The Road to Becoming a Life Coach: Getting Started

Leading up to this announcement, I was struggling to find the right words to say and the right things to share about this life milestone. I am jittery with positive emotion as I wrap up my last class, but I have to reflect, with honesty, on the moments that led up to this.

The decision to go back to school of any type was one I battled with for more than a year. Did I have the time for it? Was it worth the financial investment? Was I going to be fulfilled in what I was learning? How would it apply and provide a benefit to my employers?

I was happy with my profession and inspired by leadership, but I was quickly losing passion. Days were slower, time was opening up and the projects I was a part of started to feel less challenging. Was I even making a difference in the world? As a manager and mentor, I always challenged people who shared these thoughts with me and repeated:

It’s important to find passion in everything you do. Be it behind a desk, on the front lines of a service project, you have to look for it. It’s there somewhere.

I knew it was up to me to find that passion again, so the hunt began. I first used Coursera to enroll in a few higher education classes to find out if certain educational paths were right for me. I took everything from a business administration to marketing class online as I tried a variety of potential higher education journeys. Still, I wasn’t satisfied. I didn’t quite agree with some of the things I was reading based on client experience and I knew I wouldn’t be able to stomach the cost of graduate school.

While at Florida State University, I completed the undergraduate program in Leadership Studies. All my experiences here were among the most memorable and fulfilling, including mentors like Dr. Osteen who changed the course of my life dramatically. Could I do something in this realm and what would that look like? And what about the perception others already had of me? My personal brand. Is there something I could do that was authentic to me and enhanced this?

Cue becoming a life coach.

Once I started doing my research on ICF-certified programs (that’s international recognition and certification) and meeting with advisers, I knew this was the path for me. Think about my online presence, even, I’ve made it my mission to help others find passion and become their best selves. That’s what this blog is about, that’s why mentorship is important to me, that’s my reason to believe.

I selected Erickson International because they offered flexible virtual classrooms - not online classes at your own pace, just a live digital presence you can fulfill from your home. They also put an emphasis on the art and science of coaching. Let’s be real: if I was investing money in this I wanted to make sure there was scientific and empirical data to support what I was learning. I also really enjoyed the community they built and felt it was right for me.

I signed up for the once a week, 6 a.m. local time course. I woke up gladly each Wednesday morning ready and eager to learn. But once I was in the rhythm of attending class, the next challenge was finding balance between my personal and professional life, and this new passion project. Remember those slow work days? They turned up about 100 notches as I began this journey.

There were days that I questioned if this was right for me. There were days that I didn’t sleep. There were days I stayed up until 3 a.m. reading material that fascinated me. There were days - three days in fact - where I happened to be on the West Coast or on an airplane during class time so that meant 3 a.m. classes or some from 10,000 feet. There were days I gleamed about life coaching to my friends. And there were days I really had to sit with myself and find a way to remind myself to commit.

Today I finish my last semester - or module as Erickson calls it. Along the way I’ve learned skills in listening, openness, asking the right questions, and truly understanding and believing that what we need is inside all of us. With the right guidance, we can tap into ourselves to find what we’re looking for. I am living a values-driven life, with passion. I understand the importance of having a vision, and I am creating one for myself and my coaching practice.

What’s next?

While I continue my learning, I have to host practice sessions in tandem with my courses. I have a list of friends and colleagues that will help me refine my skills over the next year or so. You’ll see more and more of my lessons reflected in my online presence and the way I live my day to day.

One of the main reasons why I wanted to become a life coach is also because I found a gap in these types of professionals and how they were speaking to millennials. Gone are the days that a life coach is only relevant to a c-suite executive or someone at their mid-life crisis. Everyone could use this level of professional guidance toward creating a vision and setting actionable steps to reach a goal. Once I am certified, I’ll bring an offering to this community through a lens that makes sense for my generation.

I also hope to use becoming a life coach to build out Marketable Millennial in a place where I can better hone in and focus on sharing these anticipated “life hacks” and “life lessons” by LC - from a place of more credibility. More blog topics and webinars (woops - am I revealing too much?) that come from this lens.

And I truly hope that you’ll join me along the journey. Ask questions, share topics you want me to write about, and let’s grow together.

Lissette Calveiro Life Coach 1
Lissette Calveiro Life Coach 2
Lissette Calveiro Life Coach 3

Millennials: The Coupon Clique

The holiday season is filled with spending, and millennials are rising up to be a little more ready than the rest of the population. A new point of validation to the theory that millennials are financially savvy and deeply conservative is a finding that they love coupons.

Millennials.jpg

Do coupons seem like an old-fashioned, antique way of shopping? Not anymore. Today’s young consumers, often accessorized by their enormous student debt and rent payments, have become some of the most coupon-savvy of our time. According to an infographic by Syracuse University’s online Master’s in Accounting program, 96 percent of millennials use coupons. This can be in the form of traditional clippings, online promotions, rebate programs, etc.

When you break down the most popular forms of savings, digital coupons and internet promotions win by an overwhelming amount. Couple that with the fact that millennials are dubbed the “digital generation,” and the notion that they’re winning at couponing fits right in. More than 60 percent of millennials admit to trading and hunting for deals via social media or online before committing to a purchase. This consumer group is constantly on the hunt for apps and websites, like Groupon or Ibotta, which provide the value they seek at the touch of a button.

MBA@SYRACUSE

MBA@SYRACUSE

What’s in it for the businesses? Coupons can be a cost-effective method for attracting new customers, encouraging them to increase first-time purchases. For many, a coupon might’ve made a purchasing moment for a new product much more comfortable. Unlike price reductions or clearances, the incentive of a coupon makes the consumer feel they are taking advantage of a limited deal versus grabbing something no one wanted. According to information from MBA@Syracuse, an online MBA program with a GMAT waiver, the rise in popularity for digital coupons also benefits the business as it eliminates costs to print and makes room for codes to become a valuable insight.

Coupons can make a dollar go further, and coupon-related discounts can add up to more than $3.5 billion in savings per year. The art of stretching the dollar is allowing millennials to make more guilt-free purchases while staying on a budget. So alas, some valuable notes we should be taking from this generation.

Global Bike to Work Day: 4 Reasons to Cycle

Little changes in our routine can guide us to better health in the long run. One simple change is ditching the car for the bike seat and getting a little extra activity on the way to school or work. Strava, the social network for fitness enthusiasts, invites cyclists around the world to join the Global Bike to Work Day Challenge on May 10th to become a part of the largest bike to work day to date.

Biking.jpg

More than 100,000 people have already pledged online, and by participating you open the doors to not only helping yourself but also helping the environment with the benefits of cycling.

1. Live Healthier, Live Longer

For those looking to shed a few inches, ramping up your cardio by biking to work is a great place to start. Biking to work for a year can help the average person lose 13 pounds. Doing aerobic exercise accelerates your breathing and heart rate, which helps to stimulate the contraction of intestinal muscles and keep you on a path to wellness.

Other health benefits can include lower blood pressure, boosts of energy, muscle building, and improved coordination. Riding a bike for three hours a week can already cut your risk of heart disease by 50 percent.

2. Save Money and Time

It’s a no-brainer that biking to work is much cheaper than fueling up your vehicle and driving every day. It costs about $400 a year to keep a bike in shape, while it takes thousands of dollars to own and maintenance a vehicle. If your commute involves tolls and daily parking fees, you’ll be putting away even more dollars when you put away the car.

The time saving benefits will put a smile on every big city driver’s face. These days it feels like we spend more time sitting in traffic than we’d like to, but cycling skips the whole thing. If you don’t already drive because you live walking distance from work, a bike ride is still about three times faster than walking.

3. The Environment Will Thank You

Bikes have long been a poster child for green transportation because it substantially helps clear our air. A solo driver in an average vehicle releases about 1.2 pounds of C02 per mile, while the average cyclist releases only 0.7 grams through respiration. Cycling significantly reduces transportation emissions while also reducing traffic congestion and the need for harmful fuels.

Bonus: it takes only about five percent of the materials and energy used to make a car to manufacture a bike, and cycling produces zero pollution.

4. Happiness Production

Aside from feeling better from the fitness-friendly benefits of cycling to work, spending more time outdoors is guaranteed to cheer you up. The release of endorphins and vitamins from the sun are working together to boost your levels of feel-good hormones and make you happier. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself wishing your commute were longer.

Exercise can improve your mood, while sitting in rush hour traffic does the exact opposite. By commuting on your bike, you’ll be happier when you step into the office and when you get back home. Biking helps you to create that simple feeling of exhilaration as you zoom through your neighborhood knowing you’re helping yourself and those around you.

Since its inception, Strava has helped cyclists and runners track their activities and engage with other athletes in a fun, motivational way. Each week 150,000 new athletes around the world sign up to Strava, and last year Strava athletes uploaded an average of 5.3 activities every second. StravaMetro anonymizes and aggregates the millions of human-powered commutes uploaded to Strava every week, and then partners with urban planners and departments of transportation to improve city infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians.

Cyclicts can participate in Global Bike to Work Day by uploading and tagging their commutes on Strava, and use the hashtag #CommutesCount on their social media channels to show global support for better cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

Every pedal has the potential to make cycling better in communities all over the world. Whether you ride one mile or 50, if you bike to work on May 10th you can be a part of a global movement to make cities better for cyclists.

Millennials and Debt: How It Can Already Impact You Negatively

Millennials are some of the most technologically advanced, information-loaded generation of humans to date. With all this knowledge and access to it, it’s often easy for millennials to fall into the trap of misinformation. You’re told to take out the credit card; or you’re told not to. You’re told to take out that loan, you’ll pay it off easily later; or you’re told to take a second job and avoid a trip to the financial aid office.

Millennials Finance.jpg

One thing millennials are notorious for struggling with is control of their debt. As much as we want to avoid it, today’s world revolves around money. But, more and more we’re finding that how much you have in the bank today isn’t as important as how clean your credit history looks. This can be the difference between affording your first home, saving on car payments, and avoiding hefty interest rates.

Disregarding your debt can come with long-term consequences you may not realize until you’re in too deep. An infographic by MBA@Syracuse, the university’s online MBA program, shows just how much bad credit can affect long-term purchases: an additional $4,975 on credit cards, $9.320 on car payments and a painful $30,057 on your first home. That’s not all, here are other sneaky ways debt can impact your life.

1. It can lead to emotional stress.

It’s easy to understand how the stress of debt and instability can lead to serious emotional stress, even depression. On top of that, some people try relieving feelings of depression by compulsive shopping – bringing your debt count even higher! A person may feel trapped, desperate and hopeless looking at their messy finances and it can be incredibly detrimental to their overall wellbeing.

2. You will not be able to afford buying a home.

As you battle through debt, you may be forced to live in an apartment to make smaller housing payments. In the meantime, that means you’re saving less to make the hefty down payment for your first home. Add in thousands of dollars in debt and your credit score may become the roadblock to getting an affordable rate for your humble abode.

3. You might be disqualified for a job.

Companies are frequently conducting background checks, which often times include a credit check. If your job requires that you handle money, deep debt can scare an employer away from hiring you. In another instance, some hiring teams will take bad credit as a sign of irresponsibility and look away from your application. According to Whitman’s online MBA program, 1 in 10 unemployed people are denied a job due to poor credit.

Millennials.jpg

4. A harder time during retirement.

This mistake, and one of the biggest, won’t be felt for another 40 to 50 years. Saving for retirement is nearly impossible to do when you’re making heavy payments to reduce debt. The average American is only saving about $25,000 for retirement, which is not nearly enough to sustain a comfortable lifestyle after leaving your job. For many, the reality becomes that you have to take a part-time job after retiring from your career.

The good news: New laws passed after the financial crisis of 2008 have made it more difficult for millennials to rack up credit cards without proof of income, which has kept many from spending what they can’t pay off. A few simple ways to get yourself out of debt include saving as much as you spend, paying any and all bills on time, negotiating a higher salary or starting to build credit with a small loan or credit card you can easily pay off.

With a little guidance and education, getting out of debt is achievable.

Social Media Content Creators to Watch

Originally published on Max Borges Agency’s company blog;  a people-first public relations, creative services and digital strategy firm with a focus on consumer technology. 

Content Creators.jpg

“Influencer Marketing” is dubbed one of the biggest content-marketing trends in 2016. Brands are turning to content creators to bring creative ideas that help tell their brand story and get in front of new audiences.

A recent study found that 65% of brands have plans to raise their influencer marketing budget in 2016. If influencer content is distributed properly, it should garner traditional media coverage through rigorous media outreach, increase a brand’s social share-of-voice, and most importantly, encourage customers to engage with the brand or product.

Beyond generating captivating content, trust is what makes these creators so valuable.Consumers are trusting brands less and turning to their friends more. Using the power of “word of mouth” marketing by partnering with content creators, brands are able to build trust organically through the influencer’s channels.

With rising costs in digital sponsorships, it’s often beneficial to put energy and resources behind emerging content creators that will require less dollars – and often times more passion – as they work to grow their brand.

1. Jordyn Jones

Jordyn took her Dance Moms audience to Youtube and gained notoriety through her unbelievable choreography andcovers. It’s almost hard to believe she’s only 16 when you take a dive into her social channels; she’s worked with brands big and small and gained more than 2 million followers on Instagram in a few short years. Though she’s been looped into Hollywood recently, Jordyn still keeps the personality of someone many young women can relate to. This connection and trustworthiness is a big reason why her content makes waves through the digital space, and pushes the needle for brands.

Instagram: @jordynjones
Followers
: 2.1 million

2. Gabi Gregg

Gabi took a leap of confidence when she posted beautiful images of herself in a bikini along with other plus-size womenonline. The response was overwhelmingly positive, leading her to build an audience around her authenticity. She is redefining sexy by creating content that exudes confidence, self-acceptance and diversity. Her lead platform is Instagram as she harnesses the power of storytelling using captivating images, but she’s also featured as an advocate on TV and other digital media platforms.

Instagram: @gabifresh
Followers
: 363K

3. Raymond Braun

This LA-based content creator is more than an internet personality – he’s an activist, too. He was named the Forbes “30 Under 30” All Star and OUT 100 honoree for pioneering the wildly celebrated #ProudToLove digital campaign. He shares support, laughs and resources for the LGBT community and has a strong commitment to issues affecting youth. His background comes from being on the platform side – he worked at Youtube for three years – and he brings new insight to ways you can create content and make use of new media to generate buzz. His advice: “Don’t forget that behind every follow, like, view and share is another human being."

Instagram: @raymondbraun
Followers
: 48.1K

4. Franchesca Ramsey

Franchesca, also known as Chescaleigh, shook up the digital space with her “Sh*t White Girls Say…to Black Girls” video which immediately went viral. She used this surge to build a platform to create content that encourages positive discussion on topics like race, gender equality and other social justice issues she is passionate about. Her videos have been featured on websites like MTV, Huffington Post, Jezebel and Glamour. She’s since started writing, hosting and using extending her vlogging to the lifestyle space making tutorials and other personal content. Her secret to success: “Remember social media is a conversation, so you don’t wanna sound like a robot.”

Instagram: @chescaleigh
Followers
: 63.1K

5. Logan Paul

Logan’s roots to internet stardom come from his popular Vine account. The 6-second snippets of humor, his life, and the occasional brand placement, helped him build an audience of more than 20 million. Since then, he’s spread to other platforms including Instagram and Snapchat where he works to create content that keeps his communities engaged over laughs. He’s not a stranger to working with brands, and an appearance on the cover of AdWeek gives him extra klout, but his creativity and passion for each project is worth the price. “He is this generation’s teen idol, and every time he presses a button on his phone, millions of people know what he’s doing,” says his agent.

Instagram: @loganpaul
Followers
: 4.4 million

6. Lo Bosworth

Though her fame is everything but emerging, Lo is finding new audiences by taking her on-screen experience to the blog-sphere. Following her Laguna Beach and The Hills moments of fame, she took to the internet to build a home and lifestyle brand that follows that of a modern-day Martha Stewart. Her content promotes the handmade, homemade, taste made and practical know-hows of everyday life. She recently earned the Bloglovin’ Best Celeb Blog Award. A quick glance at her channels and you forget she was a reality star, then get sucked by and engaged with the vibrant content that looks and feels “real.”

Instagram: @lobosworth
Followers
: 902K

7. Julieanna Goddard, aka Julz

From “Miami-famous” to “Snapchat Queen,” Julz has changed the way brands interact with their audiences by harnessing the power of social media. The self-proclaimed Director of Vibes has worked with brands like Redbull, Beats by Dre and Burger Kingbuilding on her creativity and mastery of platforms like Snapchat. She earns more than 100K views in a 24-hour period and serves content that screams authenticity. She tells Highsnobiety, “Snapchat is the new television and the best part is that users are in control of their very own show.” Her work hard play hard mentality and high energy are contagious, which keeps her viewers engaged and coming back for more.

Instagram: @yesjulz
Followers: 352K