The Catalyst Life Coaching Podcast, featuring JRNI Coaching founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux is a deep dive into the experience and business of being a life coach. This transcript of Episode 44 of the Catalyst Life Coaching Podcast discusses the beginning of a new year.
John: Hey guys it’s a brand new year, and a brand new year means a fresh start. Noelle, how are you going to have a fresh start this new year?
Noelle: That’s a really good question.
Noelle: I think—I don’t know the answer to it. You may have stumped me for the first time in our history.
John: Thank you for listening guys. I hope you listen to our next episode, which will be a little bit longer.
Noelle: How are you going to have a fresh start this new year?
John: You know what, I heard this amazing story yesterday on another podcast about a company some guy who created a charity water. And this is really interesting—so he tried to do a different model with a charity as far as business. He created two accounts—one account is just for pure donations, so when you donate you know exactly where your money is going. And then the other account is for payroll, toner, office supplies, it’s to keep the shit moving. So at one point, he had $800,000 of donations in the one account, and he had $111 in the other account. And the promise he made to the people that donated, and the whole business model concept—which was refreshing—was that he would never touch the donation money. The donation money was pure and goes straight to the charity. So, he was left with a dilemma on what to do, and people were like “Why don’t you just take a loan from your donation money, since you have $800,000, and put it into the money to pay the payroll, and your employees, and keep this thing going?”, and he didn’t want to do that, and he was almost going to close everything down. And I think two or three days later he was at a party, he was talking to this person, he showed him his model and how passionate he was about changing the charity system—because there’s a lot of shady charities. And the guy wrote him a million dollar check.
John: And me pointing out that story is that I think that—well one, the power of belief—holding on to what you believe, and not letting go. It’s that whole integrity piece. But also trusting—trusting that where you’re going and what you’re doing—it may not look like the way you want it to, but sometimes shit just works out.
Noelle: It never does look like the way you want it.
Noelle: Ever. Never.
Noelle: It never does. And I think that’s okay, because there’s such beauty in the nuance of what turned out differently.
John: Yes, and I started putting myself in his shoes, and I was like “what would I do?”. And I think I would’ve folded, I would’ve—
Noelle: Well that’s why you have me John. That’s why I am your business partner.
John: Yeah, exactly. So that is my fresh start for the new year, is to hold on to Noelle.
Noelle: There you go. When in doubt ethically, call Noelle.
Noelle: And that is your job.
John: It’s interesting that as humans, we have structured with year, and month, and week, and day—every year that comes up, you actually have an opportunity to be different, or to think different. But it’s a mirage, there’s nothing that’s going to change unless you want it to change this year.
Noelle: That’s so true. A lot of people do words for the new year.
Noelle: And I came up with words. My words are ease, discipline, and prosperity.
John: Oh, I love that. I love that you’re choosing words, because it doesn’t have to be so—it could just be something you’re swimming toward.
Noelle: Absolutely. And then a couple different mottos that came out of things that an old friend of mine—I was having a conversation and I was telling him about our business, and how much I loved it, and he looked at me and said “I’m really proud of you, and I want you to drive it like you stole it.”.
John: Oh, I love it.
John: Yeah, yeah—with integrity.
Noelle: With integrity. And I was screwing around on Instagram, and I saw a quote that resonated with me so deeply—it was “make money, not friends”.
John: Ooh, this is a new side, this is a new side of you.
Noelle: I know. So here we have ease, prosperity, and discipline.
John: Well let’s go through those. So ease, describe ease.
Noelle: So ease is, I think, a sense of openness. Ease is being open to trusting, as you described—having ease in my relationships, having ease in our business transactions, having integrity in everything that we do, and just really letting things flow instead of trying to control them.
John: Yeah. That’s necessary, for sure.
Noelle: Then discipline is straight literal definition of the word—mind, body, spirit practices, meditation, fitness, food, sleep.
John: Oh, I like that you took—because when you said discipline, I was just thinking of work structure—but you pulled back, and you’re talking about spirituality, you’re talking about food. I mean you’re talking about life discipline.
Noelle: Yes, life discipline. Keeping my body, and my brain, and my spirit in good shape, so that I can physically execute all of the things that I need to physically execute.
John: Okay, let’s talk briefly real quick—I think this is so important—when we want to get shit done for the new year, I think we’re so sometimes focused on the task, or the thing that we’re building, we actually forget about our life.
John: And I think this is great, because I think that if you do you have discipline with other areas of your life, it changes the quality of your life, right? One example, just obviously, self-care. And then you’re going to be better at what you’re doing.
Noelle: And it doesn’t just have to be self, it can involve others as well. So for me, discipline is also making sure that I stop working, and tend to my home and my family life, and that when my husband comes home from work, I put my computer away, and we have a conversation.
Noelle: About our day, and the phones go away, and that we are disciplined in living together, and building that relationship in our home.
John: Yeah, I love that. So like boundaries, right?
Noelle: Yeah, boundaries, and the recognition that every single aspect of your life takes care.
John: Mmm. I mean you’re right—if you have tremendous discipline at work, and you have structure and you’re very productive, but if everything outside of work, your life is a complete mess, eventually it’s gonna be like a virus that’s going to get into your work.
John: You can’t build a wall high enough.
Noelle: Exactly. And so the three pillars of happiness are achievement—which is mental and physical— and the second pillar is contentment—mindfulness, being present—and the third pillar is hedonic—which is fun, pleasure, happiness. So if you’re out of balance—if you’re drastically out of balance—you’re not ever going to really feel happy and whole. And people always wonder “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I find happiness? Why can’t I find contentment?”. And I’m like, “Well are you working at 80% in one area and ignoring the others? What’s going on?”.
John: I love it. If you’re listening, think about what balance looks like in your life, and what part of your life that you need more discipline in.
Noelle: Yes, yes. And you also wanted to talk about integrity today. Where did that come from? What stimulated it?
John: My own lack of. No.
John: The story I heard. I thought here’s a guy who has this model of what is fair, as far as a start-up charity, and he held onto his beliefs and what he thought was right. And then I thought to myself, “Life coaches—their practices are start-ups, it’s their own business.”. And then I start to think “What what does it look like to have integrity?”. And I also looked in the mirror at myself like, do I have integrity—as an entrepreneur, as a life coach? So that’s kind of where it came from. But before we get into that, what was your final one? You said ease—
Noelle: Oh, prosperity.
John: Oh prosperity. Because that’s mine too.
Noelle: Prosperity. Make money, not friends. Drive it like I stole it.
John: So, let me ask you this—knowing you and your story, I feel like that might be a new one?
Noelle: A new one, yeah?
John: You never wanted prosperity before.
Noelle: You know me pretty well. Prosperity I think comes in many forms, you know? And prosperity is having good, rich, and deep friendships. Prosperity is having a comfortable, and clean, and well tended to house. Prosperity is having shoes that you love, people that you love to break bread with. Prosperity is work and financial gain.
Noelle: And I think I’m such a fluffy person, that what’s been missing a little bit for me, is the sharpness and the focus. And I wondered what would happen if I infused my own life with that.
John: Mmm. Well, I disagree with you in that you are a very sharp. I love that you—because I think maybe a few years ago it would be make friends, not money.
John: And now you flipped it. I think it’s good to have both, but I’m kind of curious now—if that’s one of your words—how that’s gonna ripple in your behavior. And I’m curious to see what that’s gonna look like, as far as how you push yourself, and your potential, and all the things you’re gonna learn as an entrepreneur, etc. So that’s exciting—it’s actually one of my words too this year.
Noelle: Awesome. Well I’m glad we’re in lockstep there, you know?
Noelle: And back to the integrity thing, I think that the reason that you and I have been really long standing partners in business and coaching—like seven years, that’s a long time—is because we have the same moral compass, and neither one of us would ever be willing to screw the other over in the name of the almighty dollar.
John: Yeah, and you know what, we can disagree on everything, right—any detail, you know whatever. But that we can’t disagree on, because that is what will crumble our house of cards.
Noelle: 100%, and I think over the years, time and time and time again, we’ve both shown each other like no we’re always going to be the real imperfect humans, and have a conversation.
John: Yeah. So, you know the other thing is I feel a responsibility to our life coaches to hold that kind of space, right?
Noelle: Yes, oh yes. When you have 400 people on the other side of this thing, it’s not something you walk away from.
John: Yes, and so then the question is how do we have integrity and hold that for our life coaches?
Noelle: For me, it’s about being honest, and when somebody asks me a question and I don’t fucking know, I say “I don’t fucking know”. For me, it’s when somebody says “I really want to do this”, I say “That’s a really great idea, I can’t support you right now. I don’t have enough to give.”, and to kind of pull the veil back and say this is how hard it is to run a business, this is what exists, and to just never bullshit anyone.
John: Yeah, I think it’s about never pretending to be someone that we’re not.
John: Whether individually, or as a company. And I think a lot of companies do that, because they want money, they want approval, they want something shiny that they could stick on their door, and I think that loses trust.
Noelle: It does. It does lose trust, and it’s also inefficient, and if you dig your heels so hard to an image, it doesn’t allow you to pivot, and change quickly when you need to.
John: Right. I gotta say, it’s one of the things I think I’m the most proud of with our Catalyst Life Coaching Intensive—is that we’ve being doing this for about seven years, and the heart of it hasn’t really changed, you know the spirit of it. Yes it’s grown, but—
Noelle: The spirit of it is we will always be pirates.
John: I think that should be our new motto.
Noelle: So now we have “make money, not friends”, “drive it like you stole it”, and “always be a pirate”?
John: We will always be pirates, I love it. So, here’s the thing, we are a company, we do have partnerships, we just got ICF certified—all that stuff is great, right? But the spirit of it, that can be uniquely us.
Noelle: Yes, I agree, and that’ll never change, because it’s kind of the heartbeat of everything that we do. In music, I always like the offbeat, I like the downbeat, I like the bass beat. I listen for the lower, grittier sound, and I think that’s the vibration that I live on. And I think that’s what I bring to our equation—is I will not be happy if I have to fit into a box.
John: Yeah. But I think that’s also what makes people stand out, a company stand out. And going back to my story, was what made his company stand out, you now?
Noelle: Absolutely, absolutely. So, do we need to start a charity fund now?
John: Maybe, maybe eventually. I mean I also like this whole idea of giving, and I think that money comes and goes, and when you do things that are good for the world, and good for people, and it’s coming from the right place, I think par—I can’t say that word I totally forgot it. What’s your third word?
Noelle: Ease, prosperity, and discipline.
John: I took some CBD oil last night, and I can’t spoke this morning.
Noelle: Awesome John.
John: Per—Peri—Oh my god, I can’t say it. But anyway, that’s what gets your company to thrive is pulling from your heart, giving without losing yourself, and having great integrity.
Noelle: Agreed, agreed. Well my friend, I want you to take your day, and drive it like you stole it.
John: Yes, I love that. Alright, you too. And if you’re listening, it’s a brand new year, it’s a fresh start—think of three words. And I got to say, this is actually a great tool if you’re coaching clients—what are three words that—not only logically, but something that you actually feel in your body. And then the next question is what would it look like to start swimming toward those words in action? Not just one time, but threaded into your daily life. Thank you for that tip Noelle, and I’m looking forward to ease, discipline, and prosperity this year with you.
John: Alright, be well.
Noelle: I’ll talk to you soon.
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