Kristin Sheffer helps Millennials realize their professional and personal dreams
American humanitarian Kristin Sheffer is a social entrepreneur whose personal development coaching method resonates well with the millennial generation.
2014 saw Kristin launch a bespoke personal development coaching program for young businesswomen which combines business, charity and personal development.
Her business is called ‘Simply Free’.
This innovative business helps her clients achieve harmony in their lives and realize their full potential, free of fears, self-doubt or competition from others.
What’s more, in a bid to ensure their lasting happiness, Kristin’s winning ingredient hinges on providing them with a palpable sense of wholeness in their lives.
‘I have a very unique approach that works extremely well for those who are serious about taking their life to the next level. Because I believe so passionately in each and every woman I meet, I cannot and will not let them settle for mediocrity.’ –Kristin Sheffer, Personal Development Coach and Entrepreneur
Here, Kristin tells Nativa World how her own challenging personal journey gave her the strength to overhaul her life
Kristin, how and why did you create Simply Free ?
At 19 years old I became an Executive Assistant at an international commodities trading company with a gold mining subsidiary. I had nothing but a high school diploma at the time but advanced to Partner after just seven years. I worked in Operations, Logistics, Compliance and Human Resources and was then appointed Director of Compliance where I managed 25 miners. I was taught very early on that respect is not given, it’s earned.
I then went through a painful personal time that turned my world upside down. Throughout my journey to find healing, I went through a process of spiritual introspection that changed my life. I realized that my passion wasn’t what I was currently doing: it wasn’t gold mining and it wasn’t about money. It wasn’t even about being a powerful businesswoman! I realized that I had mistaken contentment for fulfillment, and that I now wanted the latter.
As I discovered my true passions and remembered my gifts I knew that I was born to spend the rest of my life helping people to find the joy in life that won’t ever shatter through experiencing pain. I set out to help people find hope when there isn’t any; love, where there isn’t any; but most importantly to find their freedom in themselves from negative emotions like feelings of guilt or shame of past mistakes.
What does your personal development coaching set out to achieve?
I don’t do traditional Business Coaching, meaning I’m not the one you call to help increase your P&L, or manage your bottom line. I could, but I don’t. I coach individuals to figure out how to turn their passions into a significant source of revenue. I believe the passions we all hold typically fit into different categories: ones for our personal benefit, ones for others benefit (charity), and ones that can and should be turned into viable business’s which sustains a person financially.
What services do you provide?
I provide in-person, one on one, coaching programs as well as remote, individual coaching programs. I also can work with clients via Skype and Facetime. Coming in 2016 I will have 3 additional resources: Online coaching programs for purchase, free weekly webinars and seminar events speaking about my upcoming book – Selfless Development: How To Find Your Purpose.
What’s the process when a client comes to you?
I speak to them for a minimum of 30 minutes to assess what direction they’re seeking. It’s extremely important to me that my coaching expertise meets their specific needs, because if not – they won’t be satisfied. I’ve turned clients away that I feel wouldn’t be a good fit because it’s for their benefit and mine. Once we agree on what they’re looking for and what I specifically offer – we begin coaching immediately. I don’t like to wait! We meet once a week for the agreed-upon program length.
Which is your most popular service and why?
My most popular package is called ‘Passion & Profession’: where I walk my client through how to identify what it is they’re passionate about, and what they love to do. Typically this client is feeling stuck and underutilized and unfulfilled professionally and we work together to begin their next phase.
How would a Millennial client benefit from working with you?
The main reason my fellow Millennials will benefit tremendously from me is because I’m them. I’m exactly the same as they are – which accomplishes two things: firstly it removes any excuse as to why they aren’t where they want to be – because I am. (So why can’t they?) and secondly, it provides inspiration from a relevant source. It’s one thing to hear how to do something from your parents or teachers, but it’s another to hear from someone who faces your exact issues and overcomes them.
I can’t attest to what we face that’s different than other woman who have gone before us because I’ve never walked in their shoes. I’ve never faced their struggles. But to be honest, for as many struggles as we face, I believe we have an equal amount of benefits that generations before us could have never even dreamed of having. So I coach my clients not to focus on the negatives but continue to move forward with the capability and fierceness that we are made of! For our ancestors sake, and for the sake of our children.
Why do you connect well with the Millennial generation?
I understand them. I know what we go through – because I went through it. I know how I overcame struggles to achieve success in an ALL male environment, with no experience, and low self-confidence. I overcame it not by chance or by luck – but by intentional and strategic hard work. Every single person is capable of that. It’s just a matter of if they are willing. I don’t let anyone off the hook to achieve their full potential because each of our individual purposes are vital to humanity. We must live out our purpose!
What needs do most of your female business clients have when they attend personal development coaching?
The top 3 needs are: feeling stuck, lack of motivation, or feeling underutilized professionally. If they feel stuck we have to first figure out what they want: what do they like to do? What do they WANT to do? They always know – sometimes they just haven’t accepted it or allowed it to manifest in their minds. If they’re feeling depressed or apathetic about life we have to remind them of a time they felt inspired, or empowered. When did they last feel enthusiastic about something – what was it and why? This inevitably leads us to finding their passion and gifts. If they feel underutilized professionally we have to figure out what options for advancement there are in their current profession. If none, we explore what external avenue is best to utilize their strengths, gifts and skills.
What makes your personal development coaching unique?
I have a very unique approach that works extremely well for those who are serious about taking their life to the next level. Because I believe so passionately in each and every woman I meet, I cannot and will not let them settle for mediocrity. I push and I push hard, because I know the power they possess within themselves. For the woman who simply WANTS to change – I’m not the Coach for her. But for the woman who is READY to change – I’m everything.
Furthermore, I’m as practical as I’m philosophical. I believe everyone should use their brain and never do something without understanding why. I take the time to explain why I ask them to do what I ask, and why I believe what I believe. They respond well to this method because it speaks to their intelligence. I believe there’s a place for inspiration and emotion but there’s also a time for practical action and discipline.
What professional challenges do you think businesswomen face generally?
The challenges women face in the business world are vast. There’s no way around that fact. Business is biased towards men and I don’t believe thats a debatable point. However, that being said, I’ve yet to encounter a gender related issue that I could NOT overcome with integrity, passion, intelligence and persistence. So to me, they are irrelevant and I coach my clients to feel the same way.
What mistakes have you made (if any) in business?
I have made plenty of business mistakes! When I first started Simply Free I tried to do it all on my own. I took it all on, because I felt like I had to. Eventually I learned that was not the most efficient way and have since assembled a great team around me to help accomplish my objectives.
You’ve devised your own life coaching program, can you detail how it works?
This is the structure for the process in which I take my clients through. It provides objectives for our work together and helps them quantify their results. Since Life Coaching is very subjective, it can be difficult for people to identify exactly what return they are getting on their investment. Its extremely important for me to have my clients feel satisfied and clear on what results they are achieving. Similarly, its important for me to know my methods are successful. The most common problem I have is that my programs are so successful my clients don’t come back!
Who inspires you in business and why?
My mentor, old partner and CEO to whom I first assisted back in 2007, Erez Goldgraber. He interviewed me when I was 19 years old and saw the potential in me that I had no idea was there. He conducts business with the highest level of integrity I have yet to see in my life. It’s my honor to have learned under such a brilliant and respected man.
You’ve traveled extensively, what do you miss most when you are away from home?
I rarely miss anything when I’m away from home because I’m enjoying my travels so much! I would have to say it differs depending on which country I’m in! If in Europe – I miss American coffee. I cant stand Espresso! If in Asia, I miss American bathrooms. I will never understand their toilets! If I’m in Africa, I miss American roads! Their construction is out of control. I always find comfort in speaking with my family back home, or in meeting a great group of locals wherever I am and distracting myself with seeing the beauty in their culture, but through their eyes.
Kristin’s Personal Development Coaching Tips:
- Be humble
- Be gracious
- Be smart
- Be wise
- Know what your priorities are and never compromise them
- Be honest, no matter what
- Take pride in your work, from the smallest to the largest projects
Kristin’s Travel Tips:
- Always make a list the day before of essentials as you’ll inevitably forget something if you don’t
- I keep a separate toiletry bag packed at all times to save me the annoyance of having to pack it every trip. I just grab and go!
- Bring extra zip lock bags. I don’t know why – they are just always useful!
Photography courtesy of Kristin Sheffer