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The Hustle

Name: Susan Hilger (Susan J Coaching)

Posted By Megan Holmes

Susan Hilger knows first hand that it's never too late to find your calling. At age 59, Hilger left her design business, went back to school, and hired a coach to help her discern her path. That experience changed Hilger's life, and sent her head first into the coaching profession herself. Now Hilger coaches both individual clients and organizations through her business, Susan J Coaching. Hilger's bold branding embodies the courage and bravery she expects both from her clients and herself.

Years in Tampa Bay

I’ve been vacationing in Gulfport and St. Petersburg since 2004, moved here three years’ ago

Hustle (job)

Founder of Susan J Coaching.

What do you do?  

I offer two services: I support accomplished and creative individuals in identifying and reaching their next goal or step with core authenticity work, developing a clear vision, strategizing meaningful action steps, and a commitment to their accountability. I also facilitate industry team calls for leadership and/or sales teams on a regular basis to support team building efforts by assisting with clarity, focus, communication tools, and mindset skills for each individual. These calls are customized to suit the needs and values of each particular business. Packages vary with each service to tailor the coaching to each client.

Why do you do it?

Since I was a small child I’ve been a helper and have had the desire to serve others. Coaching is what I am intended to do, my clients inspire me and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

At the age of 59, I decided to follow my heart and listen to my gut and return to school. With a psychology undergrad, I wanted more options to work in a field where I am serving and helping others to improve and change their life, and when I hired a coach, my future became clear.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

There are a few misconceptions about coaching: One is that coaching is therapy in disguise. Coaching is a forward moving process, one that removes obstacles in the way, creates action steps, allows for accountability. Therapy is typically a long-term process to look at deep rooted belief systems to alleviate destructive behaviors and painful feelings. Both are useful but not the same process. Another common misconception is that coaches don’t carry a professional certification. In some cases, you may find a coach practicing without certification since this profession isn’t monitored. But many of us have earned a number of valuable certifications and have access to a number of tools and skills to assist and benefit us and our clients.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

I’m passionate about my clients and my hustle, yet I do occasionally work with someone who is on the verge of ‘ready’ but not quite ready to do ‘the work’ to reach his or her goals. My challenge is to offer up the most powerful conversations to help this client see their own value and the value of coaching. Once a person is completely open to coaching and the potential reward, there are no limits to how far a person can go in the direction of their goal or goals.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

When I was in the start up phase of my design business in 1999, a very wise friend offered me this: Don’t be so set on the direction you want your business to take, that you don’t follow the intended path if it happens to look vastly different. Sometimes we are intended for a purpose, and we need to stay open to this idea.

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