My name is Alison Smith, and I’m a mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, former teacher, former corporate employee, and now life coach and entrepreneur. I wear a lot of hats – as do you, I suspect. I also have a lot of “former” hats that shape who I am today. My journey started as a teacher. I taught 4th grade in an inner-city public school teaching all subjects to a very diverse set of faces in my classroom including many English language learners and Special Education students. This was my first love. It was my dream since I was a kid to be a teacher, and I wondered once I got there if I had arrived. If, at age 22, I had achieved all the dreams I would have in life. Something in me wasn’t convinced.
I felt a nagging feeling that this wasn’t actually where I was supposed to stay. So, I shifted gears and took a position at our local energy company doing education outreach including teacher trainings and educational grants. I had my foot still in education, but was now solidly in the corporate world. What a shock! These two fields couldn’t be more different, and although that frustrated me at times, I loved getting to utilize the resources of the corporate world to support teachers and schools. This was my second love. I settled in, got married, and got pregnant with our first child.
Then, I shifted again – to a bigger energy company putting solar energy on schools. I accompanied the solar engineers and sales people to incorporate learning programs using the installed solar arrays. I admit – that was a pretty cool opportunity! I travelled all around the country but then also worked from home. I had many of the work/life comforts and income comforts I had sought for many years. My beautiful daughter was born shortly after I made the transition, and then another unexpected nagging feeling arose in my gut – that I wanted to be with my daughter full time. Me? The enthusiastic, driven, ambitious career woman – now wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom? I couldn’t believe it. In fact, for a while, I just chalked the feeling up to “mom-guilt” and tried to blow past it. I pumped milk for my baby in bathrooms at work. I made meals ahead for days I’d be on business trips. I did the whole thing. And it was fine. The way fine always is – actually not fine. The nagging feeling just wouldn’t go away.
Finally, while at a mom’s support group meeting I attended, I met a woman who read right through the “fine” I was telling myself and pulled this nagging feeling right up to my face so I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I broke down. Turns out – she was a life coach. I started coaching sessions with her and she asked me the questions I had been too afraid to ask myself about what I really wanted in life – not just what I’d been told would make a good life. I shifted again – with my husband’s undying support – we made some huge changes financially and I quit my corporate job and became a full-time momma!
This was a new love for me – and even more challenging in a lot of ways than my teaching and corporate careers – but I felt on-purpose and in-line with my desires for the first time since having a child. I even moonlit with some educational consulting gigs. We had another child soon after that – and I decided to become a life coach and start my own coaching business so that I could support others like me who needed someone to ask them the hard questions they were too afraid to ask themselves.
The many “former hats” that I have worn now serve me as I can empathize and ask the exact right question based on my experience. I know the “hustle” well. I also understand what it takes to make a change. I understand the courage and vulnerability of “giving up” the vision you once held as your dream for your new dreams and new values. I know the disorientation of not recognizing yourself. And I know the satisfaction of uncovering the person you were born to be. I get it.
And that brings us to today – you are here, reading this, perhaps connecting with some of my story, and wondering what powerful questions could unlock something for you that would change everything for the better. Let’s explore that! Schedule some time to chat with me right now. The journey begins with one step…