TO START, CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU DO?
Yes! I am Lizzie Short, and I do many things. Currently, I work as a tour guide on the Freedom Trail in Boston and as an actor. I’ve just started working with a group called the Murder Mystery Company, and I do a little tutoring and teaching on the side (I just got approval to teach a course at an education center I proposed on The Iliad and Dante’s Inferno!). I’m also a writer, though I haven’t found a way to fully monetize that yet.
WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO LOOK INTO COACHING, AND WHY?
My life wasn’t going the way I wanted it to go. I had met Jessica when we were coworkers, and knew she was a badass making choices in her own best interest and was committed to her art and her career. When I heard she was coaching, I knew I had to get in on it!
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE JESSICA AS A COACH AT THIS POINT?
I had reached that critical point of understanding that ...
I wanted to change things, that only I had the power to do that, and yet – I had no idea how to make the changes I wanted that would better reflect my values in my life.
IF YOU HAD TO DESCRIBE WHAT YOU WANTED TO WORK ON OR CHANGE IN 2 SENTENCES OR LESS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Creating a life where I was doing work that mattered to me, that I enjoyed, and that paid the bills. I also wanted to start taking myself seriously as an actor and writer and lean into some of the success I was having in those arenas.
AT THE BEGINNING, COACHING FELT…
….like I was whining all the time! And, I think I kind of was. But Jessica helped me get out of that rut – she brought a growth mindset to our conversations, looking for ways to say “yes” to opportunities I wanted instead of focusing on obstacles (which is what I was doing!).
THE LONGER I WORKED WITH JESSICA, THE MORE I REALIZED…
That I should’ve done this a million years ago/that everyone who wants their life to feel like their own should do this.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED WITH JESSICA?
About four months, I think.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE KEY INSIGHTS FROM WORKING WITH JESSICA?
First, that I have the power to create the life I want – the resources, the strength, the ingenuity.
I have something Jessica said in one of our sessions hanging on a Post-it on my wall – we were talking about my struggle to find enough work to remain financially stable, and she said, “Being an artist is 100% about finding creative solutions to problems.” I can’t explain it, but it was like a whole new dimension opened up for me – instead of feeling totally deadened and defeated about the prospect of finding more work, I began to approach it like an artist and used my creativity and resourcefulness to find work that worked for me.
I also learned the value of having a growth mindset, understanding that I can grow and learn and change. I also have come to appreciate how I can use my values as signposts and informers when making decisions (as in, “does choosing X correspond to/express my values? How or how not?”)
IN FACT, ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT MYSELF IS...
I learned that I don’t need to freak out about things – that the problem for me isn’t the real obstacle, but how my anxiety/stress around the situation shuts down my creativity and keeps me from actually solving the original issue!
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE PROCESS?
I like that it’s very oriented toward whatever is happening that day or that week. Jessica never dictates the conversation or process, but she always has a good suggestion for an activity or conversation starter if I’m having trouble coming up with something I want to talk about.
I like how natural the conversation feels - how it’s like having a partner to explore my thoughts with, and it makes the unconventional career/life I’ve chosen feel less lonely and confusing. It’s so so helpful to have someone to strategize with and who can see beyond the perimeters of my own experience.
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT THE PROCESS, IF YOU COULD?
Hmmm…I can’t really think of anything right now! I always like talking in person, but honestly, I feel like our phone conversations were so in-depth and meaningful that I’m not sure they could be improved.
WHAT TANGIBLE PROGRESS OR CHANGE HAS OCCURRED IN YOUR LIFE AS A RESULT OF WORKING WITH JESSICA?
Oh my gosh. Where to begin…I was in a pretty dark place when I started coaching. I had just broken up with my boyfriend and had had a pretty rough three years in terms of finding work that matched my values. See, even that last sentence is a result of talking with Jessica-before coaching, I didn’t even understand that so much of what I was struggling with was that I was looking for work that didn’t match my values! It was in coaching that I was able to identify my values and start moving toward opportunities that were actually in line with those. And wouldn’t you know it, things started working out! It’s crazy how your life can come together when you own what you believe and start making decisions based on your values.
When I started coaching, I was concerned about making sure I had enough work with the tourism company I’m working for. I was wondering whether or not to take a more stable 9-5 (this idea didn’t make my heart sing), or whether I should finally make a go of it with one of my true passions – acting.
Now, I’m in an acting class, I’ve got a role in a short film, I’m booking commercial work, and most importantly, I’m taking my passions and values seriously, investing in them, and through that, learning how to take myself seriously as an artist and go after what I want. How’s that for tangible progress?
WOULD YOU AGREE THAT COACHING HAS A SIGNIFICANT RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)? WHY OR WHY NOT?
YES! My GOD, yes! It’s your LIFE – there’s no time like the present to invest in yourself, and no better return on that (I think) then coaching with Jessica. If you’re feeling stuck, or lost, or don’t know how to get to this thing you want, or you’re not quite sure if this thing is the thing you want, or you just feel like you’ve been struggling and struggling and nothing is working out…talk to Jessica. Really. Do it. It will change your life.
It’s the first step to all the other steps you want to take.
THREE WORDS I WOULD USE TO DESCRIBE JESSICA ARE…
Smart, so easy to talk to, generous, wise, helpful, a great listener (I know that’s more than 3, but come on!!)
JESSICA IS EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD AT…
Helping you identify what matters to you. Helping you overcome an obstacle and change your way of thinking about things (for me, this involved a shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset – something I’m still working on!). She’s so good at hearing what you’re saying and helping you figure out what’s going on. She’s great at offering solutions, especially because she doesn’t until you’ve asked for them/she asks you if you’d like some. She also has an uncanny sense for how to approach whatever you’re talking about – she always seems to find the most helpful, most generous angle.