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Episode 116 Transcript: An LLCA Insider’s Perspective with Kathleen Quinn

Nancy: Welcome back to another episode of Your Permission Prescription. Since we are nearing the opening of enrollment for this year’s cohort inside of Levin Life Coach Academy, I thought that this week on the podcast, I’d share a recent conversation between a member of my team, Toni, and one of our certified Levin Life coaches, Kathleen. 

So, Kathleen beautifully and eloquently shares her experience inside of LLCA and what has occurred for her being an LLCA certified coach. So I invite you to listen in to this conversation with Kathleen and Toni. 

Nancy: Welcome to Your Permission Prescription. I’m Nancy Levin, founder of Levin Life Coach Academy, bestselling author, master life coach, and your host. I train life coaches, aspiring coaches, and anyone who wants to add coaching skills to their current career to elevate their life and their business. I’ve coached thousands of people to live life on their own terms, and now I coach, train, and certify other coaches to do the same. 

If you are ready to give yourself permission to finally make yourself a priority and mobilize your vision, you’re in the right place. Let’s dive in.

Toni: Okay, Kathleen, it’s lovely to meet you. First of all, please just introduce yourself in the way that you would like to be introduced, your name, title, the company name, et cetera. 

Kathleen: Hi, I’m Kathleen Quinn, and I have my own company, which is just by my name, Kathleen Quinn, LLCA. And I am based in Madison, Wisconsin, but serve clients from coast to coast. 

Toni: Thank you. What made you decide to become a life coach? 

Kathleen: I had a 35 year career in higher education and was taking early retirement, but wanted to have a second career of some kind and I had had a coach when I worked at Stanford University and he runs a coaching company and so I asked him for advice and he directed me to the NeuroLeadership Institute, which runs a results-based coaching training program. And so that’s where I got my start in 2018. 

Toni: How did you meet Nancy and learn about LLCA? 

Kathleen: I was in another certification program, David Kessler’s, Grief EducatorPprogram in 2021, and he brought Nancy in as a speaker to help people understand valuing their self-worth. so that because sometimes in grief work people are afraid to charge. I wasn’t, but people would be afraid to charge because of the nature of the work. And so he asked Nancy to come in and speak about self-worth and your business.  And he gave her a moment to say that she was about to start a new cohort of LLCA and she was like two days later doing a call where you could learn about it.So I hopped on that call and then joined the next cohort. 

Toni: What was it about Nancy that got you to hop on that call? 

Kathleen: What I liked about Nancy that made me hop on the call was a couple of things. In the session that I heard her speak, she’s very clear, direct, understanding of her audience and what they might be experiencing, funny and warm. And I knew that I wanted to deepen my coaching work, the results work that I was doing was good, but I always felt that I wasn’t tapping into what was really behind what was holding people back. 

And when Nancy described that that was part of what she was doing and that she also helped people figure out how to build their business as part of it, that was something that I had not had before either. And so I was just very intrigued about the work that she was doing. 

Toni: Tell me about your experience in LLCA and how it helped your coaching practice. 

Kathleen: LLCA helped my coaching practice because I have been doing coaching with people where we were really just focused on if they had a certain goal they were trying to achieve, like, I wanna be at the next level of my career within a year and be like, okay, well what’s the map to get there? You know, what is it that you need to do to get there and what are the steps along the way and what are the actions you’re gonna take? 

But when they would get stuck, I didn’t have the kinds of things like shadow beliefs or underlying commitments or disowned qualities to, to really dive in with the person and understand what was holding them back when they weren’t getting done what they said they were to get done. 

And so the Reinvention Coaching, which was the first thing I did in LLCA, really gave me the richness of what I had been looking for and wanted to be able to do, but didn’t know how to do just on my own. I had already had, I think I was up to like client 17 by the time I started working with Nancy, maybe client 15 when I started in reinvention coaching. So I had done a lot of coaching, but I had not done anything at this step. 

Toni: So tell me about after LLCA. So you had worked with several clients already. It sounds like you’re, you’re fairly confident, you’re not afraid to charge for what you do, et cetera. You had a whole other career behind you. It’s like you, you know what you’re doing, but you knew you needed more. So out of LLCA, how did that impact your work?

Kathleen; Well, I, how did coming out of LLCA impact my work? I don’t feel like I’m out of LLCA yet because I’ve continued on with worthy coaching and boundary coaching. I still have a couple weeks left in boundary coaching, but coming out of Reinvention Coaching, I started up right away with two of my former clients or, or clients that I’d done results coaching with and offered this to them and they jumped on it. And I’ve had one of them go through it twice and I’ve had another one do it once and she’s ready, she just said to me the other day, I, we haven’t been working together for a while. And she said, I’m ready to come back. And I’m trying to think about what it is that I need, but maybe reinvention again, but I think it might be boundaries is what she needs. When, when I have my certification for that at the end of the month. 

So the LLCA piece has changed what I can offer people. It’s increased my confidence about my work and I feel like I have a, a group of people that I can rely on with the classmates in LLCA, we’ve developed some real bonds and I have people I can talk to about the work, whereas I did not have that coming out of my other program. I had people I connected with, but there wasn’t a way to stay in touch really. And with this group, I feel the connection because we have been coached on these issues ourselves. We’ve coached each other, so we know each other fairly well because people have gone deep. And so it’s made a difference. 

And I think the other thing would be witnessing Nancy coaching people through very difficult conversations and realizing how skilled she is at it, but also knowing that I can do the same thing with confidence because I don’t have to be perfect at it. It’s asking the good questions. And that’s something I did throughout my career in alumni and development work. And it’s something I’ve been doing in coaching, and now I just need to take it to a deeper level, level for people and it’s really made a big difference for my clients. 

Toni: Hmm, that’s wonderful. So, and, and the, the confidence piece, just tell me a little bit more about that. I, I feel like you’ve, you’ve hit on it in there, but like I said, you strike me as someone who’s fairly confident in her work. So come back to that for me and just tell me a little bit more about where were you struggling in terms of confidence and how did Nancy and LL A help that?  

Kathleen: Before LLCA I was very confident in my coaching using the results approach that I had taken. What I wasn’t confident in during that coaching was if I had a sense that something deeper was holding someone back. I didn’t feel like my approach gave me permission to go deeper with somebody and ask the kind of questions that we ask in Reinvention Coaching. 

And so when I got to LLCA and I saw that this was what was possible, I thought, okay, this is great, but now I need to be able to do it. The good thing about the way Nancy approaches this is that you learn it in segments. You get, you learn the concepts, you get coached in it yourself, you coach someone else internally, and then you, you secure two practice clients. So I had two people who were former colleagues of mine from many years ago who I said, you get, you get eight free coaching sessions. And I got to practice with them.

 And so my confidence grew through all of those different experiences. And then as I took on some of the people I had coached before and this was something new, I had credibility with them, which helped out a lot for me that I could, you know, I felt really comfortable and now I’ve expanded it to, you know, another seven or eight clients since then. 

And so it’s really, it’s powerful, but it’s because Nancy gives it to you at a pace where you can feel at ease with it. And you can bring up questions in the weekly classes and in your small group mentoring programs, and you get feedback from people and from a mentor so that you can understand where you might feel challenged.

That was really great, that question you asked, you know, a, a client, a practice client will say, that was a really great question ’cause you got me to think about something I wasn’t thinking about. And so you get that, that rich practicum experience. 

Nancy: I wany let you in on the 3 key actions current and aspiring coaches must take to build lifelong success and authentically serve clients. If you’re interested in learning these 3 key actions, simply visit nancylevin.com/start and download my Build a Life Coaching Practice starter guide. Again, it’s nancy levin.com/start. 

Toni: Are there any sort of growth metrics or things that you wanna share? 

Kathleen: Like I would say that Reinvention coaching allowed me to return to some clients that I had worked with before, but maybe had tapped out what we could be doing through Results Coaching, and I offered them the opportunity to do reinvention coaching and they jumped at that chance. 

So out of my probably 15 clients at the time, two of them came back to it, and then they have also been the source of great referrals to other people. And so I, I think I’m a, like right now the newest client I’m gonna sign is client number 23. And so I’ve had eight new clients since I started Reinvention Coaching and some return clients. And my goal is to have a hundred clients over the next 10 years because this isn’t a full-time business for me. So those are the metrics I would share. 

Toni: Thank You. That’s terrific. How, how long do you work with a client in general? Like do you, I’m just curious, like is it packages, is it six months? Is it? 

Kathleen: The timeframe in which I work with a client is the 8 weeks for reinvention coaching or 12 weeks for Worthy Coaching. I think boundaries is 12 weeks as well. So I work with them for a series, just a single series. And part of what I do at the end of it is have a conversation with them about where do they see themselves going. And so some people might want to repea,t some people, I had one client who said, you know, I’m going through something at work that’s really challenging right now and I’d love to stay checking in with you. So we did what she actually called a sprint, three month sprint so we met once a month and we had specific topics that she wanted to talk about that came out of the Reinvention Coaching. So we created something that was a model off of that. So there’s different ways you can approach it, but there’s some people that it’s like the eight weeks done and done, they’re great. That’s all I needed. And other people where they come back, I mean one client I’ve worked with off and on for the, since the beginning, since 2019. 

Toni: Is there a type of client that you work with? Do you work with, you know, is there, do you have a niche? 

Kathleen: As I think about my clients, it started out with one particular client that I met on a plane who was like, we just started talking about what we did, and he is like, that’s what I need. And I said, well, I’m not done with my training. And he said, well, when, and I said, June 15th. And so he wrote to me on June 15th and said, are you ready? And I said, yes. And so I started with him and he’s, he referred a number of people to me. 

So at first it was just lots of clients coming to me through referrals. And then I started sorting out, okay, what is it that I really want? And through LLCA, frankly, that’s where I started to say, what is my mission? 

And actually through Worthy Coaching, where I got coached in Worthy was when I finally said, I wanna professionalize this business. I’m serious about this. I mean, I was always serious when I was coaching, but it felt like kind of a part-time gig and now it feels like a professional operation for me. I have a wonderful website. I’m clear about my mission. I guide amazing people to own their journey. And I say that if they commit to coaching and truly focus on themselves and own, what are the challenges that they have and the opportunities they have, they will be able to soar. So it’s focus, own, and soar are my three words. 

And so I thought about, do I wanna say it as a niche? And at one point I thought I wanted to serve women professionals in their thirties, forties, fifties. I’m not sure that I actually wanna do that. I have some other ideas that I’m exploring right now with another part of another line of business that’s somewhat related to coaching. So I’m not making a choice to have a niche at this point. And it’s working all right just now, but it might change. 

Toni: What advice do you have for people who are considering becoming a life coach? 

Kathleen: If someone is considering being a life coach, I have three things that I would tell them. First of all, it is a profession. It is a discipline where there is rigor to the work. And they need to be ready to do that work because it’s a rigorous experience for yourself being coached. You have to be ready to be coached yourself and to open up. But then you also have to have the rigor to learn the material and follow the work as Nancy delivers it, which is very possible to do. It’s just that I think some people think of coaching as being like, oh, you just chat with people. And that’s not at all it, there’s a, a rigor and a discipline to the work. So that’s the first thing I would say. 

The second thing is some people come in afraid, afraid of how do they build their business, How do they get clients, how do they sustain this? And the business accelerator program that that LLCA offers that Nancy does with Linda Perry gives you a step-by-step guide to follow of how to launch a business. They have resources that help you with how to set up contracts, whether you should get your own LLC, all those kinds of tools that one needs to start their own business. They give you advice on that. So the being nervous about setting up the business piece of it, they will give you a lot advice on. 

And then the third thing is approach it with the fact that you may choose a niche that relates to your world and what you bring to the table and you have gifts that you’re gonna bring to the table and you’re gonna make a difference in people’s lives. So be open to it. You might not really know what that is when you first get into it, but it will become clear before you’re done. 

Toni: That’s great. Is there anything else that we haven’t yet covered? 

Kathleen: In addition to all of the quality content that’s in reinvention coaching? And I encourage people to stick around for worthy and boundary coaching because it deepens what you learn. But just even starting with reinvention coaching, there’s a community because Nancy does these classes live, there’s a real community that builds and you can do the, you can watch the videos, but my advice, my only other advice would be participate, be in the conversation. Sometimes there’s a few people who do a lot of the talking, be part of the conversation because you learn so much more when you share what you might be struggling with and people help you out with it and people support you. So I just think the community that’s created is quite special. 

Toni: Thank you so much, Kathleen.

Nancy: Thanks so much for joining me today on Your Permission Prescription. For even more, I invite you to head on over to nancylevin.com and sign up for my newsletter, The Practice, and follow me on social media. 

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