What I can and will promise you, if after reading all this, something resonates for you, I will work my ass off, research my ass off, do everything in my power, including motivating your ass off, leaving us both ass-less, perhaps, but also changed in the process. Our interaction will positively change one another. You will provide insight and knowledge and challenges that will further sharpen my craft, strengthen my resolve and exercise my compassion, and I will provide you a glimpse of your better self, one that evolves into a broader, wiser, self-perspective that acknowledges strengths you didn’t know you had, resilience you didn’t know you could muster, perseverance you don’t recognize, self-love and compassion you may have found fleeting, patience you’d found wanting, progress you hadn’t quite found at all, and the gradual change that given time, will find you transformed.
Life, career and relationship coaching is basically a conversation, a guided one that when in the hands of a skilled practitioner leads the client to greater self-insight resulting in concrete decisions and actions consistently taken toward specific goals leading to greater personal and professional fulfillment, and yes, happiness. When done correctly, the skills learned in the coaching process become a set of life tools the client can take with them, continuing to unlock doors, break glass ceilings, ratchet down negative presumptions, turn up self-esteem, tweak bad habits and keep hammering away at defined goals. Typical goals you might be interested in pursuing include (get ready, it’s a laundry list): weight loss, a new job, a loving relationship, a healthier lifestyle, becoming physically fit, work/life integration, anger management, cold-calling & sales mastery, maximizing income / eliminating under-earning, improved management skills, greater patience, tackling anxiety or fear, handling rejection, taking on depression, responding to a toxic work environment, establishing boundaries, navigating online dating, interacting with family, getting over a breakup, becoming a better parent, starting a new business, dealing with addiction, managing grief and disappointment, balancing an artistic life and “day job”, acquiring public speaking skills, becoming more efficient, getting rid of clutter and many more.
When helping clients achieve high-performance in the above areas, I institute a balanced “partnering” approach to coaching that promotes self-discovery through thoughtful questions and techniques that lead clients to self-resolutions that resonate from within and become part of their permanent life and business skills tool kit. I also draw on the fields of organizational and human psychology to create customized exercises, breathing and relaxation techniques, visualization journeys, coping mechanisms and self-analysis skills that help you create new habits and behaviors leading to personal and professional goals and a more balanced life. The final elements in my coaching arsenal are my impeccable research skills and strong foundational knowledge of human and organizational behaviors and industry specific acumen, what I collectively refer to as the “strategic content” I employ to lead you to informed decision-making and stronger life choices that promote personal and professional growth and lasting change in a number of areas.
Unlike counseling (or therapy) life coaching does not drill down into our murky past, but instead focuses on the here and now, what can be changed in the present (starting right fricking now) that will lead to a productive and fulfilling near-future. For me, it’s about creating those slight course corrections that lead to major directional change and lasting transformation over time. Those corrections can come in many forms but more often than not involve customized tools, habits and responses specifically designed to master clients’ limiting self-beliefs, paralyzing procrastination, immobilizing fears, pronounced anxieties, self-defeating habits, struggles with willpower, tendency to under-perform and habit of focusing on the past or just getting by. As overwhelming as that little dirty laundry list may sound, I refer to those smelly little gems as comforts, because that is in essence where our battle line is drawn; we are all comfortable in our current state, no matter how discomfiting that state may be, or we’d be in another state. I am a master motivator with proven skill in helping the most resistant among us trade the masochism of illusion-based comfort for the temporal uncertainty and long-term fulfillment of life-altering change.
I’d like to allude one more time here to my intentional departure from existing coaching dogma and their go-to jargon like “never provide answers, merely ask more questions until your client finds their own answers.” While I’ve mentioned above that this absolutist approach is well-intended, and even has some scientific backing, I’ve found that in real life that every client is different. Priming a client with a “forbidden” answer or potential solution, can actually spur them to riff on my suggestion, bending and shaping it, until they own it. Sometimes they won’t own it but the action they may take spurs a positive behavioral change…the action itself. In general, I don’t succumb to dogma, I research my ass off, use every tool at my disposal, try every approach imaginable, and some crazy-ass shit too, whatever it takes to get you to think differently, behave differently, form better habits. If providing you with answers will motivate you toward your life goals, you can bet your ass, there will be answers. And if those don’t work, we’ll come up with different answers. I’ll do whatever it takes to help you work your ass off toward positive, lasting change, the kind that leads to the life you deserve.
One last bit is that my style won’t be for everyone, and by god, that’s okay. In fact, it’s awesome. If you’re in a state where you desire personal or professional change and you’ve taken the time to schedule a complementary assessment or carefully comb through a few websites, it means you’re actively working toward your goal. If, after conducting your research you’ve read this webpage or contacted me and said to yourself “not for me” you’re already way ahead of the game. You’ve got the self-confidence to know what you want and stick to your guns. But seriously, I mean holy shit, if you’ve gotten this far, I’m probably your guy.
The coach / client relationship is just that, a relationship, and like any other successful partnership it involves chemistry. I won’t bullshit you, I have a fairly massive personality that combines tremendous passion, a slight tendency toward potty-mouth, thoughtful compassion and a big ole bleeding flub-dub… hey I cried with Mark Wahlberg when he thought Optimus Prime died… okay I might have been laughing so hard I cried at that shit, but hell…the point is I’m not for everyone. Any coach who claims to be shouldn’t be in this business.
A Sense-of-Self / A Sense-of-Humor
Man can life just suck ass sometimes, and not in a good way. From long lines to short tempers and heavy grief to petty grievances, there are a thousand little things that can set us off and then there are those life-altering blows that when delivered can shape our gravity, visibly weigh on our thoughts (and visage), skew our posture and alter our very sense-of-self–and therefore our lives. Happiness is not the absence of sadness, nor is it a magical disposition awarded to a special few. Decades of helping people from all walks of life attain real change (along with a boatload of research) has taught me that happiness is earned…in fact, it is planned for by those who master it. Ironically, happiness comes when we allow ourselves to be sad, just as achievement is garnered through many attempts ending in abject failure. Of course, it’s more complicated than that, but not a whole hell of a lot more. Emotional resiliency can be gained with practice and it starts by an accurate inventory of our own particular triggers, our kneejerk reactions to those triggers and the aftermath of smoldering anger or shame that can result from poor decisions made in the heat of any one moment.
Happiness can be earned by preparing for (not expecting) aggravation, even failure, and acting (and reacting) according to those preparations in the moment. One of the simplest steppingstones to happiness can be one of the most difficult, the simple act of forgiving ourselves for that awful, unforgivable fuck-up, and all the little ones in between. Forgiveness is no more magical than happiness, and can be learned and strengthened, just like a muscle, a little puny one that can grow like a steroid-fed boulder-esque bicep, like those biceps on that skeevy YouTube guy, the ones that make you say “eww gross”, while your subconscious whispers “kinda cool though, how do I get those fuckin’ things, I mean not those, but you know somethin’ more than what I got…”
Expanding our sense-of-self is crucial to achieving personal success and happiness. I work closely with clients to identify and analyze everyday reactions and behaviors that don’t serve their “better selves in progress,” i.e., the selves they want to become. Sometimes the greatest insights can come from the simplest questions, like… “What else could that mean, that one-word text message that’s pissing me off right now?” In the era where emotions, thoughts and beliefs are vomited out by anyone and everyone 280 all-important characters at a time, and where the dodgiest troll can share his excremental brain splatterings as if Moses etching that shit in stone, it’s important to take the time to conduct regular inventory of our own drivers, insecurities, triggers and kneejerk reactions. It’s important also, to recognize and build those habits and responses that can serve our more thoughtful selves, so that we are consciously shaping our sense-of-self, rather than having our core identity shaped by subconscious patterns, social media and smartphone blurbs.
And when we inevitably fuck all that up, as we surely will from time to time, it’s important to keep our sense of humor (and self-forgiveness). Finding the humor in our own failings is a crucial part of being able to move on past failure and toward success. When you begin to look at failure as “attempted success” you’re beginning to understand what’s necessary to actually get over, and build the habits that will lead to the life you so desperately desire. Retaining your sense of humor when battling anxiety, depression, procrastination, failure or fear is not only good for your health and blood pressure, but it enables perseverance. Maintaining your sense of humor is one of the most effective ways to retain your core values in the face of temporary setbacks, aggravation or failure. Your ability to keep it real can help you avoid slipping into smoldering self-anger, loathing or shame. I lean on my own “out-there” sense of humor to ensure you keep yours.
From decades of experience as both a counselor for the City of New York and as a professional life coach and copywriter, I’ve cultivated masterful interviewing skills and techniques, peeling away the layers that can define a company’s brand or a person’s true-life purpose. Without some outside perspective, it can be difficult or next to impossible to conduct the true due diligence necessary to unearth and reveal our own triggers, strengths, blocks and unique skill sets. I will help you realize just how close you are to mastering the change you desire, and more often than not, you’re much closer than you realize…a few habit changes here, a couple belief modifications there, some simple routines and systems to make it all work and you’ll be miles from where you currently are and arriving at where you want to be. Massive change happens with a few course corrections that over time, when formed into habits and systems, with self-compassion and patience, result in powerful personal transformation. I know how to ask the right questions, leading to answers that only you can provide which in turn lead to lasting change.
Curiosity and Compassion
Without intense curiosity, it becomes impossible to methodically investigate all the tangled roots of our fear and procrastination, our self-destructive habits and behaviors–and without massive compassion all our hard-earned discoveries will just lead to more guilt, self-recrimination and defeatism rather than motivate the lasting change necessary to reach our life goals. Working closely with you to unearth trigger points and self-imposed blocks, I craft customized exercises and disciplines tailored to overcome individual obstacles and stimulate confidence and routines leading to lasting positive change. Most importantly, I do so from a place of massive curiosity and heartfelt empathy and compassion (see “ginormous flub-dub” above). What do I mean by all that, well, I know what it is to struggle and I invest all my personal and professional resources, throwing whatever I’ve got into helping you successfully navigate your life challenges.
Written and Verbal Communication Skills
In addition to bringing my passionate zeal to every challenge, I’m also a consummate communicator with a proven track record as both a professional speaker and world-class copywriter (on par with the top scribes from big-five ad agencies). Drawing upon over 15 years’ experience in creating persuasive sales and marketing materials, I conduct exhaustive client interviews, gradually peeling away natural defenses, shyness and insecurities until I come to an astute understanding of your individual core competencies, unique talents and branding strengths before expertly reviewing and recrafting your resumes, bios, LinkedIn profiles, sales scripts, web content, dating profiles, mission statements, marketing materials…all the tools necessary to give you a decisive edge in the competitive marketplace of business and life itself. Put succinctly, I will not only help coach you to high performance in your personal and professional life, but I’ll ensure all the written tools that represent you and your business support the better, more productive-self I’ll help you become.
I grew up in Nebraska where I developed a habit for nodding and saying hello to fellow pedestrians and holding doors open for longer than necessary, skills that didn’t serve me well when my educational pursuits took me from the Omaha Jesuits of Creighton University to the West Village streets of NYU in downtown Manhattan. After graduating with a BFA, in the middle of the 88’ Stock Market Crash, I started rewriting resumes for fellow NYU alums and friends that had visited the campus employment office – yet were still having trouble finding work in a tight economy with resumes I deemed “shitty” at best. I proved a natural, starting my own executive resume and career coaching firm and making every possible mistake in the process. On a lark, I joined my lovely girlfriend at the time in applying for a caseworker job with the City of New York, counseling people with AIDS in the devastated Village and Hell’s Kitchen communities. Because I wrote my own resume, of course I was hired immediately – well before my girlfriend who after that experience entrusted me to write all her future resumes, but enough of that. Counseling dying people who were often not much older than myself proved too much however, for this younger version of me who had yet to have any real counseling or grief coping skills and so I transferred into the Foster Care program after a year, where I counseled kids and foster parents instead. While both jobs proved some of the most rewarding human experiences of my life, 20-something me was perhaps not as ecstatic about this life-altering experience, which among other things included watching the light go out of a kid’s eyes at the age of 3 or 4 when he begins to comprehend the hardship of being “underprivileged” and poor.
Still writing professional resumes, cover letters and ad copy on the side for clients who found me via word-of-mouth, I determined it was time to learn from my mistakes. I found a mentor in Life and Career Coach (and resume guru) George Gruber, where I learned the craft of life coaching, sales, business, bookkeeping and charging what you’re worth. I in turn taught George a few things about persuasive writing before opening my own business a couple years later. I began my business as “Advantage Resumes” when we used to have those things called Yellow Pages and they were alphabetized, before rebranding to The Resume Genius, New York City’s premiere career coaching and executive resume service. I later transitioned the business into a more holistic coaching firm focusing on life, career and dating coaching services, while also handling copywriting, branding and executive resume preparation duties.
My career was cut short by a massive case of shingles that resulted in a lifelong chronic pain disability that would leave me in tears, curled up fetally next to my pit bull and pug. So severe was the pain that when it ripped and burned through my neurological system it also caused “essential tremor” in my hands, basically that tremor you’d normally get when you’re 80. I think “essential” is a prime example of bad marketing as I find nothing “essential” about the fucking tremor. Fortunately, while on a date with a lovely woman many years ago, I was told to “just own it” and I’ve done so ever since (for the most part). Thanks to modern advancements in medicine, I was recently fortunate enough to receive a DRG Implant, a breakthrough technology just approved in the United States that basically serves as a pacemaker for pain, delivering interrupting electronic signals to the dorsal root ganglia nerves in the spine, delivered from a battery in my ass. Although my ass modeling days are over, the device has successfully combatted the most egregious, tear-provoking pain and allowed me to return to the business I love, the purpose I was meant for, that of helping you get over.
My trials with chronic pain and “hidden” disability have given me keen insight into not only what it takes to battle agonizing pain and disability, but how to harness the life lessons I’ve learned and turn them into tools for others with disabilities, often greater than my own. I teach them how to organize their lives, fight depression, summon social courage and return to the workplace when possible. I strongly believe that my trials with chronic pain not only inform other disabled people, but help me empathize with people of all different walks of life facing seemingly insurmountable situations and challenges of all kinds in their personal and professional lives.