Mastering Coaching Skills with Lindsay Dotzlaf | Coaching Through Infertility with Kristin Dillensnyder

Today’s podcast is going to be a little bit different and I’m so excited to share it with you. I have been doing some client spotlights on my Instagram. And because my clients are so amazing, hearing them talk about what they do and really digging into their coaching and their businesses has been unbelievably fun. So, I’m bringing some of that energy over to the podcast this week.

It is my pleasure to introduce you to my client Kristin Dillensnyder, a coach for women who are going through IVF and infertility. She is the perfect example of a coach with the intention of changing the world, her niche is very close to my heart personally, and this conversation is full of tangible tips for how any of us can use the work she does to help the people in our lives who are experiencing infertility.

Tune in this week to hear a passionate discussion about coaching, infertility, and everything Kristin has learned on this journey. Kristin is sharing how she immediately knew this was the way for her to make an impact as a coach and help women through the obviously challenging experience of IVF, but also the wider impact that infertility has on a person. I loved having this conversation, and I know you’ll love hearing it.

If you want to take the work we’re doing here on the podcast and go even deeper, you need to join my six-month mastermind! Coaching Masters is open for enrollment for a limited time, so click here to start working on the one thing you need to be a successful coach.

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I am so excited to hear what you all think about the podcast – if you have any feedback, please let me know! You can leave me a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, which helps me create an excellent show and helps other coaches find it, too.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How Kristin knows that helping women through infertility is the way she can change the world.
  • The story of how Kirstin found life coaching and decided to start her practice.
  • How Kristin used Instagram to find exactly the kind of women she wanted to help.
  • Kristin’s amazing advice to anyone who has friends or family members currently going through IVF.
  • Why women going through IVF and infertility don’t need your advice or inspirational stories.
  • What you can do to actually be there for your friends who are going through IVF, even if certain situations might seem awkward.
  • How Kristin works closely with fertility physicians so everyone can do their job to the best of their ability.
  • When Kristin’s clients tend to start working with her as they move through their IVF journey, and why Kirsten encourages people to reach out sooner.
  • The wider impact of infertility and how Kristin coaches her clients in all of those areas as well.
  • Why, just because we’re life coaches, doesn’t mean we’re immune to the bad days.

Listen to the Full Episode:

 

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Hey, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf and you are listening to Mastering Coaching Skills, episode 47.

To really compete in the coaching industry, you have to be great at coaching. That’s why every week, I will be answering your questions, sharing my stories, and offering tips and advice so you can be the best at what you do. Let’s get to work.

Hello, I’m so excited you’re here today. I have something that is a little different, it is a treat for you. It is special and I’m excited to share it with you.

I have been doing some client conversations, client spotlights on my Instagram, which is just @lindsaydotzlaf, I keep it simple. If you want to go find me, you can. If you’re not following me, you should. That’s where I share a little more of my actual just day to day life. But also, I’ve been doing these client spotlights and they are so fun. Why?

Because my clients are amazing. And I just love hearing them talk about what they do. it’s a little different than what I’ve been doing on the podcast, which is a little more talking about coaching methods, coaching just more general. But in the client spotlights we really dig into a little more specifically what each client does. And I think they’ve been really fun.

I have done three so far, I have a lot more coming up, so definitely go follow me over there if that is something you’re interested in. And the one I share with you today, she is my client, Kristin Dillensnyder. She is so fun.

And the reason I picked this specific conversation is that I am just in love with Kristin, her personality is so fun. But that’s true of most of my clients, of course. One common thread that I see with a lot of my clients is that they really are in the coaching to change the world. They have a very altruistic view a lot of times of why they’re a coach and why coaching is important in the world.

And Kristin’s niche is just really special, very close to my heart. I’ll tell you what it is in just a second, but she also really gives tangible tips in this video, it’s a video, and the audio you’re about to hear, for ways that all of us can use what she does as she gives us all tips that we can implement in our lives if we know someone going through this certain thing.

So, Kristin is a coach for women going through IVF, struggling with infertility and really just on the journey of invitro fertilization. Obviously, that won’t apply to most of you. But we do talk about coaching, we talk about how she got into coaching. A lot like the other interviews on my podcast, there are going to so many takeaways.

But Kristin also gives advice for what to do if someone close to you, someone in your life, your friend, your relative, your partner, someone in your life is going through IVF. Some tips on how to stay close with them, how you can support them, how you can be there for them through that time. Which I thought was so fun and just really useful.

So, one just little note here because this is an Instagram video turned into audio, the audio quality won’t be quite the same as what you are used to hearing. Hopefully that doesn’t bother you, I don’t notice things like this. If my husband is listening, listen, I’m so sorry, Nate. I apologize, you’re just going to have to suffer through this one episode of bad sound quality. That’s just how it goes. Life isn’t always fair. I’m just kidding, please enjoy this conversation with Kristin.

Lindsay: Hello, this week of client spotlights. I am Lindsay Dotzlaf. It is so fun to be here today. I have to say, Tuesday is the first day that I have done an Instagram live and I’m loving them, they’re really fun. So, I’m glad you guys are here, I’m waiting for Kristin to hop on. I have such an amazing guest today.

She is a client of mine, her name is Kristin Dillensnyder. She’s here, I’m going to let her tell you about herself.

Kristin: Well hey, I am a life coach helping women going through IVF and infertility. Mostly with just the emotional roller coaster management of the experience and to not have to go through the process alone.

Lindsay: Love that. And before you hopped on, you may have heard me, but I was saying how your niche is truly one my favorites. And I think it’s just, every once in a while, I just see a niche that really hits Me. And I think that it just has to do with wow, the power in that, the lives that you’re changing.

And this is true for all coaches, but to me this one just feels so special. And I think that women, anyone going through IVF, what a special gift to have someone who can help them along the way.

Kristin: I hear that a lot. I think part of it’s because we all know it’s hard but unless you’ve gone through it you don’t know how hard. And to know that there is someone out helping. The funny thing is that a lot of women going through it don’t think that they have it bad enough to warrant asking for help or getting it. So it’s always like this, “Oh, I wish I knew about you before, a long time ago.” So that’s my work.

I do this because I went through infertility and it was a milestone and a life experience that was a challenge for me. And I’m a big sister so I’ve always wanted to learn the hard way and share my knowledge so that it’s easier for the next person. And the women going through infertility are like my sisters and this is where I just know I am meant to be to make my impact.

Lindsay: Yeah. So that was going to be my next question, how did you get into it? Is there anything else around your story that you want to share? One question I guess I have is at what point did you find coaching? Did you have coaching through your IVF process or did you find it after?

Kristin: I actually found it during my IVF process, but not IVF coaching, just life coaching in general. And I had to do three rounds of IVF and I actually had three different outcomes. So one time it worked, one time it didn’t work, and one time it ended in a miscarriage.

And the miscarriage was the last thing and I remember wanting to help out women in this stage. And I thought I can’t help them because so many women have miscarriages, and I didn’t have that experience. And then when it did happen to me, I was like, “All right, game over.”

Clearly, I don’t want to wish that on anybody or it doesn’t necessarily make that loss that much easier. But it made me understand that I experienced that to help other women.

I had actually gotten, I said I got unmarried. So I got unmarried first and that was a really hard, challenging point in my life. But I didn’t want to spend all my time talking about my ex. And I just always had this feeling on my heart, again as this big sister, of helping others. And once I was going through the infertility experience, and just realized how much it was sucking the joy out of my life, how it was consuming my life, I felt like there had to be a better way.

And I did work with a life coach, but on all those other things, never with the lens of infertility. So I decided to be the person I wished I had access to. I went to every doctor’s appointment and boohooed on the table in the doctor’s room every time. And I just thought this isn’t right, there’s something more. And so I’m trying to create that and make that space for women who are just like me.

Lindsay: I just love that so much. And as you were talking it really, I think, hit home about why I think this is such a special niche. And I think just in my personal life I’ve had great friends who have gone through IVF.

You and I have talked about this a little bit, but I’ve had family members, really close friends who go through IVF. And I think as someone who has never experienced it, and honestly has been almost the opposite, gotten pregnant a little too easy sometimes, you know, it’s hard to be that person. To be the support, because I always felt like I never know what to say, all I can do is be here for them.

Which, of course I know is probably all they really needed. The last thing they probably wanted was advice from someone who had never been through it. And I felt so helpless as the friend, as the family member. And I think that that, for me, when I think about what you do it’s like that’s such a special role. And I’m curious if you see it that way. Do your clients tell you those things like, “I don’t really have anyone else that I can really talk about the whole thing with”?

Kristin: Yes. So I shared my infertility journey on Instagram, but with a private account. And that’s how I found other women who were going through it. Actually did one of my first reels, I did as sort of a joke, but it says, “Oh are you doing IVF? Me too, we’re best friends.” And that is how it feels with women going through IVF, that once you find that out it’s like instant friendship.

Lindsay: Yes.

Kristin: And you’re right, talking with people who didn’t have that struggle, they always mean well and they almost always say the wrong thing. And it ends up being this constant, repetitive trigger over and over and over again.

And so, yes, women come to me whether they have Instagram accounts that they have, like there’s a lot, thousands and thousands of women who have secondary private Instagram accounts to document the whole journey, but to not share publicly.

It’s really wonderful to see that since I started my infertility in 2015, that just in the six years there’s much more of an environment where people feel more comfortable to open up more publicly. Half of my clients have barely told anybody outside of their partner. It’s that tight knit and close to them. And I am that source, I am that one person who understands and also knows.

I would say the other half are way more open but aren’t necessarily telling the masses in every step of the way. Because it opens you up then for the judgment and the bad advice that just constantly happens. I love to do podcasts and talk to other groups of women, of fertile friends, of fertile women on how to be a good friend.

Lindsay: That’s so good.

Kristin: You felt helpless, and you want to help but you don’t know how. And so if I can help women going through infertility just by letting their friend hear me on another podcast to say that all you have to say is, “I’m sorry,” or, “That’s really hard.” That’s enough.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Kristin: If you have that permission, then you can be a better friend. So I love being able to leave a little bit of a footprint in that way as well. Not even talking about coaching.

Lindsay: I love that so much. Is there anything else you want to say about that, like here on this platform if anyone’s listening? Because I’m guessing that we all, everybody probably knows someone, even if they don’t actually know it’s happening, they probably know someone who is going through IVF.

Is there any other just quick advice that you would give for people that have friends or family members that are going through IVF?

Kristin: Well, of course, yes, I have plenty to say. If you know somebody, I would really encourage you to follow my Instagram account. Because a lot of what I talk about is talking on behalf of my clients who are more private with their struggle.

Actually, the last two posts I said, one of them is a letter to my fertile friends and family saying don’t say these things, say these instead. So follow my account, you’ll learn a little bit more about what your friend or family member is going through.

They don’t need your advice. They don’t need to hear from you on another person’s success or story, whether that was they stopped trying and it worked. That does happen, but that is putting fuel on the fire of somebody who’s hurting, and it is not what we need to hear. And so the easiest thing is I’m sorry, period, full sentence, stop.

You can absolutely, if somebody has opened up to you about it too, you can send them my way. Send them my information so that again, they know they’re not alone. This is a disease that actually impacts one in eight couples.

Lindsay: Wow.

Kristin: Miscarriages are experienced by one in four women. So you absolutely know someone who’s going through this. And even with that high of a number, it is one of the most isolating feeling illnesses to go through. And even I was talking to my client this morning, she said, “Even though I talk to you, I still feel alone most of the time because everybody else around me doesn’t know.”

So it’s very common, you absolutely know somebody. All you have to say is I’m sorry. And if you want to go further and be a better friend, checking in and just saying, “I’m checking in on you” is a wonderful way to show you care.

This is a long journey. It’s like a marathon, it’s not a sprint. Women go in and they call in the big dogs and go to the fertility doctor and sign on the dotted line about spending the thousands and thousands of dollars. And it’s just the beginning of that level, of that stage, of that climb up the mountain. And it’s a long journey, checking in is really helpful.

Small little gifts are amazing too if you’re not close by and you can’t just spend time with the person. Like jewelry or positive affirmation cards, things that are hopeful and optimistic.

I got a necklace from a friend that was an anchor with the sign that says hope anchors the soul. And I literally wore it almost to the day every day and I could touch it on my neck and I just knew that somebody else was aware of what I was going through. So those are just a couple.

Lindsay: Yeah, those are so good, I think. And they’re very tangible, very useful things that anyone could use. And I think I learned a lot when my sister, who was very open about it, so I know she wouldn’t mind me saying it, she did not do IVF but she had lots of pregnancy loss, pregnancy struggles.

And I just learned so much from being with her through that. And I could see, like my tendency is the opposite kind of of what you were saying. Mine was like, I don’t know what to say so I’m going to say nothing. And then, at one point, she reached out to me and said, like, “Listen, I need you. I don’t know what’s happening, but where did you go?”

And I realized, like, oh, I stopped even like our regular conversations, our texting back and forth because I was so scared of saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing. And I really learned from her like, listen, I don’t need you to know anything about what’s happening. I just need you to be my sister and be here for me. And that really was like, oh, okay, I can do that. I know how to do that. That is something I can do.

Kristin: One other thing to add that’s a really good tip is a lot of people, like you were saying, you kind of held back because you didn’t know what to say, you almost didn’t want to say the wrong thing. People do that also with baby showers or they do that with getting together with friends with the kids, where you stop inviting your friend who doesn’t have a kid, and you don’t invite them to the shower. And you don’t invite them to the play dates even though they don’t have a child.

Don’t do that. Invite them. Let them decide, don’t decide for them. But know that that invitation might go unanswered. It might be that they cancel last minute, and you have to give them space and grace for that. But let them decide. Do not decide for them and say, “Oh, this will be too painful for them, they won’t like it.”

Lindsay: That is very good advice. What I hear you saying is just treat them like normal humans, just like you always would. Nothing really has to change. Don’t be weird.

Kristin: Don’t be weird. So, yeah, keep that up.

Lindsay: That is some of my favorite advice always, like, don’t be weird. And I think it applies really well in this situation.

Kristin: Yeah.

Lindsay: So at what point do you come in as the coach? When do they usually hire you? At what stage?

Kristin: Well, I like to tell people the sooner the better. I tend to work with women going through IVF. So most women will call me like right before the transfer, which is sort of like the last stage and the last step.

And I love to help women at that point, but I really wish that we could work together longer beforehand. That is sort of the on the floor crying moment, like in the closet or with the tub of ice cream moment. And I really am working hard to help women understand that you don’t have to be at that point to call for help and to get help and to benefit from coaching.

Ideally, I would love if you are signing up and working with an infertility specialist or fertility doctor, they’re called reproductive endocrinologist is their official term. If you are talking to them and they’ve given you a plan and a stimulation calendar, and you know you’re going through an egg retrieval, call me. That’s when I would love to start working with you, ideally.

Lindsay: Okay.

Kristin: So it’s like that saying of you should have started yesterday, otherwise today’s the best day. It’s that same feeling.

Lindsay: Okay. And I know that, because you’ve been my client, I know that you have some relationships with physicians, that they actually sometimes refer their patients to you. Why do you think that is? Why do physicians love for their clients to work with a coach while going through treatments?

Kristin: Well, the reason why I pitch myself to help them is because they’re really good at what they do and I’m really good at what I do.

Lindsay: I love that.

Kristin: And it lets us stay in our own lanes. They are experiencing and seeing what it feels like for their women because like I said, I went to every appointment and I was boohooing whether I had good news or bad news. I came up with the term that it’s hormotional. You’re under the influence of all the hormones and your emotional and it’s just this perfect combination.

And they see that, they have pressure, they have a lot on their to-do list. They have appointments and things that they need to get done with and they went to medical school forever and ever and ever, because most of them are double board certified OB/GYN and infertility, so they’re like the smartest people I know.

But they don’t have the time to give that bedside manner at the level that I can do and so I’m the next step. I am then a part of the team in the sense that they can say, “I know this is really hard for you. I’m going to do what I do, but you can get the help and the support you need by somebody who’s been on your side of this experience, and we can work on this together.”

Lindsay: Okay. I just get chills just even hearing you say it. I know, you’re probably like, “Okay, Lindsay, I get it, that’s great.”

Okay, my next question is, when you work with a client, what, I know, this is some of the work that we’ve done in Coaching Masters, but what are kind of the goals that clients set when they work with you? Because, obviously, you can’t guarantee that they’re going to get pregnant, right? So what do you work on?

Kristin: The biggest thing that I work on that happens the most is just in the belief that it can happen, that they can handle whatever comes their way. Most women don’t come to me with that in mind, but that’s where we get to.

Most women come to me because they say, “I do not like my life right now. I’ve put everything on hold, I don’t know who I am. I don’t recognize myself anymore. I don’t look like myself. I’m not doing the things I love. I don’t even know what I love anymore.” And so part of it is finding themselves again and getting permission and coming up with a plan to live their lives while going after this goal.

And then the second one is just growing their belief. Because most of the women come to me after a transfer has not worked. And so they are on the ground, they feel defeated. And they have evidence that is showing them that it didn’t work. And it’s really hard to believe otherwise. So those are the two biggest things we work on.

Lindsay: Maybe you answered this a little bit, but why do they think they’re hiring you?

Kristin: They think they’re hiring me because they don’t know what to do and they know that something’s wrong and they need help. Also, I think they think it will help them get pregnant.

I don’t say this all the time, but there’s actually a study I found recently that there’s a Dr. Alice Domar in the infertility world who’s amazing. And she did a presentation that said that the mind body connection, while paired up with IVF treatments and the medical intervention can actually improve outcomes over time. Which is amazing and awesome.

But there’s so much stress through the process, and stress does not help infertility. That’s why so many people say just relax, because it makes sense. But telling somebody to relax never works.

Lindsay: Right.

Kristin: So I think they’re coming to me because they think they need their hand held and to be reinforced that they can do it.

Lindsay: It’s like telling someone to calm down, right? Just calm down. Never useful.

Kristin: And there’s a lot of validation that they think they’re the worst case scenario, they’re the hardest, they’re the toughest case, and they’re rare in that negative way. And they come and find out that that’s actually far from the truth.

Lindsay: So you kind of normalize it, help them at least normalize it a little bit in their minds of like, of course, this is the process that everyone goes through. Of course, it’s hard. No one expects this to be easy.

Kristin: Yeah. And so a lot of it is they’re coming to me because they want help on their infertility. But what they learn is that their infertility is not only a challenge and hard, it’s also negatively impacting every other area of their life.

And so as a life coach, I’m helping them while they go through the infertility, improve all these other areas in their life at the same time. Which they were willing to sort of sacrifice or they were just watching sort of dwindle and go down on a scale of 1 to 10 of pure joy and happiness.

Lindsay: Yeah, so you don’t just coach your clients on the infertility process, you coach them on kind of all the things.

Kristin: All the things. Co-workers, nosy mothers, finances, getting new jobs. I mean, it’s all of it. It’s all impacted because when you’re going through infertility as the woman, as the person who’s receiving all of the treatments, everything you do, eat, consume, sleep, how you move your body, all of it, you’re thinking about it on how that impacts your success. Does this hurt it? Does it help it?

Everything and every decision is made under this lens of infertility. Like, “Oh, can I go on a trip in two months? I don’t know. I might be pregnant. I might not be pregnant. I might have a doctor’s appointment.”

Lindsay: Yeah. Let’s switch gears just a little bit and talk about you. Do you remember the first time that you heard about coaching or that you discovered that coaching was a thing?

Kristin: Well, when I was married the first time, the woman we saw as like a premarital therapy session that the church sort of highly encouraged, she was also a life coach.

Lindsay: Interesting.

Kristin: And I remember being like, “Whoa, okay.” I love her, she’s actually a dear friend now. I feel like she’s part of the family. But I thought it was kind of woo woo. I thought coaching was what people relied on when they were really lost in their lives. I thought it was almost for brokenness.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Kristin: That was my first impression of it.

Lindsay: Who would you say it’s for now? Now that you’re kind of on the other side, you are a coach.

Kristin: Well, one of my clients said this to me recently, and during the Olympics I loved it. And she said, even winning teams and players have coaches. And I think everybody, I mean, remember we said this on the other call the other week. I said it like under my breath and I wasn’t muted. But I honestly believe that everybody can benefit from a coach, from a life coach, no matter what age, stage, or milestone. You don’t even need a reason.

But I truly believe that we can all be better and get better and stronger at anything. And life coaching is literally for everybody.

Lindsay: Yes. Oh, that just reminded me, you know, when I said at what point in the process should people hire you? And you were like, meet the doctors and hire me, basically. I think the same is true for almost all coaching, right? Like, when should you hire a coach? Probably before you think you need one.

Kristin: Yeah, because some things I talk about with my clients is like when they go through infertility, they’re like, “Okay, here, we’ve tried for 12 or six months, it hasn’t worked.” So they’re kind of like down here in the happiness scale.

And then they’re like, “Okay, we’ve got to do IUIs.” And then those don’t work. And then they’ve got to go to IVF. And then they have bumps in the road of IVF. And it’s like don’t wait until you’re down here to handle it.

None of us are taught in school how to handle our emotions, how to process hard things, how to set up boundaries, how to stop people pleasing. So call me here, don’t wait for this. We get so much more if we start here. And I think that is true for any niche or non-niche of life coaching.

Lindsay: Right, I completely agree. If anyone is listening and is like, “I need to work with Kristin,” we’ll talk about that specifically at the end. But I’m curious if you work with women, do you strictly keep it to they have to be in the IVF process? Or can they hire you in some of those pre-processes that you were just talking about?

Kristin: I don’t have a rule where I would turn somebody away if they’re in the IUI, the IUI stage is sort of the right before for anybody who’s not as well versed in the whole infertility world. I prefer to work with women going through IVF just because it’s where I went and it just has a soft spot in my heart. But I will work with whoever is ready to do the work.

I mean, I’ve actually worked with some of the infertility doctors that I know. And they’re not going through infertility, I’ve just helped them and it helps them know what it’s like as well.

So when I’m talking in my marketing aspect on who I specialize in, it’s like I want to be known as the woman– So if you’re going through IVF, you call Kristin and you work with her.

Lindsay: So great. Okay, I’ve been doing these all week, right? And on Tuesday I had on a client from Coaching Masters who did a previous round of Coaching Masters. Then yesterday I talked to someone who is kind of right in the middle, she’s a couple months in.

And you are at a different stage because we just finished. Yesterday we had our last call of the six months. What was the thing that, like when you decided to join Coaching Masters, how did you make that decision? What was the thing that kind of made it a yes for you?

Kristin: I listened to your podcast. And it’s funny because I also have a life coach, life coach. So I felt like you were my coaching skills coach.

Lindsay: Yep.

Kristin: And I listened to her podcast like over and over and over again. And like by the time I got to my destination, I called her and I was like, “All right, I’m ready, sign me up.” And I felt a little bit of that with you too.

So that repetition, and as a former marketer I know that repetition works, and I know it firsthand too. So I listened to the podcast over and over again and I just felt like everything you said, I was like, “She knows me.” Even now your emails. I’m like, “Yep, that sounds like me, that sounds like me.” So I loved that.

And then the other thing was you did a free coaching session. And I don’t know if you remember, but I went and I signed up. You went like a whole hour and never call on me.

And I stayed on because I was like, “I came to this, I really want to get better at coaching. I want to be the best coach I can be because that impacts the women who I work with and the future babies that come down the road. And it impacts them as a mother too.”

Lindsay: That’s so fun to think about. I’ve never even considered the babies.

Kristin: Yeah.

Lindsay: So good. Okay, keep going.

Kristin: That’s okay. So I stayed on and you totally called on me like an hour and 20 minutes later and I was like, “Oh my gosh.” Your coaching is insanely good.

Lindsay: Thank you.

Kristin: Like just always insanely good. And the fact that you stayed on that long and called on me, and it took away this excuse in my mind of like, there isn’t room for me, or I’m not important, or I don’t need it. It made me feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Lindsay: I love that. I’m doing one of those today. So if anybody listening is like what is this? Free coaching? I’m doing it today. And who knows, I might win you over, end up signing up for my mastermind like Kristin did.

Okay, so we just finished. What were your top one or two favorite parts of the mastermind or biggest takeaways? Or just what would you love to share about that?

Kristin: Well, one of them was the biggest work was about me as a coach and just how much I was getting in my own way of doubting my own skills. And feeling like I needed one more thing, or there was something else out there that I just had to get. That was stopping me from showing up as the best coach I could be.

And I’m happy to say that I am now in a place and a position where there’s still room for improvement, I will always believe that.

Lindsay: Always, yeah.

Kristin: I love the type of coach I am. I believe that I’m unique, that what I do is very different. I’ve never been a textbook type person. And guess what, still not. And I’m not going to fight that anymore. And that is making me and helping me show up better. And so that was my biggest takeaway from the experience.

The other big thing that I took away was that, you said this pretty early on, but whatever we were getting coaching on or whatever we were struggling in as coaches, you challenged us to see where that was happening for our clients too. And every week there was an example of that. It happens and it happens and it happens. And I’m like, “Lindsay was right, there she goes again. It’s happening.”

And that can help me use my own life experience. Because I’m not going through infertility anymore. I’m talking about something that now started six years ago and next year it’s going to be started seven years ago. But that’s not going to make me irrelevant because everything that I go through as a woman, as a mother, as an entrepreneur, as a coach, as a wife, it’s so similar. It’s so similar, it’s just a different stage. And so it’s going to help me continue to show up and be the coach, that the women who work with me need.

Lindsay: Can you think of an example of that, in case anyone is like, “What are you talking about? If you’re not going through infertility, how are you coaching your clients on the same thing that you’re getting coached on?”

Kristin: Oh, for sure. So, I mean, on my side, because I’m an infertility coach I don’t talk a lot about the business side. The women I work with, they don’t care. Which is fine, they don’t need to care, right?

Lindsay: Yeah.

Kristin: But a business coach, you can talk about launches and business and money, and it’s applicable. But what I’m going through as a business owner is I have my own goals. And I have things that I am trying to achieve and reach. And sometimes they don’t go as planned. Sometimes they take longer than I wanted them to. Sometimes big things get in the way and I get really upset about it. And I feel like I’m knocked down or I feel like I’ve taken three steps back.

Well, women going through infertility feel like their fertility journey is not on their own timeline. That they don’t have control. Something out of their hands happened and it makes them feel like they’ve been knocked back three steps. So it’s very similar.

I talk often about picking ourselves up, having to try again. Standing up, dusting our knees off and doing it again. Because I am doing that in my business and showing up as the best version of me, and in being the best wife, and handling a pandemic with kids who can’t be vaccinated yet because they’re too young.

I’m dealing with that too, it’s just their circumstance is infertility. My circumstance is different but the thoughts and the feelings are the same.

Lindsay: Yeah. I think there’s some magic in that, where it’s kind of the opposite of just saying like, “I’m the expert. I know what I’m doing. I’m the best coach,” you know, whatever someone’s thoughts might be around that.

There’s some magic in saying like, “Oh my gosh, I can see how this thought pattern or this way of thinking is the thing that I’m working on, and I can see where my clients are doing it,” just makes you such a powerful coach to really be in it doing your own work, and to also see your clients going through the same thing. It’s like bonus growth for everyone.

Kristin: Yeah, well, I think it helps too for me, I’ve always been one of those people where it’s easy to look at somebody who has it perfectly and think that their life is easier and that you can’t attain that. And so while I don’t want to be crying on social media on the daily, it happens. I’ve emotionalized lots of feelings and lots of tears. I think it helps to see that we all have emotions that make us hurt and that make it hard.

And I’m not perfect or special and that means the life I’m living with my IVF miracle daughter, but the life I’m living of being intentional and working hard on focusing on the good and standing up 9 times, 10 times, 11 times, that pays off and that’s worth it. And I want the women I work with to know that that’s available for them, too.

Lindsay: Yes. So good. Sometimes I feel like half of my mission in the world, at least within the coaching industry, is just to normalize that coaches are still just humans. We still have the human experience, we still have negative emotion, lots of it sometimes. We still, like in the mastermind, sometimes I will tell you guys someone is just really in it and really having a hard time. And I’m like, “Yeah, that’s normal.” I also didn’t feel my launch.

It always surprises me when my clients are surprised that I’m human. That I have flaws, that I have hard times with things, that I still have a client that would quit or whatever it is. It’s like none of us are perfect humans, even when we’re life coaches

Kristin: Yeah. I do talk about how when I help my clients work through, and you do this too, that we’re not immune to more bad days just because we have the tools now or we’re more aware of what works for us. There’s going to be future bad days. We’re not immune to that.

Lindsay: Yes.

Kristin: The difference is when you’ve done coaching and when you have those tools and you work on it, the downtime is shorter. The negative impact is less, and you can move on. So the work I do helps women when they are mothers. There’s so many new mothers who go through coaching because they feel unfulfilled when they have their babies.

Lindsay: Oh yeah.

Kristin: I know you’ve talked about that a lot too, for yourself. You do that too, right? A businessperson, and even business coaches who talk about money and sales, you could still hit your numbers and still have other things in your life be hard.

Lindsay: Oh yeah.

Kristin: It doesn’t solve it. So we’re not immune to problems, we just have the tools and the help of other coaches to show us where we’re making it harder on ourselves.

Lindsay: Yes. Yes, yes. And sometimes it’s harder having the tools. Sometimes it’s like, I know I could get out of this, I’m just choosing not to right now. I’m just choosing that I’m going to lay in bed all day and be totally miserable. And that’s just what’s happening. I know I have tools that can help and I’m choosing not to use them in this moment.

Kristin: Yeah, the word should is really hard, and it’s so common. And I catch myself there too, like I should be better at this. I’ve had a lot of practice with this. I help people through this. I shouldn’t be here. But when that word comes up, it’s just now a trigger for me to say, “Okay, Kristin, that’s not helping. Where is the problem and what can you do about it?”

Lindsay: Yes. Okay, is there anything else you want to talk about that we haven’t covered that you want to bring up? I’m scared to ask if you have any questions for me, because of what happened yesterday on our last call in the mastermind.

Listen, anyone who’s watching, I opened it up. I said, “Do you need any last coaching? Do you have any questions?” It’s our very last call, we stayed on extra, and the questions they were asking got a little dicey.

Kristin: Yeah, it wasn’t me. It wasn’t me. I did really enjoy that. And I think that it almost made the ending sad because it was so awesome and fun and at such a level.

One of the other takeaways that I got from it was, I have some really awesome friends that are coaches that are in the trenches with me. We Voxer all the time, we help each other, we coach each other, we also don’t coach each other. And that was one of the things I really wanted too.

So I wanted to work on my own coaching, but then I also wanted to have friends who understood what I was going through so I didn’t have to talk about thoughts, and feelings, and circumstances, and launches, and how my husband probably is like, “Okay, you’ve got this.” I really wanted to talk with people who get it and understand.

So that was an awesome takeaway from Coaching Masters. And yesterday, opening up to all those questions, I think it made all of us feel that way, versus me and a couple. Does that make sense? So I almost wish it had happened sooner to have that experience.

But I’m also an extroverted person, I love interaction. I like deep coffee chats, or like the water cooler chats. And that’s what was hard, was we all wanted so much coaching from you in the time we had, that it was like I kind of wish there was like a water cooler chat time period as well.

Lindsay: Yeah. Yes, it was fun. And so we talked about some crazy things, that I didn’t expect you guys to ask me about. But that’s where we went and it was a lot of fun.

Kristin: Yeah.

Lindsay: And I love what you just said about walking away with friends, with people who will be your colleagues. And I think it’s something so important, and I talk about this a lot. I talk about it on my podcast, but I feel like I can’t say it enough where if you’re a coach, or just an entrepreneur, especially working from home where you do everything online. Yes, that’s a gift. It’s amazing to be able to work from your house.

But it also means you’re at your house by yourself, or with your family maybe, all day, just you. And it can be similar to what you were saying about IVF, although it’s clearly two very different things. But it can be really lonely, especially if all of your friends have just regular corporate jobs, they’re off doing their thing in this world that you’re not in. It can be very, I don’t know what the word is.

But it’s just really important to find your people. To have coach colleagues who are also your friends. Not just mentors, not just coaches that you work with, but people that truly are your friends that you can reach out to that know the difference between do you just need a friend who understands what you’re going through in the moment when you’re not feeling your launch, not signing clients, like things just aren’t working? Or do you maybe want some coaching in that moment?

I think that that is one of the top things that has gotten me to where I am in my business. I can’t imagine having done it without my friends, without my colleagues who are now some of my best friends.

Kristin: We need community. We were not made or built to do things alone. And it’s funny because when we do go through a hard time our instinct is to climb inside and hide and hold back.

And you sort of said that, but I believe that I up-leveled as a human, as a person, as a coach, by being around other people who are also not only aware of what I’m going through and can understand my language, but who also are striving for more. Being around other people who want more and who are trying to grow is really powerful.

And that sense and need of community is used for everything. Whether you’re going through cancer treatments, or infertility, or divorce. Or even if you’re engaged, your happy moments, you want to be around other people who are engaged and planning weddings. And there’s something to be said about being surrounded by people who just get it.

Lindsay: Yes. That’s so true, right? It’s like whatever you’re doing in your life, the thing that kind of feels challenging in your life or that you’re really working on in the moment, it’s so important.

I remember this just popped into my head, but when I had kids, one of the best things that ever happened to me was a breastfeeding group that I went to every week. And I mean, literally, I think it may have saved my life a couple of times. For sure it saved my daughter’s a couple times. It was one of the best things.

And I think what came up for me when you were just talking about that is that part of what we were talking about earlier, again with IVF, it’s like it normalizes the hard thing. Like sometimes you think, “I’m failing, and I’m in this alone. It’s working for everyone else. This is like I am a special case. I just don’t know what I’m doing.”

And when you find colleagues and have these open conversations, you learn, “Oh my gosh, hold on, it’s actually happening for everyone? Okay, maybe I’ll make it through.”

Kristin: Yeah. And I will say just one little differentiation that happens for me with infertility because there are more people, like I said, sharing publicly on Instagram or just in their lives, that there is so much value in that, being around these other women.

But there’s also value in having the people who are steps ahead and who are out of the trenches. I like to say that I’m on top of the mountain and I can see the way and I can help you walk up.

But I found when I had my private Instagram account that I had all these friends who were also going through it, but guess what? Some of them got pregnant and then they disappeared. Or some of them it didn’t work and then they disappeared. Or some of them had a really hard time and then they were telling me that I was so lucky.

So there’s total value in being in the trenches with people. But that doesn’t mean replace or prevent you from having the people who are a couple steps ahead.

Lindsay: Right. And really, we can translate that also into Coaching Masters or in any kind of group, right? It’s like there’s so much value in finding a community and finding your colleagues, your people. But there’s also so much value in someone leading the group. That’s why I’m here, it’s why I do what I do.

I love to create the community but also, and you guys saw this a couple times where I would step in and be like, “Okay, hold on. I see that you’re all in agreement on this and that’s great. But I have a different take on it. Let’s talk about this. Let’s coach on this.” And I think that you’re right, there’s so much value on both sides. And I think that it’s equally as important.

Kristin: Yes. It’s like I say that I’m part of the team, you are part of my team. But me as an infertility coach, I’m part of the team too. I don’t replace the doctor at all, no. They’re on their pedestal for a reason, but I’m part of the team. But you also can have your infertility sisters who are part of the team.

But that’s also why really my next level is to create my own group, because I want to do the same thing. I want to be the person who’s on top of the mountain who’s helping lead, but also helps them be with the women who are in the trenches.

Lindsay: Yeah, I love that. And I love creating that environment because I love being close with my clients. I love feeling like we’re all friends, that’s just who I am. I love the people. I love all of the people and so I think that I kind of have that vibe within the group, and I’m here to like rein you back in when you need it.

Kristin: It’s like I used to say that I was the big sister because I’ll have the hard conversations with you, but I’m also on your team. I want what’s best for you too. I want to help you sneak out of the house and not let mom and dad know. But if you’re pushing the boundary, I’m going to tell you that like “Whoa, this is scary.”

And so I love taking the mess of my life with infertility and turning it into a blessing to help other people. I know that I was made the way I was to do that, not everybody is that way. You’ve called yourself kind of the nerd and you are the best at everything and you’re going to research and study it. Like there’s a reason why that is who you are. And that’s why you do what you do now, it’s the perfect mix to make it exactly what it needs to be.

Lindsay: Yeah. That’s so good, right? It’s like that used to be something that I used against myself because I would put so much pressure on myself. Be kind of very mean to myself about being good at things, about being the best, whatever that means, but in a bad way. Like if I’m not the best then it’s not working, I’m not doing it right.

And I think that I’ve kind of turned that around and turned it into like this is my superpower. I love to be good at things, I love more than that helping everyone else be good at things too.

Okay, I want to make sure, if anybody has questions go ahead and post them. I’m going to scroll up just quickly because I saw some people were saying things and it was all going so quickly, I think I missed it.

Okay, Amy said, “I think it can feel really isolating and Coaching Masters offered a community container and friendship which I love.” And HOH Coaching said, “Love that analogy, Kristen.”

Kristin: Thank you, Crystalynn.

Lindsay: And someone said, “Community helps normalize the hard things,” so true. Yeah, basically just lots of people agreeing with us. So that’s good.

Kristin: That’s good, we all like to be validated.

Lindsay: That’s right, keep them coming. Okay, well, is there anything else? We’re going to end with you saying how everyone can find you if they want. What else?

Kristin: Yes, Instagram is the easiest, and let her tag me so you don’t have to spell my last name because even my dad doesn’t know how to do it.

Lindsay: I had to look it up, which is so funny because everyone has a hard time with my last name.

Kristin: Yeah.

Lindsay: But every time like when I was typing it when I was starting this, I was like, “Oh, no.” Because it doesn’t tag you, it doesn’t allow me to tag you when I’m starting the video. And so I just had to actually type the whole thing out and I was like, “Oh my gosh, better look it up.”

Kristin: Impressive. When I go to the doctors they’ll be like, “Ms. Anderson, Ms. Smith,” and then they’ll be like, “Uh, Kristin.” They don’t even try.

Lindsay: Yeah, I get the same thing.

Kristin: Yeah, Instagram is my jam. It’s where I started documenting my infertility journey, it’s where now I help women going through it. If you are not going through infertility, follow my account so you can be the good friend. Because there is something that in your instinct to say, you want to say, will actually hurt the person that you’re trying to help. And I know you want to be better, you just don’t know how. And I promise by following my account you will learn tidbits and tips. So follow.

If you know people going through infertility, send them my stuff, borrow my words, I don’t care. They need support and help from anybody. And if you are going through infertility or you know that you might have struggles because you were told you have endometriosis or PCOS, talk to me.

I will say that you don’t have to wait a full 12 months if you have a medical condition like that, of a period that doesn’t show up all the time. Or if you’re over 35 you don’t have to wait a year. So time is of the essence for sure. And I’m here for you, I would love to be part of your team. And just my DMs are always open.

Lindsay: So good. And you guys, Kristin is just one of those people. You just talk to her the first time and you could just feel her heart pouring out of her body. The first time I talked to her I just thought, “Kristin is special.” And I think that everyone will feel it.

Sure, it’s mostly probably coaches on here watching, but truly if anyone is going through IVF, if you are thinking that might be in your future, you have to find Kristin, even if it’s just to follow her free resources. Obviously, I think you should hire her. But even if it’s just for the free content to just see that someone else knows what you’re going through.

Kristin: Yeah. And I have a two week wait challenge.

Lindsay: Love it.

Kristin: So it’s a daily source of inspiration and hope during the time period between the transfer and when you find out if it worked. It’s a really vital time in infertility when time slows down. You can gift it to somebody. I’ve actually had a bunch of people who buy it and gift it to a friend.

So, again, that could be a way for you to show the support to say, “I might not know the right thing to say. I know that this time is hard, here.” So that’s on my Instagram too, I talk about it. But it’s $24. It’s not like some big thing, but it’s a cool gift.

Lindsay: I love that and that feels super accessible to anyone. So tell me what that means. So it’s like when the eggs are implanted.

Kristin: So it’s an embryo at that point. Because the egg comes from you, the sperm comes from the man. They’re put together and then they watch them grow for 5, 6, 7 days. And then they become an embryo. And then there’s fancy technical terms, so my doctor friends who are watching, I’m not trying to go there for this instance.

And so most of the time now they’re doing more frozen transfers than fresh transfers. Which means that they then freeze the embryos and a month later or longer they then transfer that frozen embryo inside of you. And that’s when I like to say that the embryo is coming back home.

So they sometimes do fresh transfers where they take the eggs out of you, they inseminate them with the sperm, they watch them for five days and then put it inside you right away. They’re leaning more towards frozen for success rates.

So when they put the embryo back inside of you is called transfer day and you usually wait around two weeks. So some clinics test on day 10, someday 12, someday 14. But in the world, it’s called the two week wait.

Lindsay: Okay.

Kristin: The two week wait is when time slows down. The medicine you take makes you feel pregnant, it makes you look pregnant. And it could all be a lie. And it’s really hard and you’re waiting for this clock because you want to take this blood test to find out if it worked. And so the two week wait challenge is something I made during my last transfer because I felt like this was the hardest moment of infertility and I really wanted to help people.

So it’s all online and ideally you want to know when you have your transfer date scheduled for somebody to have it. And then every day they consume a little bit of information that helps them know what to expect, know what’s going on in their body, and then an activity to keep them busy but keep them in that state of hope. Because they start out all hopeful and then by the end they’re like, “It didn’t work. All I’m feeling are side effects of the medicine.”

Lindsay: Yeah, because it’s just you and your thoughts for two weeks.

Kristin: Yeah, and hormotionally influenced thoughts.

Lindsay: Hormotionally, I really love that word. I think that could be used outside of IVF also.

Kristin: I would like to make water bottles that say hormotional on it.

Lindsay: Yes, that is a really good way to explain many times, even outside of IVF. Okay, so yes, anybody listening, if you know someone or if it’s you, but if you know someone else going through IVF, what a special gift to give them. The two week, like just you and your thoughts, that’s where we all get in trouble, right? When it’s just us and our thoughts and literally everything else is out of your hands.

I didn’t even know you had this, I highly approve as your coach.

Kristin: Thank you. It’s literally the first thing I made. So I made it in like 2018. So I just upgraded it, which is pretty fun. And it’s an easy way to get some support. That’s sort of like the end, like that’s the final stretch of the race. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work all the time. You can be as happy and positive as you want to be and it still won’t mean that it works. And that’s really hard. That’s when I get a lot of phone calls.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Kristin: But getting that help and getting some of the tools during that period can be really helpful. And again, it’s something you can lean on then when you’re pregnant. And there’s so many stages in pregnancy. Even if somebody didn’t go through infertility but they had loss and had a miscarriage, they are on pins and needles the whole pregnancy. So it’s a hard stage because there’s so much at stake.

And when there’s money involved too, infertility coverage is not accessible for everybody. We had to pay out of pocket for all three rounds. So that kind of helps when I’m talking with people, because coaching is an additional investment. Already forking out of $20,000, so then also put out another couple thousand, it’s really hard. It’s really hard and I know that feeling because I’ve been there. But yeah, it’s worth it. I know it’s worth it.

Lindsay: I know I said at the beginning of this that I had very easy time getting pregnant, but for me I was on modified bed rest the whole time I actually was pregnant. And so I definitely understand that feeling of waiting. I had to have all these tests, and tests done on the baby and all the things.

And so just that waiting. Even from the time they would see something and then I’d have to schedule the appointment and then we’d have to wait a week even or whatever it was. That waiting is the hardest part because you have no control. It’s just you and your thoughts and it’s very easy for your thoughts to go to the worst case scenario every time.

Kristin: Yeah, and with infertility too, it’s similar with the bed rest thing. But you can do everything right and it still might not work.

Lindsay: Yes.

Kristin: And that’s really hard. I work with a lot of women who are successful, who are high achievers, and they followed the rule book and things have worked out, and infertility is not that. That’s really hard because everything else can be wonderful in your life and you are broken inside and you feel like something’s missing and you don’t know what else to do. And it’s really hard when you feel like you have no control.

Lindsay: I love it. Thank you.

Kristin: You’re laying on a bed and you want this baby so bad. But there’s only so much you can do.

Lindsay: Yes. And that’s why they hire you to help them get through it.

Kristin: Yeah, me or any other coach. Just don’t do it alone.

Lindsay: Right.

Kristin: Get a coach, I don’t care if it’s me. I will refer you to somebody else. There’s other wonderful infertility coaches too. There’s a reason why.

Lindsay: Yes, and I’m sure that that is probably a niche that most people don’t get into unless they’ve had that experience, would be my guess.

Kristin: Yeah, I mean, I definitely have a thought about like please do not work with somebody who hasn’t been through it. Because there is a level of firsthand experience and education that you can’t get from just reading it. But that’s my own thought of preference.

Lindsay: Yeah, it seems like an odd niche to kind of get into if you haven’t, I mean, maybe if you were very close with someone who had that experience. But yeah, I don’t know. If it were me, I would certainly want to work with someone who had been there so they can help to normalize all of the thoughts that I’m having, all of the things that come up.

So, Kristin, I love you, thank you so much for doing this. We had so much fun. I will be posting this so anyone can go back and watch it. I will tag you so if anyone is looking for you, they can find you there. And I just really appreciate you, this was so much fun.

Kristin: Well thank you. And any coach who’s watching, yes, do Coaching Masters. You will up-level, you will get out of your own way. And you will meet the friends that will also help your experience moving forward beyond the six months.

Lindsay: I love that. I love that that last part has become a piece of my marketing and of what Coaching Masters has become known for. Because I think that it’s not something in the beginning that I can–  I mean, I know it’s always kind of a part of a group, but it’s not something I really put a lot of weight on but it truly is so important.

Kristin: Well I think we all want to belong. I know I wanted to qualify to be in Coaching Masters. There was a level of like, “I want to be in that room.” But then I also wanted to belong with the others. And I think we all feel that way.

Lindsay: Yes, well everyone belongs.

Kristin: Yes.

Lindsay: If you think you don’t, just come to me. I will show you. I’ll show you the way. All right, love. Thank you so much, this was so fun and I will hopefully see you soon.

Kristin: Yes, I appreciate it. Bye.

Lindsay: Bye.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Mastering Coaching Skills. If you want to learn more about my work, come visit me at lindsaydotzlafcoaching.com. That’s Lindsay with an A, D-O-T-Z-L-A-F.com. see you next week.

 

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