Can’t I Do This on My Own? Why Smart People Hire Coaches to Help Navigate Their Big Life Changes

by | Jun 21, 2019 | Your Story

I was at an event the other day where I had the chance to meet some interesting people from all over the world. In many of the conversations, the question that came up the most was how I was able to transition my career. Where did you find the confidence? How did you know it was the right time? Did you do it on your own? And those questions made me reflect on a journey that started many years ago. The answer was I did not do this on my own. The guidance of wise mentors helped me navigate my way.

What Led Me to Hire My First Coach

I remember meeting my first mentor. It was early 2013. The industry I had served for 20 years was going through significant and in some respects, devastating change and we as a creative services agency had to define “Who are we now”.

As Director of Account Services of the agency at the time, I needed guidance because my team was being challenged in different and difficult ways, and I needed to make sure that I could lead them the best way possible.

I searched leadership books, I scoured many articles, and I poured over advice columns online. I just wasn’t finding it, nothing was clicking.

Then one day I was invited to an event where the presenter was speaking about being the leader you are meant to be. I was inspired and energized by her and her approach. We spoke after the event and we completely hit it off. I set up a coffee with her and by the end of that hour and a half conversation I hired her. It was the first time I had ever hired a coach.

What I Learned from Working with a Coach

My coach supported me with sage advice, she challenged my ingrained thoughts and assumptions, she applauded my successes, she gave me new tools, and she created that precious space of reflection for me so many of us lack.

Working with a coach reinvigorated my career. It also helped me embrace my values, talents, and passions more deeply. I navigated through my business transformation demands and led my team through it.

I also realized that I was not alone and that I was meant for more. If you are reading this, maybe it’s because you realize that you’re in the same predicament, and you know you are meant for more.


“It is no surprise, that if we find ways to align our passion and calling with our mission and work, the presence of a guide will be essential.”

~ Erin Duffy, Founder, InspirationSQRD


Hiring a Coach vs. Doing it Yourself

If we all could read a book or fill out a worksheet to navigate our way through life, accomplishments would only be limited by how many of these resources we could complete. For most of us, personal engagement, wise and sage advice, and a sympathetic sounding board of a seasoned individual is the glue that binds the lessons in books and worksheets into a transformation story we can be a part of.

Having a coach, a sherpa, or a guide, is essential to navigating personal growth opportunities. In many walks of life, apprenticeship and master-student support is essential to transformation. We see it in schools and universities, in spiritual practices, in sports, and in many other walks of life. It is no surprise, that if we are to find ways to align our passion and calling with our mission and work, the presence of a guide will be essential.

For successful transformation and growth, not only the presence of a wise coach is paramount, but so is the existence of a disciplined process. I will discuss that in a later blog.


Wisdom of the Story

Trust your instincts. Take the first step. Walk alongside your guide and may you see the shining beams of a new sunrise.

Learn & Do

You have learned about the wisdom of hiring a coach. Look for a coach that fits your needs. Interview a few and hire your first coach. You are worth it!


Erin Duffy

Erin Duffy

Founder, InspirationSQRD

Erin Duffy is more than an Executive Stage Presence & Career Transformation Coach; she’s a catalyst for personal empowerment. Her mission? To guide individuals to steer their careers and step onto the stage with authenticity, confidence, and irresistible charisma to inspire. Erin’s expertise lies in helping clients clarify their why’s and embrace their unique personal stories. These stories, traits, and values guide a career transformation journey more in line with who they are today. They also become the cornerstone of their personal brand. She empowers individuals to own their narratives and harness them to amplify their stage presence.