Hello, my name is Cynthia Sipes, CLC. I run Chrysalis Life Coaching in Woodland Park, Colorado. I was pleasantly surprised to be chosen for the Alumni Spotlight. Being acknowledged in a public way for my hard work is relatively new to me.
I grew up in a very small Midwest village. My mother taught me to be a perfectionist and a people pleaser. She would praise me privately to others, but she never really praised me, just pushed me. I started a journey early on in life to rebel against the expectations and “normal” behaviors of my family and where I grew up. This placed me in situations in which I needed to make choices, and I wasn’t always good at making the right one. My challenges started young with abuse, identity issues, spiritual issues, teen pregnancy and finally being homeless and in a battered women’s shelter.
I struggled a lot, even as an adult. I saw counselors, read books, tried numerous churches, volunteered a lot, and tried to make all types of friends. It wasn’t until I realized my worth doesn’t come from the outside, that I started to heal. My worth comes from my Higher Power and me. When that mind shift took hold, that’s when my healing sky-rocketed!
Just as I had my huge awakening, I was diagnosed with Stage II Hodgkins Lymphoma. During that journey I lost my dad and aunt in-law to cancer. I almost died twice. Then came survivors’ guilt. From 2011-2017 I lost numerous people, including my mom, to cancer. I also lost quite a few to suicide. It was the summer of 2017 when I chose that the job I was working at, was not worth compromising my ethics and morals. That journey led me to life coaching.
I realized that I could help others navigate what took me my whole adult life to heal. What if I could shine light on the barriers and the actual truth in someone’s life before they made a choice? What if I could help them challenge things they took on as truth and belief to make sure they were seeing the facts? September 2017, I signed up for the online class at Life Purpose Institute. Sharon Goode was our instructor, and we had a very strong and empathic group. I felt intimidated at first, but I started to realize that everything that was being taught is what I used on my own to heal my life.
While still working towards my CLC, I set up my website, www.chrysalislifecoaching.net, created a Facebook Page , made business cards, had my logo made and was finding practice clients. I knew I was ready to be a Life Coach, because everything was falling into place. When Sharon asked us who our target client was, I knew I would help anyone, but my heart was with low-income women, needing help to stand on their own and find worth in themselves.
I received my CLC on January 16, 2018, my wedding anniversary!! Now with CLC behind my name, I got serious about making my coaching a success. I tried contacting others similar to my field, in our community; it was a bust. I tried contacting local churches to see if I could teach workshops to their leaders or specific groups. At this time, I was meeting with practice clients at coffee shops. After a month of sitting in coffee shops, I was contacted by a singles group at a church to teach relationship boundaries. That never happened. What did happen is I met the Pastor at an event and he offered me an office at his church, as long as my services were free or donation only. Having a private office, free of charge, was what I needed for that authentic vibe people were needing to say yes to Life Coaching.
I ended up connecting with the church’s Youth Pastor and practiced some workshops on the teens, like respect and communicating with adults. That allowed me to approach the schools. I ended up teaching those workshops to the entire freshman class at the local High School. The respect class I taught to a homeschool group, and taught goal setting at yet another High School in the county.
I was blogging and working on my 1st book. My book, “The Transformation of Me: A 26-Week Journey of Healing and Discovery”, walks people through 26 major goals to balance their lives. My book was published summer 2019. After it was published, I donated a copy to our local library and was invited to the annual local authors event. There we were able to talk about our books and sell them. I noticed that my blog wasn’t getting as much interest, so I turned it into a free weekly podcast and that really turned things around. My podcast is entitled, “Transforming You – Skills & Tools”.
One of my biggest achievements was having a male Vietnam Veteran as a client. He changed so much and the community took notice. He began crediting Life Coaching to his change, publicly. That brought even more people to me.
I was now teaching a workshop every three months to the women in the community. In September 2019, I had an online group who walked through my book. That brought clients too. I also post one quote/thought a day on my coaching FB page to keep my page active. I currently have 635 followers. They often repost when something clicks with them. I also started self-promoting by taking quotes out of my book and podcasts and turned them into quotable memes. I only post one or two a week to make sure it’s not just about business, but giving people the inspiration they need.
This month I launched SOOOT (Standing On Our Own Together). It is a support group for women going through separation or divorce. It gives them a safe place to share, get ideas, build friendships and find resources. The ladies are so grateful for this and want to continue.
When I do workshops, classes, events, etc, I always have my business cards, brochures and books with me. To date I have had 40 individual clients, some for a short length and others for an extended period. With my one on one clients, I am 100% transparent with them. I tell them my boundaries and how I work as a coach on day one. I do have a contract for them to sign. They are always allowed to look at the file I have on them. I keep nothing from them. There are some clients I had to fire due to them not being ready or needing counseling. I have had some quit because they didn’t want to do the work. However, each client, I meet them where they are in their life right now. The formula is never the same. Each client I work with completely different, based on who they are now and who they want to be in the future.
I currently only have one new goal for my business, which is to write my next book. I have two in the works, and I’m slowly trying to decide which one needs to come first. I am maintaining my business where it is right now. I have SOOOT, Workshops, Podcasts and one on one clients. I feel comfortable this is enough, right now.
The advice I would give new coaches? Is this really what you want to do? Is this your passion, or something that interests you? I found that my classmates who have a passion, have been growing and succeeding. You also really have to know what kind of coach you want to be and who your target is. Although I have teen clients and male clients, my passion and heart are with low-income women needing to learn how to stand on their own. I have experience in that area and it helps them to feel heard.
If you are coaching to make money, you need to know a few things:
- It won’t happen immediately
- You have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone
- Do you work, pound the pavement, make contacts, spend time working social media every day.
- Client testimonies are the best advertisement. If you are a good coach, people will share their experience with others.
- Be willing to do free work or donate. If you are willing to sacrifice time and a little bit of your “income”, you will be seen as someone who really does care about their growth.
- Other Life Coaches are not your competition. Let them help the people they can help, so you can help the people you can. There are enough people in this world who can benefit from a Life Coach. It’s better to have the right fit, than tons of clients who aren’t.
- Enjoy what you are doing. If you don’t find joy in coaching, it’s time to re-evaluate.
- Thank you for this opportunity. I hope that my story will help inspire you to the path that will make your journey successful!
Cynthia Sipes, CLC
Chrysalis Life Coaching