I’ve known Tom Volkar for years. We “met” while I was studying blogging around 2008, and I was taken in by what he had to say. Since then we had a couple of occasions where we tried collaborating, but this fall I hired him as a coach for the first time. Realizing that I had a pattern of getting burned out and changing directions every 6-9 months or so, I really felt that I needed to do something different, something I haven’t done all the other times.
I am glad I did.
At first I didn’t understand what his coaching was all about. I was expecting to set business goals and to be held accountable for making progress. Actually, it turned out that his coaching focused more on my personal transformation to become fit as an entrepreneur. One of the first calls he said “let’s take a break from your business, because we need to work on the founder.”
One of the first ‘aha’ moments was when he told me that in life we create situations so that we have opportunities to feel stuck emotions from the past. I already believed that we had the power to create our own life (for better or worse) and that we could be carrying ‘unprocessed’ emotions that could turn into illnesses. But that insight was the next deeper level of understanding, of seeing the line between dots that I didn’t see before.
He saw right away that my chief issue was emotional. Emotional backlog (which is a term I coined) can make you draw judgments that neither are true nor serve your needs. I was doing a lot of that, and I still am. For example, because I had a backlog of resentment, I saw requests for help or favor by my family, friends and co-workers as their taking advantage of me.
So he introduced me to Michael Brown’s book The Presence Process. I protested early on, saying that I hated his writing style (I’m still not too fond of the style, though I’m won over by the insights/substance) and I didn’t have time to read. But Tom insisted, and so I submitted myself to the process of reading and then following the instructions in the book. 10 weeks later, I am experiencing a transformation in progress. What used to overwhelm me has lost its charge.
Along the way Tom helped me discover my four core values. I was surprised to discover compassion was one of them, but now that makes sense, too. With the fourth value kicking in to provide more creative energy in alignment with the other three (I’ll tell you more about them in other posts) I feel like my sail is receiving stronger wind than I have felt before.
More discoveries included my marketing approaches and the values I offer (as in benefits/offering). Those are huge achievements in themselves but in contrast to the biggest realizations they seem small, obvious and easy in comparison.
At the beginning of the coaching session I told Tom that by the end of the session I wanted to feel like my music business was a fun little project that I get to plug away on, without any doubt about whether it was something I could do or not. I don’t know if 100% doubt-free is achievable, but I’m getting there. Different concerns and worries came up but they all got addressed.
I know that I have the power to create my future the way I want it to turn out. But my power was compromised by my emotional backlog clouding my view and tainting my life experiences. His coaching was an important catalyst in pivoting from my destructive patterns and correcting my trajectory toward restoring my power. To give myself some credit, I probably would have found one way or another to do so on my own — but I can see myself spinning my wheels for years in the process. Working with Tom I had a rich, realization-dense period in which I achieved clarity on many big areas.
All that got accomplished in six phone calls spread over 4 months. Believe me, I’m not one to get easily impressed, but wow. I traveled far in a short period. Having an expert guide makes a world of difference.
If you’re thinking or dreaming about striking out on your own to create something only you can make, then I recommend you go talk to Tom. He’ll help you figure out where where you have been wanting to go.