One of my favorite things about being a part of the handmade and blogging communities is the fact that I’ve been able to meet and speak to a lot of talented, smart people about virtually everything you can imagine from real life to business.
And recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Brad Waters, of How About Cake. I asked him a few questions I thought you would want to know the answers to. Brad is a life and career coach working in the creative niche, with designers, writers/bloggers, and freelancers.
Here’s the interview…
1. You wear many hats in your field. Working with clients, you do everything from exploring their life stories to overcoming time management issues. If you had to sum up your work in just one sentence, what would that sentence be?
I tend to wear the hats of coach, consultant, and personal strategizer so I try to provide my clients with a warm and non-judgmental space where they can do some seriously fun brain-picking and change-making.
2. You have a really interesting story about how you came up with the name for your coaching / personal development practice. Can you share that story?
Youve probably heard the saying “like an ostrich with its head in the sand.” Well, ostriches dont actually plunge their head into the sand when theyre afraid to face something head on, but thats how the old saying goes and I like the visual. Its symbolic of clients who come to me with the fears and challenges of making changes in their life. They reach a point where the realize the old ways of doing things just arent affective anymore and they need to face their life with fresh perspective ““ to find support for moving forward in a more meaningful and authentic way.
As for the cake, well, I just really like cake!
3. I love cake too. So we should get along just fine. Ha!
I’m sure you have started to see patterns in people’s problems and behaviors, working with clients regularly. What is the most common obstacle you see people facing day to day in work and/or home life?
One of my roles is to help clients break down their big challenges into small manageable pieces.
Regardless of the original concern, most challenges distill down to issues of: self-imposed limitations, lack of confidence & self-criticism, fear of change, lack of motivation, overwhelm from having too many ideas / options / obligations or underwhelm from lack of inspiration/direction. The truth is we all struggle with these things, so from my perspective I get to see how were all more alike than we are different.
“The truth is we all struggle with these things, so from my perspective I get to see how were all more alike than we are different.”
4. When you are building a business and a brand, it is easy to get lost in it, and start to ignore other aspects of your life that are equally (if not more) important, like family, friends, downtime, etc. Any suggestions for help with work / life balance?
A few of the most universally helpful concepts or skills we can cultivate are mindfulness, acceptance, compassion, and gratitude. Mindfulness, for example, is the concept that we reduce our suffering when we stay present and not get caught up in the stories of our past or fantasies about our future. In other words, when we make time for our loved ones or ourselves, make sure that time is truly spent with them. Not just physically present but also mentally present- not daydreaming about yesterdays regrets and tomorrows to-do list.
Theres so much talk about life balance these days that it tends to sound like yet another job we have to show up at. I believe that life balance will be a natural manifestation of fostering these other healthy personal habits, and they will come with practice.
“When we make time for our loved ones or ourselves, make sure that time is truly spent with them.”
5. I love what you said in a recent blog post: “Self doubt will prevent mastery.” I couldn’t agree with you more. What would you say to someone who is struggling to gain confidence, and push forward, whether at home or work?
In a coaching environment I would ask her to share with me the story that plays in her mind about what it means to be facing that push forward. We all have narratives playing in our mind that tell us how much we can and cant do. The voice of inner-criticism tends to speak louder than the voice of inner-confidence. Everyone has faced that, even the most successful business owner or poised celebrity. We can develop a new compassionate relationship with that inner-critic because there are times when it serves a real purpose yet times when it really gets in the way. Once that cranky narrator gets put in her place we can begin to take our story in a fresh direction.
“The voice of inner-criticism tends to speak louder than the voice of inner-confidence. Everyone has faced that, even the most successful business owner or poised celebrity.”
6. You’ll soon be launching a collection of creative exercises, designed to help tell and retell your personal narrative. What type of person would benefit most from this product?
Certainly the person you asked about in the previous question! Beyond that I think the “your life story” workbook will have universal appeal. You dont have to working on a specific goal or challenge to enjoy the exercises. Its that one place on your bookshelf where you can tell your story, share your memories, list your favorite things, brainstorm possibilities, and get swept away in creativity. Just as much as it can be a personal development tool, it can also be a living-document of your entire life”¦ like an activity book for grown-ups.
Thanks so much for the interview Brad. Be sure to check out Brad’s site, How About Cake, for blog posts and info regarding services.
Disclaimer: I was compensated by the advertiser for this editorial feature. All opinions and ideas, however, are my own. Interested in having a sponsored post on papernstitch? Visit the advertising page for more info.