Getting it done is way more important than being perfect. It is so easy to get stuck in perfection paralysis and then you risk never getting started. It has to be just right, doesn’t work when running a business. What I learned, is you can go back and do better. Waiting to get it perfect never gets you started or moves the needle forward. The quicker we can realize failure is part of success, the faster we will grow.
As a part of my series about strong female leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Romy Weiss. Romy Weiss is a Career Transition & Certified Professional Coach and serves as the CEO of NextSteps Coaching & Consulting LLC. She is also the mother of three teenagers and lives in Maine with her family. Romy built her career in the professional space, until the day she was asked the question that would change her life. “What would you do if you won the mega-million dollar lottery. Would you go to work on Monday?” Romy answered with an enthusiastic “No!” and set out on a path of self-exploration and discovery at the age of 43. Romy began to dive deep into the possibility of finding true fulfillment in her work and the balance she was striving for with her family. During her own career transitions journey, Romy found professional coaching. Having a love for professional development, she participated in the IFC’s accreditedCoaches Training Institute’s professional training program and certification. Romy has gone on to support men and women on their career transitions journey. She will meet them whereever they are and navigate them to their desired career success. Her specialty is enabling, guiding, and empowering adults who are at a career crossroads wanting to advance, change, return to, and reinvent their careers, thereby finding work/life balance. Work/life integration is something she considers herself an expert in as she runs her own business through NextSteps Coaching and Consulting, LLC, while also finding balance in running a busy household. Romy teaches adults how to build confidence and effectively communicate their story while leaning into their value. She helps you clarify your career goals, build your career confidence, advance your career (climb that corporate ladder, break glass ceilings, and get promotions) and land dream jobs. Through her career transitions, Romy has truly found her calling. Today, if she were asked what she would do if she won the lottery, she would continue to run NextSteps Coaching and Consulting, and her mission is to help others answer that same question with a resounding YES!
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
A few years ago, at a dinner party, the question at the table was, “What would you do if you won the mega-million dollar lottery. Would you go to work on Monday?”
Everyone had various answers. Mine was an emphatic, NO! My husband’s was an absolute, YES!
For the two of us to be so distinctly different made me truly stop and think. I wanted to be that passionate about what I did and it was at that moment that I realized I wasn’t any longer… and I wanted to be! This led me down a road of self-exploration and discovery for “What do I want to be when I grow up?”
Here I was in my 40’s and trying to figure it out. How could I take the parts of my career that I loved and was good at and combine that with my purpose, education and skill sets (like problem-solving, strategizing, managing transitions, creating order out of chaos and time management) and my other passions; most importantly wanting to help others.
I have always been the go-to person for friends and family. When anyone is trying to figure out what to do next, how to do it, whatever the situation, it’s Romy to the rescue! Could I truly find fulfillment at work and find the balance I was striving for?
The answer is YES!
During this career transitions journey, I found professional coaching. I realized that the parts of my current job I loved were where I was coaching, yet I still wanted to have professional training in the field, so I went back and participated in the Coaches Training Institute’s professional training program and certification.
When I went to the first weekend course, it was like I had found my calling. I knew this was what I was meant to be doing. And if asked now what I would do if I won the lottery, I would still go to work!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I was first starting I was a client pleaser, (and not always in service to them but that is not the funny mistake). I didn’t set my boundaries strong enough. I offered 24/7 support via phone, text, or email. Now, as a new career transitions coach, it didn’t cross my mind I would get “emergency calls” at crazy hours. But then I got a call from a client at a strange time, and she said it was urgent. So I dropped what I was doing to support her. Now I want to preface this with: everyone holds their issues as urgent. And in her defense, she truly believed at that moment, she could not get out of her own way.
Her urgent problem was she couldn’t figure out how to not overpack for a trip and had to leave in the next 30 minutes. YEP! I talked her off her ledge. We resolved the problem. Since she was traveling by car, it didn’t matter if she overpacked, she wasn’t limited to the airline rule of one suitcase.
Shortly after that, I changedmy policy. I learned my lesson. While I firmly believe in supporting my clients, I also firmly believe in honoring boundaries and in work/life balance. I now clearly define what constitutes “urgent” with my clients so that we are on the same page. In between sessions clients can receive additional support through text, voxer, and email if needed.
But more importantly, I teach clients tools so that when they feel overwhelmed, they know how to tap into their own inner resources so that they can get out of their own way.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
For starters, my clients work with me directly. Providing direct support is very important to me. I delegate out administrative tasks which allows me to focus on my strengths and passions, which is coaching clients directly. I will continue to work directly with clients even as my company grows.
But what makes me truly unique is my story, my approach, and my philosophy. Many career coaches come to coaching from HR and/or recruiting, which is a wonderful background, I come to career coaching from a background of human development and marketing but more importantly I come to career coaching because I made a career pivot and now I, in turn, help other adults on their career transitions pathway. I do this effectively, compassionately, empathically and confidently because I have walked in their shoes. While I focus on career transitions, I believe that we are whole people and with that, we bring our whole selves to everything we do. When we are working on any one aspect of our lives we can’t do that without acknowledging what else is going on in our lives and finding the balance.
No matter where someone is on their career transitions journey, I will meet them there and guide them to where they want to be. Through my programming, I focus on TLC -Time management and productivity, Leadership development and career advancement and Communications skills and confidence building so you have a voice at the table and can effectively communicate your value and skills. Ultimately, clients gain career clarity, set career goals and build their confidence, communication and leadership skills so that they achieve their desired career success whether that be climbing the corporate ladder, changing careers, returning to the workforce or conducting a traditional job search.
I believe in dreaming big and then creating realistic, executable action plans that use multiple steps. It is not how many steps it takes to get to the finish line, it is about taking as many steps as needed to reach your goal(s) successfully. To learn more about my story, read more: https://yournextstepscoach.com
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Currently, I am creating an educational series about career coaching. It is a 10 part series that will discuss what career coaching is, who needs it and how to leverage your skills so that you can advance your career with confidence.
Every day I see professionals struggling to be seen, heard and appreciated at work.
I see exceptional individuals mid-career that dread going to work every day and believe they can’t make a career change because they think they are not qualified to do anything else.
I speak to professionals who can’t understand why they can’t seem to gain momentum at work or earn that promotion, just can’t seem to get to the next level of their career.
And there are the professionals who are inspired at work and are not paying attention to professional development and honing their communications and leadership skills.
What happens when you are ready to go to the next level? This is where support comes in and it’s my mission to remove the stigma around asking for support.
This combination of blog articles and live videos will share tips on how to conduct strategic job searches and how to climb the corporate ladder as well as what to do when you work in a toxic culture.
I think that many people are struggling internally with wanting to make a professional change, whether that be figuring out how to get to the next level of their career or change jobs. They don’t know there is help out there and how they can seek support to get ahead and this free series will share with them what options are available.
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
The best advice I can share that I know to be true from practice is that in order for your team to thrive they need to know what your expectations are. You need to lead from a place of collaboration and effectively communicate your vision, strategies, and expectations. Just as you expect follow through from your team, make sure you lead by example. I believe you should have an open door, even if it’s a virtual door; and be open to feedback. Sometimes when things are not working, we have to be willing to look at ourselves and our ways first and be willing to make adjustments. I truly believe every stumble can be turned into a learning situation. So be ready to do so with grace, empathy, understanding, and compassion for your team and yourself.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am extremely lucky and grateful to many people in my life. I have an incredible network of friends and family. That said, I would not be where I am today or who I am today without the unconditional love, support and guidance that my parents have always given me. They instilled in me at an early age, that you should always work hard, go after your dreams and respectfully speak your mind. And they have always had my back. Now I am teaching those same valuable lessons to my children, and in many ways to the clients. It is this core belief that gave me the courage to change careers in my 40s.
Today, I could not do what I do or have made the career pivot with the support and championing of my husband. I am very fortunate to have found a partner in every sense of the word. We share our lives together in raising our family, running our household and building our life together. We spent the beginning our marriage making his professional dreams come true. And when I decided to make this change to become a Career Transitions Coach and get further training to start my business he could have said,” Are you crazy?” Instead, he said, “That sounds like exactly what you should be doing, what do we need to do to make it happen?!”
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I truly believe you should love what you do and do what you love. And when you do the ripple effect is that the other pieces of your life start to fall into place better. For instance, when I became passionate about my work, and I didn’t dread it, was actually fulfilled and inspired. I noticed I am now a much more patient mom. Why? Because I am not at the end of my rope and walking around completely depleted all the time.
So now it is my mission to help other adults realize that you can be fulfilled and inspired at work, and you don’t have to keep doing what you’re doing. You have choices. You have transferable skills. Or for those who like what they do but can’t seem to break that glass ceiling, I am there to help them crack it! By teaching people how to effectively communicate and have a voice at the table, they not only can advocate for themselves but for the underdog too.
Many of the clients I work with undervalue themselves so I make it a priority to show them how to lean into their value and own their worth; to have the confidence to share their value and claim their seat at the table and stop apologizing for wanting career success.
Why does this matter to the world? Again, it goes back to the ripple effect. If more people walk around with their head a little higher, shoulders back and smiles on their faces, they will do more good. They will make time to do things that are important to them because they will have the energy to do it.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. Know your numbers and reverse engineer
I think it’s probably safe to say most people go into business to be successful and make money. But what does that really mean? It wasn’t until I was sitting at a business building breakfast when the presenter said, do you know your numbers, what you need to make to break even or make a profit? What are your expenses and what are your financial goals? How many clients does that breakdown to? So how many prospective clients to do you have speak to in order to achieve that?
This was a real a-ha moment. Now I set yearly and quarterly goals and reverse engineer. By knowing your numbers and know where you are, it allows you to adjust your marketing plans and programming if you are not on target.
2. Decide your niche — focus on one area of business and know your target market
I know it feels counter-intuitive at first to narrow your focus. When you are crystal clear on what you want to do, it is much easier to focus your marketing and be found in a crowded marketplace.
3. Think like a CEO from the very beginning and delegate out
When starting you will most likely be working on a shoestring budget so you will want to do #allthetings all by yourself. You are not good at everything and you will need to invest in yourself and your business and build a team early on in order to set the foundation for success. You need to start wearing your CEO hat not just in theory but in practice from day one.
4. Ask for help and hire a mentor/professional coach
You don’t know what you don’t know and you need someone to show you the way. Somewhere along the way, shame and help got connected and I am not sure why. They need to be separated. Guidance is key.
5. Getting it done is way more important than being perfect
It is so easy to get stuck in perfection paralysis and then you risk never getting started. It has to be just right, doesn’t work when running a business. What I learned, is you can go back and do better. Waiting to get it perfect never gets you started or moves the needle forward. The quicker we can realize failure is part of success, the faster we will grow.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
A passion of mine that I would like to see turned into a movement would be around removing the shame of asking for help. There are many different reasons why we need help or guidance. Some for big life-changing reasons some for smaller daily shifts. Regardless, asking for help is courageous, not shameful. I believe if the perception around asking for and receiving support changed more people would ask for it. So it is two-prong. There needs to be more access to help and mentoring both professionally and personally (medically); and there needs to be more education and awareness around how to get the right kind of help, assistance or guidance is the smart thing to do when we are struggling or don’t have all the information we need to make good decisions or choices. Who’s on board with me?
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
This is hard to choose since there are so many I find inspirational. I think there are two I want to share that are most impactful.
“I learned long ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my side. Be an advocate for myself and others like me.” — Dr. Maya Angelo
I am a strong believer in standing up for what you believe in personally and professionally and using your voice. I believe you can respectively speak your mind and that everybody’s voice should be heard. In my practice I teach effective communication and how to have a “voice at the table” because I think this is the greatest gift and power we each hold. At the end of the day we have to live with our own choices and convictions and this quote just says it all. And Dr. Maya Angelo was empowering and inspirational and a trail blazer.
“You are never too old to dream another dream. Or set another goal.” — C.S. Lewis
This quote is the essence of the NextSteps Coaching & Consulting mission. When I saw this quote a few years ago, I thought that sums it. BOOM! At the end of the day, I believe we only get to live this life once so we should enjoy living it and there is no reason to let a number decide that it is time to stop doing or dreaming or goal setting. It is all possible. I will show you how.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Brene Brown — When I read “The Gifts of Imperfection” it just spoke to me. I fell upon her book. And I have been following her ever since. Her voice and stance comes from a place of honesty, integrity, and authenticity which is why she touches so many souls. I have learned so much from reading her books both personally and professionally.
Thank you for all of these great insights!