Jane Morrison, the Dream Big Coach

Nadia: Jane Morrison is known as the Dream Big Coach for being able to help her clients see their greatness, go after their dreams, and live their purpose.

She is a certified life and business coach through the international Coach Federation who works primarily with women in transition, women who want more out of life, women who want to start a business, or who are in business and want to have more profit and less struggle.

She began her coaching, training and consulting practice in 1991, after going her through her own personal life transition that included a difficult divorce, and a midlife crisis of reinventing herself.  She discovered that coaching and mentoring was her gift and she wholeheartedly embraced her second chance in life.

Jane is CEO of her own coaching and training company, Morrison Business Solutions, and the Founder of Savvy Women Entrepreneurs Association, a learning community for women entrepreneurs. Jane, welcome to the show!

Jane: Thank you Nadia, I’m excited to be here.

Nadia: You’re a certified coach, trainer, and business consultant. Tell me about how you work with people in those capacities?

Jane: Coaching, training and consulting are similar processes in that I’m working with my people to help them make some sort of change or learn something new for the better.

Personal coaching is really a an introspective process that I do with the client that involves helping them discover where they want to go, their personal values, and helping them remove barriers that it that allow them to fulfil their dreams.  It’s the most wonderful thing in the world when a client has realized that they have a lot more freedom and choices in their lives than they think and that by seeing how they hold themselves back gives them a lot of power to make changes in their in their thoughts are behaviours that moves them towards their goals.

Coaching requires me to really connect with people at the heart level, and I love that privilege.  Anyway, as a person with a big heart, I am totally in the right profession being a coach. I’m also very intuitive and empathic, and can feel things very deeply. This allows me to really connect with my clients and to quickly help them find solutions to their problems.

I do a lot of training and skill development through online workshops or in person workshops and this is the more traditional teaching that often leads a person to watch to some personal coaching.

My business consulting role really evolved from me having to learn how to be a smart businesswoman and now being able to share those skills with other women entrepreneurs.

Usually when a person goes into business for themselves they’re very good at their trade but they don’t know much about marketing or sales conversations or managing an office and that’s the part where they oftentimes feel overwhelmed, stuck, and need someone who’s been there to show them the ropes. I shorten the learning curve and help them grow their businesses and make money faster, while taking care of themselves, which is really the foundation of their business success.

Nadia: You’re a woman I know is living her passion. How did you discover what your passion was, and how did you go about following it?

Jane: As you mentioned in my bio, when I was about 40, I had a midlife crisis as many people do.  I knew that I had more to offer the world and went about finding out what that was.  I was working in social services as a manager and really liked leading people, both the employees and the clients, to better themselves and reach their full potential. I found I was natural mentor to others.

When I learned about the career of coaching, I found it was a perfect fit for what I wanted to do and how I wanted to use my gifts.  The problem was that I was really scared to quit a secure job and go back to school, and start a business which I didn’t know anything about.

I think the quote that “the purpose of life is to discover our gifts and the meaning of life is to give our gifts away” really gave me the courage to choose that path. I had also hired a coach myself and that gave me the self confidence and belief that I could do it.

I think the decision to get a divorce was the impetus for me to stop settling. I knew that my life, its joys, its direction, was really all up to me.

So I got around it by surrounding myself with a new community of like minded people. I had always been spiritual, but knew nothing about the laws of the universe. Reading spiritually based books like “A Conversation with God” and “The Power Of” inspired me to trust that I was being taken care of as I journeyed down unfamiliar paths.

Nadia: What was your biggest challenge starting your own business?

Jane: My biggest challenge was learning to be a smart business owner. It is still what I study on a daily basis. I am a terrific coach and mentor, but back when I started my business, I didn’t know, what I didn’t know, and made several mistakes along the way. There are so many tasks in front of entrepreneurs on a daily basis and we need to chose to spend our time wisely.

Nadia: A lot of people starting their own business get overwhelmed and give up. What keeps you motivated?

Jane:  I guess I am blessed with tenacity and a determination to succeed. And I know that this attribute is something that all entrepreneurs need to have in order to make it, because ultimately building a business takes longer than you want and there are challenges that jump in your way and you’ve got to take that in stride and go with the flow and not give up.

Nadia: How important is it to have a mentor and who are some of yours? 

Jane: I’m a big believer in formal and informal mentoring and I often have several mentors, including usually one or two coaches I’ve hired. I also have a few girlfriends who are in business and we bounce ideas off of each other.  I take a lot of workshops and training so that I can be at my best to share my wisdom with my clients. It is critical, as I said, I have several at once. I’d be lost without that support.

People tell me they can’t afford a coach, or a mastermind group or a mentoring program. They can’t afford not to. It’s just that important. Just having someone to lead me to think bigger, try new ways of marketing, acting quickly instead of thinking about it, is huge. Working with a coach or being in a mastermind group helps me be accountable for my action plan but also gives me a group to act as a sounding board and resource for my “how to” questions.

Nadia: You are a wife, caretaker to your elder parents. And busy business woman.  Entrepreneur, how have you been able to balance business and family?

Jane: As a business owner, I could work 24 hrs a day and still not be caught up. There is always something more to do to grow my business. That’s just a reality I accept. Along with knowing I’ll never be caught up, I have gotten into tune with when I need to get away from work. My body tells me. I get a backache, I can’t’ focus anymore. When that happens, I give myself permission to just walk away from it and do something for me or the family. Oftentimes I cook to refresh myself, take the dog for a walk, go to the gym or and pick up the book I’m reading or even take a nap. I used to feel really guilty about doing any of those, now I realize that I am the  foundation of my success and that I must first take care of myself, and those I love, to be a successful business women.

Nadia: With the new surge in social media, how have you manage incorporating that into your business?

Jane: That has really been a learning curve for me, as it is for a lot of people. I’ve had a lot of mentors in this area too; including hiring VA’s to help me with the technical aspects. I think that with any marketing tool, you need a plan and strategy for its use. I make sure I know why I’m using certain social media like Facebook or twitter, and it’s really about connecting with others and increasing my ability to share about myself and bring value to others.   

Nadia: Tell us about Savvy Women Entrepreneur Association. Why did you start it and what is it all about?   

Nadia: What advice would you give to the women who are looking at starting a business?

Jane: Make sure, more than anything that they have a plan, several methods of support, and can financially survive without relying on their business to bring them a steady pay check right off the bat. I know with this economy, that some women need to jump into entrepreneurship and earn money right away. But there is a learning curve and if they can invest in mentors, mastermind groups, hiring a personal coach that will save them money in the long run, it is worth it. Lack of confidence is the number one reason people fail, so I’d also tell them to trust in themselves, their gifts,  and to dream big and don’t let anything get in their way.

View Jane’s video interview here.