The first time that I ran the Courageous Living Coach Certification, a life coach training program for women, Valerie and Rachael were by my side in a volunteer capacity. This past year, they joined me to form a leadership within the program. It has been a mind-blowing experience of awesomeness and intimacy and connection–and it has convinced me like nothing else that going it solo in business, just as in life, is way less fun.

Valerie Tookes Rachael Maddox
valerie2015 rachael2015


The program also worked with some mentor coaches, former trainees who had graduated from the program and who were interested in continuing to work together in a mentorship capacity. This year, I’m so proud and excited to that our program will be working with these incredible women:

Elizabeth Applegate Julie Houghton Paula Jenkins
liz applegate julie houghton paula jenkins


Why did I go it alone, for so long?

For years in my business, I basically went it alone. I didn’t reach out very often to other people to collaborate. I didn’t invite people to help me lead or really even participate.

Because it felt safer.
Because there was less risk of rejection.
Because if I screwed up, no one else would see.
Because I wouldn’t need to deal with other people’s neuroses, feeling that push-pull pressure to caretake for them while simultaneously resenting being in that role.
Because then I couldn’t get blamed or shamed if I made a mistake.
Because then I wouldn’t be taken advantage of.

There’s a lot of pain in those old Stories. Ultimately, it felt like it’d just be easier to do it myself, than risk the pain or challenges of working through things with others.

What I understand about the alone thing, now

Yes, sometimes when working with others, I feel rejection, or mess up and they see it, or their stuff comes up and I feel the pressure of how to support them while still staying grounded, and on and on.

But what I’ve come to realize is that it is far more painful to keep going it alone, going it alone, going it alone than it is to work through the challenges and ups and downs and foibles and what-ifs of working with others.

If you need to choose, always choose people–because people make the difference.

Also, you will survive whatever comes your way. Flying solo doesn’t mean that you’ll get to avoid the things you fear. In my experience, they still manage to come your way when that’s the next lesson that you need to learn. While that statement is pithy and one that I have trouble trusting when I’m in the middle of all of my stuff, I ultimately know that it’s true.

Be with your people. People make the difference.