Sara Gilbert – Not Merely Strategy, But Mindset | Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

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Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

A recipient of honors like “Most Innovative Woman in Business Development Strategy” and “Best International Business Consultant in Canada”, Sara’s one of the very few Canadian coaches invited by Forbes to join the Forbes Coaches Council. She’s also a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS) and the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council.

But more important than that…her mission is simple: to help her clients think differently, talk differently and act differently, so they, in return, make a difference in the world around them.

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Kevin Stafford 0:00
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the conversations with coaches podcast. I’m your host, Kevin. And today I have Sara Gilbert with me and Sarah was on the pod before back when I believe it was called Coffee with coaches, or some derivation thereof. And she was interviewed by my good friend and partner, Michael Pacheco, who’s moved on to longer podcast. I think he just likes the likes to talk more likes to listen more. But this is me meeting Sarah for the first time, but her going to come back. And we’re just going to chat about her coaching journey, both overall last, you know, year or two and just kind of see where the conversation takes us. So let me tell you a little bit about Sara, before I let her chime in. Tara is an award winning business strategist and mindset coach, she helps service based entrepreneurs grow their business, their way. Simple, straightforward, powerful, and I’m excited to talk about it. So Tara, welcome back to the podcast.

Sara Gilbert 0:55
Thank you for the invitation.

Kevin Stafford 0:57
So for my personal totally greedy benefit. How tell me how you get your start in coaching? Like how did you how did you maybe realize that you were a coach? Did someone give you that word? Before you knew it? It? Was it? Was it something you just realized about yourself and then decide to move into the coaching business? How did that? How did you get your start?

Sara Gilbert 1:14
That’s a good question. I never thought about it. Well, so when I first started in business, I that’s like, a little bit over 10 years ago, I started as a business consultant. So I was really there in the business and really acting more as a consultant than a coach. And I remember as if it was yesterday, I was with a client and their team, and we’re talking about like, their visibility and their communication strategy, their marketing strategy and everything. And it was like, Alright, so this is the marketing plan this that we’re going to, you know, bring even more visibility to the business and whatnot. And the owner of the business was like, Oh, my gosh, this is perfect. This is amazing. This is which you know, all the comments that you want to hear as a consultant. But what I knew was that it was the third time that we’re having the exact same conversation. And I was like, okay, you know, what, beyond the strategy, there’s something that I don’t care if there’s something that I’m not doing right to really truly help my clients. And this is where I decided to become to go and do my NLP certification. So I’m a double NLP certified coach. So I’m certified as a personal coach, and as a business coach, as well in NLP. And this is where I really understood the mindset component. Because really, it’s about strategy and mindset, they go hand in hand together. So that’s really how I became a coach. And even as a consultant, people would still call me their coach, even if I wasn’t naming myself as a coach. But really like becoming an embodying the coaching posture, if I can say, was really when I got that click from that client of saying, okay, you know what, it’s not just about strategy. And that’s really where I pivoted with my own business, and help people even at a deeper level, because if you can have the best strategy in the world, but if your mindset is not there, the strategy is worthless.

Kevin Stafford 3:14
Yeah. So, on the shelf.

Sara Gilbert 3:17
Exactly. So now I’m really acting as a business strategist and a mindset coach. And if you’re not willing to talk about mindset, believe patterns fear, we’re not made to be together because we, we, I want to go deep in there. So we can have a transformation of their being out there being in the business, right. So now how always have clients is Edna. So yeah, so the other day I had this going on, and then your voice was in my head? And what would Sarah say and Orsa would tell me this. And I’m like, this is what, how I want to impact people. They don’t mean me. Because now they can coach themselves. And that’s my goal, right?

Kevin Stafford 3:57
You’re almost like a like a ghost. You’re like, almost haunting them. But in the positive ways, like you’re just like, it’s like, maybe a little bit creepy. But I love that. Because that’s really, that’s really the difference. It’s not just the strategy, like there’s something that you can get like did I’m thinking in my head, because I’m definitely this kind of person. I love. I love buying books, I love acquiring books, I love reading books, those two don’t always meet. And so I’ve had go through periods where I’ll have like this book that I’m really excited to read something information, really excited to consume and know that it has the capacity changed my life, but it will sit on my shelf, more all consulted from time to time, and sort of like, Oh, that’s interesting. It’s really cool. And then it just stops right there. And that’s like, and I love that you identified for yourself where you’re like, you know, that’s not good enough for me, I both know that I can help more. And I want to find out how I can do that. And then I want to commit to doing that which is of course you exemplify the virtues that you coach, which of course makes perfect sense. Definitely. I love that team, keeping the strategy the mindset and also like mindset leads naturally into action. You know, mindset really is about that translation. I think we talked, we talked a little bit before I hit record about that translation aspect of coaching, where coaches are excellent about both understanding their own journey, how they came to be who they are the steps they took to get there. But beyond that, also translating that in a way that other people can understand and apply to their own life, rather than just sort of reading a strategy and like, oh, look that worked for this particular person at this particular time in this particular way. What a great story. Coaching, obviously starts with a story, but it’s about so much more than that. It’s about their story. It’s about what they’re going to what they’re doing now, what they’ve done in the past, what they’re going to do going forward with what you’re bringing to them I get, it excites me so much, it’s hard for me not to just go on and on about it.

Sara Gilbert 5:45
Yeah, that’s all good. But you definitely put your finger on it, you know, it’s like, at one point on my website, I had like, the slogan like ideas are nice, execution is better. But execution is not just a strategy. Execution is also What’s stopping me from doing this. What’s stopping me from shining. So just before this morning, I was talking with a client, and we’re talking about, you know, how to bring more visibility to our business, and like, we’re really getting ready to propel, she already has a beautiful business. And now like she has a lot, because we structured in a simple way, because I believe in simplicity. Now, she’s like, Sarah have like free time, like I have time to, you know, enjoy life. I’m like, first of all, that’s what life is supposed to be about, like, I’m first. And I’m like, Alright, so now how do we bring in leverage more visibility? And as we’re talking about a plan of strategy, and we’re not just like, yes, but I want strategy, but not too much. Because you know, like, because I don’t want the backslash of being visible, I’m like, Okay, let’s unpack this. Because even if I leave you with a great strategy, that belief and that fear is going to make it that you’re either not going apply the strategy, or completely sabotage it, and sabotage yourself in the meantime. So these two go hand in hand all the time. And so that’s why, you know, I touch both, it’s not one or the other, it’s one and the other.

Kevin Stafford 7:08
Yeah, and I love that cuz you’re there, you’re there in that moment, to identify it to say, Ah, you could basically be right there by their side, when they have the aha moment. Even if they have the aha moment when you’re, you know, at the three in the morning, when they’re like, you know, they wake up in the middle of the night or whatever. But that aha moment finds its way to you, and you’re like, Ah, I see it, let’s unpack that. Because this is where real work can begin, this is where the next step starts. Because this is something, I love that ability of a coach to both be present for it, identify it, and then carry that into the mindset into the action. It’s just, it’s such a complete, I mean, for lack of a better word holistic approach to growing, where you want to send,

Sara Gilbert 7:45
like I was explaining to my client is, so one of the expertise that I’ve developed is psycholinguistics. So understanding the relationship between words and behaviors, so first and foremost, our words and our behaviors. And then after that the people we have we hope, and our clients and whatnot, understanding that relationship. And I explained to him my goal did We did you just pick up on that sentence that you just said, because whatever comes out of our mouth, are our beliefs, that’s the only thing that comes out of our mouths, is our beliefs all the time. So if I don’t catch it, what is coming out of my mouth, then my beliefs continue to operate and manage all my behavior. But once I become aware of that, everything that comes out of my mouth is a belief that I have, then I can actually do something about it. So as I brought her back to her sick shoot, that didn’t just come out of my mouth, I’m like, Alright, let’s unpack it. And it’s to pay attention to that. Because like I said, the only thing that comes out of our mouth are beliefs. That’s it, that’s all. So if somebody tells you that, oh, you know, you have to be on tick tock. That’s a belief that they have, do I want that belief or not? Oh, you need to, you know, I need to answer all my clients that all the phone calls that Deb bring all the time. Oh, hold on that belief? Do I want to have that belief? So everything that comes in there is our belief. And then from there, I can actually do something, choose to do something about it.

Kevin Stafford 9:15
Yeah, bring it out into the light, because then the real work can became what what’s it like when it’s all packed away when it’s all like, black box, you know, inaccessible. That’s another that’s another one of those ways, too, that, uh, you mentioned earlier about a sabotage. That’s one of the ways in which we sabotage or hinder ourselves from even beginning is we imagine that certain things just are the way they are, or they just come from someplace unknowable. And, quite frankly, that’s frequently not the case. And I love the way that you identify as actually vibes with something that’s like it’s been a saying in my family for a long time. I think I first heard it from my grandmother when I was young, young, young man. Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. It’s how she put it to me. That’s and that’s been with me my whole life. And so for you to say Clearly identify that same, that same notion, that same foundational concept of understanding who we are and why we are who we are, and how that expresses itself, I just, I just want to, I need to say that and share that with you. Because that’s been that that’s been with me for as for as long as I can remember. And so it’s so lovely to hear it come out of someone else’s mouth, who I just met.

Sara Gilbert 10:20
And self awareness is something that we lost along the way. And like, often I’ll have companies or whatever, and they wanted to, you know, work on client experience on their business. And I’m like, All right, talk to me about the culture of your teams. And I be talking about, we want to work on client experience, and I explain them the, what I call the equation of client, the client experience, client experience is a reflection of your team culture, your team culture is a reflection of your leadership. Your leadership is a reflection of your awareness, self awareness, and your self leadership. So bringing that self awareness of, you know, why am I what do I want? What is my desire for this life? And then we can see that, okay, either eat every day, I either feed the fear of something, or I feed the dream of what I want. When we become aware, I get to choose which of the two babies am I feeding consciously, we tend to feed the fear

Kevin Stafford 11:26
a lot. It cries a lot. It’s louder.

Sara Gilbert 11:29
It’s louder. And again, it’s just the brain doing the jobs, right? The job of the brain is to keep you alive, which mean in its comfort zone, in what it knows, even if what it knows is not what we want. Yeah, the devil, you know, the devil you don’t. So that’s, it’s there. So it’s always bringing that mindset of, Well, who am I feeding? Which 1am I feeding right now, because we’re feeding one of the two all the time?

Kevin Stafford 11:53
Yeah, definitely. You made a great point there, too. I love because you don’t, you don’t have to negatively define one or the other. It’s not about like saying that fear is bad. The fear just is the awareness is what allows you to choose. And that’s and that’s that’s the point, that’s, I think that’s a trap, I know, that I have fallen into in the past is trying to use some sort of false dichotomy. And in assigning bad to one thing, and good to another, just in order to get forward progress. And that, you know, that’s kind of that can work in a way that as a shortcut to a certain kind of awareness. But I love the fact that you don’t need to vilify some aspect of yourself that might be being fed to him, I just been fed too much. So bring it to the awareness, bring it up, bring it out, let it be seen by you let it be seen by others as uncomfortable as that might feel. And it probably will feel uncomfortable, so that the awareness work can begin and like you, you charted the journey, it’s a step by step journey. And it’s actually really, really simple. When you unpack it like that. It feels when it’s all packed in the box. It’s like this tangle of cords that have been packed away or like Christmas lights, where they’re all like they’ve been stuffed in the box for so long. And you look at it, and you’re like, oh, it’s gonna take me all day to untangle. I don’t have time for that. But when you just do the work, unpack everything, see where things are knotted, you know, see where things need to be worked. I have this in my head, that image of the box full of Christmas lights as my like, issues I’m not aware of makes makes a scary amount of sense from me. So but yeah, just that act of unpacking, and that bringing awareness to it bring light to it. It really is the beginning of a long fruitful and quite simple and powerful journey.

Sara Gilbert 13:28
Well, actually, I believe that the beginning is clarifying what you want.

Kevin Stafford 13:34
You’re that’s it? You’re right.

Sara Gilbert 13:37
98% Actually, even I think I’m generous. 98% of people don’t know what they want. So it’s really it’s really interesting, because when you ask somebody what they want, they’ll tell you what they don’t want and what they’ve tried in the past. Oh,

Kevin Stafford 13:50
good. Yeah, good observation.

Sara Gilbert 13:52
So as people are telling me, you know, like, you know, we talk and say well, what do you want and you’re like, oh, I don’t want this don’t want that. And I’ve done this no matter I’m like Alright, are we good? Now? Can we start with what? So coming back to your Christmas light analogy? I love it because I want to build a Christmas tree. So if you’re getting annoying and it’s hard because they’re all tangled and it’s like but if I don’t know it’s because I want to build a Christmas tree because I want with my family to enjoy a beautiful Christmas tree if I don’t have that direction. As soon as it’s gonna get hard I’ll just drop in and say whatever because I don’t have the context I don’t have the vision of what am I building? Because when I know how when I have that I know that’s what’s going to drive me and then it’s like, oh, this is just not just under the not so we can have the beautiful Christmas tree.

Kevin Stafford 14:42
Yeah. Did you divorce the chore from the actual purpose from the service? Like no yeah, having having in my in my head, that image of the Christmas tree up and lit and decorated and the family is looking at it. that’ll motivate me through the largest box of tea. tangled, tangled Christmas lights because I could see where I want to go, I could see where I want my family to go, I want us to have that vision, I want us to bring that vision to life. And so then the work is just well, it’s just the work. And I’m glad to do it in service of that vision.

Sara Gilbert 15:15
And if you can feel it, even more than see it is even more powerful. So when I coach entrepreneurs and or in any of my programs, I do booboo programs, but when I coach entrepreneurs, is what is your infamous why but what is your purpose? How do you define a great life? And do you embody it? Because many people say a lot of things, oh, I want to help my clients realize their dream life, their ideal life? And I’m like, Alright, are you living your ideal life? I say, No, no, no, Mike, let’s start with that. The embodiment part is such an important one in trying to help because you can give something you don’t have. So the embodiment part, so whatever the vision, and people sometimes get confused when they talk about like, the mission of the business has nothing to do with the business. It’s such a deeper level of math. So our coach, for example, you know, I have a client who was in wealth management. And exactly he was like, the mission is not bring financial peace of mind to my clients. I’m like, who cares, you could have done something else in bits, like, untangle the mission and the vehicle. That’s your purpose. And then from there, build a business around that, not the other way around.

Kevin Stafford 16:43
I gotta tell you, every, everything you say makes me want to stop and think about it for longer than we have time for the pocket doesn’t make great podcast when I’m simply like sitting in silence, pondering what you said, you’re expressing this so beautifully. And I like jealously. I want to keep I want to keep you that here all day having this conversation because I love this, but it’s already been almost half an hour. So talk a little bit, I wanted to give you the chance to tell the audience well, first of all, I want them to get to know you find you connect with you, at the very least, you know to have a conversation with you if they can but tell me and tell the audience a little bit. in service of that what you do today, what your coaching business looks like what your coaching process looks like today, who you coach, how you coach them, where people can find out more about you just the whole the whole Sara Gilbert experience, because I want other people to get what I’m having right now.

Sara Gilbert 17:35
First to come into my universe, you have to refuse to be in the status quo. So if you want things to be the same, I’m definitely not the right person. You know, my clients are service based entrepreneurs. So basically, their business is is their life mission. It’s we’re one human entrepreneurs who want to make a difference their way. Meaning Yes, it’s their own expertise, but with their own vision and definition of what is a life worth living. And how does my business, my expertise, help clients and help other people live a fulfilled life. So I have clients that are, you know, lawyers, tax advisers, Wealth Advisors, you know, like really rational, they have like consultants and things like that, but their business is their mission. And really, I help my clients think differently, speak differently, and act differently. So these are really the three pillars. So I have different coaching programs that are all exactly to have an invincible mindset to have be an impactful communicator, and to be unshakable in your business. So those are really the things that three, like very call them, like the trifecta of the entrepreneur. And so I do some one on one coaching, not that many, just because I get so close to my clients that I limit that to be able to be fully there. And I also said like I also have different three, three different coaching program that people can come and explore visit. We run I run them each once a year. So it’s all a live experience with me, and we shake things up. But we have a lot of fun. Paramount in my universe, you know,

Kevin Stafford 19:23
and shake things up and have a lot of fun.

Sara Gilbert 19:26
One day, I’ll explain to you why there’s a bug in there.

Kevin Stafford 19:29
That yeah, it’s a very intriguing one.

Sara Gilbert 19:32
And in the meantime, people can definitely you know, there’s we have a blog coming out every Tuesday. I also have a YouTube channel and people can follow me on LinkedIn and Instagram. Those are really my my home.

Kevin Stafford 19:44
Excellent. You’re everywhere. I love it.

Sara Gilbert 19:48
We stay busy we stay visible.

Kevin Stafford 19:51
Awesome. Well yeah, I’m going to I’m going to pocket my jealous my greed for more time with you and say thank you. Thank you. Thank you for coming on the podcast. I know this was You’re part two on the pod. This is my first time talking with you. I already am trying to figure out ways to have you back on. Because you are. You’re the real deal. I love it. I know what before I hit record, I kind of talk to you about why it took over this podcast in the first place and how much I’ve come to love it. And not to not to blow too much smoke up your butt. But you are exactly the reason why you’re a perfect example of why I love being a part of this rising coaching tide, why I love being able to have conversations like this and help to raise the profile and the platform of so many coaches like you. So I’m just really grateful. And so I’m going to I’m going to leave it with my gratitude. Thank you so much for being on the pod and talking with me today. Well, thank you. And I hope all of you out there listening right now got at least a sliver of as much joy as I got out of this. If you did, find out more about Sarah, get to the blog connected on LinkedIn, find on Instagram, find her wherever she’s at. She is a joy and a delight and she will have some things to say that will have you pondering for the rest of the day. I promise you and thank you for listening of course and I’ll talk to you again soon.

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