Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in professional development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tiffany Dedeaux, founder of Sacred Time, located in Seattle, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I believe that we have the power to make a difference in ourselves and our world. I am a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with 10+ years of empowering mid-career professionals and leaders in navigating change. While I began by working with career changers, because I was one, my practice is home to visionaries that feel stuck, want more, and are ready to do the work but are unsure how to juggle all the possibilities, responsibilities, and dynamic priorities.
To move those mountains, I help my clients work outside the box of buildings, routines, and expectations through time in nature, creative metaphors, and real talk that helps them to recognize their own power to create the future they want. By the time people reach mid-career, they are done doing what everyone else wants at the expense of themselves. In this time of recalibration, we co-create an authentic way forward with practical steps that honor both their past experiences and their future goals as part of one sacred whole.
My work is rooted in the stages of self-directed change, journalistic storytelling, and ecopsychology. As I have devoted my life to studying decision-making and empowering the individual, I am keenly aware that that transformation begins with ownership. Ownership begins with embracing what is next. What is next begins with you.
Tell us about yourself
I see myself as a cross-pollinator of ideas because I leverage my background in broadcast journalism, social and ecopsychology, and co-active coaching to create processes and programs that make sense of the world. While I originally classified myself as a career changer, the more I have worked as a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), I have come to realize there is often a single thread that ties even the most disparate career into a neat little package. So instead of a career change, I see it more as a different expression of the same gift.
Coaching, for me, is what ties everything together. I began my career in broadcast journalism, where I learned visual storytelling and marketing, which now helps me promote my business and empower my clients with cohesive personal brands that unify their ‘who’ and their ‘do.’ My work as a software trainer ignited my love for travel and helped me understand that the best way to empower others is to meet them where they are and provide a clear roadmap to where they want to be. Sacred Time, my coaching practice, began truly as structured programs built along career management themes from job search support and retirement to addressing the grief left behind by career traumas like being overlooked for promotion.
In studying ecopsychology in an integrated psychology program, I not only dug deeper into how story helps us move forward or holds us back, but I specifically looked at how wilderness therapy could help us reach the level of transformation we are seeking. With a mission to be a light in the darkness, I am here to illuminate your gift and light your journey.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The greatest gift I have given to my business is narrowing the focus from life, career, and wilderness coaching to career coaching. I have even learned to refine my ideal client from anyone who would pay to mid-career women making a career pivot. During this time, I remember feeling deep frustration because I wasn’t getting a lot of work, and no one could explain to me why. It was as if I felt like there should be a single formula, and my last ingredient – keeping the doors open for five years – was finally in place, and I still didn’t see the activity I envisioned.
In the last few years, I have expanded from career coaching to include career services like resume writing, converted the business model from an in-person wilderness walk to remote support that allows my clients to be anywhere in the world, and moved from free consultation calls to dedicated service to those ready to do the work. Lately, my coffers have been filled with referrals, friends, and new clients. In the end, I would say the answer for me has been persistence, preparation, time, a growth mindset, and a commitment to being authentic.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing I had to do was trust that I was ready to move from side-hustle to full-time operation. I had been working my business when I was done with my day job so long that I didn’t know how else to be. In so many ways, I can see several steps ahead, but on this one, I didn’t understand how this was going to happen. The truth is, little by little, I experimented and put the systems in place – like project management software and a workflow – so that when I got my first contract, I was ready to make that leap because I could see how it was all going to work.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I am now sharing all the things that I have learned on my YouTube channel, Sacred Time Career Coaching, and these have been the most eye-opening tips that my corporate clients have responded to:
- TRUST YOUR GUT. When I began branding my resume reels and job applications, my co-workers laughed at me. Then I noticed they all started doing it. Chances are your instincts are spot on, and those giving you a hard time are just mad that they didn’t think of it first.
- NO CAN MEAN NOT YET. It has been years since my best friend told me that she thinks I am meant to work my own business. That seemed so pie in the sky. What I have come to realize is that I couldn’t see it then because it wasn’t ready; it was incubating. Now instead of me going out event to event, I work by contract and referrals most often.
- GO B2B RATHER THAN JUST B2C. Coaching seems to work best if you don’t need the individual client money coming in. Instead, if you build your foundation with contracts where companies send you clients (not leads), then you do not have to press to sign your next client, you can allow the abundance to find you.
That third tip is the one that seems to be most revolutionary to the new coaches I meet; I know it has been for me.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
The most magical thing about coaching is that it is about listening to what clients have to say and letting them choose the way forward for themselves. When there is a sense of frustration, loss, and doubt, it is often because there is something inside us that we are honoring.
Next time you are wondering what you should do, I recommend writing down what you are leaning toward, seek the advice of no more than three trusted others, and then take time to decide what feels like the best route for you. By creating the space for your inner wisdom to be heard and limiting the outside voices, the way forward can feel less muddy, and you will more likely find career satisfaction at the end of that road.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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