Dreams Coming True is a new Thursday feature on my blog, a way to highlight those whose goal is to create community. The dream might be a blog, a published book, a small business, volunteering, or even fundraising for a charity. Something that makes the world a better place . . . for others.
Welcome Carey Bailey, life coach and author of Cravings, to Dreams Coming True! Tell us a little about yourself, Carey:
I am a Texas girl who fell in love with the mountains and (let’s be honest) the lack of humidity in Arizona while visiting my grandparents during the summer. I set out on an adventure towards those mountains in 1998 and I can’t believe I have called them home for sixteen years.
There are many things in life that make me happy:
· Creating Mixed Media Art
· Blue Bell Ice Cream
· Sneaking a glimpse at my Christmas presents
· Finding the “just right” gift for someone
· Purple pens
· A Henri Nouwen book
· Trips to Disney
· AND lazy days
But more valuable than happiness to me is love. In this life I strive to love others and reflect Jesus.
I love my family, my husband, my two children, and my friends but most important to me is the way I daily learn to love God. I thank Him minute by minute for the grace He so freely gave us through His Son, Jesus Christ. All of my screw ups in life, of which there are plenty, would be haunting rather than beautiful lessons learned without Him.
When did your creative dream begin?
I have always been a dreamer since I was a little girl. I dreamed of being a dress designer in NYC or walking the red carpet at the Oscars as a famous actress but I had a calling to full-time church ministry when I was 15 years old on a church white water rafting trip. And so I began the pursuit. I interned in my hometown church in San Antonio, Texas, got my degree in Religion from Westminster College, and worked for 20 years in mega churches across the United States serving families. I most recently ended a 10-year run as the Family Life Director at Radiant Church in Surprise, Arizona. I loved what I did but I also held onto a dream that was planted in 2002 to be a Life Coach after experiencing my own freedom transformation through coaching.
How did you get started with life coaching?
I was on the Dream Team for Holley Gerth’s book You’re Made of A God-Sized Dream in 2012 and it was while walking through that book that I had the courage to tell my family about my dream for being a Life Coach. I began the certification process in January of 2013 and went live with my Life Coaching site in July of 2013.
What are the goals and intentions of life coaching?
My goal is to help women satisfy their cravings for abundant life. I watch and listen as women struggle and wrestle with their time, choices, and mental health and know in the depths of my soul God wants them to know and feel their value and worth through His eyes. I assist in bringing them to a place of freedom.
How does life coaching create community?
I try to offer up series and nuggets through my facebook page and blog that can encourage women who aren’t in coaching. I have a monthly Bible reading plan called Pin God 1st that encourages women to read their Bible before they ever hit up any form of social media in their day, and this summer I partnered with Writer, Britta LaFont for a series called Summer of Joy. It was tons of community fun!
Many have creative ideas but trouble following through with them. What advice would you give to creative types who start projects eagerly…but then enthusiasm drizzles off?
I too am full of zillions of ideas!!! But which ones are from God and which ones are from me is a whole other question. I always let ideas simmer on low for a good while. If they don’t let me go then I trust they are a nudge from God. If enthusiasm fades then I would question if the sources of the idea wasn’t from man rather than God.
Describe the behind-the-scenes effort of your project. Where do the ideas come from? How many are involved in the process? Does each contributer have a specific role?
My life coaching business is my own and it is up to me to handle all the administration, creative, finances, and more. Would I love to have someone handling the admin side of things? You bet! For now I will simply be thankful for the gift of clients I do have and the way the job gives me freedom with my schedule. I have another project called With Joy Retreats and that is a collaborative project with my friend Ginger Ciminello. We work hand-in-hand in all aspects and are learning how to divide roles. So far it is all coming very naturally. It probably helps that we worked together in church ministry for for 6 years.
What’s been the hardest part about getting it off the ground?
The hardest part for me has always been building a web-site that reflects me. So many details and I am a recovering perfectionist, so it can get daunting trying to get it all “just right”. I have began to accept the fact that a website can be ever changing and doesn’t have to be a like a framed picture on your walls that doesn’t change for years.
What have you learned?
I have learned to slow down, take lots of deep breaths, walk away and come back later, go to bed when you need to, keep Sabbath no matter what deadline is looming, keep your family a priority and don’t let social media mess with your head!
Have there been any unexpected surprises?
I have been overly surprised by people’s willingness to just let their guard down and dump all their low points with a stranger instantly. It is wonderful but surprising. You know that people truly are looking for a safe place where they can be accepted and challenged.
What are the biggest misconceptions people have about being a Life Coach?
While I love every bit of what I do, it is hard. I learned early on that I could only mentally process four clients a day. Everyone’s story comes with a bit of weight and I need to be ready for them and be able to devote my attention and efforts for their specific needs. God is the wisdom and the one truly in charge of our conversation, so I have to make sure that I am shored up and in a good place in my life as well. As much as I pour out I also have to be willing and receptive to taking in good.
Creating something is one skill. Marketing and promoting it is an entirely different skill set. How has that gone for you? Shocked by the amount of work marketing takes? Or pleasantly surprised?
Ugh. Just this questions gives me nightmares!! I currently don’t market and haven’t marketed. My business has been built on others being willing to share what life coaching has done for them personally. I am beyond grateful. I do blog and I guest post in a few spots so that might be considered marketing, but I have never had a client come to me through those means. Everyone has always been through referral.
Any marketing mistakes you would avoid?
Rely on God first, relationships built second, and social media third.
I truly feel like in this day and age we give social media too much credit. Make sure your priorities are in order before launching anything off the ground.
What social network has worked best for you?
I am not sure what has worked best. I don’t track it. Seriously! Don’t call me business savvy! I personally enjoy Pinterest the most. People tend to find me the most through other people’s blog posts shared on facebook.
What advice would you give someone else who has a creative dream like yours?
Walk the road given to you. I have had other projects flop on their face and I was heart broken. But I learned so much that I applied to this adventure that has been successful. I trust I was given the lessons learned for a reason. If you are walking what feels like a flop, keeping asking yourself,What lesson am I supposed to be learning?
Where do you see this project in five years?
I don’t know. Truly. I hold onto it very loosely knowing that I never imagined where it would be today. It is in my prayers always and I trust God will continue to grow it or show me that it is time to let go.
How can we find your creative dream come true?
You can find me at careybailey.com.
I hope you will come stop by my second home and feel welcomed in.
[Tweet “Perfection isn’t possible. Freedom is. @CareyCBailey”]