Paula Shepherd is an ICF certified and credentialed Business Confidence Coach & Brand Voice Strategist, certified Tiny Habits Coach, Certified Program Management Professional, and host of The Confidence Sessions Podcast. She helps visionary entrepreneurs increase their confidence and their business’ bottom line by using the power of the voice to stand out as the go-to expert.
Paula spent 20 years in Corporate America before leaving a six-figure management position to pursue her mission of creating the company she always wanted to work for. She built a 6 figure business in her first 9 months and has helped over 60 people start or reinvigorate their businesses through her signature system, The Courage Blueprint®.
Paula has been featured in the online publication, VoyageAustin Magazine and been a guest on numerous podcasts. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and 4 children.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- Why staying quiet is stunting your growth
- The importance of genuine human connection in a virtual world
- Values-Based Leadership and reframing what is important in life, relationships, and business
- Authentic Business Design – alignment with your strengths vs. a cookie cutter method
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:02] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s time for Coach the Coach Radio brought to you by the Business RadioX ambassador program, the no cost business development strategy for coaches who want to spend more time serving local business clients and less time selling them. Go to BRXAmbassador.com to learn more. Now, here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:33] Lee Kantor here, another episode of Coach the Coach Radio, and this is going to be a fun one today, we have with us Paula Shepherd with The Courage Blueprint. Welcome, Paula.
Paula Shepherd: [00:00:44] Thank you for having me. I’m really excited about being here.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:47] Well, I’m excited to learn what you’re up to. Tell us about the courage blueprint, how you serve in folks.
Paula Shepherd: [00:00:53] So the courage blueprint really started as a means of helping people to get out of their own way. After 20 years in corporate, for me it was about building a business that I always wanted to work for, and that meant not serving people on my own, but really having people and their unique talents and zone of genius coming together to create something really beautiful that inspired and helped other people to live out their dreams and their passion.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:26] So what’s your back story, you mentioned corporate, but what roles did you have in corporate?
Paula Shepherd: [00:01:32] So I spent 20 years in corporate America. I did start in non-profits and of course, I loved my job, but I didn’t make a lot of money. So I did what everybody did. Right. I, I chased the the dream of having a bigger income. And in corporate America, I eventually climbed the corporate ladder and was a corporate leader. And so I was managing other people for a Fortune 500 company in a smaller office. And it’s it wasn’t always the best environment. Right. There was a lot of toxicity and a lot of seniority and patriarchy kind of played into. That space, I was the only female manager in that location and I was only one of five females on the program that we were serving. So it was it was really difficult to feel like your voice could be heard and to also feel like there were certain standards that had to be met in order for it to be important enough for you to speak up.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:41] Now, when you were going through that, were you getting coached at that time, like we’re not coaching kind of become a threat in your career?
Paula Shepherd: [00:02:51] Yeah, so this is such a fun story and really glad that you asked, because I the first time I hired a coach, I really, honestly didn’t know what I was doing. I had gone to a networking event and it was filled with entrepreneurs. And I just looked at them with such like loving, inspiring, envious eyes because I was in corporate and I hated my job, but I couldn’t get out of it because I was literally making so much money. And as the breadwinner in my family, I couldn’t get out. I was holding the benefits. I have four kids and I just felt really trapped. So someone introduced me to a career coach. And to be quite frank with you, I thought that the career coach was going to revamp my resume and help me find another job. And what actually happened with something so much more profound during the course of our working together over a few months, she actually said, hey, I don’t normally do this, but I think that you’re a natural coach. Have you ever thought of becoming one? Well, of course, I didn’t even know what that meant. So I did what I do best and started digging into the details.
Paula Shepherd: [00:03:58] And I wound up signing up for a program and thought, of course, I need to have this coaching certification. I want to be the very best coach for my clients. And after that, I really drew a line in the sand about when I was going to be done with my job. And it was for about a year later that I had said, OK, by August 31st of twenty twenty, this was pre pandemic. Of course I’m going to leave my job and and I wound up doing it and all because I hired a coach that I thought was really actually going to do work for me. I started doing the work for myself, got my certification. I am ISEF certified and now credentialled. And in July of the beginning of July of twenty twenty in the middle of the pandemic, I left my job and I actually gave my notice in May of twenty twenty. So it was really honestly kind of an interesting story. I, I put my blinders on and realized that I was going to make this happen no matter what.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:57] Now are your clients, people like you started not have ever having a coach or maybe not really understand what a coach can and can’t do, or are they people who have had coaches that are now, you know, just trying another one?
Paula Shepherd: [00:05:12] When I first started, it was more of me educating people about what being a coach really meant. And I was bringing in some new people. Now I have people either starting businesses, people who have been in business for about a year and have made a little bit of money, but really haven’t made a ton of traction and are ready to give up. And then the third group of people that I work with are people who have worked with other coaches in particular around business and honestly felt like they were wronged or bait and switch and didn’t feel the support or that they were treated as a unique individual. So those are really kind of the three types of people that I serve right now in my business.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:00] Now, when you started, did you start out with this vision of I’m going to be in this business confidence coach, I’m going to be a brand voice strategist? Was that clear to you at the beginning or was that something that’s evolved?
Paula Shepherd: [00:06:13] It has evolved because we all kind of start out and we don’t really realize our strengths because they’re built into us. We have this unconscious expertize and we’re running on autopilot. So for me, it was about people being able to be confident enough to apply sales and marketing to their business. But more than that, it was all about emotional intelligence and helping people learn how to network with other people to build and leverage relationships not in way, but in a really genuine way. Because it came so naturally to me. I didn’t really realize that that’s what I was doing in my business. So as over time, it’s gone from really focused on helping people become more confident to this evolution in a program of really understanding who you are aligning with, that which then develops your confidence and then building your business in a way that feels really, really good to you, and then being able to shout that from the rooftops. I like to call it using your outside voice so that you can learn and grow and develop relationships with people who always have your best interests at heart.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:32] Now, do you find that people kind of forget that? I think that this is a phrase that you use, that we’re humans serving other humans, that that things aren’t as kind of black and white and just very machine like that, that we’re just human beings. Just trying to we’re all just grinding, we’re all just trying to get through the day and do the best we can, and we’re looking for other people like that to have those kind of authentic relationships to so I can learn what you need, you learn what I need, and we can see if it’s a fit and we can help each other where some people are like, well, I, I have this persona I got to get in front of and I got a machine that gets me in front of this and they look at it almost like a machine and not human beings to human beings.
Paula Shepherd: [00:08:18] Yes, and I think that kind of over the course of the last year, when a lot of people have, you know, they lost their jobs, so they were getting into online businesses. A lot of the coaching industry blew up. A lot of people were getting into coaching without even really understanding what that meant. And you had people that really didn’t have the experience coaching other people and cookie cutter ways to essentially do the same thing that they were doing. But what was happening was people were losing themselves in that because it became about making more money and not about their vision, their purpose, their mission and why they were doing it in the first place. So people that wanted an online business so they could then have more freedom to spend time with their family. Actually, we’re now spending less time with their family and feeling much more disconnected from themselves. I do think that there’s a little bit of a shift right now happening happening in the industry. But I also do feel like so many people have been in really unfortunate situations with these programs that have promised things that really were never in alignment with them or sold them into things using thing, you know, psychological manipulation and didn’t really treat them as human, that there’s a lot of concern when people are now when they come to me or when they go to other coaches about whether or not they are going to have success. Right. And so the leaning in on the relationships and helping people really see and serving them in a way that makes them feel. And not in a manipulative way, but makes them feel like the person that they are is incredibly important, it is to me and to the people that I surround myself with as well.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:10] Now, is that something that you have to work with your clients on, really maybe identifying what their superpowers are, trusting those superpowers and building their service or business around those superpowers rather than kind of pushing them away or ignoring them and focusing on other things that they think are more business friendly or more relevant to business?
Paula Shepherd: [00:10:37] Yeah, I think there’s there’s a little bit of of both in there. Right. Because as a coach, it’s not my job to tell someone what to do. It’s my job to ask them pointed questions to help them come to their own conclusion. So I take a holistic point of view and I really do look at the whole person. And if they have an idea, I want them to really look at it and and decide if that’s really what they want to do or if they’re doing it because they’ve consumed something either on social media and an article that has made them question the way they’re going about their business. Maybe they think that it’s not going fast enough. So there’s opportunity there for them to discover more of who they are and to become really the person that they were always meant to be. And and in that is a lot of deconditioning, a lot of deconditioning where they came from. So maybe it’s, you know, things from the past. Maybe it’s, you know, that corporate mentality or that nine to five mentality and helping them to learn how to ask themselves the same questions so that when I’m not around, they’re still moving forward.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:51] So now let’s walk us through what an engagement with you or somebody on your team looks like like what is what is the pain I’m having where Paula and her team are the right solution, number one. And number two, once we have a conversation or decide this is a good fit, what what is some of the things that you ask your clients to do? What some of the homework or some of the kind of the early interactions look like?
Paula Shepherd: [00:12:16] Yeah, OK. So the first thing that that we do and we really identify because when we’re when we’re talking to people, we’re really pre qualifying them. Right. This isn’t about selling them on our service. This is about making sure that they’re right, because we have a very curated community. We’re serving less people in a more meaningful way. And and so what I want to do is find out what’s been stopping them from starting in the first place or what’s been stopping them from showing up as themselves. Most of the people that we work with are really nervous about putting themselves out there, about being the face, about taking up space. And those are the people we want to work with. But they also have to be ready and willing to identify who they are and start to take really uncomfortable steps forward, not jumping in a cesspool full of snakes. But, you know, finding what’s that one thing, if they don’t want to if they don’t want to do video on social media, are they more comfortable being a guest on podcasts? Are they more comfortable sharing their voice in another way? And what is their message? So the people that we’re working with are really not comfortable being in the spotlight, not comfortable taking up space, don’t see themselves as the expert, and it’s about digging out those stories for them. I think the second part of your question remind me what that was, because now I’ve gone off on a tangent here.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:51] Well, once the I’m just trying to get a feel for when someone when you and the and the prospect say, you know what, this is a good fit. I’m trying to get give them a taste of what it’s like to work with you. And it sounds like it’s very interactive, collaborative. And you’re looking you’re not looking to sell anybody anything, really. You’re just trying to find out if it’s a good fit or not.
Paula Shepherd: [00:14:14] Yeah, that’s the first step. And then once they are in our program, so we have one signature program, Elevated Voices Academy, and it’s a six month engagement. It is a high value hybrid. So it is a combination of both one on one experience with myself and support coaches and then also. Some group community engagement, so there’s, you know, office hours for them to come to you and really get to integrate. We also have a private community completely off of social media for them to collaborate and get accountability and really share and learn how to step into their own power and their confidence in a space that feels safe at first. And so it’s very highly curated. For that reason. We want to make sure we have the right fit and people and we’re only bringing in five people every single month. We don’t take any more than that because we care very deeply about developing a relationship and not kind of grinding people through the machine. It is a very bespoke process. So it’s all about identifying who you are. It’s a five step process. We go through five voices, it’s inside voice, passive voice, active voice, conversational voice and outside voice. And there’s a variety of different things that happen through there. But it all starts with self discovery and really understanding, believing who you are and and being able to describe yourself in a way that’s not a role or a way that you care for someone else. And so hopefully that answers your question. But it is such a personal journey for so many people, depending on where they’re starting and honestly, their mindset as they’re beginning the process.
Lee Kantor: [00:16:07] And so the service is kind of a group coaching service. It’s not like one on one with you, but
Paula Shepherd: [00:16:13] It’s yes, it is. It’s it’s a it’s a hybrid one on one and group. So there’s opportunity to have both one on one’s with myself. There’s one on one call with my human design expert and alignment coach. And then we also have a copywriter that is on our team who provides feedback so that when people are writing in their own voice that they can just get better at doing that. So we have a variety of team members to support because again, like going back to the whole courage blueprint concept is I want it to build a business that was the business I always wanted to work for, which was allowing other people to shine in the talents that they have and helping people to learn how to do things without leaning into a template.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:05] And if somebody wanted to learn more about the program, what’s the website?
Paula Shepherd: [00:17:09] Yeah, so you would just go to theCourageBlueprint.com and click on work with me. All the information is there to to learn more about the program, to be able to connect with us and to check out options to be able to enroll.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:26] And it’s the word that is at the beginning of that, right? It’s the career blueprint. Dotcom.
Paula Shepherd: [00:17:31] That is correct.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:32] And then your podcast.
Paula Shepherd: [00:17:35] Yeah. So my podcast is available on Spotify, Apple podcast, Amazon, anywhere that podcast can be found. And it’s called The Confidence Sessions. And I have both solo episodes that are bite size, easy to digest and also amazing guests to help people do anything from learn how to start running ads to creating amazing copy to building relationships.
Lee Kantor: [00:18:07] Good stuff. Well, congratulations on all the success, Paula. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
Paula Shepherd: [00:18:13] Absolutely. Thank you for the opportunity.
Lee Kantor: [00:18:15] All right. This is Lee Kantor. We will see you Next time on Coach the Coach Radio.