WAM! Women Around Me!

Faith Curtis: Coaching & Inspiring Others

*Editor’s Note, 01-13-14: Faith no longer lives in Illinois.

I’ve known Faith for a number of years now and in multiple capacities. I’ve attended large-scale conference events she has produced; she has facilitated circle groups I’ve been involved with; she’s been my Coach; and we’ve seen each other socially. Not only is she a working professional, but as so many women, she is a wife, mother, grandmother, friend, mentor.

The characteristics that strike me foremost when I think of Faith are almost juxtaposed–at once there are her keenly acute analysis skills, i.e observation, verbal articulation, and then there is her quickness to smile and laugh, making her highly proficient at finding solutions, targeting goals and enjoying life! When I met her the first time I had the very distinct feeling this was a strong and mighty woman (despite her petite frame!) and that she was most definitely living her life on purpose.

Holly: What would you call yourself and what you do?
Faith: I am a Professional Certified Coach who creates optimal teams, provides life coaching individually and in groups, and creates and leads spiritual retreats for women.

Holly: What area do you reside and/ or work?
Faith: I live in Libertyville, IL and have clients around the world. Life coaching can be done via telephone or Skype making it possible to connect with people anywhere.

Holly: As a Coach, how long has it taken you to get to the level you’re at now?
Faith: I have been coaching for over 10 years.

Holly: What in particular or in general has helped you grow in your avocation to become who you are today compared to when you began? These may or may not be others in your field, perhaps family, friend, other…
Faith: My commitment to the profession and to continuous learning has helped me grow. My persistence and special attention to turning negative self talk into positive self talk have been major contributors to my success. I have had the support of many friends and family members as well. I also have contributed to the coaching profession by serving as President of the Chicago Coach Federation. Supporting coaching’s professional credentials is important to me.

Holly: What critical decisions did you have to make along the way to becoming who you are today?
Faith: The major critical decision is to stay with what my heart informs me rather than what external voices say. This decision is made over and over again as I have had many times of doubt and fear.

Holly: What are some of the major challenges you face or have faced?
Faith: Major challenges have included my husband wanting me to continue working in corporate job; staying positive in the face of an extremely variable financial course; and reprogramming my negativity.

Holly: What mistakes have you made and what have you learned?
Faith: I’ve made many mistakes – taking on clients who I knew were a major risk for success; letting finances or the fear of lack run my business; trying too hard; thinking too much about myself and not enough about what the person or situation needs.

Holly: How do you balance your professional and personal life?
Faith: There are certain times of the day where I commit to taking time for myself. The most consistent one is mornings when I work out. This is sacred to me. I don’t start working until 9:00 am. I make time for my family – especially time to be with my husband. Down time is very important as well and I gauge my need for that by listening to my body.

Holly: What artists or people have you looked up to, respected, and/or admired?
Faith: Julia Cameron, Lynne Twist, Henry Kimsey-House, Laura Whitworth and most recently, Amanda Owen who wrote an awesome book called The Power of Receiving. I’ve also been very influenced by Esther and Jerry Hicks as well as Mike Dooley.

Holly: Do you, yourself, ever enlist the services of a coach or mentor or someone who advises you?
Faith: Yes, I have hired coaches over the years as well as therapists. I have been in an accountability group now for 4 years and we meet weekly. I’m always looking to improve my skills and have a place to process my learning. I am currently enrolled in a program to become a certified retreat coach.

Holly: How do you refresh, recharge and stay motivated?
Faith: I work out daily, meditate daily, am very careful about my diet – I am very sensitive to sugar, alcohol and some other foods. It’s a constant journey listening to my body – it has so much wisdom and I am not always willing to listen to it.

Holly: What inspires you?
Faith: Health and well-being inspire me; facilitating groups to explore the possibilities of improving the quality of their lives; an inspiring speaker like Marianne Williamson or Esther Hicks; creating something meaningful from scratch; building from the ground up; seeing a client or a friend make a profound shift towards living a happier life; spiritual circles of women; leading teams to make a difference.

Holly: What advice might you have to someone starting out in your profession/ avocation?
Faith: There are many sacrifices and uncertainties. If you are unable or unwilling to risk your income, your marriage and your identity, then think twice about doing it. This profession requires that you do all of your work including dealing with your shadow(s) head on – this takes courage! Persistence and commitment go a long way. I think the most important element of success is faith – belief that you are making a difference and that you can be as successful as you want to be.

Holly: In what ways do you develop awareness of your business?
Faith: Giving workshops, word of mouth, referrals from past clients, networking, public speaking, and providing free events. (The Mindfulness Circle is an example of the latter.)

Holly: Have you ever had a particularly funny or embarrassing moment, and if so, please share it!
Faith: Many. Here’s the one I can think of that is most relevant. I was scheduled to give a workshop on Negotiation to a group of women who had requested an individual presentation on that topic. The women had a business meeting prior to my workshop. Many of them, in fact, most of them, were not at all interested in the topic or in me. One of the women sat sideways in front of me the entire time I conducted the workshop. Others got up and left to have a cigarette. Others talked over me. Another person ranted on about their boss and what a jerk he was. Basically, it was a disaster and very embarrassing. After the workshop ended – if that is what you could call it – I just kind of gave up – one of the women came up to me and said that she felt bad that things had gone so badly. She said that most of these women were expert negotiators and did not feel that they needed to hear someone else’s advice on the topic. Not sure what I learned here since their program person had requested the topic.

Please visit Faith’s website at www.faithcurtis.net.
Or connect with her via email: faithcurtis1@gmail.com or phone: 847-968-2874.

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