For over nine years, I’ve had the honor of helping introverted women with big hearts to build a personal and professional life built on their natural gifts (even if they don’t know their gifts yet).
I myself am an introvert with a big heart and I once felt like a total misfit, with all the anxiety that goes with that, but thanks to some soul searching (including with the help of coaching), I have come to a place of celebration and ease with being true to myself in my personal and professional life.
I believe our loud, fast, money-driven culture needs more of the gifts we have to offer. So I’m determined to make it easier for other so-called “misfits” (what I now call “black swans”) to do what you’re here to do, and be who you’re here to be.
One of my introverted clients described her experience with me like this, starting with our first phone call:
Val introduced herself – her voice was so warm, kind and calming…was this really a coach?! You mean they’re not all full of extroverted energy ready to burst at the seams…this was a great start! …[After working with Val,] Not only did my business take off wildly, but I’m learning to live ‘out of my head’ and ‘into my heart’ which has completely changed my life.”
~Cindy S. of Calmer Spirit
[Read more comments and client stories]
You can “meet me” in this video story about me. (It’s focused on how I got into business/career coaching services, and I have since expanded to life coaching too.)
I help people all over the place, thanks to the phone and videoconference tools. I also see people in my office in Northampton, Massachusetts (in “Western Mass”).
I’m committed to being welcoming and inclusive of all races, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, cultural or class backgrounds, and abilities, and I’m grateful that my coaching experience includes that whole range. I continue to build my own cultural awareness and competence. Always growing and learning. I welcome you educating me about your perspective. There’s no out-group in my world. It’s also true that my approach seems to appeal more to women.
- Seeing the genius in you – even when you can’t see it.
- Helping you see where you are on the “map” so you can find solid ground and then reach for your dreams.
- Some kinda crazy-good intuition.
- Making networking, marketing, and socializing actually fun and easy for introverts!
- Getting you unstuck – today.
- Empathy. (People who meet me feel deeply seen and understood.)
[Here’s a fun story that one of my clients wrote about her surprise that my gentle style “packs a surprising punch.”]
My methods are informed by these approaches or beliefs:
- More you = more ease = more impact. (I call this my Black Swan Formula for Success.)
- Authenticity is the most effective way to reach your goals, personally and professionally.
- Breathing is essential. (Mindfulness is a key factor for happiness and success so this naturally comes up in all my work.)
- It doesn’t have to be that hard. When it feels hard, it’s time to get help.
- You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your mark, but you do have to invest something — strategically.
- Work should feel like play.
My Experience and Credentials
- Former wallflower who now enjoys socializing, on my own introvert terms.
- 9+ years as a self-employed professional coach (and a lifetime of informal coaching)
- Thriving business owner even during a down economy.
- Longtime practice in meditation and mindfulness. Currently active in Insight Buddhist community.
- Featured expert in the media – on introverts, self-employment for introverts, heart-centered work, work-life harmony, introvert-friendly networking, and related topics.
- Graduate of the Coaches Training Institute, accredited by ICF. (Loved it!)
- Committed to following the International Coach Federation (ICF) ethical standards.
- Former Chair, Western Mass Coaching Alliance.
- 20+ years in health and human services.
- 12+ years in management (non-profit and business worlds).
- 20+ years in marketing and communications (non-profit and business worlds).
- 15+ years helping with websites and web marketing, especially for healing arts professionals.
- 20+ years experience in public speaking, from schools to international conferences.
- Inbound Marketing Certified Professional
- Successful experience in a range of settings — including education, health care, human resources management, and web marketing.
- 5 years of training in conscious communication (also known as non-violent communication [NVC] or mindfulness communication), a powerful tool for heart-centered and direct communication.
- Longtime veteran of 12-step living.
- Mindfulness-based activist: anti-racism, LGBTIQQA, human rights, peace.
- Former illustrator and ad designer (award-winning).
- B.A., Tulane University (Double major: Sociology, Latin American Studies), and graduate studies in Education.
And I’m a proud introvert who is finally living my purpose. Living my purpose is what really matters to me.
For the real-deal credentials, check out my client testimonials.
Oh, and if you’re like me, you might enjoy knowing my “type” from various measurements, like these:
- StrengthsFinder Top 5: Connectedness, Empathy, Strategic, Relator, Activator. (No wonder I ended up in coaching!)
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: INFP
- Enneagram: 1w9
I think all of these findings have been good validation for me, that I’ve chosen a field that aligns with my natural strengths, and I love helping others find their easeful alignment too.
My Coaching and Consulting Business History
I first opened my own business in 2008 as a consultant for service professionals (e.g., healing arts) who wanted help with communications (e.g., web and social media), because I already had a solid reputation for it.
I soon found that many of my clients had fears that got in the way of their marketing, such as networking or self-promotion anxiety, or fear of exposure. So my natural coaching style kicked in, and we’ve all been a lot happier and seen more results since then.
After some additional coach training, I started calling myself a coach more than a consultant, but I bring both skills to my work. I switch hats as needed.
Then I added personal coaching, especially coaching for introverts. I’ve been doing something like coaching for ages under different names (mentor, program manager, human resources manager, friend, listener). It’s been a joyful birthing process of bringing more of the real me to work. It’s an ongoing journey and I’m so grateful for it all.
Hey, if you’ve read this far, you’re the kind of person I love to hear from. You can contact me here. I look forward to hearing from you.