*Greetings* from the land of all things Life Leadership: messy, strong, human, fabulous, insightful, inspiring, and so much more! My name is Laura Neff, and I am profoundly grateful to be a Life Leadership Coach.
Personal growth has been a devoted pursuit ever since an illness landed me in the hospital and on bed rest for four months when I was 25. Suddenly there I was, missing my life and wondering, "Wow, I'm given the gift of time each day. How have I been spending it?" That awareness was the beginning of a conscious path of growth, changes, and challenges in the 16 years since. And within those years, I also cultivated a fervent passion for helping those around me unleash their own potential and unique ways of being in the world, no matter where I was or what I was up to.
Here, though, is a little more about how I got from 25-and-on-bedrest to where I am today:
Shortly after graduating with a BA in English in 1993, I followed my instincts to Charlotte, North Carolina and, literally on a whim, got a job with one of the largest banks in the U.S. as an administrative assistant. Before I knew it, that whim had quickly turned into a professional capability in corporate communications, training and facilitation and, by the time I was 29, a title of "Vice President." But despite raises, promotions, and new project after new project, an ever-present voice inside was telling me it was time to experience life beyond the corporate world. And it really got pretty insistent. So, finally, I took a deep breath...and I left!
That first big step led to many more leaps of faith and growth in the years since, each of which has increased my self-confidence and courage and taught me more about how to live with, in spite of, and even with gratitude for my fears. I’ve done everything from communications/training consulting within businesses and corporations to: retail management, teaching college writing, designing and selling jewelry, cleaning up monkey poo at a wildlife rescue centre in Thailand (really!), growing and selling organic produce, and learning how to make lattes and cappuccinos at a Colorado riverside cafe when my dear husband, Robert, and I traveled the country for 10 months in a converted school bus in 2002. And after much patience, soul searching, and pleading with the Universe about what was next, the stars and planets finally aligned themselves to spell out, "You’re a coach! Now go get some training and get on with it!" And after all that, here I am.
In early October, 2006, I completed the core coaching curriculum of the Coaches Training Institute (CTI), and in October, 2007 gained the designation of "Certified Professional Co-Active Coach" (CPCC) after completing CTI's robust Certification program. I also hold the title of "Professional Certified Coach" (PCC) through the International Coach Federation, which is the largest governing body of coaches around the world. The PCC designation represents well over 750 paid coaching hours and proven proficiency coaching at the PCC level.
In mid-2007, I completed a rigorous 10-month personal Leadership Program offered through CTI, which stretched, challenged and opened me light years beyond my expectations. In 2008-2009, it was my delight and honor to assist program leaders Henry Kimsey-House, one of the three founders of the Coaches Training Institute, and his deeply wise brother, Sam House, as they led another group through the same challenging, life-altering curriculum.
In 2009, I had the honor of being President of the Charlotte Chapter of the International Coach Federation, a group of brilliant, committed coaches spanning the spectrum of coaching niches. In 2010, I enjoyed being an active chapter board member but in more of a supportive role as "Immediate Past President," and currently I thoroughly enjoy being a member of our thriving chapter.
In 2012, I also coached myself right into second business ownership by realizing that several of my values were calling me to action. I am now the proud co-owner of a company called Nourish, created out of my passion for incredibly healthy, delicious, local, whole food that’s clean and as good to the environment as well as ourselves. We make food like that and deliver it weekly to our customers’ homes and offices here in the Charlotte area, making it as easy as possible for them to honor their values of health and wellness despite uber-busy lives. I firmly believe that if I was not a coach, I never would have taken those internal urgings seriously, or as something that I could really do something tangible with. And now, my business partner and I are nourishing families all over our city!
All in all, my experience as a coach so far has been beyond gratifying--out of this world, in fact--and I can't wait for more.
Thanks again for perusing my site as you explore what Life Leadership coaching has to offer you. There is more in you, my friend, and I'd love to talk with you about how we might work together to bring it out!
Laura Neff, CPCC, PCC
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