Welcome to In Her Element, a series that shines a spotlight on some of the remarkable women entrepreneurs I get to work with. The purpose of this series is to demystify what happens in a Thought Partnership; share inspirational success stories; and to highlight tips and teaching points that might help other women entrepreneurs as they walk along their own path.
Meet the Alaskan Medevac Helicopter Pilot, Coach & TEDx Speaker: Lorena Knapp
Lorena is a medevac helicopter pilot and accountability coach. Helping people achieve their dreams has always been her personal go-go juice. First it was the students in her elementary school classroom, then the adults she taught to fly helicopters. But when she transitioned from teacher to helicopter pilot she had to overcome some major resistance – both internal (her inner critic) and external (people around her saying she couldn’t succeed). Her work as an accountability coach has expanded from mentoring female aviators around the world to working with all kinds of people who are ready to expand their comfort zone, make important changes, and live a bigger life.
When I first met Lorena I was totally ‘wowed’ — I mean come on— a female medevac helicopter pilot from Alaska? That’s pretty badass. Then, I watched her Tedx talk and felt completely inspired. This woman has a gift and a personal story that reaches far and wide. I loved the challenge of supporting her to build a business that expresses her creativity and heart even though she has a full-time job she LOVES and has no plans to leave it. People say we have the same time in the day as Beyonce. I say, we have the same time in the day as Lorena Knapp. So get your ass moving.
It has been an absolute delight to partner with Lorena and watch her business and brand evolve into a clear and powerful platform with an updated 1:1 and group offer. This inspiring woman claimed her point of view and stepped solidly into her zone of genius. Learn more about Lorena here.
This is Lorena:
1. What were your top goals when you stepped into your Thought Partnership with Jac?
I’ve always had a passion for helping others achieve their dreams. It is my personal go-go juice this has been expressed in various ways throughout my life. First it was in my career as a teacher, then it was when I mentored others, and now it is with my dream job of flying a medevac helicopter pilot in Alaska.
Several years ago I had a life-changing experience that further crystallized the importance of not waiting until “someday” to pursue your dreams. (You can hear more about this in my TEDx talk).
Now not only do I get to fly over a landscape that is as stunning as a Planet Earth video, I help transport people to medical attention so they have more tomorrows. My job is great in that much like being a firefighter, I’m able to do other things while I’m at work as long I’m able to get the helicopter up and off the ground within ten minutes.
My side business as an accountability coach is incredibly rewarding and a creative outlet that helps provide balance to my highly technical job. It is also one more way for me to help people achieve their dreams and create their own “Big Life.”
I hired Jac to help me wade though my own overwhelm, get focused and streamline my business. I had been doing okay on my own but I was ready to take things to the next level. I know how a really great coach can help people move through their fear and limiting beliefs and achieve greater results with greater ease.
I have no intention of giving up my day job so I wanted to meld my side business to fit within my time constraints and the seasonal fluctuations in my flying schedule. I wanted to feel good about what I was doing and know I was doing it well.
2. Whenever we bring an outsider into the tender secrets of our business it can feel really vulnerable. When you hired Jac, what were you most worried about?
When I create something new, it feels fragile and unable to stand up to harsh criticism. My business was just over a year old and even with my skills as a navigator in the air, I often felt lost as an entrepreneur. I was worried that Jac wouldn’t understand my time constraints and would want me to do more. I didn’t want to “do” more, I wanted to work smarter and more strategically.
3. What impact did your work with Jac have in your business (and life)?
Working with Jac helped me better understand myself and how I show up (and hide!) in relation to my business. Jac offered insight into how my personality type might excel at things while also struggle with others. She helped me understand that I will always have more ideas than time to implement the ideas which gives my inner critic an endless supply of material to berate me about.
Understanding my primary archetypes was enlightening and I had so much fun with the exercise that I shared it with my family and friends. This helped me customize my website copy to ensure I was attracting my “right people,” the people that I would best be able to help and enjoy working with the most.
I know people often look at my job as a medevac pilot and think, “wow she’s badass.” Don’t get my wrong, I love flying and even today when I watch another helicopter fly overhead I think, How freakin’ cool is it that I get to fly every day? but my “regular girl” archetype has me feel like I’m just a normal person. My regular girl helps me create a sense of “we’re in this together” with my clients while my ruler archetype has a lot of wisdom and experience to offer has me be a more effective coach.
4. What specifically did you achieve?
As a result of working with Jac I’ve completely redesigned my website in a way that resonates with me and my clients. She helped me accentuate what makes me different in regards to other coaches. To excel in my career, I’ve had to learn a lot about managing resistance (both internal and external). I’m able to share these insights along with an intuitive ability to assess how to help a client navigate their own obstacles to meeting their goals. We updated my group coaching, (Big Life Accountability Support Team) and one on one program (Big Life 1:1 Support Sessions) to highlight some of my specific strengths as a coach.
5. You’ve done incredible things in the last few months, what’s been your proudest moment?
Often when we look around online it is easy to compare ourselves to others and notice where we are coming up short. Jac helped me let go of comparing and create my own “conditions of enoughness” in relation to what I do for my business each today. As a result, the panicky feeling of overwhelm has left (okay, mostly left) and I’m able to feel more at ease. This is success.
6. Based on what you learned about yourself in our time together, what’s had the most impact for you? What ideas or concepts do you find yourself wanting to teach or share with others?
Each of us has an inner wisdom that can guide us (if we listen) to make choices that nurture and fulfill us. Stripping away the protective layers we create to hide and play safe allows others to really connect with who we are and gives others permission to be more fully themselves.
7. As our Thought Partnership comes to an end, what are the next challenges you’re facing in your business?
I’ve learned to see my business as constantly evolving and that things are never quite “finished” in relation to it. Where I am now is exactly the right spot at exactly the right time and there is no where to ‘get to’. Based on past results, I know I will be completely delighted and surprised by what develops in the future.
8. What worked for you about Jac’s approach?
Jac is adept at distilling what is on your mind into a concrete thought or actionable step. One of the things I love about working with Jac is they way she is able to blend the intuitive with the practical. Her prompting about “What feels right?” helped me tap into my own inner wisdom. She always comes from a place of what is best for the client, knowing that what works well for the client works well for her business.
9. What are your top tips for hiring a Thought Partner or Coach?
Make sure that you fit well together. The partnership should challenge you but feel fun and enjoyable all at the same time. I wasn’t sure I was ready for a coach when I first considered working with Jac but she kept bubbling up in my consciousness. I needed someone else who really got me and what I wanted to achieve and help me wade through my own overwhelm and figure out how to move forward.
Lorena is a medevac helicopter pilot and accountability coach. She helps others determine, implement, and accomplish the action steps needed to achieve their dreams. Her online coaching programs provide weekly support and guidance to tackle the limiting beliefs and resistance that prevents people from doing the things they’ve always wanted to do. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.