Why I Am Not a Business Coach (a story of vocation, worthiness, and other shit you can’t take to the bank)

Oct 23, 2018


Some days, I wish I wanted to be a business coach.


It’s not entirely a made-up construct of my own

(but rather a fairly well-established idea in the world of coaching)

that people are far more willing to invest in themselves if the expense holds the promise of those subtle but pervasive values we all hold (or that have a hold on us)

You know them:

– productivity, financial gain, success –


I have been told, in fact, that perhaps if I wanted my business to be more lucrative, I should consider offering more services oriented toward entrepreneurs and corporations.

And I could.  I have been a high-functioning, card-carrying member of a world that values productivity, financial gain and success:  I have the resume, the degrees, the publications, and even a world record to prove it.  I could teach women how to be successful, just like me, until I was sitting with my laptop on a beach somewhere working four hours a day.


Let me not be mistaken: I count several business coaches among my dearest friends and mentors, and I deeply believe in their work.  I will be the first to say that entrepreneurship has been the biggest gateway to my overall growth as a human being, and I will not discount the currency that financial independence grants women in the world we live in.  No, far be it for me to have anything but great respect for this work.




I have been that woman at the dinner table, wringing her hands as she tries to justify the investment in a soul-moving opportunity for personal growth by saying “and I think it will be really good for my business.  You know.  So maybe it will pay for itself.”



The vast majority of the women who have approached me for coaching over the past three years have done so in the name of career change

but have completed our work with something more like

deeper self-trust

a well-honed intuition

healthier relationships

supportive boundaries.


Technically, you can’t take that shit to the bank.

But I have seen what happens in the lives of the women I’ve supported,

and even though some days I fantasize that it would be easier to hang a new shingle

“Business coaching for heart-centred entrepreneurs”


I want to stand here – and stay here –


in honour of women who believe their soul-work is just as important as their “work-work”


in honour of the women who’ve become more sovereign in their journal entries, not just their business plans


I want to stand here


for women who are curious about what might happen

when they opt out of their previously-held models of success

when they heal themselves from busy

when they feel worthy because of the way they are rather than what they do 

when they let their hearts lead the way.

when they feel like they belong in their bodies and can speak to themselves with compassion and can hold all the complexity of who they fully are and can use their voices to say what they mean and show up unapologetically and know what courage tastes like.


I’m standing here, ready for that.  Because as close as I can tell, that is the work that I am called to.

The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!