The Essential Four-Step Growth Process Every Author Needs
Written by
Passion Project
October 2010
Written by
Passion Project
October 2010
Rebecca Rodskog, a change management coach and consultant, kicks off her Passion Project coaching with a Foundation Session suitable for all authors.

As part of the Passion Project Team, I get the privilege of working with Monique Fields, AKA "Honeysmoke," as her coach through the six-month Passion Project Process. I volunteered to be part of the Passion Project Team because I believe that working women need support and guidance, especially when facing an enormous undertaking like publishing a book. As a mother myself, raising two kids in an extremely diverse city (NYC), I can tell you that not only do I relate to Monique on a personal level, but her project specifically touched an area that I am deeply sensitive to--how our kids understand and approach differences in race.

So what is coaching? As you might imagine, I get that question a lot. In my client contract, I write: "Coaching, which is not advice, therapy or counseling, may address specific personal projects, business successes or general conditions in the brainstorming, identifying plans of action, examining modes of operating in life, asking clarifying questions and making empowering requests." In basic terms, I help my clients GROW through change. I am taking Monique through my typical coaching process - I have not changed it for the Passion Project - because I believe this is not a gift that can only be used once. I am hoping to share with her a way to view growth in her life as an ongoing process, using this point in time and this project as a launching point for her personal development journey.

Last week Monique and I officially "met" for the first time and kicked off our relationship with our Foundation Session. This is where I introduce the coaching process and begin to understand what we are going to be working on together in our journey. So how I help people grow through change? My Growth Process consists of four steps: REFLECT-ENVISION-GROW-NURTURE. I will reveal each step in detail through this blog as Monique and I work through it together. The point of the process is to set yourself up for success through Reflection and Envisioning, enabling the Grow step to happen smoothly and direct you to an intentional place, vs. haphazardly landing somewhere that may or may not be the right place for you. This process is derived from years of change management work with corporations, and individuals within those corporations, where I learned what it really takes to implement successful change. It’s a framework -- not prescriptive -- and it’s meant to guide the participant down a path of self-discovery and enablement.

In the first step, REFLECT, we discuss the client’s as-is state – where are they and how did they get there? For Monique, what’s currently on her plate of course includes the work she is doing on her book. However, due to the recession, she’s no longer receiving the steady paycheck from the newspaper where she worked. So while the focus and attention she is receiving through the Passion Project on her book is welcome and exciting, she's got one eye on providing a steady income in the meantime. I have found that artists are often caught in this situation - you want to pursue your art, you desire writing to be your steady paycheck, but you find yourself having to look for other ways to support yourself and your family while you write. And of course the recession has made this situation no easier for any of us to balance our priorities and enable our dreams. We incorporated this balance of priorities into Monique’s areas of focus for our work.

Specifically, we identified the areas of focus Monique felt she needed assistance with (these will be tweaked as we go):

1) Productivity

2) Organization

3) Increased income (through writing and teaching)

4) Stamping out negative thoughts and feelings

We continued to explore and reflect with some initial questions to help frame what’s important to Monique. Feel free to use these in your own work to make sure that your work is aligning with your values and what you want out of life:

1. What accomplishments or measurable events must, in your opinion, occur during your lifetime so that you will consider your life to have been satisfying and well-lived; a life of few or no regrets?

2. If there were a secret passion in your life, something that is almost too exciting to actually do or do more of, what would it be?

3. What do you consider your role to be in your local community, the United States, the world?

4. If you could devote your life to contributing to or serving others, and still have the money and lifestyle you needed, would you do it? How would it look?

5. If you trusted your coach enough to tell her how to manage you most effectively, what tips would you give about how you are best managed?

6. If there was a 5-year goal and you had the continuing services of a coach to help you make it happen and money was not an issue, what would that goal be? What difference would working with a coach make?

7. What's missing in your life, the presence of which would have your life be more fulfilling?

8. Do you believe in a higher power? If so, please describe the most useful and empowering aspects of this relationship.

9. Please describe your life purpose: what it is, how it impacts your day to day living and how you know it's the right one for you.

10. What else would you like your coach to know about you?

We are starting to paint a beautiful picture of who Monique is, what's important to her, and what she wants to get out of this beautiful life. This information will drive our intentions, and eventually, our growth through this six month process. Next month we will be developing clear, value-based intentions for Monique for the year and start developing the plan to get there. Tune in to see how we work together and learn some tools and techniques for your own journey!

Rebecca is a change management coach and consultant, actress, writer, and mother of two who lives in Manhattan. Check her out at, and schedule your own consult through us, right here!

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  • Deborah Denson

    Several things come to mind...
    Know thyself
    Living with intention
    Connection to self and others

    Just lovely.