An Interview with Life On Purpose Coach Ann Swift

I love Ann’s generosity. Once again she’ll be offering several days of coaching for those folks who’d like to experience first hand what it’s like to have a Life On Purpose Coach in their corner.  It’s not only a great way to attract her next set of perfect clients, I think she’s building ‘karma points’ in the process. I recently had the opportunity to interview her so the world could get a better idea just what’s she up to in creating a world on purpose.

How did you become a life coach?

Over 20 years ago I was at a crossroads in my life. I had been working in an advertising agency for almost 10 years, I was going through a divorce and I was doing an assessment of my life.  As I reflected on my life, I asked is this what I want to do the rest of my life? Did I really want to work 70 to 80 hours a week with no social or personal life? The answer was no. I realized I wanted to do something that made a difference. I wanted to contribute to the betterment of others. So I decided to apply to schools to get a Master’s Degree. I thought becoming a counselor would take me down the path of making a difference with others. I had been given a God-given talent of listening to others. I mean really listening and people always felt “better” after we had “talked.” So I went to UNC at Greensboro, NC and achieved my Masters Degree in Counseling.

Shortly after embarking on my counseling career I discovered coaching. This was really different from counseling because it focused on moving forward not rehashing the past over and over as I had been taught about counseling in school. This was refreshing. This was what I had been looking for all along. I wanted something that made a difference in someone’s life not just looking to the past to discover where something happened and then hope that discovery would then make a difference in the present aspect’s of a person’s life. I had not even known about coaching but this is what I knew I wanted to do.

With the discovery of coaching I began my training as a coach and embarked on this new career. Personal coaching was in its infancy at that time. Yet, it was exactly where I wanted to be. I have now been a personal coach for over 22 years and have coached hundreds of people to live a more satisfying and fulfilling lives. Being a coach allows me to ask people hard questions, yet the right questions, that will lead them to where they want to go. Many times left to their own devices people aren’t asking themselves the right questions so it ends up taking them in the wrong direction.

This has been one of the most powerful aspects of being a coach for me. I get to see the powerful difference asking the right questions makes.

What distinguishes you from other coaches?

Because I have a Master’s Degree in Counseling and I am a certified Life on Purpose coach this makes me unique. Often people confuse coaching with counseling and I can easily help them distinguish between the two. Also, I can work with people who may have some unresolved issue from their past that needs counseling. Depending on the issue we will either resolve the issue or they can find psychotherapist to work with them. Coaching is not a substitute for counseling. Each fulfills specific needs.

I am not just any life coach. I am a Life on Purpose Certified Coach, which allows me to take people through the Life on Purpose Process to clarify their life purpose. This is a logical, systematic and proven method to help people clarify their purpose.

I am also a student of human behavior and I have studied human beings for years. This line of study helps me provide my clients with knowledge about what is normal, what is expected under certain circumstances and what will help them move forward in positive ways that leaves them empowered. Many times people place unreal expectations on themselves. This can set them up for failure. Knowing what is realistic and doable helps my clients tremendously.

Who are your ideal clients?

I love working with smart, confident women who are typically around 40 or older who have reached a crossroads in their life. The crossroads may be anything from going through a divorce, empty nest syndrome, or just a sense of “Is this all there is?” The ways in which they have addressed these issues in the past are no longer working. They want their lives to have meaning and purpose. They aren’t exactly sure how to go about doing this and are looking for some assistance or guidance.

I work with my clients to get clear about where they currently are, distinguish what is missing, where they want to go and how they are going to get there. This takes them from their present situation to a plan for their future. Depending on what the client wants we create goals and Purpose Projects that set them on their path to living true to their life purpose. We also address any obstacles that can stop them or get in their way to accomplishing what they want to accomplish.

What is your coaching style?

This is an excellent question. It is important for a coach and client to discuss this because the coaching style makes a big difference. Some people want a coach that is bold, tough and hard nosed. Someone who will “tell it to them like it is.” Some people want a coach who is so tough they don’t dare go against anything the coach has asked them to do. Every person needs to find the coach and the coaching style that works for him or her.

My style of coaching is easy going and soft. I focus on working with my clients to make coaching distinctions that will impact their life. I use humor and we laugh a lot yet we don’t avoid the important issues. As a coach it is my job to address certain issues with my clients but I don’t feel it is my job to shove it down their throat. I treat my clients as the adults they are and expect them to deal with the coaching in a mature and responsible way.

My clients and I develop a caring and powerful relationship in which the focus in on the client and their needs. Many times it is the first time in their lives that my clients have focused on themselves and their needs instead of others. This a powerful and empowering step in the right direction to make a long lasting difference in their life.

I offer complimentary coaching sessions for people to see if we are a “fit” for each other. This way there is no obligation for either party. I believe in interviewing each other and making sure the desires of my clients are something that I can fulfill on.

NOTE: Ann has set aside several coaching slots for the week of March 28 – April 1. You can book your consultation online.  Click Here to schedule your coaching consultation.