You’re better at what you do than you think you are.
Rebecca has spent the last 5 years running her own business as a career coach, where she helps people who are dissatisfied with their job figure out what they want to do instead—so they can make both an impact and money. She also supports her clients with building the skills that will help them land meaningful work consistently, such as personal branding, resume writing, and job search strategies.
Rebecca believes that many of the problems in our world come from a lack of connection to ourselves, each other, and the world around us. She’s on a mission to help people do more good by doing work they are deeply connected to (and that they also enjoy!).
Rebecca lives in a cozy apartment with her partner in Vancouver, British Columbia. When she’s not working with clients, writing new blog posts, or marketing her business, you will find her walking in the forest, reading a book, wandering the city, journalling, or doing some other introvert-type activity.
Where did the idea for Rebecca Beaton Career Coaching come from?
I used to work in the environmental non-profit sector, but eventually became burnt out. I was tired of trying so hard to create awareness and change around climate change and seeing so little progress. It became apparent to me around this time that our environmental problems are actually symptom of a much deeper problem, which is a lack of connection to ourselves, other people, and the world around us. It was then that I decided to go back to school for a life coaching certification, so that I could start working on this deeper level with people. I quickly found my niche in career coaching, educated myself heavily in the area of career development, and thus Rebecca Beaton Career Coaching was born!
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
There is no typical day, really, which is one of the things I love about what I do. On the days I have clients (which is 2-3 days per week), sessions are usually in the afternoon and evening, so I’ll usually take the morning pretty easy, get out of bed when I want to, read my book and drink some tea, and maybe go for a walk in the forest. I usually have some introductory calls with potential clients in there too.
On days when I’m not working with clients, I’ll usually spend my time on different marketing initiatives, writing, or developing new programs. I get lots of ideas for things I want to do in my business, and ways to promote it, so the to-do list is pretty endless. I work out of a co-working space, so I like to set up meetings sometimes with different people who work there and get to know them and their career path better. It’s one way I learn about the different sorts of opportunities that are out there for my clients.
I don’t really have difficulty with being productive—at least when it comes to my business! Not working from home helps a lot with that, as well as prioritizing my goals at the beginning of each week and each day. My to do list is very long, but it’s well organized, and broken down into “Priority Goals for This Week,” “Non-Priority Goals for This Week,” and “Long-Term Goals.” Microsoft OneNote is how I keep everything organized, and then if I need reminders for certain tasks I use Google Tasks. Also, being passionate about my work, and knowing that if I don’t work, I don’t make any money—those things keep me productive as well!
How do you bring ideas to life?
I love creating plans and strategies for new ideas, what they’ll look like, and the steps to making them happen. However, I believe what is more important than strategizing is actually getting an idea out into the world (rather than sitting around and trying to perfect it first.) For example, I’m developing a new program right now called Land-the-Job, where I (you guessed it…) help people land their dream job. I’ve strategized around my goals, the structure, and the content of the program, but as I’m solidifying the program, I’m also working with beta-test clients to help the process. So I guess I would say bringing ideas to life takes a combination of strategizing/planning, and action.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I’m really excited about the rise of the gig economy. More and more people are working contract and freelance lifestyles, while less people are working in full-time jobs. This brings opportunity for a lot of flexibility and variety in one’s work. It also allows people to choose the projects that are the most meaningful to them—something that is very important to millennial workers, and an increasing number of workers that fall outside of that category as well. It also means more and more people are going to need to brand and market themselves like a business—which is exciting to me because I love that stuff, however, I know that I idea is very un-exciting for a lot of people.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
On top of the system I have for daily, weekly, and long-term goals, another habit that I believe makes me more productive is prioritizing breaks and doing pleasurable activities. My old business coach used to say “pleasure is productivity” and I completely believe that. I schedule time in mid-day for walks in the forest, cooking food, or drinking tea and reading a book. I find this helps me to be more present and effective in my work with clients, as well as more productive when it comes to my non-client work.
What advice would you give your younger self?
You’re better at what you do than you think you are.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
True clarity—around our life, our career, or whatever—doesn’t come from thinking about it, or researching ideas, or talking to people, or mulling over the options. While those things can help, at the end of the day, true clarity can only come from creating space within, and listening to ourselves on a deep level. It’s a level that not a lot of us are familiar with, but once we’ve found it, the possibilities are endless.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I keep persisting even when I fail. I’ve failed many times in my business, in many ways, but I keep at it and that is one thing I believe has contributed to the success I have today, and will contribute to the continued (and expanding) success I believe I will have in the future.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Being super clear on my messaging. In other words, knowing my why, the problem I solve for people, what I believe about the work that I do, and who I help. This was done through a combination of business coaching and market research conversations with my ideal clients. You can invest a lot of time and money into marketing, which creates the avenues for people to find you, but if people don’t know what you do and how you can help them once they find you, then the marketing is pointless!
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Where to begin! I think the biggest one would be when in year 2 of my business I had a few good months and decided this was enough to quit my job and go full-time with my business (without having any savings). Momentum didn’t keep up and I ended up wracking up about $16,000 in credit card debt. I eventually had to get a serving job to pay my debt off, which I hated! I’ve now vowed to never get into credit card debt again.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Someone actually passed this idea on to me, so I’ll pass it forward: an online site that connects millennials with baby boomers to swap skills. Millenials could teach boomers things like social media, and boomers could teach millennials things like… patience? ????
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought an earthquake kit, which I split with my partner so it was about $100 each. Let’s just hope I don’t end up in a “situation” where I think it was the best $100 I ever spent…
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Microsoft OneNote! It’s fantastic if you have multiple things on the go, and need to organize and prioritize different things in different areas of your life.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The Space Within” by Michael Neill
What is your favorite quote?
“My favorite endangered species is me!” -Rebecca Beaton (from back in my environmental activism days)
•True clarity around our work, or anything in life, can only come from creating space within and listening to ourselves on a deep level. It’s a level that not a lot of us are familiar with, but once we’ve found it, the possibilities are endless.
•The job market trend right now is towards the “gig economy,” where people are doing contract and freelance work, instead of working in full-time jobs. This means pretty soon, everyone is going to need to brand and market themselves like a business.
•Here’s some unconventional business advice: prioritize breaks and doing non-work-related activities that are enjoyable. This will increase your productivity and feed into your work in unexpected ways!
•You can invest a lot of time and money into marketing, which creates the avenues for people to find you, but if people don’t know what you do and how you can help them once they find you, the marketing is pointless!
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Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.