Reina Pomeroy: Life + Biz Success Coach
I am so happy to introduce life + biz success coach Reina Pomeroy to you via blog today! She has coached me through some big business milestones this year – reminding me to stay focused on the why behind my business and bringing so much clarity to my daily work-life balance.
Read on to learn more about Reina, how she runs her successful business, and smart tips for women business owners.
Give us a little introduction about yourself and how you got started as a life + biz coach.
I’m Reina and I run Reina + Co which is the life + biz success coaching practice for creative bosses who have a million brilliant ideas in their heads but feel like they’re spinning their wheels. I help them take action on what’s most important so they become known as the go-to expert in their industry.
I’m trained with a psych background and have my Master’s in Social Work so I look at my work as a coach very differently than somebody who comes from a different discipline. I believe that it’s important not only to address what needs to be done but also to work through the mindset that takes place under the surface of what you have to do (or what you’re avoiding doing). As creatives, makers, designers and anybody who is creating something from nothing goes through a journey full of vulnerability. I don’t let my clients get away with excuses that really hinder them but it’s my job to call out when I think they’re downplaying their true talents and abilities.
I love the unique perspective you bring to the coaching world. For those who don’t know you, could you summarize your coaching services?
I believe that there’s a huge intersection of life and business that we fail to discuss in the creative industry. Everybody lives a life that’s the foundation of why they start their creative business. It’s important to deal with some of those “at home” topics that you’d typically avoid with somebody who is just a business coach. For example, I have worked with clients on topics around death in the family, domestic violence, parenting issues, divorce and separation, cancer and other chronic illnesses.
It’s so true that people are carrying around so much in their lives that we don’t typically know about from the outside. My training allows me to be witness to my clients’ journey as they go through the valley and coming to (hopefully) to a place where they are able to find peace.
When we feel like our energy is going to something that’s as traumatic and devastating as grief of a family member, it’s no wonder we feel like we’re unable to be fully present in our businesses. It’s an honor for me to be able to help my clients with business issues (all the typical things you think of when you think of a business coach) as well as to work with them on the life pieces as well.
On your website, you mention that when you had your son, you had the challenge of finding your own identity. How do you apply your motherhood challenges to coaching clients?
When I had my son, I was commuting 2-3 hours per day. It was a tough thing to do and I wasn’t able to feel like I could enjoy being a mom. After maternity leave, I went back to work for 6 months. I loved my job but I had a lot of guilt for not being able to be a great mom. I resigned from that job to be a stay-at-home mom.
I discovered that being a stay-at-home mom is the most DIFFICULT job ever! During maternity leave, I had an identity of a mom who was a brand-new mom and somebody who was “on leave” from her job. That was easy on my ego. When I no longer had my job, I was “just” my kiddo’s mom. It was tough for me to admit that I wasn’t very good at being a stay-at-home mom. I really itched to do something more. Starting and growing my business has made me an even more present mom. I really cherish the time I have with my son and I get to really be available to him when he needs me.
I know that women go through a lot of shifts as they enter motherhood. Adding in the extra layer of being an entrepreneur can be isolating and vulnerable. I also know that there’s another way. Motherhood doesn’t have to be guilt-driven. Entrepreneurship doesn’t mean that a mom’s selfish. Entrepreneurs who are moms have unique challenges but they also have unique blessings as well.
I have two tips for mom entrepreneurs. One – Read BOSS MOM by Dana Malstaff. She has some powerful insights about how you can grow both your business and your family! Second tip is that life will be different as a mom but we have the ability (if we allow ourselves) to call the shots and to say what’s important.
What is the most common struggle you’ve seen that women business owners encounter?
Women really struggle with two common things:
The first – perfectionism. Women feel that everything that they create needs to be absolutely perfect. The sad fact is that perfect actually doesn’t exist because perfect is subjective. Women will wait to put something out, to talk about a project, to submit something for publication, to send it off, because they’re waiting for something. It’s a lack of confidence that stops them. My encouragement is to push forward. In the words of Nikki Elledge Brown, “it doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be shared.”
Secondly – Time management and the illusion of doing it all. Do you have a really really really long to-do list? One of my clients called her list “the list where all [her] to-do list items procreated and made more to-do list items.” You know the one. This takes a very simple skill: Qualifying what goes on your to-do list. You can’t just put everything that’s in your brain onto your list. If an item can’t be done within one hour (at the most!) it cannot go on your list. Break the item down, ask yourself how long something will take then add it to your list. Et voila, no more procreating of your to-do list.
As a fellow mom, I’m always looking to learn how other mom’s structure their days. What are three things that you have found to be helpful to ensure that most days run smoothly?
I recommend having a morning routine! My morning routine actually starts the night before. I sit down for 10 minutes to look at my schedule for the next day. I see how many obligatory appointments (client calls, exercising, lunch with friends) I have that don’t move, do a 2-minute brain dump of all the things I’m thinking about that need to get done and highlight the items that need to be added to my list, look at my to-do list and schedule those items into my calendar.
My morning routine officially starts after my son leaves with his dad for daycare. Let’s be honest, kids make it a little bit challenging and I don’t own my time while he’s here. My morning routine consists of: taking a shower, reflecting on things I’m grateful for (2-3 minutes), meditating, and reviewing my day.
I take my dog for a walk at 5pm to close out my day (some days it looks like 5:15… or 5:30), to signify that I’m done working!
I’ve experienced firsthand your positive, “heart-centered” attitude. Do you have a daily practice that you follow to keep you in this mental space?
As part of my morning routine, I have a gratitude practice that I call “grateful heart.” It’s a simple exercise where I doodle on a piece of paper all the things I’m grateful for. I also reflect on my values and how I’m cultivating them in my life and in my business. I also check in with myself during my daily meditation to get in touch my body, brain, and emotions. Most of all, I’m kind with myself. I know that I’m a hard working, over-achieving person and I tend to be critical of how hard I “should” be working. Being kind to myself has been the catalyst to making my business grow as quickly as it has!
Let’s be honest though, it’s not all uncluttered. Sometimes it’s really hard to unplug from my feelings. However, it’s part of my job to take care of myself because I am the tool I use to help my clients and I need to take care of it so I can be of service in the best way possible!
As a biz coach you help others work through challenges on a regular basis. What are some challenges that you have had to overcome at Reina + co?
I think like many entrepreneurs, I had a tough time trying to navigate the muddy waters of pricing my services. It felt like I was putting a price on my worth. In the beginning, it also felt like I was ‘stealing’ my clients’ money. That was a hard shift to make but since I was liberated from this mindset (I worked really hard on this), it has been such an important part of my development.
One challenge in the beginning I had was to figure out how to start a business while I had a kiddo. I couldn’t afford to put him in daycare and our family finances in the red. I hustled hard, did what I could and had small goals just to be able to cover my expenses. It was a tough time but well worth it.
As I grow in my business, I have experienced learning opportunities. For example, they are things like not working on my business on “off” hours. It’s so easy for me to read an interesting article in Forbes or on Entrepreneur. It’s also easy to try to reply to a client on off hours because I truly love my clients and it’s fun to work with them. I know it’s difficult to turn off “business brain” because it’s what we’re so passionate about doing. I have gotten better – I am respecting the boundaries I put on my business so I can enjoy the rest of my life even more!
Do you have a personal or passion project that you’re working on that you’d like to share?
I’m always working on projects! I’m hoping to introduce a e-course that’s about being a brave business owner. In 2016, I have a goal to create a workbook that will give people a way to live more purposefully and be heart-centered leaders. I’m also planning on reading one business and one fiction book each month!