Somewhere in a chest of old letters and keepsakes, I saved the first contract I signed when I became a teacher over two decades ago.
I can close my eyes now and imagine the neat penmanship of the principal who wrote in my salary for that school year: $18,500.00.
I can remember feeling proud and grateful, and also thinking I’d probably need to keep the part-time summer job I had at a fragrance store to make sure I made all of my then-single-girl ends meet while I worked full time.
I loved teaching at that school, and as my career evolved, I was also passionate about the work I did in counseling and therapy at different agencies in my city.
I wanted to be of service, to heal, to teach, and to inspire, and I did those things. I also had other longings that I tried to set aside and resign myself to believing they weren’t congruent with the impact I hoped to have with my work.
My employers had certain budgets and salary ceilings they had to work with — most of these places were non-profits and provided social services to different segments of the population.
I knew that and respected it, but I was itching to earn more.
It wasn’t just about accessing a lifestyle I wanted connected to greater personal wealth; I had a desire to make an impact with my dollars by giving to places that I felt contributed to making positive change in the world.
And I also wondered, what if I could earn more and make some of my own ideas for personal development, wellness, and social change for women come alive?
Actually, my thoughts around this weren’t that articulate a decade ago; it was more of longing and feeling that I might not be meant to be working under the rules, guidelines, and salary caps of another person or institution.
The word “entrepreneur” did not enter my mind for many years. An entrepreneur was my dad — who had a degree in management. Or my two younger brothers — who also had business degrees.
I was on the completely opposite side of that with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, a teaching certificate, and two master’s degrees in counseling in psychotherapy.
For one thing, I didn’t give myself any credit for having any leanings or instincts for creating a successful business. Additionally, I told myself that people who do the kind of work I do to help people change or heal their lives should not want to earn a lot of money.
Can I say that again?
I told myself that people who do the work of helping people heal or transform their lives should not want to earn a lot of money.
I’ve done a lot of work in my life to detangle that belief and teach myself that, in fact, a woman who is in business for herself to help people heal or change their lives is a form of feminist-economic-social-change-instigation.
And you know what? It can also be an act of great self-respect and love.
I love my ideas, gifts, and passions so much, and I believe they are worthy of sharing.
I believe they are worthy of creating programs and opportunities around them that help women turn up the bass in their lives and express themselves freely and authentically.
I believe that I have the acumen and discernment to look at the time, talent, and treasure it takes for me to create my work and bring it into the world and decide what the price will be.
I believe the value of the work I do extends far beyond the “billable hour” or number of weeks in a program.
I believe that the women whose lives I touch will do things that I may never see or hear about in a direct manner (although I get to sometimes, and that is an honor and a delight), but I may feel the ripple of it because the way they conduct their gorgeous lives will impact one person … and then another … and then another.
AND, it will impact institutions, the political landscape of the health and wealth of large communities.
There’s not a damned thing to hold any silence or shame around when it comes to those dollars and the women who earn them when those are the outcomes.
And you know what?
There’s no need to hold any silence or shame about voluptuous personal wealth because you want to live well (whatever that looks like on your terms).
I love to travel with my family and friends all over the world. My business has allowed me to earn the money to do that freely and frequently.
I love beautiful, well-constructed, and unique high-end fashion. I get a thrill out of hunting down pieces that amplify my beauty and my body on discount and consignment luxury sites (means I can get more bang for my buck — I am a businesswoman and I love the art of the deal).
I love being able to pay for an automobile that feels like a luxurious condo for me on the road while I run my business, my errands, and my children about town.
I love writing that tuition check each quarter for my daughter’s high school that has been educating her and over 10,000 alumnae for over 185 years to be unique and empowered change agents in the world (ahem… I’m an alum (class of ‘89).
When we create our work and embrace our worth, we can do these things.
We can be these women.
I am that woman.
You are that woman.
If you want to step out and do your thing, I am with you.
And I’m here to tell you it’s really a journey of the soul — being an entrepreneur. It’s going to show you who are in ways you cannot imagine.
You have not just the opportunity to “be the boss” when it comes to your business, but to stand proudly at the helm of how you steer your entire life.
For me, that was the decision I made years ago to become a life coach. I was already a licensed therapist with experience in mental health and human development, so on one hand, I told myself I didn’t have to go through additional training.
Yet, it was important to me to learn about the different nuances in working as a coach versus a therapist.
I felt coaching would allow me to have a different kind of relationship with my clients that went beyond “the 50 minute hour” in a brick-and-mortar office.
What if they could read my blog and my personal stories of inspiration and motivation to help them?
What if I could have events or workshops that went beyond a hotel conference room or meeting space?
What if I could gather women to share healthy, beautifully prepared meals and engage them in transformative conversations around creating an expansive, rich life?
What if I could reach women all over the world through online classes, webinars, and programs?
What if I could build things I was passionate about like personal style, fitness, and the aesthetics of living spaces into the work I do to help women change their lives?
And what if I could make 33% more money with the launch of my signature program in one week than I made in that entire first year of teaching I told you about earlier?
It all happened.
It all happened when I said “yes” to coaching, because I said “yes” to all of those things.
Some more truth: Many of the things my Boss University co-founder, Susan Hyatt, and I teach in our coaching businesses were not taught to us in our coach training programs
We were both taught by masterful coaches with thoughtful and powerful curriculums, but we learned a lot about the way we carry out our business practices by doing. And dreaming. And creating. And messing up. And triumphing.
So with Boss University, we knew we had magic when we conceived our plan to teach our students the art and science of coaching and the entrepreneurial elements that light up a lucrative, authentic, and soulful business venture.
We get to help women enter this career and make it whatever they want it to be.
You can transition full-on from one profession right into coaching.
You can blend the passions of your current career with coaching.
You can learn how to do this and set up shop in a little less than six months. Six months. Not six thousand hours. Not six years.
You can work 1:1 with clients and coach your face off, if that’s what charms your heart.
You can design a retreat to Iceland where you’ll take women to experience the adventure of travel paired with the power of coaching.
You can make all the damn money you want.
You can take it and set up clean water initiatives or open a school for girls in Africa.
You can buy a Monique Lhullier evening gown and design an event around it where you get to wear it, help people change lives, and earn money for you and your family.
You can do both of those fucking things if you want. In the Boss University world, they are not mutually exclusive.
You get to decide.
All of it.
‘Cause you’re the boss.
BOSS UNIVERSITY is a school where you’ll learn how to change people’s lives—and change the world—through the art of life coaching.
If you’re already working as a coach, but you want to bring your coaching practice to the next level, we’ve got a program for you, too.
If you’re obsessed with personal growth and motivating people to reach their potential… if you’ve got entrepreneurial fire in your belly… and if you want to be part of a new wave of women who are doing business on their own terms, and who are earning more than their mothers and grandmothers ever dreamed possible, BU is for YOU.
Enroll at www.laura-wagner.com/boss-university.
‘Cause you’re the boss.