Connecting The Dots With Nailah Blades

2010 August 31

When I put out a Twitter call for career and life coaches interested in chatting it up on GenMeh, Nailah Blades was one of the first to volunteer. Nailah is an LA-based life coach (and the brains behind Polka Dot Coaching) who specializes in quarter-life experiences. Our interview was supposed to be video-based, but technology had other ideas (and I even wore make-up just for you guys!), so we regrouped and jury-rigged a transcript for your edification.

Photo by rachel_titiriga

What got you into coaching?
I’ve always been passionate about helping people. And I thrive on connecting people with the people or things they need most – helping them get from point A to point B. After going through my own quarter-life crisis I realized that coaching would help fulfill these passions for me. I also liked that there were so many different avenues I could take with coaching – I was guaranteed to never get bored.

Why did you decide to focus on the quarter-life?
I went through my own quarter-life crisis when I was 24. At the time, I didn’t see a lot of resources out there to help me get through what I was feeling. The programs I did find were geared towards older women. To make matters worse, everyone else was telling me how happy I should be and how my twenties should be the best years of my life. I felt completely alone. I decided to focus on the quarter-life experience because I didn’t want other women to have to recreate the wheel. I want to be a resource for young women who are looking to find themselves.  Plus, since I’m still in my twenties, I can fully understand the quarter-life perspective.

How could your target audience – people in their twenties and thirties who are experiencing the issues you spoke about – benefit from the coaching process?
I work with women in their twenties and thirties who are ready to live bold and vibrant lives but are unsure how to get there. They may be stuck in a job they dislike or they may be feeling unmotivated about life. They can benefit from having someone guide them through the process of unlocking their true passions and figuring out how to design a life they crave. Coaching is all about forward movement. It’s about setting and reaching your goals. Anyone who is feeling stuck or unmotivated can definitely benefit from the coaching process.

Can you tell us about what your process is for working with a client?
I like to break it down into three big steps: 1) Who am I? 2) What do I want? 3) How do I get there? It’s incredibly important to be crystal clear on who you are. What your values are, what makes you tick, what makes you happy and what makes you unhappy. Laying that foundation is the most important step. Second, I move on to what you really want. It’s important to outline what you truly want in life so that you can clearly align your goals with your core values. The last step is outlining how you’ll actually reach these goals. This is where a lot of support, motivation and gentle pushing comes in. Along the way, I also help identify and break down any blocks, fears or barriers to success.

What gives you the biggest feeling of success in your coaching?
I love knowing that what I do has impacted someone in some way. Whether it’s in response to a blog post, one-on-one coaching, or even a tweet or Facebook message, I get the biggest high when I get positive feedback from clients or readers. Knowing that I’ve touched someone brings me absolute joy and makes everything I do totally worth it.

What’s currently in the works for Polka Dot Coaching?
I’ve just launched a new online workshop called the Authentic Happiness Guide. AHG is a unique four-week online workshop focused on helping you uncover your true passions so you can begin living your life authentically, on your terms. Each day, participants will be given a worksheet, exercise or journal prompt that will guide them through the process. The four weeks are broken into: Who Am I, What Do I Want, How Do I Get There, and Dedication & Celebration. Everyone will gain access to a private online forum where they will be able to share, discuss and support one another.  It will be a great resource for anyone who is looking to get unstuck and will serve as a good way to get a taste of what coaching is all about.

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