Thank you to the National Coach Academy and Life Coach Path for inviting me to be a part of their excellent interview series on Coaches. And a very special thanks to Brandon Baker from Life Coach Path for such a great interview!
Happy Holidays and enjoy my interview. You can read my interview copied below or visit the National Coach Academy website here to read it.
Our main objective here at the National Coach Academy is to enable aspiring coaches to reach their full professional potential. One of the most effective ways to educate students about the world of coaching is by offering them a window into the world of real, practicing coaches and showing them all the different ways coaches make a difference in the lives of their clients.
We hope today’s interview adds another insightful glimpse into the dynamic world of coaching.
Today we are interviewing Brett Baughman. Brett is an executive coach, life coach, and therapist based in Las Vegas, Nevada.
NCA: Can you describe your coaching practice and the kinds of clients you typically work with?
Brett: I’ve been a professional life and business coach for 20 years. Basically, the whole time the way I’ve had my business structured, the way I work with clients, is half my business is personal one-on-one coaching. The other half is business coaching. What I mean by that is life coaching clients come to me to work on their personal life; to improve their motivation, mindset, health, behaviors, balance etc. I work with a lot of clients regarding marriage counseling, relationship coaching, depression, anxiety, performance enhancement, anything that has to deal with addiction — any kind of personal pursuit.
On the business coaching side, I generally work with my clients in one of two ways: I’ll either work directly with a business leader; CEO, owner, founder, or maybe a manager or department head and I will coach them individually to help improve their overall performance. The other option is whee I will come in and I will coach the executive and then I will also consult the company end-to-end. Which means I will help every department of the company to enhance their results and increase efficiency and employee experience.
NCA: How would you describe the difference in tone or perhaps your approach with these two different types of clients? Obviously, they’re facing very different challenges, so do you come at them with the same basic technique or strategy or do you change it up?
Brett: That’s a great question. Honestly, it’s funny because each individual, obviously needs to be approached uniquely based on their needs and presenting problems, as well as, their own perspectives. I need to understand the scope of the problem and their map of the world so I have a clear vision of who they are now and where they want to be. But generally speaking, once we get going, the process is very similar.
Over the past twenty years, I’ve researched everything under the sun that has to do with psychology, physiology, communication, behavior, emotions; basically human potential and performance. What I have found to be true is the problem always lies within ourselves. Whether you’re working on your company or you’re working on yourself, whatever the presenting problem is, it usually goes back to something internal.
We may start from a different point for the business client than we do with the life coaching clients but what’s going to ultimately happen is, we’re going to get to your mindset and your mindset is going to be a huge key with what we work on. Once your mindset is clear and you are taking ownership for your results and actions, then the sky is the limit.
The other thing I really focus on coaching my clients to understand is whole life balance. Where most people make a mistake is they focus on a problem and just try to solve that problem when a big part of the problem is usually that they’re not balancing their life. If your business isn’t going well then it’s normal for your relationships to be suffering. And if you’re relationship or your business is failing then your probably going to experience some issues with your health and fitness. It’s vital that you look at your whole life as a system that needs to work in concert with each other. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for potential issues in the future.
Whether you’re a life coaching or business coaching client, we start from a different vantage point but quickly, we get into a similar process where I to teach you what I call my “Pillars of Success”. When you learn them, you can utilize them on yourself anytime you want in your life and they’re always going to apply to every situation you’re in and they will give you a framework to know what to do and how to do it; when necessary.
NCA: What initially got you interested in this career path and what kind of degree or certifications did you need to complete, if any?
Brett: I started out really young being interested in acting. Entertainment. I thought that I was really interested in acting but that was only part of the picture for me.
After several years of reading scripts, I realized that it was the psychology part of acting that I really enjoyed. I liked getting a script and having to understand why this character did what they did and learning more about the role of the character and how different people in different situations behave. I spent a large part of my life pursuing both acting and psychology as a pair and I thought that acting was going to be my career, and the psychology, was my side-business or interest.
I started to realize that all my success and my real passion lies inside psychology. The coaching and therapy were more valuable to me because, not only was I good at it and I had a real passion for it, but I could make a real impact.
With acting and entertainment It’s nice to get on stage and move people for an hour or two and have them enjoy your performance, but it’s different when you can talk to them for an hour on stage and change the rest of their life! So my mind started shifting towards personal development as my purpose.
Even before I went to college, I studied a lot of psychology, a lot of communication. I have always continued seeking new knowledge and tools to understand what makes us tik and how we can enhance our skill set and minds.
I’m a master trainer of NLP, neuro-linguistic programming, which is my greatest tool. I think it’s the greatest one in my tool belt because it’s really laser-focused and you can produce results rapidly and everything is measurable. When I work with someone, I can give them the step-by-step instruction of what we did and they can reuse it, they can reapply it, they can dissect it and have something clear to understand. It’s not just motivating them and making them feel better. It’s step-by-step guidance.
I also am a master hypnotherapist which is kind of the opposite, sort of, of NLP. Meaning, it’s kind of like the sand that fills up the jar full of rocks. Hypnotherapy fills in all the gaps, the places where there are things that are not easily explained or tangible and helps you move past the things that our conscious mind can’t understand.
I’m also a Time Line Therapy® master practitioner which is a powerful process used to transform a clients internal programming by working on memories and the emotions tied to those events.
In addition, I have my own coaching method which I created and trademarked many years ago called – The Ideal You® in which I help my clients to create a whole life map and determine what would be the ideal set up in each main area of life from relationships to career. Then I coach you through developing the mindset and skills to create that life.
In short, I really focused my niche in advanced communication and human potential.
NCA: Can you briefly expand on what NLP is and how you incorporate it into your practice specifically?
Brett: I’ve always been interested in psychology. Everything that has to do with the mind/body connection and how it works. When I started researching psychology, I obviously connected with it but something was missing. It was the approach to change.
I was consulting for a company in the early 2000’s and I noticed that when I left the performance dipped. I needed a way to duplicate myself, I kept thinking. So I literally searched online for “duplicate myself” and found NLP. Neuro Linguistic Programming. Here’s how I explain it: NLP is a methodology and set of skills that are used to help you understand how you uniquely operate as an individual.
These skills uncover your personal thinking, behaviors and communication to provide you with tools, to enhance your performance and remove unwanted behaviors and thinking.
It’s all about taking action. Everything that happens, we’re setting out a specific action plan to accomplish a goal to specifically overcome or let go of a specific behavior or problem you have, and you have a game plan — steps ABCD to get to wherever you’re supposed to be going, so it’s very clear and concise.
The other thing I really appreciate about NLP is how quickly it works. I call it “laser therapy” because it works efficiently. I’ve had people who’ve worked with therapists and other coaches for years and feel that they haven’t gotten what they needed…. and through using NLP, we’re able to make dramatic positive changes in weeks and sometimes days. It’s a wonderful methodology because it’s clear and effective and both the coach and the client participate together in the work.
Dr. Joe Dispenza’s a great inspiration of mine; one of the things he talks about is every time we do specific things, every problem we have, every different emotion from anger to sadness to guilt to fear, etc. — they all kick in a different brain. Meaning, a different mindset, different hormones that are kicked in, different parts of your body are activated, different bodily functions from your reproductive system to your nervous system. With NLP we determine what mindsets are most beneficial to you, then we practice using them so you can build confidence and the ability to execute them anytime.
If you think about it, one of the main things that I tell my clients is, “How often do you upgrade your car? How often do you upgrade your phone or your computer?” All of them you’ve probably done in the past five years. You’ve done your computer once or twice, your car once or twice — but when is the last time you sat down and said “Well, I really need to seriously evaluate my mindset, my behaviors and make sure they work with my life right now and the things that I value and believe and the things that I feel guilty about doing or not doing, match.” And they’re not the things that your parents instilled in you when you were 10 years old but instead, you have a consciously chosen mindset that supports who you want to be today.
It’s like programming a computer. You need to make sure that everything that’s in your mind is working for your benefit. I don’t believe, evolutionarily that we were given anything inside of our body that’s meant to harm us or cause us to not work properly. I just think we misunderstand when our body gives us signals or when it’s telling us things like; eat more, sleep more, relax, stop stressing, communicate this with this person because you’re being disrespected and your feelings are your hurt.
I teach my clients that everything that happens to you, should be processed and embraced as guidance. When something happens that you don’t like or understand you ask yourself, “What did that mean? What positive thing can I learn from that experience?”
When you start to think this way, you quickly understand that your body and mind are always sending you signals with opportunities to make changes or different decisions. When you learn to listen to them then you are able to develop unbelievable momentum to your future.
NCA: What is the most rewarding part of your career? And also on the flip side of that, what is the most challenging aspect of the work that you do?
Brett: Most rewarding would be — and it’s funny, I was actually talking about this with one of my clients last night — my greatest passion is helping my clients to find their passion. Not just like, “Let’s sit and choose the things you think you really love in life.”, but I help them understand on an unconscious level what drives them. The things that even when you’re sick, even when things aren’t going well, you can’t help but think about and you constantly want to do, that drive you.
My greatest passion of all is helping others find their passion, their purpose and fulfillment in life. For me, my greatest reward in my work is when I work with my clients and in the first two or three weeks, I help them really start defining this vision because most people tell me they don’t know what they’re passionate about, or they’re not really clear on their goals. They may have some short-term goals but long-term, it gets cloudy.
My greatest reward is helping someone to get clear on what they want in life, their purpose, and helping them develop a plan where they start feeling passionate about it and they’re getting fulfillment out of each day and they’re saying “Brett I can’t believe it… I honestly used to think that I had to make a million dollars to feel successful or be fulfilled, but as long as I have a plan in place that I’m passionate about, every day is now fulfilling.” That, for me, is the biggest reward; changing the quality of somebody’s life forever.
The most challenging part of my business would be learning how to separate the problems I’m working on with my clients from my own life. Sometimes I’m working on some pretty big stuff so it starts to feel like it’s my life because I’m so invested. It’s taken years to learn how to manage all the emotions you deal with and go through but now it’s turned into a wonderful skill that allows me to help my clients.
NCA: Can you think of one client or mentor who challenged your beliefs or made you rethink the way you approach your clients or your work?
Brett: I have several mentors who did incredible things for me but I have one woman in particular who gave me some really powerful bits of information. I actually share them all the time with my clients, so I’m happy to share them here because they’ll fit in perfectly. I started consulting when I was pretty young. I started out hosting at a restaurant, ended up managing the restaurant, and very quickly started consulting companies on sales. My point in saying that is I kind of fell in coaching and consulting before I even knew I was doing it.
I moved to Los Angeles from Chicago in 2000 and I met this lady who was a coach and a motivational speaker. She told me a couple of things that changed my life. One thing she told me was she said, “Brett, as long as you are two steps ahead of anyone, you’re always the expert.” And she was like, “And the reason I tell you that is because you’ve been helping everybody and you should look at yourself as being confident and competent enough to help everyone, so you always have an attitude of helping and seeking a solution.”
The other thing is not overwhelming yourself on the negative and think, “Can I do this, or should I do this, or how can I do this?” but always just saying “I can. Let’s figure it out.” And so it’s a very active, very confident attitude to take on and it stuck with me my whole life and it’s phenomenal.
I met this lady who was a coach and a motivational speaker. She told me a couple of things that changed my life. One thing she told me was she said, “Brett, as long as you are two steps ahead of anyone, you’re always the expert.”
The other thing she said was, “Never give up on somebody. If you believe in them and you believe in the solution of the work you’re doing, always be willing to continue work.” And by that, what she meant was she said, “How many times will you tell somebody something and they never get it?”
We all have this criteria when we say enough is enough. It’s like we’re trying to help someone we love and we told them five or ten times and we’re like, “Oh, I’ve already told them 10 times. That’s enough. I’m done telling them.” But you never know that the 11th time might be the time they hear it.
And now having done this for 2 decades, I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve had where I’ve said things over and over, shared with them over and over with the intention of getting it, and all of a sudden a year later or a month later or whatever, they hear it and they go, “Wow. You’ve been telling me this for a year and it just finally clicked today.” This thing in my life happened and all of a sudden I got what you meant.” And I’ve had so many of those breakthroughs like that that has not only made that a good behavior but a fantastic business strategy. I do that with my loved ones, with my friends, with all my clients, and I always continue to hold the intention they’re going to change and provide them with the support and the information they need ongoing. Those two mantras changed my life and stuck with me forever!