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Free To Be Me: Backstage Pass With Erin Coughlin

Why did you become an entrepreneur?
What drove you to start your own business?
Where did you get the desire to create a vision that others wish to follow?

As entrepreneurs, there are a variety of ways you could answer these questions: passion, making a difference, stability for your family, autonomy. There are many reasons for becoming an entrepreneur. As a Program Advisor with Strategic Coach, I build relationships with my clients and have many conversations with them about this very topic. I’ve learned that, with all the possibilities out there, entrepreneurs enter the world of starting and operating a business for one reason: FREEDOM!

  • Freedom of Time
  • Freedom of Money
  • Freedom of Relationship
  • Freedom of Purpose

Being a part of an entrepreneurial team gives me freedoms, as well—freedoms that corporate employees might not experience. Personally, I’m driven most by purpose.

Defining Purpose

Freedom of purpose means you have the freedom to do what you love, are passionate about, and have a Unique Ability in. I recently completed my one-on-one Unique Ability Discovery Session with Julia Waller, one of our Unique Ability Specialists at Strategic Coach, who focuses on helping entrepreneurs discover why it is they do what they do and what they love about it. As I went through this process with Julia, I gained a clarity about my purpose I never knew I had within me that has now opened up a vast amount of possibility within my role at Strategic Coach.

When I was growing up, my parents never let me have sugar cereal for breakfast because, as a child, I had an overabundance of energy. They used to tell me not to talk to strangers because I would strike up a conversation with anyone I saw near me. My room was always messy, with tons of notebooks and loose-leaf paper filled with lists of goals, quotes, and writings I would work on. I would write letters to friends and family who were struggling and in need of encouragement or just because I wanted to spread some inspiration.

As I grew older and came into my adulthood, whether I was in a position of running an organization, working in a corporate setting, or managing a team of employees, I felt confined. I felt as though my energy—my desire for authentic conversations, my ability to inspire and encourage others—was not being used to its full potential or advantage. It was not until I began working at Strategic Coach that I experienced Freedom of Purpose for the first time in my life.

Making Your Freedoms Work For You

Freedom of Purpose for an entrepreneurial team member means no one is telling me how to have a conversation with a client, there’s no conversation guide to tell me what to say, and there isn’t a specific number of calls I must make every day. I’m not boxed in to a structure that does not align with who I am and how I operate best.

At Strategic Coach, I have the freedom to use my energy. I have the freedom to inspire others. I have the freedom to have conversations. I have the freedom to encourage. I had never been given such freedom before, nor did I know what it truly felt like until I sat in my office for the first time, with no set agenda or standard, and was told, “You are free to plan your day as you see best.” I almost fell off my chair!

I never knew I was lacking that freedom until I actually experienced it. When I completed my Unique Ability session with Julia Waller, it all made sense – Freedom of Purpose is having the ability to do what you love to do and to understand why you do it.

My name is Erin Coughlin, and my Unique Ability is living with purpose, intentionality, and energy; passionately and authentically connecting with people; innovating pathways that help people achieve their goals; and demonstrating a positive outlook in order to inspire and encourage greatness.

Our Freedom of Purpose always exists within us. It’s a matter of making the choice to live out our purpose and have the freedom to do so without being put in a place where we cannot be authentically who we are, doing what we’re most passionate about. Freedom of Purpose is doing what you do best while positively influencing those around you.

“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”

—T.D. Jakes