To cut a long story short, I went a bit mad in my basement. Not face-smeared-in-faeces-mad, just low-grade, brooding, existential despair mad.
It began with good intentions a couple of years ago: renovating our house during a break from freelance copywriting (my former trade). I later emerged with little work, less money and a dwindling network of friends and clients.
Below ground, in a fug of sawdust and seething resentment, I took revenge on innocent nails; annoyed that after hammering away for a decade, here I was, at another of life’s junctures (middle-age), feeling disillusioned and more than a little lost.
I felt left behind, like I was missing my true calling.
This feels familiar, I thought, casting my mind back a decade ago when I’d just escaped the corporate wilderness of 9-to-5 employment.
What did I do then that got me out of a rut?
Although my lifelong friends introspection, rumination and procrastination rose to the challenge; they weren’t much help. No, things only really took off when I dived into what I really stood for: the hows, whats and whys. I pinned down my values, using my life story so far as a lens.
But, more significantly, I reached out.
I put other people first instead of fixating on myself. I hung out with people on similar journeys. I took inspiration from great thinkers on the subject. I hired specialists to get me out of my head (and way).
So I wondered...
What if I could help other people along their journeys too? People struggling to grasp their value, short on meaning and purpose, with dwindling hopes, subjugated by fear.
I’d draw on my analytical superpowers, insight, storybuilding, and hunger for clarity that made me the copywriter I was, to help them uncover deeper, hidden truths.
I could be curious, irreverent, funny and persistent - the very things copywriting clients already hired me for (only this time for my kind of people).
I could help them discover what they really mean to say, in pitches, public speaking and marketing. I could coach them to realise they already have all the answers, that I’m not the expert on them; they are. I could give them what I needed so badly myself: less pain and more purpose.
That brings us right up to the present day.
Now I’m a coach. I help practically-minded do-ers, makers and thinkers find their place in the world, in life, work and business.
Copyright © Coaching by Chris Kenworthy 2020