Hello again and happy Wednesday! If you’re craving the weekend, you’re already halfway there! I have been thrilled and overwhelmed by the response – both by readers and participants – to Daring Women Wednesday. I’m looking forward to continuing this weekly feature into the New Year and beyond. Thank you all for your support and encouragement.
Today on DWW, I’m showcasing a life and weight coach who is guiding women to love themselves. Thank you, Jen Levin, for joining us as today’s Daring Woman!
What do you do and how long have you been doing it?
I am a Life + Weight Coach. I help women silence their inner mean girl and reconnect with themselves. I help them learn to love themselves as much as they love others and how to love their bodies just as they are without dieting.
I have been a life coach most of my adult life, I just didn’t realize it. I began formally coaching this year.
What excites you most about your work?
Without a doubt, it’s talking with women from a variety of backgrounds, hearing their story and about their struggles, and helping them through it. I absolutely love witnessing these women changing their lives for the better…you can literally hear a change in their voice over time! It’s very exciting!
What’s the hardest part?
The hardest part of this work is learning to manage work and family life. I’ve been a stay at home mom for 15 years, so it’s been a bit of an adjustment to handle both, especially because I’m working from home, too.
What does it mean to you to work on your own terms? What inspired you to do so?
For me, working on my own terms means that I’m 100% in control of when and where I work. I work Monday-Thursday, but I only do coaching calls on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I’ve set my hours to accommodate taking my children to school and being done with calls when they get home from school. There have been a few exceptions to that because of clients that have had extreme time zone differences (Australia), but it’s worked out nicely because I chose to take on that client and make it work.
My family is my number one priority in my life, and they have inspired me to work in this way. Sure, I could’ve gotten a job anywhere, but I knew that I wanted my work to be meaningful AND work around my family life. We also travel quite a bit, and my coaching practice allows for that.
When did you know that this is what you were supposed to be doing with your life?
It’s interesting because I was just thinking about this the other day as I was looking back in my journals from years past. I found a journal entry from 2013 stating that I knew my struggles with my weight would be the foundation of my life’s work…oh how true that is! So, I guess I’ve known for a long time that I was meant to be helping women, it just took me a while to get there.
And I’ve always been a teacher. My college degree is in education, and I spent three years as a teacher before I became a mother.
What inspires you most in your life right now?
I get inspired by so many things! Travel is big on my list…I love being places I’ve never been before. That time away from regular life helps to get my creative juices flowing. I’m also a quilter and I find it very therapeutic to sit and sew. I almost always think of things I want to share with my clients or blog posts I want to write while I’m sewing. And I love silence. I always sew and work on my projects in complete silence. Silence helps me think clearly and it brings me joy.
Name 3 ways you’ve been changed by this work or 3 lessons you have learned.
I have been COMPLETELY changed by this work in all the good ways. My life doesn’t look that different, but I am completely different inside. The work that I do with my clients is the same work I’ve done on myself. It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done, but it’s had the biggest pay off, too!
One thing I’ve learned is that even though I’m meeting a variety of women with different stories, the theme of their struggles are the same. We are all different and unique, but at the same time, we are all the same.
Another thing I’ve learned is that we are the sum of the five people we spend most of our time with. I’ve made a conscious effort to connect with strong, positive women. The friends I’ve found don’t even live near me, but we make time for phone calls together where we listen to each other’s successes and struggles. We bounce ideas off each other. We share what our next steps are. We encourage one another and support each other. I cannot say enough about how important this has been for me. Community over competition is HUGE for me. As women, we are so much more powerful when we build each other up, instead of tearing each other down.
Lastly, I’m learning patience. I’m a work in progress with this one, but I’m working on it. I’m someone who likes it done yesterday, so I’m learning that I can do it all, but not at the same time. I’m only one person! As my dear friend, Lara Casey, says, “It’s ok to grow slowly.” That’s a big one for me. So often I get caught up in all my ideas and I want to make it all happen right now. But that reminder that it’s ok to grow slowly helps me to take things one day at a time, one project at a time.
What is your biggest goal over the next year?
My biggest goal over the next year is to launch two new programs and to do an in person retreat! I’m SO excited about the programs I have in the works, and I’m even more excited about offering retreats! There is something very powerful about bringing a small group of women together. Big things happen, and I can’t wait to offer that to my clients.
What advice would you give to other women who want to work on their own terms and create a life they’re passionate and excited about?
I would say, GO FOR IT! This is the foundation of what I teach women (along with self-love and positive body image). The main advice I would give is to remember to START even if you don’t have it all figured out. You don’t have to know all the answers, and waiting for things to be perfect before you begin nearly guarantees that you’ll never begin. It’s never the perfect time to begin something new, so just start anyway.
Recommend something that has shaped you in your business.
Oh my goodness! There are so many! I have an entire resource page on my website of books I love and recommend.
I would recommend anything by Martha Beck and Brene Brown. From Martha Beck, I specifically like Finding Your Own North Star. This book can help personally and professionally. Oh! I must mention Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. This is one of my all time favorite books! A must read, for sure!
Thank you, Jen, for sharing your story and wisdom.
I’m so happy to see women making a difference in other women’s lives!
Want to be featured on DWW? Share your story with me and tell me how you’re working on your own terms!