Life coach Heather White is the Robin to your Batman; she helps her superhero-like clients figure out how they can achieve satisfaction and victory. This personal development junkie guides high-level female entrepreneurs towards greatness by asking them to listen to their intuition and follow their true passions. Heather believes self-awareness is the first step towards making a courageous jump from an okay life to an amazing one; after all, she should know. Her own career followed a similar trajectory, as after having “made it” professionally, she still found herself longing for fulfilment. Heather ruminated on her situation, weighed her options, and ultimately took the plunge and went after her dream job – and designing what that means to her along the way.

Prayer and Intention

I have found that a still moment in sacred space, with my outer eyes closed and my inner eye open can change the trajectory of the entire day. Intention is everything.

Guidance. No one makes it alone.

Something that has been a challenge for me, but incredibly rewarding has been learning to trust my inner guidance, and embrace the guidance from trusted coaches and mentors.

I find sitting quietly in observation of the nature around me is a wonderful tool for calming my mind

Aligning my breathing with the rhythms of the ocean, and slipping into meditation.

As a competitive athlete I have developed a deep connection with my body.

Exercise is a practice that fills me with inspiration, motivation, energy and confidence.

Technology has been an amazing time to run a virtual business.

Since founding the company in 2007 technology has continued to advance at a rapid pace allowing me to do more and more while still being able to have the lifestyle I want.

Meditation reminds me I am not my intellect, and I am not my body

But instead I am the loving awareness behind it all.

Outsourced support since 2010 I have had remote administrative support for my business.

It was truly game changing. As a solo-preneur I still get to work on my own, but I’m not alone in serving my customers in the best possible way.

I have collected a small library on all topics

You’d expect to find in a seeker’s possession

Purification. There have been a number of things I’ve let go of in search of a deeper connection with my authentic self.

Most notably to date has been my renunciation of alcohol. I have been teetotaling since 12.12.15.

Let’s follow your lead and jump right into it: you made a drastic career change and, as a coach, often facilitate major change in others; how do you quiet the inner voice that’s saying you aren’t doing the right thing?

What I’ve learned is to listen to it. I think flipping the switch was probably the best thing that ever happened to me; changing the perspective from “this is something I need to fight with” to “this is something I need to listen to and communicate with” because it’s a part of my brain. It’s basically an uneducated part of your perception or paradigm that’s like “this is scary; there’s something that’s unsafe about this – alert, alert!” The thing that serves me really well is to be aware of it, because I think what happens is if you try to ignore it or push it down or pretend it’s not there, that’s where we see forms of sabotage come into our lives. I just listen and create some space and then I can recognize, “Oh, that’s just a fear thought; I don’t have to listen to it or believe it.” I don’t have to buy into it, but ignoring it completely actually gives it more power.

You encourage self-development in clients set on elevating their careers or creating their dream jobs – why is this the first step?

I believe it’s vitally important to be aware that who you are being when you’re doing is far more important than what you’re doing. I think we live in a very doing culture, in a very producing culture, a very sort of push-masculine-energetic culture. I think what ends up happening for people is they end up taking a lot of action without a lot of awareness or mindfulness about who they are being; then they wonder why all the business and productivity doesn’t create the feeling they’re craving.

How do you teach self-awareness?

It’s not something that develops overnight; you don’t wake up and sit in the lotus position and kumbaya, everything is great! It’s something that you have to practice. If you buy into that and you practice, you come into the realization that who you’re being is actually what creates your outcome, and what creates your experience.

Why is this so vital?

People want to feel a sense of fulfillment, a sense of contribution, and a sense of meaning. If all you ever do is run around every day doing things, you’re not aware of who you’re being. It’s almost as if you’ve basically cut yourself off; your head and your heart are not cooperating on congruency. This is why I end up working primarily with what I call high-performing women, because by the time they end up working with me, they’ve already checked all the boxes. If anyone were to evaluate their lives from the outside, they’d say these ladies have got it going on, nothing is amiss, everything is great. What’s missing, however, is their conscious awareness; what’s missing is the being.

How do you relate to high-performing female entrepreneurs?

It’s a world I know because that’s where I came from. I did everything that I had been raised and socialized and conditioned to believe I needed to do to live a happy life. I went off to university, got a degree, got a great job, made great money and had great benefits. I was working in outside sales when most of my girlfriends were still working in pubs and restaurants; they saw me with my car allowance, cell phone allowance and an expense account and couldn’t imagine what I – in my mid-20s at the time – could possibly have to complain about. But I was just miserable inside. I kept falling into vortexes where I’d try to accumulate stuff in an attempt to feel better. Yeah, the new suit felt good for two days; the upgrade on the car lease was exciting at first, but it had an emptiness to it all, and I kept trying to get some kind of resonance from people. I was very negative and complaining and cynical because I was so unhappy and everyone was saying, “suck it up kid, you’ve got it good – what’s your problem?”

How did you break free from that mentality?

It was only when I met my first coach, Bob Proctor. I was very resistant at first, but he started me down the path to eventually fall very much in love with the simple idea that there was within me talent, a gift, something that I was hardwired to want to contribute. Learning that I could make my life great – and that I didn’t have to settle – just introduced an entire new world to me.

That world being?

Creating my life to be what I want it to be.

How did you make the leap into the career you’re in today?

We’re either motivated by pleasure or pain, and in my case I was in pain. I was finally at a point where I’d do anything, so during a meeting with this guy (alpha female coach Chris Flett), I totally prematurely say to him, “I kind of like what you’re doing. I’m doing this personal development program with Bob Proctor and I’m learning about coaching and mentorship and changing your mindset and it’s all really resonating with me. I’d kind of like to share this with other people.” And he says to me, “Well, I’ll fund your startup, but you have to quit your job” and that’s literally what happened. That was on a Thursday, and he gave me until Monday. He said, “You have to quit your job by Monday, otherwise the offer is off the table for at least a year.” I went home to my boyfriend, who is now my husband (he stuck around, thank God), and said, “I’m thinking of quitting my job and starting a company with a guy you’ve never met but don’t worry everything is going to be okay. And he was just like, “Heather, it’s you, I support you. I have no fucking idea what you’re doing but it’s all good – go for it.” That was in 2007.

So it’s been 10 years now; what would you say have been your greatest achievements or moments?

On a very personal level, it’s really hard for me to find the words for how grateful I am to be able to sit behind what I call the Wizard of Oz curtain with people. I am in such a privileged position with people who are in many cases way smarter than me, way more successful than me in certain measures, and bigger and better than me in so many ways. I get to sit in this very sacred space with them and support them on their journey towards a more integrated and inspired life. On a professional level, I’ve gotten to do some incredible things. Last year, I did a TEDx talk; it was an honour to be asked to be on that stage, and a very gruesome vetting process to even get to do it. I’ve been all over the world, I’ve been on private planes, and while these are all just sort of perks or add-ons, they’re still incredible moments and experiences. By the way, private planes are very small; don’t take a grande Americano if the flight is over two hours. You don’t want to have to pee in front of everybody. These are little things – first world problems, right?

You say your diverse background – sales, athletics and a psychology degree – provides you with a unique personal coaching perspective and has built the foundation for your dream career. Do you encourage your clients to explore multiple industries and interests as well?

Totally. I live by a simple mission statement, which is to inspire myself and others to live courageously and be free. I remember Bob Proctor telling me most people just go through life hoping to make it safely to death; I didn’t really get what he meant at first, but then I started really observing. People are so scared, but scared of what? Scared of loving your life? Scared of it being great? Scared of doing what you’re prompted to do inside?

When you are working with your clients – women who’ve ‘made it’ but are not feeling fulfilled – how do you help them? What’s the process?

I really just ask questions. One of the most powerful questions is “what are you done with?” It really helps people open up, and there are a plethora of things to be done with: self-doubt, anxiety, I get all kinds of answers. I’m done with hangovers. Our lives are about growth and expansion, and in order to develop we usually have to let stuff go – it’s like a snake that sheds her skin kind of concept. There are things in everyone’s lives that are energetically, or vibrationally if you will, too heavy to carry. Asking what a client is done with helps me understand what types of things they may need to let go of. The second question I like to ask is “what do you want more of?” These questions sound generic by design; they don’t have any charge to them, so they don’t scare people. It’s not like “what’s your dream for your life?” which may prompt a reaction like “ahhh I don’t know” – because they really don’t know. Until the baggage that has to be released is gone, they’re not going to see where they’re going next.

How did you discover your perfect target audience?

What’s really helped me is a perspective I learned from a coach, Rich Litvin; he used to say, “Sometimes you just back your way into your niche, you just back your way into your audience. Don’t wait to figure out who you most want to coach, just start coaching.” That was such a helpful piece of advice for me because it gave me permission to just start working, just start having these sessions and having these dialogues.

When did you realize you wanted to specialize in helping female entrepreneurs?

I made a shift from working on the business angle to working on the people angle, and what I learned through the experience was that I loved working with female entrepreneurs. First of all, they’ve already done something pretty courageous and courage is a core value for me.

Has there ever been a moment where you’ve been working with a client and you’ve had your own self-discovery?

I listen out one ear the whole time because 99 per cent of the time what I’m saying is what I need to hear too. It’s always this very surreal experience – many, many moments of goosebumps on calls with clients.

Do you think anyone can benefit from a life coach?

What I would say first of all is look at the professionals: look at the professional athletes, professional speakers, and professional actors; look at anybody in a professional capacity (with the exception of maybe business but I think business is changing) and they all have coaches. Best in the world at what they do and they have a coach – why? Because they understand something very fundamental about human psychology, which is that we all have a comfort zone and if you truly want to grow and experience the potential within you, you have to have somebody external, and more subjective who can support you in rising above what is comfortable to you.

How does one find the right person to work with?

If you’re open and willing to live in the question a little bit, which in this case is “Who is the right coach to support me,” just having that question in your brain will start to generate some answers – I call it taking inspired action. To me, it’s related to the Rumi idea of “what you seek is seeking you.” Once it sort of opens up in your consciousness, it’s already a line out into the ethers and there will be something coming back; it’s just about taking your cue from inspiration, and taking an action step. There may not be an understanding of, or attachment to, how it works but you just trust your gut. If you don’t resonate with somebody, don’t hire them. You’ll eventually find your right person.

What’s the role of the coach?

From my perspective, it’s really to hold a mirror up to enable a client to see what they maybe didn’t know was there. From there, it’s to support them in acting on whatever that awareness is asking them to shift. There is an element of accountability, but I think more than anything I’m linked up arm-in-arm because they’ve got to do something really courageous. They have to let go of something that has become very comfortable to hold on to, and cross this bridge between their inspiration and their action. It’s not an easy thing to do.

For those people who are just discovering their passion, or have one they aren’t living but are looking for a transition, how do they begin that process?

I think partly it’s willingness. I think honestly, I’ll tell you, I really feel that there is a place where people have an inner suffering that’s gotten to a point where they’re like “I want to do something about this” and it’s motivation to act. I think the biggest problem we have is we interpret suffering as punishment, when I really believe that it’s guidance.

Where do you find your inspiration or your suffering?

I find it all the time from my clients. I just got a note from a client who is right now traveling the world with her family. They left their home and went on a one-year travel mission – two kids, a couple businesses – everybody said there was no way they could do it. She just sent me a message because they randomly met up with a cousin in Panama and she wrote to say she couldn’t believe this was her life and to thank me for helping her see what was possible. I take no credit for anything that my clients achieve, none of that is mine, but it’s just inspiring. Here is an example of a woman who just decided they were going to find a way to make this happen, and they did. As for the suffering…I find it all the time in my own life, and for me there are two options: one is pressing snooze, and the other is to wake up. Lots of the time I choose pressing snooze – I’m human. I think sometimes that’s part of the process, you get in that little internal civil war. When there’s something you know that you need to do, and you’re not quite ready to do it, and then you end up in this little dance with yourself until one day you’re just in enough pain and you say “Fuck it, I’m up,” and you do something differently. Where does coaching come in? I think it can really shorten that process for people, which is why I have a coach myself.

Where is your happy place?

For me, I love to go to nature. I do read a lot and absorb a lot of content in my life but I like to go there first because I find it’s very calming, it’s very grounding and just helps with perspective.

Beyond your clients, who else do you look to for inspiration?

It’s funny, somebody I follow is a gentleman from New York named Gary Vaynerchuk; the reason why I love him is because I feel like in some ways he’s a bit of a spiritual guru without having any awareness that he is. If you look from the outside, he looks like a hustler, like a total go-getter. I feel like the guy is doing exactly what he was put on earth to do; his soul is on the surface of his life. Further to that, he’s a digital marketing expert and so I get a lot of knowledge from him but it comes through a lens that I really like. A good friend of mine, locally here in Vancouver, is Danielle LaPorte, and I also really admire what she’s done. We’ve known each other for a long time and she has built an empire, frankly, and that’s really inspiring. She’s written three books since I’ve known her, and she’s grown exponentially. Her blog has been visited by two million people or something – I think that’s what Forbes said. She’s grown her email list to 200,000 people so it’s been cool to watch from right here in the ‘hood, in Vancouver. It’s just nice to think she’s just down the street doing her thing, and it’s possible for someone local to make it, because sometimes we think, “oh if you’re not from New York or LA the market isn’t big enough.” Those two are probably my biggest sources of inspiration because they both do what I aspire to do – live a great life, document, share it and allow it to be a source of inspiration to others.

Life is inherently busy, especially when aspiring to turn a true passion into a job, while juggling family and other activities at the same time. What do you say to those pursuing a good life with balance?

Balance is a lie. I didn’t say this, I think Danielle LaPorte said this. I think she said something to the effect that the pursuit of balance is causing people incredible unhappiness – and it’s true. People are trying to hit on some kind of magic vortex, which doesn’t exist. I think really my journey has been learning to listen and trust myself, and so naturally I think I ended up attracting a lot of people who are sort of walking that same path, which is different than balance, but works for me.