Empowerment coach, Nancy Marmolejo, sells clients on recognizing and valuing their own strengths to achieve their greatest potential.
LatinaLista — Entrepreneurialism is in Nancy Marmolejo's blood. Having a father who loved being his own boss, and who put Nancy and her six brothers and sisters to work in the family businesses over the years, Nancy couldn't help but follow in those same footsteps — but on her own terms.
“Being the rebel that I am, I decided NOT to be my own boss and became a bilingual teacher instead,” Nancy confessed.
Yet, throughout her long teaching career, Nancy resurrected an old work habit from the days when she managed her father’s businesses as a teenager — her marketing skills.
Only this time around, Nancy was marketing something much more personal and which brought about the kinds of changes in her “customers” that worked from the inside out.
“My product line included ‘literacy,’ ‘knowledge,’ ‘empowerment’ and ‘thinking outside the box.’ I sold these products to teachers and students alike. I loved that work but after 15 years was beginning to feel the burnout.”
Nancy also was feeling the tugs of motherhood. Needing to stay closer to home and her newborn daughter who was suffering from health issues, Nancy decided the time was right to turn her natural talents into a business. She quit her teaching job and hired a mentoring coach.
She paid a few thousand dollars and enrolled in a two-year all-encompassing coach training program at Coach U. The course dealt with a thorough training in the art, science and business of coaching. Nancy learned to hone her skills in listening and strategizing.
Along the way, she learned anything and everything she could about internet marketing by attending conferences and business-building seminars, but the hardest part was yet to come.
"I had to let go of emotional baggage that was blocking my success," Nancy revealed. "I had issues around money and fears around selling. I had to accept that not everyone would like me, what I do, or my fees and be OK with that. Letting go of those has been key in my success emotionally and financially."
Nancy also had to create and identify her brand so prospective clients would know what she was all about.
"I wracked my brain trying to come up with a business name that felt like ME," Nancy said. "Then one day, the name 'Comadre Coaching' popped into my head and BINGO! That was what I was being: a comadre in the truest sense of the word.
“I was there to support, encourage, yet tell it like it is. I had a visual flash in my mind, one day, of the logo. I drew it on a napkin, gave it to my brother who is a designer and he created it."
It wasn't long before Comadre Coaching was born.
The year was 2003 and adhering to the mantra "failure is not an option," Nancy combined her skills as a motivator, educator, entrepreneur and facilitator to help people achieve their greatest potential.
“Lots of people call themselves coaches,” Nancy said. “A true coach is not just a motivator or a cheerleader or someone who makes you feel pumped up after a weekend seminar. A true coach is someone who allows the client to tap into his or her own greatness and leverage that in all aspects of life.”
Yet, tapping into her own potential proved to be a lesson in perseverance.
"The coaching world — namely the majority of coaches and coaching clients — are overwhelmingly NOT Latino,” Nancy said. “So here I came into this rather homogeneous industry with metaphors emerging from my cultural roots.
“My first product was a teleclass and workshop called ‘Release Your Inner Loca!’ it was about freeing the wildly creative spirit within.
“I sprinkled in Spanish words on my website, and used Spanglish titles for coaching services and programs."
But Nancy had no idea how to start attracting clients to her new business. So she devised a strategy: She sent an e-mail to everyone she knew offering her services for free, just so she could get the practice.
She then visited people’s web sites who looked like a good match for her services and sent them e-mail introductions. Within a few months of starting her business, she began hosting the “Release Your Inner Loca!” teleseminars.
Pretty soon, Nancy was growing a fan base of non-Latinas who loved the idea of being wildly creative. E-mails she got from these prospective clients would almost always start out with "I'm not Latina, but I totally relate to everything you're describing! I must have been Latina in a past life."
Her popularity among Latinas was growing as well. Nancy found a ready audience among Latinas who were happy to see someone in the personal and business development world proudly embracing Latino cultural identity.
Nancy's initial concept has gradually evolved into coaching and consulting around marketing and leadership. Thriving on her creative tendencies, Nancy injects that same creativity into developing unique programs that capture the imagination of clients.
“I move clients to see their natural gifts and strengths,” Nancy said. “We all take our talents for granted because they come so easy to us. But when we take an inventory of own our strengths, incredible things happen.
“In coaching, a lot gets done. When you show a person how much they’ve accomplished over a three-month period — and point out that they did it with more free time and less hours working — it is incredibly empowering.
“Sweat does not equal success. Yes, we need to work hard but working hard at the right things is how we achieve.”
To further her mission of getting the word out, Nancy also reaches out through podcasts and her electronic magazines.
It wasn't long before Nancy started attracting the kind of success she was teaching her customers how to achieve.
"A little over a year in business, my ezine won an award as being one of the Top 3 "Ezines of Joy." I scoured the names of winners and saw that Cheryl Richardson and Oprah were way down the list. So, I sent out a press release announcing my win and how I topped Cheryl and Oprah.
“No one bit except for one reporter from the Orange County Register (California newspaper). Keeping in touch with him led to a big article he did on me, and that led to a wave of media interest. Since then, I have had consistent media coverage, awards and visibility."
However, like with most stay-at-home moms with little ones, Nancy found her time was limited for all that she had to accomplish. But rather as a negative, Nancy learned to work more quickly and make efficient use of her time.
Today, she makes the claim that she can do 40 hours of work in a 20-hour work week.
But that’s not the only claim she can make — she can also proudly claim that she Did it!
Three tips if you want to become a motivational coach:
1. Identify any emotional baggage that can be blocking you from achieving your dream and start working on it as soon as possible. That can take years to undo, so get started early on removing anything that may be impeding your path. You inner game will greatly impact your outer results.
2. Market test! Find out if people want something or are willing to buy it BEFORE you invest in the project. But learn from your mistakes and move on if you put something out there that flops.
3. Surround yourself with positive, enthusiastic people. Drop the whiners, or relegate them to a part of your life that won't affect your business! If you run a great idea past a negative person, she'll only tell you why it won't work. Run your ideas past a visionary and she'll get you motivated to run with it.