Kate Swoboda is one serious force of nature.

Her gifts are many, but what I’m always struck by in our conversations is her ability to simultaneously listen at a very deep/heart level AND have her mind pick away at the situation and survey it with care from every angle.  Curiosity, compassion and courage are a fierce combination.

That’s my Kate.

She’s quite simply a brilliant coach who recognizes that being a brilliant coach doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s easy to build a brilliant business. (Word.)

And so, for the brilliant coaches of the world, she has created The Coaching Blueprint (aff link). It’s an e-program as hella-smart and hella-generous as she is.

In this interview, she shares how she found her THING and how she has parlayed it into a business that people care about. She also shares some big learnings about undertaking massive projects as well as signposts to look for along your own path.

Interview with Kate Swoboda for Thing Finding Thursday

Tweetworthy Kate-isms (for your sharing pleasure)

  • What does trusting your body have to do with finding your thing? @katecourageous tells @TanyaGeisler (TWEET IT)
  • Justifications create a lot of mediocrity. via @katecourageous (TWEET IT)
  • I can be totally afraid and it doesn’t make me weak. via @katecourageous (TWEET IT)
  • Cultivating trust in your body’s feelings will help you find YOUR path. via @katecourageous  (TWEET IT)
  • Transformation happens whenever we choose to dive into something even though fear is along for the ride. via @katecourageous  (TWEET IT)


Transcript of edited interview (for your reading pleasure)

Kate:            Thank you so much for having me. I’m crazy excited to be on your interview series.

Tanya:         What’s your thing?

Kate:            My thing, we can go in technical titles, we can go what the titles are about. The technical titles are I’m a life coach, speaker, and writer. But, I really feel like working with fear in my own life and then how that translates to what shows up in my writing, my coaching, and my speaking, and specifically how we just beautifully practice courage is my vocation – it’s my calling, it’s that thing that I get really jazzed about.

Tanya:            How did you land there or is there a way in which you’re still landing, how from here to there, what was your process?

Kate:            I love that you say there’s a way in which you’re still landing, because I think that especially in our more materialistically oriented culture we tend to think there’s a place “over there” that we’re supposed to land. Part of my “landing process” you could say was the discovery that there is no landing, that the suffering in the world and in one’s personal life is about thinking that there’s a place to land, that there’s this thing out there, this day out there where if I just do enough work I won’t be afraid.

One of the things I talk about on my website and in my work is that the practice of courage is about feeling afraid, because you’re never going to get out of that part as long as you’re a human being trying new things and diving in anyway. What would you want to do otherwise? Stay stuck? That isn’t a recipe for fully alive living for most people.

Then transforming, because that’s always what happens whenever we choose to dive into something even though fear is along for the ride. The transformation doesn’t necessarily look like always that the heavens part and life is perfect there ever after.

Actually, that 1 inch of freedom is a really valuable inch to have gained. We always have some kind of transformation just by the process of saying, “This thing scared me, this thing that I wanted and I decided to go for it anyway.”

For a long time it was sort of a dysfunctional thing. It was like white-knuckling my way through fear. What that has blossomed into and what I’ve transformed is the realization that I didn’t need to white-knuckle or defend against but this was actually something that I could flow with and I could be with.

In fact, it was the essence of my power to say, “I can be with this. I can be totally afraid and it doesn’t make me weak. It actually makes me incredibly on my edge to be with this fear that’s coming up from me.”

Kate:            I actually really believe that one of the most powerful choices I can make where I’m afraid is to lay down on my bed and just cry it out. That is actually a conscious choice to work with fear right there. I don’t have to go get a business license, hang out my shingle, or do all the big things like start a blog that feels so scary if I wanted to start a business.

(Tell us about The Coaching Blueprint, will ya?)

In 2011, I had gotten to a point in my business where a lot of coaches were emailing me and saying, “Okay, Kate how are you doing this? How are you getting the guest posts booked and how are you booking interviews with best selling authors like SARK or TED talk researchers like Brené Brown. How are you doing the marketing thing and not going crazy?”

All these questions were coming up and I said, “Well, I’m going to create a program for you to teach you everything I need to know.” Along the way, I’m going to interview other coaches who are amazing and get their wisdom too. Especially, because we’re all coming from different perspectives and somebody probably wants the business coaching perspective of Tara Gentile, if they’re a business coach. They might want the creative coaching perspective of Jamie Ridler if they’re a creativity coach.

I interviewed 12 coaches and counselors and put that out. Now, in the past year, things change. Facebook has changed in the past year. Technology has changed in the past year. Pinterest has become big in the past year.

Basically, I’m re-launching the Coaching Blueprint. I shouldn’t even say re-launch. I’m updating the Coaching Blueprint. I’m adding more content and more interviews with Leonie Dawson who is a rock star who made $100,000 in 3 months. I’m like I want to talk to a coach who knows how to do that because I want to know how to do that. It’s going to be live on October 4, 2012. I’m completely and totally excited.

Tanya:            I’m completely and totally excited for you too. What fears, obstacles, or shit showed up as you were creating this?

Kate:            I learned that when you launch something, more is going come up then you ever think is going to come up. That’s something that I’m going to be talking about in the Coaching Blueprint 2.0.

So much stuff came up in the last launch. Like last minute things. Things people were requesting. Suddenly remembering at 10:30 at night just as I was about to nod off to sleep. Oh my God, I didn’t get that email to that person.

I have really set an intention for myself with this launch that I’m going to be working out, getting my salad, making my green smoothie in the morning, and drinking lots of water. My practice of courage is really being attuned to and releasing the thought that if it’s not done in a certain way it’s wrong, or it won’t be successful, or that’s its bad, and all of that.

Really, where’s the priority? That’s the take-away for when you take on a massive project and it’s scary and shit’s coming up. Is it worth doing if you drive yourself into the ground? I don’t think it’s worth doing if you drive yourself into the ground.

Tanya:            Is there anything you want the viewers who are in the process of looking for their thing, maybe they feel like they’re on edge, it’s not quite fitting, but there in a process. Is there anything that you have, any questions, or sign posts that you would love for them to see on their own journey?

Kate:            What I would say is really start to notice the sensations in your body. Justifications create a lot of mediocrity. I don’t mean mediocrity in the way that people typically banter about the term like don’t be mediocre, be better than that. I mean like mediocrity as in things that don’t really rise you to your truest calling or your purpose. Like really rise you to that place.

When you’re doing too much up here the justifications can convince you to go a certain direction. When I sit down to write something for the Coaching Blueprint or when I was sitting down to write something for the Courageous Living Program or when I’m sitting down to write for my blog, it’s like if I’m sitting down and I’m going ten ways to practice courage, oh, okay well what is what one way. It’s thinking. It’s just not going to be a successful post.

When I have that thought, when I run across an amazing quote and I think oh that’s a great idea and I scribble it down. I feel it in my body. I feel it down here. I feel it everywhere. The more you can cultivate trusting that feeling, the more you’re going to really find yourself on your path, not somebody else’s path, not the path you think you should be on.


Go find Kate and her courageous self at her site and on Twitter.