential. The moment when someone says yes to something new or something they have imagined, especially to a group program. You have that kind of immediate high of, ‘Yes!, I’m doing this’ and then, relatively quickly start wondering, “Oh, did I make a mistake? Was this the right decision?’ What I love about coaching is helping people to really experience that potential and then experience the outcome of it. So taking that kind of potential or that hope, and getting them to a place where they’ve made some kind of change or difference in their life, relationship, or business.
What is the most challenging thing about being a coach?
The most challenging thing I experienced from coaching is helping people to really know what’s most important. I think there are so many different ideas out there of how you can do things or what you can try and it’s helping people to really kind of whittle that down for themselves. But within the context of what I do within their group program. So I’m not overwhelming people with all these ideas, but instead helping to get really clear about what’s most important and then putting all the effort and support behind that.
What are some of your top tips when it comes to starting, running, and growing a coaching business?
Number one is just ‘Do it.’ I always hated that advice when I started because I was like, ‘What does that mean?’ But it really is good advice. Until you have conversations with people, until you start helping people, you really won’t know what you’re doing. As much as you want that plan (I had a plan, I had a big plan), the reality is that once you start talking to people and once you start actually working with people, it will become really clear where to focus and what to do.
My other tip and I also struggle with this, so it’s a tip for myself as much as anybody, is that your business is going to be as unique as you are and as much as you might want to follow what other people are saying and take advice and all those kinds of things, take it all with a grain of salt. Recognize that the true wisdom is within and so it has to fit you and not fit someone else.
I think for me, I made a transition from corporate to entrepreneurship and I wasn’t prepared for it. But, I don’t know if someone would have told me about it, that I would have really understood it anyways. I think my real tip is that you need to find other people who are doing it either with you or a few steps ahead of you. This work is so different, it’s going to feel very overwhelming. It’s going to feel very unsettling. It’s the people you surround yourself with that can really help you kind of just keep going through those times where you’re doubting yourself and doubting what you’re doing.
Where can people find you and your business?
The place that I hang out on social media is on LinkedIn. My website is www.jjdk.com. When it comes to the business name, people always ask ‘What is that?’ It’s the family business name and it’s super important for me to keep it because my dad named it after my mom’s name Jean, my sister’s name Julie, our last name Dobson, his name Andrew, and my name Kerry. It might not relate to what we’re talking about, but that’s why I keep it and that’s why it’s so important because every time I say it, I get to remember my family and the legacy my dad has set up for us.
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