Illuminate Your Purpose, Prioritize Yourself, and Make Intentional Decisions

December 15, 2021 / Mom &… Podcast Episode 49 / Guest: Nicole Wood of Ama La Vida

Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherSpotifyPocketCastsYouTubeOvercastAmazon MusiciHeartRadioPandora

Show Summary

Nicole Wood started Ama La Vida Coaching in an effort to make coaching affordable and approachable for everyone. We talk with her about the benefits of coaching, and how the process works. If you’re reticent about hiring a coach, or worried about the expense, this episode is for you!

We also talk a bit about the impact of Covid on corporate culture. The Great Resignation comes up, and Nicole shares her thoughts about what may be driving people to reconsider their jobs.

More About Nicole Wood

Nicole Wood is a mom and… CEO & Co-Founder of Ama La Vida, an innovative coaching firm which helps people to achieve both deep fulfillment and phenomenal success. Nicole is an alum of UBS’s Project Entrepreneur and a graduate of 1871’s prestigious WiSTEM accelerator for female tech founders. 

With a background in management consulting, Nicole is bringing a new level of rigor, process and results-orientation to the coaching industry. She has B.S. Degrees in Finance and Supply Chain Management from Arizona State University and lives in Chicago with her husband, daughter and 3 dogs.

Topics From This Episode (Complete transcript is available below… scroll to the bottom!)

Connect with Ama La Vida

Look, Listen, Learn




  • Maid on Netflix
  • A story about boundaries that involves Susanne’s wedding dress
  • TLC (the singing group, not the network)

Connect With the Mom &… Podcast

  • Please subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts! If you’re so inclined to give us a 5-star rating, we’ll love you forever. Who couldn’t use a little extra love?
  • Leave us a message – via voicemail or use our form – with your questions for experts, or suggestions for future episodes.
  • Check out our website, where you can find links to all the things!
  • Follow our Facebook Page
  • Join our private Facebook Group (All you have to do is ask to join, and then be nice once you’re in. So easy!)
  • Follow us on Instagram
  • Become a patron – check us out on Patreon!

Musical Notes

Our delightfully happy intro and outro theme music, “We Will Get Through This” is performed by Young Presidents, and used under license from Shutterstock.

Transcript* From This Episode

*Please note that this transcript is automatically generated through our editing software. Expect odd errors and misunderstood words. In fact, if you find a really funny one, send it to us, and we may feature it – and you – on our socials!

Missy: [00:00:00] Welcome to the mom and podcast. I’m Missy Stevens, mom and women’s fiction writer, foster care advocate. And today novice block scheduler. It’s a learning process.

Susanne: Oh, it is. We need to, we need to regroup and talk about that. And I am Susanne Kerns, mom and writer, LGBTQ advocate. And today I am on holiday denier. Um, as we are recording this, I’m a Thanksgiving denier, not in any philosophical sense, but in the, I am never going to have my house cleaned before my brother gets here since, but when this is airing, it’ll probably be closer to Christmas.

And I am sure I’ll be denying that as well. So yes. I got to get my act together


Missy: to get done. Yeah.

Susanne: but today we are so thrilled to welcome Nicole Wood. She is a mom and co-founder of Ama La Vida. an innovative coaching firm, which helps people to achieve both deep fulfillment and phenomenal success. Nicole’s an alum of UBS is project entrepreneur, and [00:01:00] graduate of 1871’s. Prestigious WiSTEM. Accelerator for female tech founders . She has BS degrees in finance and supply chain management from Arizona state university and lives in Chicago with her husband, daughter, and three dogs.

Welcome Nicole. So glad to have you here.

Nicole: Thank you. 

Missy: Well, we want to dive in to everything that Ama la Vida is doing. But before we do that, can you tell our listeners a little bit about , how you got to, where you are now and just your family and who you are.

Nicole: So I. Nicole Wood. I am the CEO and co-founder of Ama La Vida as you said. But leading up to that, I actually my career in management consulting at Pricewaterhouse Coopers here in Chicago. thought I would be a lifer there and then quickly learned what getting on a plane twice a week feels like, um, It’s not a long long-term lifestyle wasn’t for me.

Susanne: Yeah. 

Nicole: And , great place to start my career. Really a good [00:02:00] foundation in terms of whipping you into shape as a business professional. But it was there, I was given a leadership coach I had been promoted. So my brain was going what’s next. And in the firm, they were helping to develop me.

And it was something that I was actually pretty skeptical about. I was. Not my current ideal client today, where I went into it, like, what is this? This sounds like a made up job. How is this going to help me? but it was so transformative for me that I ended up continuing to work with that coach after leaving PWC and through my career transition into working for a startup.

And while I was there, it just stuck in my brain. This is something I wouldn’t have sought for myself, but I needed it. And why, and what has been missing, that I’ve saw so many of my peers seeking or needing as well. And it really was that support structure to find out what you did want to do 

Susanne: Yes, 

Nicole: at all those different times in your life.

When you ask [00:03:00] yourself that question

Susanne: what a gift. That’s amazing that that company supplied that that is really incredible. 

Nicole: And I think there were just a few things about it. You know, I thought it was for either only senior executives or really more in like the life and wellness space. and it wasn’t that affordable and approachable for a lot of younger people.

And so in starting Ama La Vida those were some of the problems that I was hoping to solve. I’m actually not a coach myself, so my journey is definitely more on like the entrepreneurial side of things, 

Susanne: Got it. 

Nicole: the business. really like marketing strategy growing the team, type of thing, 

Susanne: Got it. 

Nicole: in their coaching clients 

Susanne: got it. 

Nicole: like, I didn’t have to know enough about what we’re doing. my business. Um, but look where my expertise lies is more on like being an entrepreneur and growing everything 

Susanne: oh, love it. Love it, making it accessible. And I mean, one of the big things we’re trying to get out of doing the [00:04:00] podcast is just getting rid of some of the stigma associated with the idea of having a coach and that 

Nicole: Yeah, 

Susanne: even the most elite athletes and, you know, business people have coaches. That’s how they got to where they are.

Missy: one. 

Susanne: Yes. 

Nicole: it’s still something, even with our corporate clients, that’s the first thing we discuss as. Being given this as a punishment, it’s an investment. And so the sooner you realize they’re there to support you, the more successful you’ll be in that. 

Susanne: Yes. And I think a lot of us probably. 

Missy: a punishment.

Susanne: Well, don’t you think if someone back when I was working, someone’s like, Hey, we’ve got this coach for you. I’d be like, 

What did I do wrong? 

Was, yeah. Oh, I wasn’t doing it right. Oh dear. But yes. Oh.

Missy: I’d be thinking they hate me. They hate me. They’re trying 

Nicole: exactly. Exactly. 

Susanne: Yeah, that’s a podcast that is actually releasing tomorrow. Well, it’ll be a couple of weeks ago, by the time you hear this, um, the idea of this inner critic, , , and telling her to be quiet, 


Nicole: Well, 

Missy: real loud.

Susanne: Yes. Yes. [00:05:00] She would be loud in that situation to me. So it’s nice that it’s nice that you eventually just kind of learned to lean into it and, and apply it to your life.

But part of your story is just so familiar to us. , and our listeners. You write on your website and talk about how the idea that you were doing all the right things. You got all the right grades, got the good job and all the promotions, but it just wasn’t feeling right. And I’m sure your coach helped guide you through that, but I’m really curious.

how did you feel that not feeling right? Did it manifest physically, you know, were you getting headaches or was it more just like this general feeling in your life? 

Nicole: Yeah. I think it was amplified for me too, in that. I worked so hard to get there. So when I found out that it wasn’t for me, I felt like I had wasted like the time. And I know that’s so consistent with a lot of our clients 

Gone down [00:06:00] a certain path or a lot of money for a certain education.

you know, I, you mentioned, I went to Arizona state university amazing school, but not super heavily recruited for consulting. So I was like cold calling people, hitting the phones, trying to get this job. So then when I there and realized this. My longterm place. I think there was certainly a physical manifestation for it, but for me I’m more disengaged.

And I think when it really hit me was I looked around at, well, what’s the path here. And I remember vividly seeing. a partner come into a project. He had just gotten off a red eye to get there and was just super tired and drained. And then the client’s yelling at him and I’m like, wait, this is the successful person here.

This is what we’re working for. And he’s taken a red eye. I am like, this is not what I’m working for. 

I think for me it was more checking out. and that when I stopped caring, that’s when I know [00:07:00] that that’s not the Right.

path for me, but certainly I’ve seen, you know, with peers that would clients, it it’s real.

It can, man. I mean, people have kidney stones, people have 

Susanne: Yes. 

Nicole: manifestations of that burnout and that disconnect and the of what. Want to be doing versus what they are doing. But for me, it was like a total and kind of like numbness. 

Susanne: Um, and where you working with the coach at that time while you were feeling this, or was that before or after? 

Nicole: That was before I think I stuck it out a little bit longer. And then, that’s when shortly thereafter was when I got the coach and I was like, okay, now how do I make sense of this? And 

Susanne: Yes. 

Nicole: here? Because I think then what I started cycling on. Well, this is a great job. I should just be grateful to be here and I should be down this path or today wasn’t that bad.

And it really took having that external person reflecting that back to me before I was like, you’re right. [00:08:00] I, I need to make a change. 

Missy: I think that’s more common than anyone realizes because I just, not even in the podcast, but in my personal life, I’ve talked to many people who talk about that guilt of, I worked so hard. I spent so much money and we have also talked on the podcast to several lawyers, reformed lawyers who saying I went to law school and then it wasn’t for me.

 I don’t know if this is not, it’s not something we plan to talk about. And this is an example of me working my way to a question that I don’t even know the question is, but , when someone comes to you with that guilt, are the steps to start? I feel like you have to work through that before you can even figure out what’s next. 

Nicole: Yeah, that’s the frustrating part is that you, you, you do. And we say, stop looking at the job boards. Like most people come to us and they’re like, I want to just start applying 

and doing stuff right away. 

Susanne: Hm. 

Nicole: a step back before we can move forward because you don’t want to be the same position again.

that’s usually for the people who are of a lawyer [00:09:00] situation, but more where they’re just unhappy or maybe they’ve had a series. Jobs where they found themselves unhappy. and then really taking time to get to know themselves and who they are now versus who they maybe were. Then when they set out on that path to say, what’s important to me, how have my values shifted?

And then let that direct you move forward. And I think the part that people miss is they get really stuck on the. What is the work. So like the job title, 

Susanne: Hm. 

Nicole: even the job description and they forget about the, how is the work done and with whom, and that’s really what we want to focus on, which is like, what does your day look like?

What are the types of people you want to be surrounded by? And how does that mean to look we go into like, okay, It’s this job, this job, or this job. 

Susanne: Yeah. And you mentioned the magic word values. And one of our favorite questions is to ask, um, you just go just, cause I think that there probably is a core [00:10:00] exercise that is probably. Or across coaches, but everybody seems to have like a little special take on it or a little different angle. And we just want to give as many of those options to people just because there’s probably ones going to be like, oh, okay.

Yeah, that, that works for me. So is there a special process or anything that you walk clients through or have them work their own way through to try to determine what those values.

Nicole: yeah. we actually have a framework call illuminate your purpose. And so there’s similarly, I’m sure to other coaches, we do go through a kind of linear process to help people arrive at the right career path or like right. principles for them. So first is passion. So. Makes you come alive. Next is your gifts.

What’s unique and, innate in you that sets you apart. And then the next piece is your values. And all of these things together should help you purpose and then repurpose at different times in your life. 

Missy: What you’ve just said is a great lead into something else we wanted to talk about, which is your cultural [00:11:00] commandments? That we got very stuck on it’s your duty to find and become all of who you are. So as much as we recommend coaching, as much as coaching helps person coming to coaching has to determine these values and find out who they are.

what’s the you’ve gone through this illumination. Is that what you call it? The 

Nicole: Illuminate Yeah. 

Missy: Illuminate your purpose. You’ve gone through that. And say someone sits there and is like, all right, I’ve illuminated my purpose What now? How do I use that to become who I am? What are some of the steps to that?


Nicole: Yeah. For some it’s a big shift. It might be a complete environmental change where it’s like, okay, it’s time. Like it was for me, it’s totally time to find a new environment because there’s a disconnect in that I valued or needed from my life and things that the company or that particular role, emphasize.

And for some people it’s [00:12:00] smaller and a lot of people, it’s more of a shift. So whether that’s, I’m going to prioritize myself in a different way in this role, or I’m going to with this person a different way, or I’m going to view this thing differently. Those are some of the smaller steps.

And I always say when we’re coaching someone. The thing they come to us for, which is like the, a new job, or 

Susanne: Yeah. 

Nicole: to get this promotion, or I want to negotiate this higher pay. And then there’s always this subtext of who are you and how are you showing up that is underlying all of that work.

And so until you make those And those, uh, more kind of subtle things it’s we can accomplish this stuff all day, but you’re not going to really feel the value of that change. 

Susanne: Oh, I love that point because I do feel like when I feel like I’m stuck or when I feel like something’s not working, my [00:13:00] first reaction is just to blow it all up just to like to go like, oh, I can’t take this job anymore. I mean, I was in advertising for the longest time and I remember. A certain point where I was like, I’m just going to go into real estate.

I had no reason why. I mean, I never pursued it. And my husband just kind was like, okay, sure. I mean, it lasted about a day and a half that I thought that was a great idea. Um, but no, I mean, I do think that is a natural reaction. Sometimes it’s like, if this isn’t working, then it’s obviously everything about this field or this company or this, whatever that is not working.

Um, so I do think that is nice. 

Nicole: yeah. To take the inverse of it. How many times I know it happens for me all the time has literally nothing tangibly changed in your day to day or your environment, but something shifts in your brain and you go from feeling totally chaotic or totally insecure about something to totally clear and fine.

And you’re like, absolutely nothing has changed from yesterday to today, but somehow everything has. And I 

Susanne: Yes. 

Nicole: that we’re trying to [00:14:00] do while of course accomplishing all of those visible, tangible goals to. 

Susanne: So now what does that shifting process look like? I mean, sometimes it just kind of happens, I think, but I’m trying to for listeners make sure that we’re not just being like this toxic positivity, like, oh, just, you know, just fight through it, you know, just.

Missy: your mindset,

Susanne: put a mantra above your computer and it’ll be fine, but I mean, it really is more about the framework of maybe just seeing what your reality is, and then making some decisions there instead of catastrophizing everything or whatever your brain may naturally be doing, it’s just actually sitting back and being.

Okay now, really? What is this situation? , so like, what does that look like? You know, that’s not toxic positivity, but is just this mindset change. How do you differentiate between those are.

Nicole: Yeah.

I mean, I think it depends on the situation and what. Person is on, but sometimes it’s as simple as someone calling you on your BS and really viewing [00:15:00] that mirror to you and being like, well, , you’re the one who’s going to have to make this change. Sometimes it’s reframing and thinking about something in a new way.

it’s maybe someone suggesting something to you that, , you hadn’t tried yet. So I think it really, it depends, and it’s not just. It’s usually not just pull yourself up by the bootstraps to move forward, because that’s, 

Susanne: Yeah. 

Nicole: if, if it were that simple, we would all just do it. but I think it really depends on the person from trying a new approach to, utilizing a new tool, to learning something different about themselves, to a totally different way of thinking about something.


Susanne: Um, 

Missy: that idea of not pulling yourself up by the bootstraps or saying you just have to get your stuff together. Because I think that a lot of us had that idea for many years. For 

Nicole: Yeah. 

Missy: I always thought I should just have the willpower and the strength to make the changes I want to change.

But I [00:16:00] like what you say about, you may need a new tool or you may need to learn something that no one has taught you before in order to really. Start to make those changes. It’s not a matter of willpower or your innateness to be able to do this.

Susanne: Yeah.

Nicole: No, and that’s the whole. Point to of why doing what we’re doing, because, and like you said, from the beginning, that’s sort of, de-stigmatization of everyone thinks that they should be able to just do it on their own. And I think particularly, a lot of the. Probably perception even that I had going into coaching was like, oh, I should just be able to figure this out.

I’ve been able to do that now, but needs a support system. We have such an infrastructure in our lives until a certain point. And then it’s like, oh, go do it all on your own. And you haven’t been there before. And so still having people who can offer those suggestions or help guide you through it is so necessary.

And, something that I think we undervalue. 

Susanne: Yeah. And there’s [00:17:00] so many different types of coaches available and your company in particular has like a wide variety of coaching services. You’ve got the corporate one, but just even for personal coaching, it’s got the career coaching, life, coaching leadership, coaching, health, and wealth. I am assuming that there’s like a Venn diagram, that there would be a lot of overlaps of some of those, but if someone’s just like, something’s not quite right, but I don’t know exactly what kind of coach I’m looking for.

Are there some distinguishing features between each of those or, , where do people even start in deciding what kind of coach fits their needs?

Nicole: We do have those segmentations and usually most people have a sense for which of those they align with. So based on the context, like this is a work context, or really focused on my leader. skills being said, like we talked about before, there’s always that underlying piece. So even if they come to us to focus on leadership, there might be confidence, things that span throughout there might be burnout or [00:18:00] wellbeing, things that span throughout we’re complicated beings.


Susanne: Yeah. 

Nicole: putting us into these neat little boxes is impossible. And so we’re always going to go in with that holistic approach, but we do have coaches on our team with particular expertise in each of those areas. usually a process of someone saying this is the context and the goal that I’m working toward a nice self align with one of those areas.

do have an intake process where we then matched them with the Right. coach for them, which is somewhat based on that life leadership wellbeing, but even more so, and this is the piece that I think a lot of people forget about. Who’s the right personality match for you, and what’s the type of support you need.

So you do need more of that cheerleader type person. Do you want that person? Who’s more the call you out type, um, challenge you coach. And So. that’s what we’re trying to figure out in that process is in addition to the, yes, does this person specialize in leadership coaching, but also [00:19:00] stylistically what’s the right fit for you as a coach? 

Susanne: That’s such an important point. We were just talking about that with Cindy Whitesides on our, tipsy ellipses last week, actually this idea, you know, there are some people who want the deadline maker or those person who’s going to really bust their ass if they don’t, you know, hit a particular goal or, you know, or there’s the idea of just having someone to, you know, reflect your life back at you or ask you some really deep questions and make you kind of probe through that yourself.

So yeah, there, there is a whole different. , what you really need to get you motivated. And that’s just, I mean, there’s no right or wrong there. It’s just a matter of what you respond to.

Nicole: yeah. And it might be different on different days than coaches should have the ability to flex in and out of those different styles based on you are. but certainly there’s a default style that people tend toward as a coach and that clients tend toward, in terms of what they’re most receptive to and how they like to grow and learn. 

Susanne: Yeah, cause sometimes asking the hard question is [00:20:00] butt-kicking.

Nicole: Exactly. Yeah. 

Susanne: Yes. 

Missy: And. So you have tons and tons of information online, your YouTube channel alone, it’s like a goldmine and you offer a lot of free webinars. I think that’s a great way for people to start getting a feel for what coaching looks like. that if there are any of our listeners are thinking, I don’t even know what they’re talking about.

Like we will link to it in the show notes. You can go to the YouTube channel and start looking at some of the things that are offered as freebies. do you have any. It’s been coming up that we should tell people about in particular live seminars or special events. 

Nicole: A ton. So we’re doing just about, you mentioned, um, live events. So our Eventbrite, just on Ama La Vida on Eventbrite has everything that’s upcoming, that’s free. And then YouTube channel, every single thing. Posted thereafterwards so 

people can consume that for free. 

Susanne: Yes. 

Nicole: say Eventbrite [00:21:00] is the best place to see what’s coming in.

That are. 

Susanne: Oh, yeah. I mean, just people can just scroll through there and get a feel for, I mean, there’s, there’s no comparison to like the one-on-one coaching of like doing it in person. But if there’s a particular topic that you’re just trying to be, like, I think this might be something that I’m, you know, stumbling against and I just want to get a better feel for, , what that really means what it really looks like.

Um, Yeah, I was just like, I want that one and I want that one.

Missy: Yeah. And 

Susanne: one. 

Missy: place to start, like gathering data points so that you can down. What is it I really am struggling with. Where do I need more 

you do go into the coaching relationship, you have some vocabulary around that already.

Susanne: Yeah. And speaking of which one of my big things and all kinds of topics in life is that there are just certain obstacles that can be really simple. That might be holding people back from meeting with a coach. I talked about this when, when. It’s going to do stand up paddle boarding. And part of me was like, I don’t know that I’m going to do it.

[00:22:00] Right. And I literally had to start with just like, where does one park to go stand up, paddle boarding and just like, baby-stepping it there. Um, so I’m just really curious for some of our listeners who, you know, maybe they’re intimidated. They think they’re going to do coaching wrong. They don’t know like even where to start.

I’m assuming the first step is they reach out to you on the website. 

Nicole: Yeah. That’s such a good question. That’s the answer to everything is that it is those baby steps. 

Susanne: Yes. 

Nicole: And Something real has become of million little steps that you’ve taken. I talk about that a lot with starting a business, because people are always like, how do you know when’s the Right. time?

And you expect that just to be this like, oh, okay, now you start a business. Um, which is not the case. Um, but yeah, just going on the website, you can browse all of our coach bio. So even hearing they’re reading through their stories and seeing if anything, res. With you, in terms of that connection, [00:23:00] starting to look through some of those webinars, we have a bunch of free downloadable guides that take you through some of those.

like for example, theIlluminate Your Purpose. Process. We some of that.

in more of like a workbook format. So you can start to do it on your own time and be thinking about these things that by the time you enter into those coaching conversations, you’ve already given it a bunch of thought and can really make the most of your time or have a sense for how that work. 

Susanne: Yeah. And I’m hoping that get some people over those, I wouldn’t even want to call it a stumbling block. It’s just more of just a, it’s a little speed bump as far as just like, I’m not, not quite sure what to do. 

, so, you know, we have a lot of listeners who are stay at home moms who have made this conscious decision to do a career, pause, to be at home with their kids.

but now we’re hearing a lot of the headlines. There’s a lot of news stay-at-home parents that didn’t necessarily know. Well, they made the choice because they’re doing it, but they, they weren’t super willing participants. [00:24:00] Yeah. It wasn’t really, as a super conscious choice, it was more of just a forced choice.

So I’m just really curious what y’all are seeing across your body of coaches, , are you seeing a lot of people coming in. trying to figure out what they should be doing while they’re in this pause while they’re at home or are you alright? Are you hearing from people who are relaunching?

Like what does that look like at your company right now? This great resignation.

Nicole: Yeah, I think it’s the great resignation.

It’s real. It’s a bit of a misnomer in that. everyone. Leaving right this second. I think a lot of those stats were built around. Who’s thinking about leaving their jobs, which I think should be a wake up call for employers in terms of how they’re supporting employees through this.

But I think more, what we’re seeing is this great reflection period, and that the time that people have spent going through complete overhauls in what their lifestyle looks like and what their habits are. [00:25:00] Things they thought were impossible that immediately shifted overnight. And so I think what we’re seeing more is people being more intentional about what they want to go back to what they don’t and what their future life can look like after having this time to see. Whether they chose it or not those alternate versions can be and what we’re really trying to empower our clients to do is to think about that bigger than just throwing money at the problem, which is what we’re seeing a lot of employers do. Or even, mean, some silly stuff I have heard, like companies are.

Giving their employees, a Sono speaker. If they’ll come back to the office, I’m like, that’s great. Give them money in a Sonos speaker, but also let’s think about how we’re setting them up to be successful and actually hearing them out on what’s important to them. 

Susanne: Yes.

Missy: what are you hearing, especially from women, since we really focus on moms, what, what is it that [00:26:00] women are saying? They need to make work for them and encourage them not to bail out of the workforce right now.

Nicole: it’s funny. Cause some of it’s like, it’s not new. Like we’ve been asking for this stuff for a long time, which is flexibility and understanding that work’s gonna look and happen in different ways for different people. And so sometimes. They shifted so far back. Now everybody get back to the office and some companies went the other direction.

Most people do prefer that hybrid model. So how can we structures that support that, people are asking for career development and leadership development, but like, I want to work for a boss who gets it. And so how are people in their leadership teams, and their cultures. And I 

Susanne: Yeah. 

Nicole: Again, that’s the harder stuff. That’s that’s stuff that takes longer. It’s much easier to just say let’s give everybody a raise or let’s increase this starting salary by 10% than it is to say, [00:27:00] let’s ask the hard questions about, are we treating people with respect? Are we making accommodations? Are we empowering, our leaders to support their teams in the way that work makes sense for. 

Susanne: Yeah 

Missy: a mental thing we have to get over. So many workplaces just still want to be this traditional sense of the workplace. 

Nicole: Um 

Missy: there’s no room. They are then to grow. And there is no room to a family because anyone with kids knows that those kids get sick or 

Susanne: Yeah. 

Missy: or whatever the case is.

There’s things you want to do. And there you do have to think beyond what has traditionally the workplace structure.

Nicole: Yeah. 

Susanne: we’ve joked about calling this, Forced to be at home work at home with your kids, is this global maternity leave. Which part of it is like, let me get back to the office. Like this is way too much together time. [00:28:00] Um, but another part of it is either whether it’s the mother or the father, whoever had been in a working role, if someone was a stay at home role and someone was out working, having. Do you have to have time with your kids does kind of realign those values. So we’ve tried to encourage people, even if you’ve done a values exercise, you know, even if you did want a year ago, you need to take another look at that because things may have realigned and it’s not necessarily, it is very much a woman issue in the sense that I feel like the brunt of. The stay at home-ness and the caretaking role has been put on them. I mean, the statistics don’t lie, but I do think there are a lot of. Men husbands partners who have decided that, yeah, I want a little bit more of that too. And the flexibility to work from home a certain amount of time, or, you know, additional vacation time, whatever that may end up looking like, but just the flexibility and the ownership over your own schedule, seems to be a [00:29:00] big.

Theme that we’re hearing the autonomy to be able to make some of those decisions. And without someone having to look over your back and having to have your button to seat, um, what, you know, the traditional, you know, workforce where like, oh, if the boss can see you sit in your seat, that means that you must be productive.

And we know that that’s not the case now.

Missy: no. 

Nicole: of it’s just so. Simple. Like I had a team member the other day. thank me for being mindful of drop off and pickup times when we were scheduling meetings. And it’s like, this is not hard. Like these are logistics that have to do. And so the least we can do is ask the question. Is this a convenient time for.


Susanne: Yes. 

Nicole: would for another meeting or anything else that’s on their calendar. And so to get to the point where that’s not a surprise and something we should be grateful for, but an expectation that we plan around that the same as we plan a board meeting. 

Susanne: Yeah. And I think that’s the gift of [00:30:00] all the zoom meetings everybody has been through. Like we have literally seen everybody’s kids. We’ve seen, you know, maybe you’ve got grandparents living with you. Maybe you’ve got some. Uh, hi need pets like mine, whatever the case may be. But yes.

Nicole: got it all. 

Missy: Yeah, you kind of touched on it. I was thinking while you were talking as an entrepreneur, I would love to know how you’re approaching this in your own company. And talking about meeting times is one thing. Is there anything else you’re doing to make employees lives easier or maybe easier is the wrong word, but to make work, work for them? 

Nicole: Yeah, we’ve always had a remote sort of hybrid model. So it was a little bit more natural for us leading into it. We have our team here in Chicago, that’s more of our sales and operations folks. So we, um, used to come in way more regularly. Now we have the space available for them as it’s convenient.

If you’re I’m in that boat. I have three dogs at [00:31:00] home. An 11 month old, we’re doing renovations. Like it works for me to be here, 

Missy: Yeah. 

Nicole: whereas for others, being home and cutting down on commute time makes more sense. So we have one day, a week that we all come in and work together in person. And we’ve agreed to that so that there’s still that time to catch up and have that shared culture that’s important to us.

And then the rest of the time it’s come and go as you please. and then for the rest of the team, Our coaches are all throughout the country. And so w we do a lot virtually, we do a lot on slack. And so I think it is a lot about, figuring out the communication channels that work for everyone and teeing up from day one, also.

Boundaries look like, like the very first thing we talk about when we talk about with our team is, and there are people in every single time zone and there will be notifications. So know that you do not need to respond to them and you can and choose the sort [00:32:00] of on and off time that works for you.

And so I think it’s even just being mindful of those things, you don’t have to think about as much when you’re just like, well, we’re here or we’re not, um, in terms of. What the expectations are and then what the expectations are on shutting. 

Missy: Oh, love that so much. I had a job many, many years ago and my boss. She got up really, really early in the morning and ran. And while she ran, she was thinking of everything that to happen. so she would leave us voicemails at like 4 45, 5 15. So you’d sit down at your desk and your voicemail would be full.

she had started her day, hours ago, she expected that you had as well. 

Nicole: Um, 

Missy: started getting to work earlier and earlier. And the pressure I felt, I mean, I woke up every morning. has talked about having a 

her throw up. I woke up every morning, feeling like I was going to vomit. 

Nicole: Yeah. 

Susanne: Yes. You just made my back tents up. Just even saying [00:33:00] that. 


Missy: I would sit down. I started going to work earlier and earlier, and I was sitting at my desk at seven. O’clock listening to just a long list of stuff. And I wanted to have as much of it done as I could before she came in. And it would be things like we’ve got to talk to the mayor’s office about whatever, and I’d be like, well, the mayor is not even there yet.

You know, it was just. Panic all times. And so this idea of boundaries, so beautiful, so 


Nicole: no, I’ve had bosses like that too. Who even very blatantly when we’ve discussed that, we’re like, well, this is up. so you need to be, 

even when it’s not that case, like they’re our bosses to do. But don’t expect you to be up, but they don’t realize the impact that just sending that email might have on their team, 

Susanne: Yes. 

Nicole: And you’re the first thing in the morning is you’re feeling sick or tense or whatever it is. And so, I think even being mindful of that, people don’t think about those things. 

Susanne: I know. 

Nicole: can you preschedule that, so just send later, or [00:34:00] are the other ways that you can how your.

Putting information out there to make your team feel so overwhelmed.

Susanne: And I’m guilt. 

Missy: if she had made a list 

into the office instead of leaving us 20 voicemails before 

Nicole: Yeah. 

Susanne: Well, I am so guilty of this too. It’s not just managed oval. You’re in a unique position of being this entrepreneur, managing a team of coaches, because they’re going to coach right back at you. 

Nicole: Oh 

Susanne: If you’re not, if you’re not respecting boundaries, but I caught myself. My daughter is in the process of evaluating colleges.

He’s a junior in high school and she’s, you know, going through. And so of course I’m like in major college brain too, but poor girl, anytime I had a thought or a question or whatever, I’d just be like pink, paint, pink, text, whatever. And I finally was listening to a seminar with a college recruiter that was just like pick an hour a week to sit down and go through all the questions you have instead of having everything have this.[00:35:00] 

Undertone of like a college question could come up at any time. So I was like, what would work for you? Like every time I have a question, should I just write it down? Like put it in a jar and then on Saturday at 10:00 AM, we’ll dump the jar out and we’ll just go through everything because to me, it’s just, that’s how I relieve my stress of being like, okay, it’s off my plate now.

Sent it, or I don’t have to think about it anymore cause I’m waiting for the response to come back. And so that’s just how I get things off of my to-do list. But I mean, I’m ruining the lives of everybody around me by, by

stressing them out. 

Missy: for us.

Susanne: Yes. Cause I’m at like, I’m doing it right now and then it’s done the DIT DIT, DIT, DIT, DIT.

Yeah. And so, I mean, part of it’s, I just need to, like you said, in the intro we need. Get better and really be intentional about getting better about block scheduling. Um, but it is, I think the people like me are not trying to, make everybody else’s life around them more stressful and have this time confetti of having to respond to them on the same [00:36:00] timeframe that they’re shooting it out.

But yeah, I mean, I, it’s not just a work environment. We do. 

Nicole: Yeah. 

Susanne: People in our lives at home. I mean, think about how many times that you just have a thought and you text it to your husband. You’ve texted it to your kids or text it to a friend or whatever, not being


Missy: was not a thing. When I had that 

Susanne: Oh

my gosh 

Nicole: Oh my gosh. 

Missy: if she had 

Nicole: That’s. 

Missy: to text us. So help me. Okay,

Nicole: Yeah. And, and tone and priority gets lost in that 

Susanne: Yes. 

Nicole: know, you have no idea. What’s the difference. If they’re all just coming in as a paying, what’s important versus not. Both at work and at home like that, my, my husband is very much that way. And he’s like the call me anytime he has something on his mind.


Missy: Yeah. 

Nicole: had to explain to him when he does that, or he just texts call me. I’m like, I don’t know the difference if that’s me, because you want to know where the Amazon packages or call me because something’s wrong with my daughter. 



need to distinguish some 

[00:37:00] prioritization 

here. So I do. 

Missy: sick or are we out of 

Nicole: Right, right. Or you don’t know where the garbage bags are Like, 

Susanne: Oh, my gosh. I love that. Okay, well, so that we have it to do this week, Missy, we’re going to get better about our block scheduling and respecting other people. Well, I’m going to get better about respecting other people’s time and boundaries by not just offloading my stuff onto them because bad habit. And I don’t want to train my kids to do that to other people too.

Well, you know what? I think they train me to do it because that’s how we got trained to respond to kids’ needs with them growing up. So I’ve spent the past 15 years having little requests, just like shot at me and that’s how I’m used to responding to them. So I think that probably is a stay at home mom, bad habit that we get because someone’s hungry.

This fell down the stairs. And then, so you’re used, that’s how I’m used to responding. And I need to undo a lot of bad habits around that because now yeah. I go back to the workforce. I mean, that, that way it’s not going to work. That’s not going to play with other people who have been [00:38:00] working

around a normal. 

Missy: kids are old enough. Learn to batch their requests as well. Like I have a 15 year old and I have said like, make a list. just text me from school saying I need a notebook, like make a list. And when you come home, say, can I go through the list with you?

Susanne: Oh 

guess who just ordered some foundation at 10, 15:00 AM today


Missy: I mean, it doesn’t always work because yeah. I mean, we’re running out to get a competition swimsuit this afternoon that we’ve known about for a while, but it’s. You know, things

Susanne: improving Missy, if all a it’s all a process, it’s all a process and we need to go. Yeah. We need to go binge a bunch of your videos there on your YouTube, which, which we will link to in the show notes, because I think it’s so valuable for everybody, but I think it is just about time for our. 

Missy: It’s 

Susanne: Listen, learn time.

Um, let’s see. So, um, if anybody, if this is your first time listening , our look, listen, learn is, uh, just a time to talk about [00:39:00] outside of professional expertise. Some of the things that we’ve been either watching or listening to, or learning about that, maybe especially over the holidays, hopefully maybe you have a little.

Free time, but you might be going, oh, what should I be reading? What should I be watching? Maybe some of these things might help. So I will start cause we never like to put our guests in the hot seat of going first. So I’ll go ahead and start with a couple of mine. I have been looking at this show made.

Which I know a lot of people have read the book. I finally watching it for the first time and I can’t remember my husband was out of town for a few nights and kind of surprised me. I thought he was coming home tonight, came home at around 11, kind of scared the shit out of me. Cause I was like, I was editing the podcast.

I’m like, oh, cause my son lost our house key somewhere between here. South Congress. Um, so I’ve kind of had it in the back of my head that, oh yeah, someone’s just going to break in. And someone was you, the door was opening, but it was with a key. And I was like, that doesn’t mean anything anymore. So, [00:40:00] but anyway, so I’ve been watching a girl, I call it a girl show.

Cause it just wasn’t a show he was interested in watching. so I’ve been watching that while he was out of town. And I I’m trying to decide if I like it. I like it in the sense that it’s got some. Talking about pulling yourself up by the bootstraps, you know, doing what you need to do for your family, uh, for your kids to be able to get out of a situation that was clearly not working for her, but.

I keep on the character is so unlike me and the decisions that she’s willing to make and not around her life, or, you know, leaving the situation. I mean, just little things. Like when she was cleaning one of the houses, she decided to drink their wine and get in their hot tub and invited, 

Nicole: I’m watching it too. I watched that episode 

Susanne: oh my dad’s you? 

Nicole: like this, like I was like, it was making me so uncomfortable because I would never, I know, I’m just 

Susanne: oh my God, every part of my [00:41:00] body, it was clenching and I am. As in, you know, the lady came home and she just didn’t really care. And I, I understand that. And I was telling Missy, I may decide to edit this out. Uh, the person that I had pet sitting and house sitting for me when I was on my honeymoon, like a month later, we were out for drinks and she was Missy knows where this ends.

She was 


Nicole: something of your. 

Susanne: my wedding dress.

Missy: She tried it on.

Susanne: Hanging out. We were on our honeymoon. And so, you know, we just kind of had left. I had hung up my wedding dress. It was just, I mean, it wasn’t like hidden away or anywhere. She wasn’t like going. And it was, it was hanging up in the hallway and she’s like, and so now I’m picturing it like wishy, she scooping the kitty litter, like my truck, but you know what 


Nicole: of flattering in a way. She wanted 

Susanne: The [00:42:00] funny thing was, as she told me, like, I just kind of how we’re laughing about it. Like there was the initial surprise, but then I was like, I don’t care. And I really didn’t. I like, I mean, it was fine. 

Like, I don’t care. I’m never going to wear it again. But I’ve been now that has, I was watching the scene in the show.

I was like, oh my God, like, did she have a glass of wine? Did she like walk around? Like, I don’t know to do. I mean, it was way before, like social media or like posting pictures or being whatever. But, and she, I mean, she told me she wasn’t like super embarrassed about it. She was like, Hey, guess what I did while I was at your house?

I mean, she wasn’t like busted or anything. She totally just brought it up over drinks, but. As, as a human being, like, I could not care less if someone tries on my clothes, like I did not feel invaded or anything. Like I had no problem with it. But as a person that would do that, I’m mortified. Like I just, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.

So watching that [00:43:00] as like, I’m trying not to be judgemental, but I’m like you got in the hot tub.

No, I can’t. I can’t, I can’t. Um, but anyway, so I’m watching that and listening to, um, TLC. Uh, I got up this morning and I, where was the challenge who said that you’re supposed to have a song for 2022, like a theme song with one of our guests.

Missy: that?

Susanne: Oh, my gosh, we have so many good guests. I can’t remember all the

things, but some, 

Missy: about that stuff.

Susanne: yeah, maybe it was, oh, you know what?

I think it was, it was doing a soundtrack. It was that. And I don’t have the book here. Um, but it was for the self-love 

self-love workbook for women, um, with Megan. Megan,

Logan. Right. And so, yes, that was trying to find a song. And I just felt like TLC probably had a song. I don’t know. 

Nicole: Did you find it? 

Susanne: But one of the songs I think that that was used as an example was no scrubs.

And so I was just like, oh, I’m going to listen to no scrubs, cause that’s such a good song. And so I was like, I’m just gonna [00:44:00] listen to this one song, which would not be my 2022 Anthem because I had the most amazing husband and I’m not. Dealing with any scrubs in my life. Um, but it’s, but then it just kept on rolling into the next song and the next song.

And I was like, oh my God, TLC, your greatest hits every head, like

Missy: All good.

Susanne: all good. All good. So I have been listening to TLC and just loving it, my poor kids, I had it cranked, so yeah. But, yeah, so that is I, and I, I guess I’ve learned some things. I just haven’t thought about it this week. 


Missy: weeks. We don’t

Susanne: sometimes we don’t learn. What about you, have you been look with some learning? Anything this week, 

Nicole: uh, well, I too am watching me, um, another thing that I’m looking at is I am reading the scaffold effect. Have you read this by Dr. Harold Koplewicz? So, um, I said, I have my daughter’s 11 months and I think I thought all about [00:45:00] the. Baby stuff, but I didn’t think about how soon I’d have to think about the person’s stuff.

And so I’m researching like one month phase at a time. 

Susanne: Yes. 

Nicole: we’re getting to that. point where. Getting opinionated and starting to grow into her little personality. And so I’m just starting to read this book. That’s all about raising resilient kids. And, 

Missy: it. 

Nicole: kind of the concept is like there was the parent and the bulldozer parent.

And how do you be like the scaffold parent, where you provide the structure around the outside. Um, but you allow them to kind of construct who they are as a person in a way. Makes them very self-reliant 

Susanne: Oh, I love that. Oh, well we gotta do, we gotta do a plug for, uh, how to raise an adult then Julie Lythcott-Haims was a guest. Um, I probably a little bit older kids, but I do. Starting to start now. So your brain is already in that 

Nicole: [00:46:00] yeah. 

Susanne: and, yeah, the gift of failure is another one by Jess Lahey. He is just, this idea of probably is very similar.

just give your kids a little bit of freedom. One-year-old maybe not so much freedom, but as they, as they start heading off to school. Oh my gosh, I can’t recommend those two books enough. Or even, even when you start getting into the preschool and the kindergarten, um, B have those ready on your bookshelf.

Nicole: Well, I’m, I’m buying books at a much faster pace than I’m consuming them. And my current, like three page increments. So 

we’ll get there,

Missy: Yeah.

Nicole: I’ll get 

Susanne: I love it. 

Nicole: my list. then listening. Um, have you listened to the you’re wrong about podcasts? 

Susanne: Yes. I just, why did I just load that? Someone else must’ve mentioned it. I ju I haven’t listened to any of it, but I just loaded it.

Nicole: Okay. Each one is a self there’s, some series, but most are self-contained episodes where they talk about one whether it’s, um, like a, like a new story or something that became. [00:47:00] Infamous in some way. And there’s a lot of, I mean, by the name, um, kind of debunking that happens with that. But most of it’s also about like understanding the nuance and how people get so characterized and like a certain way, or put into a certain box when really there’s always a lot more than what the news headline reads.

And so it digs into it a lot more with a lot of just like kind of counter stories to what the social narrative. Been around that, which I just think is fun and interesting and totally different from a lot of the other stuff that I listened to that. 

Susanne: Yes. 

Now you reminded me that I have to actually listen to it. 

Missy: Yeah, 

Susanne: Oh. 

Missy: about is what it’s called. 

Nicole: Yep. You’re wrong about 

Missy: Oh, I like it. 

Susanne: Yes 

Missy: listen

Susanne: now, you know, I jumped up. I just like, before I forgot about it, I went and like added it to my subscribe and I haven’t had a chance to listen to it because Brene brown. Won’t stop putting out really interesting podcasts.

Missy: That’s what we’re going to do in our like mini hiatus is we’re going to catch up [00:48:00] on the things we need to listen to and read, I’m at about a three page situation tonight too, because 

Nicole: Yeah,

Susanne: Yes. 

Missy: time in my new block schedule, 

Nicole: Oh, 

Missy: block that I tend to go. Okay, well, I’m not going to get to 

Susanne: Okay. I’ll go run to the mall instead. 

Missy: do it. Yeah.

Susanne: Yes. Oh, I love those. Those are good ones. What about you, Missy? What are you? Look, listen, learning. You have one


Missy: oh gosh, go really fast. So, 

Susanne: Just kidding. 

Missy: I am going to see Gary Gulman later this week. And of course, by the time this episode runs, I will have seen him, he’s one of my favorite comedians. And I wanted to share a podcast.

I’ve talked about the podcast before, but it’s called Good One a podcast about jokes. The Gary Gulman episodes. Is so good. And he talks about his trader Joe’s bit, which I think is one of the most perfect pieces of comedy there ever was. so if you haven’t heard 

Susanne: [00:49:00] I haven’t. 

Missy: going to the good one podcast and listening to that Gary Goldman episode.

So we’ll link to it in the show notes, but his special on HBO right now is also really good. It’s called the great Depresh 

Susanne: Is that like depression?

Missy: Depression. Yeah. It talks all about his mental health journey, which has been a, quite a journey in the last few years. so I’m really excited to see him live. Like we bought our tickets in 2019.

It was 

Susanne: Oh, 

Missy: to be a spring 

Susanne: Gosh, 

Missy: it’s finally happening. So.

Susanne: so excited for you.

Missy: So I get to see him. And then another thing that I have been looking at this week, and by the time this show airs, it’ll be the holiday season is Brett Goldstein, who is Roy Kent 

Susanne: Oh, 

Missy: lasso. And I love,

Susanne: want to sing the song. He’s there. He’s there or no, he’s here. He’s there. 

Missy: there, every bleeping where, okay.

I love Roy. Can’t actually ask for a Roy Kent Jersey for Christmas. I love 

Nicole: Oh, love 


Missy: but Brett Goldstein is a really wonderful. [00:50:00] As well. And, um, there’s a, a on YouTube from a fundraiser where he does the Muppet’s Christmas Carol in six minutes. And I think that the Muppet’s Christmas, Carol is the most perfect adaptation of that story.

Susanne: oh my gosh, 

Missy: with me.

Susanne: I will not disagree.

I will not. 

Missy: I highly recommend the Muppet’s Christmas, Carol, but gotta watch that if you haven’t and then him doing the. 

Susanne: Oh, my God. 

Missy: The whole thing is fantastic.

Susanne: Did you hear his Brene brown episode?

Missy: Yes.

Susanne: he’s 

like fully into the Muppets? Yeah, he has

good podcast. Yeah. He’s movies to die. No


Missy: buried with

Susanne: movies to die for. That’s my podcast. Here’s his films to be buried


Missy: to be buried with always just great conversations. People like, he’s a lovely, lovely human.

Susanne: He has an obsessed with the Muppets.

Missy: Obsessed 

Nicole: Huh. 

Missy: So you have to I’ll find the clip again and put it in our show notes, but it is a great holiday [00:51:00] pick me up. 

Susanne: Oh, 

Missy: more really quick, 

Susanne: okay. 

Missy: So if you have little booties or no-show shoes that you need, no show socks with.

I have found the S found the socks that I love. They’re 

w E R N I E S. I got them on Amazon wernies and there are no show sock that stays put, they, my shoes don’t eat them. They just stay where they’re supposed to stay. And they’re really comfy.

Susanne: Ooh, I need some more. I found some at Nordstrom rack, like 10 years ago and they are all falling apart and I haven’t been able to find any more. So. Yay. Wernies. Okay. I’m going to go 


Missy: Yep. 

Nicole: All was up to. 

Susanne: Oh, awesome. Those are some good. Okay. I have so many podcasts. I need to listen to

good job guys. Okay. Uh, well this was so much fun, so much great information

and you know what 

Missy: really cool stuff. 

Susanne: such cool 

Nicole: you 

Susanne: stuff.

Can you say your website again and what the YouTube [00:52:00] channel is under? We’ll have links to it in the podcast, but just in case anybody doesn’t look at the show notes. I want him to be able to hear it. 

Nicole: Yes, our website is ALV and that’s what all of our social media is our two at ALV coaching. 

Susanne: Wonderful. And so, yeah, so people can sign up for those Eventbrite sessions on your website, or they can look at the other ones on the YouTube channel. Right? So such, such, such great information. Like I said, I mean, I seriously was like, how’s this free? Did I like sneak past some firewall? This is amazing.

So get them all their free folks, go get them. And then do you have a newsletter? People can sign up for it too. 

Nicole: we do it’s um, it goes out every Tuesday and you can sign up just in the footer of our website. It’s on every page. 

Susanne: Wonderful. I’m going to go

sign up for that too. How did I forget to do that already? All right. Well, terrific. Thank you so much for joining us. We’re so excited to talk with you and happy holidays.


Nicole: too. 

Susanne: since we actually [00:53:00] technically do have a holiday coming up and whenever this airs will be another holiday.

So yes, so yeah, happy holidays. And thank you so much and happy. 2022.

Missy: Yeah, 

Nicole: gosh. Yeah, 

Missy: it can only go up. hope I’m knocking on

Susanne: Knock on wood. Knock on. Yes. Uh, well, thank you. It’s been such a pleasure meeting you. 

Nicole: You too. 

Susanne: right Bye-bye 

Nicole: bye.