In our latest 60 Seconds With…interview, we chat to Danielle McKenna, founder of Lioness Life Coaching, about her work with entrepreneurs and creatives, and how to keep a positive mindset in these particularly challenging times.
FP: How did you get into Coaching?
DMK: I previously worked in the fashion industry for 10 years supporting entrepreneurs, founders and CEOs. I absolutely loved the fast pace, the characters and adventures it bought me, however, once I became a mother my priorities shifted and I knew it was time for a change in career; one that gave me more balance around parenting. I trained with Co-Active Training Institute nearly 3 years ago and never looked back! I tend to specialise in entrepreneurs, which is interesting considering my previous life. It wasn’t something I looked for, they just seem to find me. I think I understand the creative mind very well, and personally find that very inspiring to work with.
FP: What key skills do you need to be a successful Life Coach?
DMK: You have to have a passion for people, be a great listener, lots of patience and a willingness to adapt to your clients’ needs.
“I love Fetcham Park, the service levels are remarkable and the attention to detail is outstanding. The building manages to be awe-inspiringly beautiful, but also comfortable and familiar at the same time.” Danielle McKenna, Lioness Life Coaching
FP: Work-related stress and anxiety have become a part of modern life. What are the three persistent challenges your clients face and your tips on how to manage these better?
DMK: Time management, lack of self-care, and forming unhealthy habits in the way we talk to self.
Time is a tricky one as most of my clients have their own businesses, a family and are juggling many plates, however, together we work out how they can implement more time for themselves, decide the best use of their energy and design their lives accordingly.
Similarly with self-care, it’s about choosing you first (something that mothers especially struggle with) and finding self-care that resonates with you. A good checking in question is ‘what do I need?’ vs ‘what do I want?’ You may want a new pair of shoes, but the momentary high you get from a new purchase won’t nourish your soul in the way that giving yourself a tech-free afternoon might. The voice we use with ourselves can be so damaging and often, over time, we don’t even notice we are doing it. I would invite everyone to notice the negative thoughts we all have and be aware and mindful – that soothing voice you use with your child is highly appropriate to use for yourself especially in the current crisis.
FP: Can you describe your approach and what makes it unique?
DMK: Every coach is unique as it’s our individual life experiences that have led us to this point in our coaching journey which influences our understanding of other people. My uniqueness to coaching is the exposure I have had to huge characters, crazy stories and exciting businesses. I am basically unshockable, unflappable and I thrive working with creatives.
I discuss my approach thoroughly in our first ‘Discovery Session,’ and I design an alliance with every one of my clients that my method is to create a safe space of non-judgement. I also think having fun with the process is essential.
FP: Who or what inspires you?
DMK: My clients. Becoming a coach has been a huge leveller in understanding humans. We all have the same hopes and dreams. To be understood, to be witnessed and to be loved. We all have a story and that makes the coaching experience inspiring and beautiful to me.
I am inspired by my daughter’s enthusiasm for life and her pure kindness. I am also inspired especially by my friend Ollie Scott. He started as a client, then became a friend and now a boss. His resilience and compassion no matter the situation is really admirable and inspires me to be a better person. (He also has a Podcast called The Dog Days, which is aimed at men’s mental health – worth checking out).
FP: What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
DMK: Good news email, bad news phone call. Also, be kind to everyone you meet, you never know what that person might be going through, despite the shiny masks we have to wear at times – simple but effective code to live by.
FP: We are currently experiencing huge challenges to our everyday lives. From your perspective, what can we do to maintain balance, control and calm in these problematic times?
DMK: Limit screen time. Make self-care a priority. Move and get into nature. Nourish your body and mind. Love your family.
For more information about Danielle and Lioness Life Coaching visit https://lionesslifecoaching.co.uk