To Personal Authenticity & Integration

by Blog Setup on June 1, 2011

I can’t tell you how excited I am to announce the launch of my new website, and along with it – to also announce that I have integrated my passions into one mission and vision.  Everything I do has a theme and is an expression of my most deeply held values.  To be able to do that in life is a privilege.  It’s time I live it, walk the talk, and share it with the world.

My intention for the past couple of years has been to integrate the things I love and am passionate about to create a life that is filled with work, clients, opportunities, relationships and play that all fulfill me.  I received good advice from a grizzled veteran, John O’Connor, when I hung my shingle in November 2009.

He said, “What are you going to niche yourself in?”  I didn’t know.  He said, “Well, my advice is:  Don’t.  Take everything you get for the first year or so, and then assess and evaluate what comes naturally to you, what you like doing the most, and where you want to take it.  Then carve out a niche.”

Eighteen months into being a business owner,  having followed that advice and the advice and wisdom from many other mentors who have helped me along the way, I have organically arrived at my original medicine – the thing I do naturally and best.  I do people best.  I do relationships best.  I connect with people effortlessly, most of the time, and I find common ground with everyone I meet. I love people.  I crave connection.  I crave kindness and peace.  I know that people crave connection, too, and I’m good at it.  I’m good at making things ok, ironing out the wrinkles, inserting the well-placed smile or joke, recognizing the humanity in others even when they are at their worst, and at helping others recognize it in them, too.  Ironically, my mom could have told me this when I was two years old.  I was the kid who would talk to anyone from the word go.  That no talking to strangers rule fell on deaf ears.  I liked everyone, and I talked to everyone.

Me (on the right) with my sister when I was a freshman in college learning so I might change the world.

 

When I was 18 I headed to Washington, D.C. to college and I expected to become someone who would earn a fancy degree and some knowledge and then get a job that would make a difference.  I majored in International Relations (there’s the relationship piece popping up already :)  )  I knew I’d go to law school because I believed I needed that to advocate for people, change laws and make that difference I wanted to make.  When I did that, I had the same expectation.  Get the J.D., get a good job that makes a difference.  After all, I had a certificate in Peace & Conflict Resolution (<— there’s that connection and making things ok between people deal)  and one in International Law (<– uh, laws that govern relations between nation states, heh – theme here?)  What I didn’t know was that the only difference I’d be trying to make when I graduated was in the numbers that totaled my student loan balance.  ;)

Me as a law firm associate trying to fit in with my understated look the career center told me to wear

 

I spent a year teaching high school math (not at all my area or interest) while passing the bar and looking for my first real job.  Another year was spent in a solo lawyer’s office thinking I knew a lot and was worth more than I made, but not knowing what to say at a status conference and terrified that he’d ask me to go to court.  Five years of my life were spent making a difference in the bottom line of health insurance companies, demanding money back from injured people who had to pay back their health insurer out of their settlements even if they weren’t made whole.  I even convinced myself for a short time that it was good, honest work that was saving us all money and doing good for taxpayers.  For a while, I liked it because I felt stuck there and it was better if I tried to like it.  Eventually, my inner-self slapped me upside the head and reminded me that I didn’t like it, and that I was being underutilized, unappreciated, and underpaid to be a glorified paralegal who would never advance or make a difference -  or more money, for that matter.  What was worse, the part of me that makes me who I am was swept under a rug and locked in a small office.  I wasn’t able to make connections or build relationships the way I wanted to.  My light was dimmed and unrecognized.

I was a coach, because I’d been trained and certified while working at the firm, but I kept it a secret from most people and even named my coaching business “Secret Garden Coaching.”  (How’s that for a giggle?  And how would that ever help anyone?)  I began to blog, write and express myself, which is what awakened my spirit.  I was a writer already in elementary school.  I used to get in trouble back in third grade for writing short stories after I finished my assignments early, because other kids who were not done with their assignments would be distracted reading my short stories instead of doing their work.

 

Me enjoying my free time and hobby

 

My time at the firm ended in 2009.  My time off was a gift.  While there were definite worries associated with suddenly having no job, the most obvious being financial, and while I spent a great deal of my time looking for jobs, attending job interviews and networking for opportunities, I truly enjoyed and used the time.  I spent eight months doing things that prepared me for business ownership.  I took marketing classes and got coaching on branding and on some of the personal issues that held me back in life.  I took ownership of my life and where I was.  I rediscovered what it felt like to have a life.  I slept enough, and sometimes too much.  I healed my body and listened to it when it was hungry, tired or in pain.  I tuned back in.  I cooked meals and ate at a normal pace and actually enjoyed what I was eating.  I found things I used to love and started to do them again, like cooking, writing, creating things, drawing, gardening, yoga, and long walks.

Then one day I went to a seminar put on by the State Bar Young Lawyers Division called their Diversity Leadership Conference.  It was free, which was great because I had no job.  I would get continuing education credits to keep my license, and I might learn something or see someone there who might give me a job.  I saw Emile Banks there, who is a lawyer I used to have cases against all the time.  He owned his own firm and was giving back by speaking at the event.  He asked me what I was up to and I said, “I’m unemployed.”  His response was:

I will not accept that.  I don’t want to hear that ever again from you.  You have a J.D. and a skill-set that people need.  There is something you can do for people and you have a unique opportunity to make money just by hanging a shingle.  You go home and get yourself set up to hang a shingle on Monday, and I don’t want to hear your excuses.  When I did it ten years ago (he explained where he had been fired from years ago), I had children and a wife at home and I also had student loans.  If I could do it, you can.  You are single and young.  You only have your own mouth to feed.  It doesn’t take loans from banks and big office fronts.  Nowadays it takes a computer and a phone.  I want you to start next week.

I did just that.  What he said to me made sense, and I was ready.  I had wanted to start my own practice for a year but was afraid to because so many people gave me reasons why I shouldn’t. I had recently decided that I needed a side hustle to begin to flow in money because unemployment wouldn’t last forever and I didn’t have job offers coming in any direction.  Secretly, I didn’t want job offers.  I wanted to work for myself.  I wanted to create my own vision and make a difference, damn it!

I took a year and practiced almost exclusively as a lawyer.  I promised myself that it would be a means to an end.  The end would be that it would buy me the freedom to coach and do what I really love, even if I did a dual-practice model over time.  What I didn’t know was that over time I would come to love having my own law practice, and I would find an area that I felt a special connection to where I am fully utilized and appreciated, and where my unique skills and talents actually do some good.  Not only that, but simultaneously I got married to the man who supported me through all of this change and transition, who I attracted into my life after a horrific experience ending an abusive relationship.  I did so by creating and teaching myself a set of tools that would make the dating scene much safer for me and easier for me to spot the good ones who were still left and quickly sort out the bad eggs.  Quite organically, the people I had become friends with wanted to know how I had found David.  I began to tell them because it was a process I created and I knew I could clearly recreate it for them.  They loved it, I began coaching some people within the program, and my coaching niche found me.  As synchronicity would have it, my legal niche and my coaching niche were the perfect intersection.  They both had relationships at their core.  They both utilize the same set of talents, skills and passions that I have.

Me and my groom (I’m quite proud of myself for snagging such a wonderful husband, as you can see)

 

I spent another six months getting acclimated to being a newlywed, to setting up my new home office at my new home with my husband, and to getting very clear about my personal brand that would define the niche I created.  After several courses, a gaggle of amazing coaches, many loving mentors, a supportive husband, and some work with graphic artists, a pragmatic site builder and so many cheerleaders, the promise I made to myself gets to take life today.

Me, being myself in my business

 

That is why it is such an exciting thing for me to announce my new site and my new dual-practice:

Dana Boyle – Kindness – In and Out of Love

A comprehensive relationship center where I help people create and nurture meaningful relationships, from getting ready to date again to keeping their love alive to finding the kindness in divorce and redefining their families after divorce.

I coach people (in any location) on relationships and dating, and I represent people in court (in Wisconsin) who are getting a divorce or seeking to establish or change child placement and custody arrangements so that they can honor themselves in the process and create the kind of relationships that work best for them.

My physical location is:

The Exchange Building

1119-60th Street

Kenosha, WI 53140

I serve legal clients in Racine and Kenosha Counties in Wisconsin and I serve coaching clients virtually anywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Lin E June 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I LOVE IT!!
yay Dana… your site looks beautiful, just like you!
;)

Reply

danalee June 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Lin, thank you so much! Nona can take some of the credit for how beautiful it looks. She did a great job putting it together for me. I’m so happy to roll it out so I can start talking about the things I’m doing.

Reply

Frank Butterfield June 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Congratulations Dana! Love reading the whole story and seeing you really take off!

Reply

danalee June 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Hi Frank! Thank you so much for the love! You’ve been there all the way. I can’t tell you how good it feels to play here now! And…oh how I’ve enjoyed watching you take off too!

Reply

Tia Sparkles Singh June 1, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Loveee the way your story unfolded!! This is so exciting, I am stoked for you and the people who get to work with you. Not to mention how beautifully you wove your passions together into one business. You go, girl!!

Reply

danalee June 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Awww, Tia, thank you for saying so! You have been around since before I even dreamed of this…so it must be cool to see it come together from an outsider perspective. It’s been so much fun watching each other evolve, hasn’t it? Thanks for tuning in and for playing with me here!

Reply

Tia Sparkles Singh June 1, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Yes, it is! And will continue to be :) And I think I want in on your course, haha! Love you girlfriend xo

Reply

danalee June 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Girl, get in on it! I so want people like you in it!

Reply

Dana Boyle June 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm

LOL, I wonder if my name shows up as danalee or as Dana Boyle now. Now y’all know my middle name!

Reply

Hannah Marcotti June 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Dana, sending so much joy to you. I could feel your passion jumping out, that is so beautiful! Happy to be connected.

Reply

Dana Boyle June 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Hannah, Thank you so much for visiting the new site and for the joy you’ve sent my way, not just in this comment, but in connecting with me. I just read through your site the other day and can say the same for you. You’re beautiful in every way. Thanks, girlfriend! xo

Reply

Debra June 1, 2011 at 9:24 pm

JOYalicious Blessings of Congratulations and WOO-HOO-ness to you, Dana!! :)

Wow!!! I’m a little late getting to the party…but not too late to see the writing on the wall…this newest metamorphosis is BRILLIANT in every way and is destined to the deepest, most fulfilling success.

I love how I can FEEL you in this site. I love the authenticity & the natural you that breathes through your words.

I LOVE beyond words how you’ve chosen to express every juicy passion and gift you have in this perfectly blended mix. Ooo…it turns me ON! :)

It’s true. You ROCK so deep, my friend! Keep SHINING!!

XO DebSoul

Reply

Debra June 1, 2011 at 9:26 pm

PS~ I beyond LOVE and adore your logo… a heart as the B in Boyle… *sigh* Over in the moon in LOVE with that! And your tagline rocks… Just like YOU!

Reply

Dana Boyle June 2, 2011 at 6:52 am

Debra, As usual, you have the most loving and blissed out way of cheerleading I’ve ever known. :D I love that about you! Thank you so much for visiting, for your kind words and feedback, and for the comment love! Please come back and visit often! I’m so happy that the intention of it all shines through. Much love and light to you! <3

Reply

Leave a Comment

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Next post: