A year and a half ago, Shannon Miller was feeling trapped in her teaching career. “I was unfulfilled, but I didn’t feel like I had a lot of other options for what I could do.” She noticed that she often found herself in situations that called for her to lead others—but she had never thought of herself as a leader, and she didn’t know what she might have to offer in that capacity. She was ready to explore a new way of looking at herself.
Today Shannon is a confident and fulfilled leader, and she brims with excitement as she talks about the nonprofit organization she has established called Through the Clouds Family Care. Through this organization, Shannon provides much-needed services for families with special
needs. “This is so clearly what God has for me,” she says. “It’s so fulfilling and exciting. This will have a ripple effect over my whole life.”
How did Shannon move from an unfulfilled and tentative leader to the confident and purposeful founder of a non-profit organization in just 18 months? She hired a professional Christian coach.
Shannon spent a couple months in weekly sessions with her coach, Julie Pierce, and participated in Pierce’s leadership training program. “Coaching completely changed my life,” she says. “My coach helped me recognize that I am a leader, and I do bring something to the table.” Her coach also helped her consider other career options and supported her as she found the courage to move forward in pursuing what God was calling her to do: establish the non-profit organization she had dreamed about, but never imagined she could actually start. Her coach helped her see possibilities where she had seen obstacles. “She helped me take the word can’t out of that dream and opened me up to see that the barriers I thought were keeping me from pursuing the dream were not walls; they were little tiny speed bumps to hop over.”
A growing field
Shannon is just one of many thousands who have benefited from the services offered in this growing field. Coaching is considered the second-fastest-growing industry in the world, only behind information technology. In one study, coaching clients indicated that their most significant motivations for seeking coaching were issues with self-esteem/self-confidence and work/life balance. Some other major motivations were related to career options, business management, and relationships. According to the International Coach Federation, 99 percent of people who have hired coaches have been satisfied with their experience.