By Catherine Harvey Kate James loves working with people. In particular, her clients are generally 'creative' types who have reached a point in their lives where they need to do something differently but don't know how to do it on their own. In many ways, I wonder if this is the nature of a lot of creative people and their insatiable desire to improve themselves and strive for perfection.
I, myself, am a perfectionist and through this character trait I also know that it causes a great deal of angst and introspection to ascertain what will actually make me happy. With all people - women in particular - I can understand that there is a level of difficulty in finding the correct balance in your life. From juggling your career, your family, social life, exercise and general wellbeing there seems to exist a constant pressure of having to do it all - and be happy.
This is the area of expertise that Kate identifies with and provides her clients insight into. The notion of deciphering what you value in life may seem quite simple, however, I think when each of us actually tries to articulate this, the answers become far more complex than we first realised. It's quite easy to say that we would like to be happy but actually achieving this is another story. For example, Do you believe you would be happier if you were earning more money?
Having recently attended a Happiness Conference, Kate discussed with me that studies have indicated that financial happiness reaches its peak at around $50-60,000 per year and that even when you receive more than this there is a marginal difference in your levels of happiness. This reminded me of the stories you hear about people winning Tattslotto and that shortly after their elation of the increase in money their happiness levels return to their previous state. So, if we all know that money doesn't create happiness then the next important question remains - what does?
Kate's approach to assisting her clients is to take on a mentoring/coaching role. Her methodology is to uncover the answers that you already have. With eleven years of training behind her, I can tell you that even from the short time I was there I noticed a difference in my own desire to discover what I most valued in life and how I could actually achieve my dreams. As a creative myself, I know that I need to dream. It keeps me sane to imagine a different reality. I think the challenge in this lies with assessing where my strengths actually are and being practical about what I want to do and how I can achieve this.
What Kate offers isn't the traditional 'bricks and mortar' retail experience. It is, however, an exploration of the mind to truly ascertain what you value, what your dreams are and also creating a situation where you are accountable for taking actions to achieve these goals. Sometimes all you really need is someone to listen for you to uncover the answers. And really, if you can achieve this then surely you have found something that money can't buy.
Total Balance - Career, Business and Life Coaching 454 Collins Street Melbourne 3000. P 9505 0424. totalbalance.com.au
Catherine Harvey lives and breathes design. Working at one of Melbourne’s top studio’s, she is rarely ever away from her computer. She loves to keep up to date with the design industry in a global and local context and follows too many blogs to count! You can follow her findings here.