Entrepreneurs are not born. Instead, learning mindsets and self-awareness can be taught. Today we spoke with Global life coach Renata Andrade on how she helps successful women move through their work identity crises. From accepting the contradictions, the good sides, and the bad sides of working for oneself to having the ability to experiment, Renata Andrade expresses the importance of entrepreneurial coaching in a world full of algorithms.
Renata Andrade [00:00:00] I think it’s really, really important and it comes together with this learning mindset and letting yourself be a beginner again.
Sam Jayanti [00:00:34] An increased number of professional women are redefining their careers on their own terms around the world. Renata Andrade is a psychologist and coach and previously was a human resources executive, and she specializes in helping expat women relaunch their corporate or entrepreneurial careers. She helps them move through their work identity crises so they’re proud and excited about what they do again. She currently lives in Milan, having moved several times with her family and their puppy. Renata, welcome to Ideamix radio. Such a pleasure to have you here today.
Renata Andrade [00:01:11] Thank you. Such a pleasure to be here.
Sam Jayanti [00:01:14] So, Renata, tell us what it means for you to be an entrepreneur as a life coach.
Renata Andrade [00:01:22] And, you know, the first thing that comes to mind with the word entrepreneur for me is that image of the lion in the jungle that you have to hunt to eat as opposed to work.
Sam Jayanti [00:01:36] I like that image.
Renata Andrade [00:01:37] Right. And for me, that means living in a bit of a contradiction, accepting the contradictions and the good sides and the bad sides of working for yourself right there. The excitement there is freedom of creation and freedom of doing your own thing. There’s recognition of all of your work more directly and validation and all of that. But there’s also some loneliness. At times you can get isolated. You have to make an effort, I guess, to belong to groups, to look for mentors, to learn is not too automatic.There’s less safety. There is you have to learn this is a big one for me: learn to to put boundaries and to decide your boundaries because you decide the time of the day that you work the holidays, you take the I mean, everything around it, you define so to learn to put boundaries that are healthy, that are good for you and that look like you. So you don’t just mimic a work environment, but you create something that you like and you enjoy, I think is really, really important.
Sam Jayanti [00:02:59] I love the point that you made about boundaries because one of the things I’ve been hearing so much from both entrepreneurs as well as people in corporate positions is that during this pandemic, because of the work from home environment, they have really a lot of them have really struggled to sort of draw that boundary between work and home life. And I think when you have been an entrepreneur like yourself or myself, you have always dealt with that circumstance. Things didn’t change in a sense.
Renata Andrade [00:03:38] Yeah, exactly. I’ve been doing that for a while and I’m laughing with myself, thinking about even like my computer at home with my work computer. It’s like my office. And sometimes I have to like, say, no, guys are not using my computer. This is a work computer. So, yeah, it’s like it’s the boundary instead of the work life like you have to instead of saving your giving more time to your family and for me, I think the challenge is the opposite side is like, how do I keep that work part protected?
Sam Jayanti [00:04:18] Totally. So in the US, the estimated value of the personal coaching market was close to a billion dollars in 2015 and it’s grown and grown. And the expectation now is that it’ll be somewhere around 1.4 billion dollars by 2022. Why do you think more people are turning to coaching and how do you distinguish it from therapy?
Renata Andrade [00:04:48] Yeah, so I think this is a really, really interesting question and got me thinking about a lot of things there, but I think, you know, in a world where we are with the algorithms and everything, we’re confirming our own thinking all the time with the kind of news that you’re more related to, you kind of reinforce your own thinking around. I think coaching brings this huge advantage of having someone to question your thinking and to help you think differently and see things that you’re not seeing already. And the more we become kind of like part of tribes of one side or another, as we’re apparently becoming in the world, I think it’s so helpful to have someone that can help you question.
Sam Jayanti [00:05:47] That’s such a great point, I think this tribalism is interesting because in the past, the people who questioned your thinking were your work colleagues. And now I think there is sort of a sense that you need someone on your team, on your side. And I think that’s what people such as yourself have really done for your clients.
Renata Andrade [00:06:09] Yeah, and I think there’s also a side to it that is more mainstream, people know more about coaching and that they can get that kind of help or therapy as well, which is also a bigger market right now. And you asked about the difference also of coaching and therapy. Right. And this is why I always go back to that question, and I wish I had an exact answer for you. I think there is a huge gray area where both overlap. But for me, the best way to understand it is to think about the wellness area and the health professionals versus wellness professionals. And I think the therapists are more of the health professionals, like if you have a problem in your heart, you need a doctor, you need to go deep and you need to go. Let’s use the word fix it. And on the other side of wellness, you can be functioning well. Your heart can be functioning well. But you’re going to exercise, eat well and do all the things you can do to optimize it and to keep being healthy and all of that. And I think coaching is more on that side and promoting mental health that is already there and becoming happier, achieving more of what you want to achieve, making your life look more like you want it to look like. But there is sometimes a need to go a little bit deeper with a therapist and heal something that is more profound.
Sam Jayanti [00:07:55] It’s super interesting, I think, when I think about how I grew up and you grew up in Brazil and I saw that moving around and I grew up a little bit in India, but certainly in an Indian family. And there was a stigma attached to this idea of therapy. And what got me to actually go and see a coach was a sort of work related issue that arose. And I think coaching must encompass some degree of therapy. Because everything is, in the end, your behavior relates to your history. And those are deeply personal. So it requires delving into. But I think when people view it through a lens of this is going to help my professional advancement, it’s very different to, you know, I’m going to sort of solve the psychological problem that someone perceives that I have or that I perceive that I have.
Renata Andrade [00:08:52] Yes. Yeah, definitely. I think there is an easier entrance. And if we think about it like this – I’m thinking about my client’s current clients and what’s going on in the world and the pandemic and all of that. And although we started working on their careers and there are various work-related questions, and right now most of them are working and dealing more with how to deal with overwhelming anxiety, just feeling OK right now in relationships. So to kind of shift in the work, even in a coaching setting to a more to a more personal kind of side of things and to feel better in this, because there’s this huge pressure outside right now.
Sam Jayanti [00:09:51] That totally makes sense, what would you say is the average age and life stage of the women you work with?
Renata Andrade [00:09:59] An average around 40 to think some a little younger, some a little older, but like with kids in school age. And I always say, like, either they took a career break or they’re right before the break down and their career. So I work with expats; most most people that I work with are living abroad.
Sam Jayanti [00:10:30] Right, you’ve lived in several different countries yourself over the last several years, and that involved you needing to adapt constantly, has that been hard? What are the implications? What have the implications been for you and your business?
Renata Andrade [00:10:51] I mean. At this point, I think it’s all I know because more of my adult life has been around, so I don’t know if it’s been harder than it would have been if I stayed in one place. But I think the hardest part for me was when I was stuck in a format of what I knew, what I wanted to do and a psychologist. I was a psychotherapist at that point, like working with clients and therapy and moving around because it’s a regulated profession. I had to requalify or it took some time to get my qualifications recognized in different countries. And that’s quite complicated. So it was quite frustrating for me in that sense. And the thing is that until I finally realized that I have to get rid of this format, I decided it has to be in this format and work in a different way and learn different techniques, but still work with people and help people. It was really difficult until I figured that out. And I think there’s another difficulty for me was also, of course, starting with physical practices right in one country then and starting from zero in another country and moving into a portable online thing was, was the solution for that. But it also took me a few attempts to realize and accept that I wasn’t going to have the know, the closeness and the connection that I have in person but I could have something else.
Sam Jayanti [00:12:58] Well, it’s also a necessity that breeds evolution in our behaviors. I think for you, the necessity became to take your business remote because you were moving around in all sorts of different countries and in many ways, for people who would be your clients, that necessity only really arose because of the pandemic. Now we’re very accustomed to being on Zoom, but you couldn’t say that for the majority of people before this?
Renata Andrade [00:13:27] Yeah, yeah, I think I was. I like to obey the rules and the principles of the profession. And so it was hard for me to let go of the importance of the presence in my field, which is it’s been talked about like a lot and then now it’s a given that it can be done.
Sam Jayanti [00:13:58] Absolutely. Yeah. For so long, it really wasn’t. So more women are becoming entrepreneurs than ever before and there are lots of reasons. One is greater flexibility to control what they get paid themselves rather than be on the wrong side of the gender pay gap gives them better control over their own professional trajectory. And of course, our favorite and ideamix is being able to work in an area that they’re absolutely passionate about. How do you work with women either turning to entrepreneurship or who are established entrepreneurs?
Renata Andrade [00:14:40] Yeah, so I. There are various phases to the work, but I think the one of the most important ones is the clarity. To work on the clarity of what they want to do, explore their interest in their past interests and current interests and help them build. I know you talk about this, too, and you believe in prototyping and testing your ideas before you jump into a whole investment in that field. So really build and test and see if they really like what they think they like before they choose. So it really works like a really complete work on what you want to do and be clear of where you’re heading. Then there’s also work on how that impacts their lives and how they would fit that into their lives, because a lot of people give up after they look at it. And the picture was like, how am I going to fit this into my life? Will I have to give up being with the kids and doing the other things that I do that are priorities for me? So how will the whole system be impacted and how can they make it happen in a way that, again, they build a life they like, not a life they end up hating at the end. And there’s a lot of work going on following through and accountability because a lot of people go first solo and it’s hard to do things by yourself. And so much of the work is on accountability as well and – super-important – own self confidence. The women I work with, when they take a career break, there’s usually a loss of self-confidence, of a confidence in their talents and their skills. And they are going to be able to go back and feel like a professional again and be competent. So I focus on the work, on building their confidence, through doing through acknowledging what they’re feeling, through being able to to experiment and fail and continue and redo it, rinse and repeat and try a different way and kind of this demystify this thing that it has to be right the first way. You have to get it right the first time because it’s not going to happen.
Sam Jayanti [00:17:24] It’s so true. So much of our work is, you know, involves exactly this. And I think what you’re getting at is really key aspects, I think, of each person’s personal growth and development. One is the degree of self awareness that they have in understanding the implications of their decisions and actions. And then the second is kind of, do they even if they don’t have that, do they adopt a learning mindset that is really about trial and error, possibly learning, you know, resilience, going back at something and doing the work until you get it right rather than sort of giving up easily. Yeah, but in those things I think can be taught, there are people who aren’t sort of born with them, but not everybody kind of wants to sign up to do that work and learn those skills equally.
Renata Andrade [00:18:29] Yeah. And I think it’s so good that you’re making that point that it can be learned because there’s like this sense of either you, you have it or you don’t, or you were like you were born an entrepreneur or you weren’t born an entrepreneur and it’s it’s it’s not true. And you can have your style and in your own way of doing it. And you probably see that a lot in your work, too. But it’s like changing that belief that this needs to be. Something you’re going to come with or you’re out.
Sam Jayanti [00:19:08] One hundred percent, I couldn’t, I just couldn’t agree with you more. You know, it’s funny, when my two girls were really young and they’re sort of two years apart and they were playing tennis and one of them is a super hard worker. And so she just applies herself kind of one hundred percent right to whatever it is she’s doing. The other one sort of things come quite easily and so there’s almost sort of a oh, I don’t, I don’t need to focus that much. It just sort of happens for me. And the coach looked at me and he said, you know, who do you think is going to be the better tennis player as they get older? And I said, you know, I don’t know. That’s an interesting question. And he said, I’d be willing to wager that I know which one will be the better tennis player. And, of course, you know, it was the child who does the work and who has this learning mindset and it’s very inherent and it’s a constant sort of process of evolution for her to learn the next thing and the next thing. And, you know, eventually, of course, our younger daughter went on to learn this as well. So I was super thrilled about that. But it is such an important life skill.
Renata Andrade [00:20:25] It is in a way reminding me of something else that I think is really, really important, and it comes together with this like this learning mindset and letting yourself be a beginner again and be OK with it so that you you can be open to learn new things and without without feeling like, oh, my God, I have to go back in and be like an intern again and learn the oldest business stuff. And that I feel really junior on this after you had a career, before you had a profession. So I think it’s part of the learning mindset to let yourself be a beginner again and enjoy it.
Sam Jayanti [00:21:15] Completely, I think entrepreneurship is kind of a deeply humbling exercise in that regard. And it’s almost a necessity. What’s been your most effective method of growing your business, kind of scaling your own impact over time?
Renata Andrade [00:21:35] For me, it’s been getting in front of people so that they have an experience of me before they invest in working with me. I think I’m in the super relational business and where having a strong relationship with your coach or your therapist is key to the work. So I think people need to have this experience of you. And you also need to have the experience of the client to decide if this is a good match. But I think like getting into presentations and podcasts, organizing, I organize a lot of meet ups. And in the new cities, when I move around, I always start organizing meet-ups and connecting with people and getting myself out there so that people have an experience.
Sam Jayanti [00:22:30] Totally makes sense. If you could go back and change one decision that you’ve made in your life or business, what would that be?
Renata Andrade [00:22:40] Well, that’s a hard one, that’s a hard one, because I actually like my scars, so I suppose I would probably change the way I used to work for Unilever in H.R., I worked there for about 10 years. And when I left, I, it was like an abrupt cut because I wanted to move to the world of psychotherapy. And I, I, I think I didn’t burn bridges, but I, I kind of took a distance and I didn’t have to do it. I think looking back, I could have done a smoother transition. There were a lot of possibilities within Unilever that I could have kind of transitioned into a more working one on one working with people and there specifically on their development and move towards the psychology psychotherapy world without going through my own work identity crisis, like when they took my badge, is like, who am I now? Renata without any title. And that was a hard hit that I could have made possibly smoother for myself. Because I didn’t have an identity yet as a psychologist and as a psychotherapist. So it was kind of a limbo.
Sam Jayanti [00:24:12] But I love what you started by saying, which is that you love your scars. I 100 percent agree. Entrepreneurial skills are necessary today, not just for entrepreneurs, but for everyone in the corporate world whether you’re a mid-career executive, whether you’re a student entering the workforce. What’s a piece of advice you have for listeners who want to further their entrepreneurial skills?
Renata Andrade [00:24:44] I think there are two main ones. First, I have to go with investing in getting to know yourself more and more and going deeper and why you want to build what you want to build so that you actually build something you end up building something you love, not just repeating something else that you don’t love. And I mean, like what? What are you craving? What are you when you’re creating something, what are you looking for? Are you looking for connection, for security? Do you want to make an impact? I just know what kind of things you’re looking for.
Sam Jayanti [00:25:26] What are the real reasons you’re doing something?
Renata Andrade [00:25:28] Yeah. So that you don’t deviate from it and end up with something that your heart is not in anymore. And the second one, I think we we completely agree with that idea because I’ve heard you talk about it again and again, the prototype try small start start with something that you can try, try to learn, try a different way, adjust and and so that you can see yourself on that role, on that that part of you, and see if you’re really like what you think. This idea that you have in practice and if you like who you are and doing that, if you like the people you’re surrounded by when you’re doing that and the tribe you’re entering. So I think those are the two things that I would be saying, like pay attention to those things.
Sam Jayanti [00:26:32] Yeah, definitely, you’re right, I’m a huge believer in prototyping, so the International Coaching Federation estimates that there are probably 17,500 life coaches in the U.S. alone today. And one would think that that market is saturated but the demand is still growing, and that same trend is equally manifesting in other parts of the world, thanks to Market Research and Forbes for the data used in today’s episode. Renata. We love the business you’ve built and your guidance for women, whether they’re being entrepreneurial or on the corporate ladder, as well as for students entering the workforce. Thanks so much for being with us on the show today.
Renata Andrade [00:27:16] Thank you. Thank you for having me. And I’m so glad you’re saying that because I really love my business too. So I’m so glad because this is resonating.
Sam Jayanti [00:27:25] Amazing.
Renata Andrade [00:27:26] Thank you.
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