We were lucky to catch up with Erica Rood recently and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Erica, thanks for joining us today. Risk taking is a huge part of most people’s story but too often society overlooks those risks and only focuses on where you are today. Can you talk to us about a risk you’ve taken – it could be a big risk or a small one – but walk us through the backstory.
My career started as a teacher. I loved creating lessons and watching my students succeed. My work environment was collaborative and many of my colleagues become good friends. I also enjoyed the safety and security that came along with the job- a steady paycheck, paid sick days, excellent medical insurance, and plenty of designated time off. But about five years into this career something in me started to stir. I had a deep knowing that I would not retire as a teacher. There was something more I needed to do, but I wasn’t quite sure what. I assumed my calling was still in education, so I went back to school. I earned my master’s degree and administrative credential. Almost immediately after, I realized what was calling me, and it was not in the classroom.
I wrote my master’s thesis on relational aggression and developed a curriculum to teach girls about friendships, individuality, conflict resolution, and acceptance. On weekends, I taught these lessons in yoga classes to teens and mother-daughter pairs. This was so fulfilling and led me to the field of life coaching. It was described as a field devoted to self-discovery, action, and accountability. A profession that focuses on building personal strengths, setting goals, overcoming obstacles, and ultimately moving forward with confidence and intention. I thought this is it!
This Ah-Ha fueled me to take action, and a take a risk.
I started to wonder, should I leave my safe, secure teaching job and move into the unknown? I felt equipped to coach but knew nothing about business. Could I do it? My mind swirled. Starting a coaching business would mean abandoning the security my teaching career provided- retirement, a reliable paycheck, health insurance. It would mean being fully self-reliant, which both scared and excited me.
My drive and passion overruled the fear. I made the choice to trust myself and my support system. I listened to the inner voice that was guiding me in a new direction, and I have never looked back.
Ten years later, I have a thriving coaching practice, dedicated to supporting parents, teen girls, and young adult women. Every day, I am grateful that I took the risk to go out on my own, follow my heart, and create the career of my dreams.
Erica, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
During my teaching career, girls would often confide in me, sharing their struggles with self-esteem, body image, friendships, family dynamics, and school. They were afraid to turn to their parents for fear of being misunderstood and didn’t want to turn to their friends for fear of being gossiped about. They felt alone and unsure.
I could relate. My teen years were rough. My parents got divorced when I was 14 and my dad moved out the summer before I started high school. Although they laid a foundation of love and support, my home felt broken, empty, and foreign. Consequently, I went down a dark path.
I often think about how my life would be different if I had the support of a life coach. If there was someone in my corner whom I could turn to when I was feeling lost and confused, someone who could help me see the impact of the choices I was making and provide a perspective that would help me make different choices. I am confident my high school years would have been different.
Now, I provide that support to teen girls and young women. By building a strong, trusting relationship and using specific, effective coaching methods, I help girls become self-aware, confident, and mindful. Girls who work with me learn how to build and maintain healthy relationships, manage stress and self-doubt, strengthen self-reliance, and develop resilience.
Of course, parents are an essential part of this process, which is why I also provide parent coaching. Parents who work with me gain a deeper understanding of what their teen is going through and learn effective parenting tools that lead to fewer arguments, less frustration, better communication, and more ease and enjoyment of parenting a teen.
It’s an honor to serve families all over the world!
Where do you think you get most of your clients from?
Building and fostering strong relationships with my clients has always led to referrals. In the beginning, referrals were the main source of new clients.
The first few years of my coaching practice, I also developed and taught teen and mother-daughter yoga classes. These classes were an excellent venue for girls and parents to get to know me, and many attendees later became clients.
Now that I have a larger presence on social media and an optimized website, a lot of new clients find me on Google.
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
Similar to many, Covid prompted big changes in my business. I stopped meeting with clients in my office and took my practice entirely virtual. At first, I was concerned that meeting over FaceTime or Zoom would not be the same but what I found is that girls actually felt more comfortable opening up when they were talking with me from the comfort of their own bedroom or home. The trusting relationship, which is essential to providing effective coaching, was easy to establish. Going virtual also allowed me to expand my reach and support girls all over the world.
- Website: https://inspirebalance.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erica_inspire_balance_coaching/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Erica.InspireBalanceCoaching
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erica-rood
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpfsvTvF1P9raNew78a_hyg/videos