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  • Gena Chieco

Launching Coaching Practice and Celebrating a New Life Chapter

Updated: Nov 24

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope this note finds you well. You may have seen photos on Instagram from my extensive travels last year, and wondered if I hit the jackpot or retired young. It was neither of the above, but a truly transformative few months, nonetheless. I’m writing to you because I would very much appreciate your support in my new endeavor, which I explain in detail below. But first, some background: Last summer, I left my job as Chief of Staff and General Counsel at a LA clean-tech startup. (Let’s just say the “cultural fit” wasn’t sparking joy for me.) I took a leap of faith and left the company with no job lined up, and zero coals in the metaphorical job-searching fire. My gut feeling was that I needed to take a firm, extended break from all things work related. For someone who has never had a gap on her resume—and a savings account that was Benjamin Buttoning—this felt scary and risky. Yet, I had faith that at best a more inspiring professional path would unfold, or at the least, I’d have some incredible travel adventures to reflect upon. I am so glad that I took that flying leap into the unknown, as the decision opened the door to a truly life-changing chapter. During this period, which I fondly refer to as my travbbatical (travel + sabbatical), I devoted my time to working out daily, reading, spending time with friends and family, soaking up nature, exploring food scenes, learning new things, and enjoying the arts. I pursued my greatest passion, traveling, and backpacked through eight European countries in three months, traveled domestically, and spent ten glorious days in Mexico. (The below photo is of me awestruck by Hierve el Agua in Oaxaca, Mexico, Feb. 2019, about to take on a Chief of Staff consulting role for three months, unware I would start my coaching business after that!)


I did not know it at the time, but through all of this, I restored the essence of who I am by devoting every waking hour to the things that light me up. I feel happier, healthier, and stronger than ever before. There were many other unexpected positive developments that I still carry with me, such as barely watching TV or spending time online, waking up at sunrise without an alarm, identifying as a runner (I ran the Brooklyn half marathon yesterday!), developing mindfulness, and carrying within me a newfound sense of trust, just to name a few. I also made a decision during this time to pursue a certification in Life & Executive Coaching through Martha Beck. I had enjoyed Martha’s contributions to O Magazine for years, read some of her books, and attended workshops with Martha, Deepak Chopra, and Elizabeth Gilbert. I enrolled last fall mainly out of intellectual curiosity, with the intention of immersing myself in the program and learning the tools as a hobby and to help inform my next career choices, never expecting to coach. Yet, in another unfolding, which does not seem surprising in hindsight, yet was hard for me to grasp at the time, I have discovered a love for coaching, and an awareness that I have been unofficially coaching friends and family for years out of a passion for self-actualization and enabling others to realize their true potential. Many of you have heard of the term, Life & Executive Coach, but may not be clear on what this actually entails. In a nutshell, a Life Coach helps us get past obstacles and create the results we want in work, relationships, and spiritual growth. Basically, it’s a way to clear out the weeds on our path to finding purpose and living a fulfilling, rich life. We do not instruct you on what to do, rather, we act like a life Sherpa in helping you to harness the answers that already lie within you and to reclaim your authentic self. In this way, you will learn to follow your own bright constellation of wisdom and intuition as a compass in navigating the night skies of life. Through my continuing work with startup Founders & CEOs, I am also developing expertise and tools for coaching specific to Executives.

You may be wondering "Is coaching for me?" Coaching is particularly helpful if your life feels out of balance (e.g., working too much, sensing something is missing, wanting to pursue a new career or change jobs, spreading oneself too thin, experiencing low energy, etc.) or you are seeking a deeper purpose professionally or personally. That being said, it can also be a powerful way to enhance stepping into your best self if you are already in a great place. Let me also be clear on what coaching is not: it is not a substitute for therapy. If someone is suffering from a crisis or serious emotional problems, a therapist or other medical professional is their best path. My heartfelt ask to you is this: I am currently working toward my certification and am happy to announce that as a part of my certification process, I am beginning to take on clients for a low fee (or for barter). Once I am certified, my fees will be substantially higher. If you or someone you know may benefit from coaching, please email me to set up a brief introductory call to see if I may be a good fit. I mainly work over the phone, so location is never an issue. All client names and concerns will of course be treated confidentially. Thank you, in advance, for taking the time to read this email and for referring my services when and where appropriate. Mostly, I thank you for your friendship and support over the years.

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