Kate Wolf helps help brilliantly sensitive women entrepreneurs to turn down the voice of What Other People Think and turn up the voice on the wise, wild voice of your intuition (your inner-GPS to Wild Success) so you can build a purpose-full, profitable business.
During her career in the world of theatre, Kate discovered that the most healing thing in the world was expressing yourself freely. Here at House of Coco we believe that life is best lived as your true, authentic self, so when we stumbled across Kate, we had to find out more…
Tell us the journey that led you to launching your coaching business, Kate Wolf…
For many years I walked a two-fold path. On the one hand I was immersed in the world of theatre – writing, directing, performing and teaching. I wrote three plays and brought them through to production. I taught the curriculum through dance, drama and music in schools all over London. I received 5stars in the Guardian for a play we brought to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (thanks Louis de Bernieres). I was the Artistic Director of a theatre company for children with special needs. And at the same time I was immersed in the world of healing – studying and training in all the weird and wonderful styles of alternative healing I could find – if it’s a bit weird, I’ve tried it 🙂 I qualified as a yoga teacher with Yogaworks in 2012 and started working as a yoga teacher and energy healer, running my first retreat in Gascony, France and seeing private clients for a gorgeous mix of yoga and intuitive healing.
Probably unsurprisingly – I was tired. Really, really tired. I loved each piece of work I was doing but was scattering my energy and not earning much in return – and everything I was earning was going on new yoga gear, props for the theatre company or crystals that promised clarity and success 🙂
The wonderful thing about being so fully immersed in these two worlds simultaneously was that I had a unique perspective. I began to see, feel and experience that the most healing thing in the world was simply expressing yourself. It was so free-ing. And being received in that full self-expression – not judged, not defined, just received as we are- is the most healing thing in the world. I also noticed that all these wonderful healers that I was meeting were not skilled in the area of communicating the value of what they did.
So I decided to stop scattering my energies and instead bring them together into one business. Where communication and healing meet – and where healers get to learn to communicate! And so the Wild Voices work was born. And over time that grew and developed into StorySchool, which I now run for groups and also on private VIP days. I also created a course called Share the Magic Inside, which teaches multi-passionate people how to bring their gifts together into one course or offering that really serves their ideal client.
You write about the the cultural obsession with What Other People Think because you want to be free to create a life and business in alignment with my own inner values. Why is this important to you?
Over the past 6 years (it’s my business birthday on November 30th!) one of the biggest challenges I’ve both experienced myself and witnessed again and again in my clients is the fear of What Other People Think. It’s such a stumbling block to living the life we actually want – again and again I would hear amazing, wonderful people telling me of their dreams and desires and then following it up with some sort of concern about how that might be viewed by someone else. It dawned on me that we’re ALL doing this! And what if the problem isn’t the individual and some deep core wound that needs healing – what if the problem is the societal construct that says that perfection looks a certain way, that there’s a certain way to do things, that you don’t belong if you don’t fit in? I find that by naming it in this way, clients shift a lot faster – they realise that they have a choice as to how much emphasis they put on the imaginary opinions of other people. This is why I love group work and storytelling so much – when you hear another person sharing their humanity and their fears and perceived failings, you get to feel less alone. You get to feel ‘oh, it’s not just me. This is a human thing. This is a cultural thing. I’m not broken’ – and then you get to choose how you move forward in this world, seeing more clearly the reasons why it’s sometimes hard to share who you really are, and choosing each time to do it anyway.
Who’s your ideal client and how do you want them to feel after having sessions with you?
My ideal clients are highly sensitive people who know that there is bigger, deeper work for them to do at this time. I help them let go of the fear of WOPT so they can show up as the magical being they are and do their real work. What I hear from my clients is that I provide them with a space where they feel safe to say what they need to say, knowing that they won’t be judged or defined by it, and that makes them feel more courageous to go out in the world and show up as who they really are – and receive beautiful bountiful money for gifts that come naturally to them.
Looking back since you started running your own business, is there anything you would do differently?
If I had my time all over again, I would find a way to leave my younger self a note saying ‘just trust yourself’. I spent a lot of time looking outside of myself for the answers. And A LOT of time alone with my notebook. Turns out, those notebooks are full of gold! But I didn’t action the insights that came through at the time because I didn’t yet trust myself and I assumed there were people with more business understanding than me. The thing about business knowledge is that it’s only useful if it’s useful. There are a hundred and one ways to do things, and the only way that’s correct for you is the way that’s correct for you – and how can anyone else know that?!
Underneath everything I do is the premise that you know best. You know what you want. You know what will bring you joy and what will drain you. You know the right next action to take. All that’s needed is to trust yourself and give yourself permission to want what you want.
As it turns out, I have a fantastic instinct for business. I know what will work and what won’t. I feel it in my body. I see what’s possible for you, I feel what’s in the way and I hear your Purpose. Those aren’t just words – that’s exactly how I experience it. As a highly sensitive person those kind of clairvoyant, clairsentient and clairauditory abilities are right at the fore-front of my experience of life. In fact it took a while to realise that’s not how everyone experiences the world! (although I do believe that we all have those abilities).
So the one thing I would do is trust myself earlier. However – I really value all those years of frustration because they have taught me such patience and resilience, and they allow me to be with another in their frustration and doubt. So you know I’m not sure I would change it, because having lived it means I know the path and the pitfalls, and I know how to help another navigate it. And that’s truly valuable.
What has 2020 taught you about yourself?
2020 has taught me so much and I’ll be forever grateful. Obviously it’s been a hugely challenging and difficult year for so many and my heart hurts for that. But if I can separate that out (as we must be able to otherwise we could never be happy right?) personally it’s been a really strange but good year.
I caught the corona virus at the very beginning of lockdown and was very ill with it. I was on the sofa for 5 nights struggling to breathe, and then in bed for 5 weeks recovering. But something happens to you when you’re on your own and critically ill for so long. I had a moment where I quite literally couldn’t catch a breath and I thought, ‘OK, this might be it. If I go now, I’m really proud of my life. I’ve lived well. I’ve expressed who I really am’… I felt at peace.
And after coming through that critical moment I felt a renewed sense of freedom and commitment to live my Purpose in an even bigger way. Because I get to be here! So why would I not play full out?! And that intention is obviously rippling out because I’m receiving more invitations than ever to share my voice, be interviewed, share my wisdom with other people’s communities, etc.
And then having so many weeks with zero energy meant that health and vitality shot to the top of my values. And since then I’ve been making different decisions in my business – things that I might have tried to do all at once I’m now spacing out. Plans that I might have given a year I’m now giving three. Because feeling healthy and vital and joyful while I do it is now more important to me than ever.
2020 has also taught me how much I love being by myself. Yes I sometimes get stir crazy and there were a few moments when I was ill and alone when I felt very sorry for myself, but the highs have definitely outshone the lows. I’ve also been enjoying experimenting with how to create nourishing connections online. Because you can meet online and experience zero connection and nourishment, but then again that can happen in person too. And then you can meet online and feel really nourished and filled up with all the good stuff. So I’ve been paying even more attention to what makes the difference and how to make sure my clients feel nourished – and how they can offer that to their clients too. In fact one client just reached out to me asking for a one-to-one session to teach her how to hold circles online, so that may well turn into an offering down the line if more people are interested.
What does self care mean to you?
I believe that the greatest form of self-care is self-expression. Owning up to ourselves. Owning what we want. Embracing who we are. Sharing that with another. Knowing that nothing about who we are is wrong. A list of self-care actions to do each day is only self-caring if it feels good. Otherwise, throw that list away and start listening to your body and your heart.
You believe that the greatest self care is self expression. How do you stay true to this?
I say the scary thing. As soon as possible. I have the difficult conversation. I open the space to meet things front on, with love. It’s not always easy but I have found over the years that the fear and apprehension before is always the worst part! We’re very good – especially those of us who are wildly creative – at making up stories in our heads. And often the reality is far more boring 🙂 So I highly recommend saying whatever it is you need to say out loud. And using that vivid imagination to craft wonderful stories that reveal who you really are and grow your purpose-led business.
The power of saying the scary thing is true for both personal and business life. One of the biggest problems I see in the coaching world is a massive co-dependence habit between coaches and their clients. If we need our clients to like us and we’re not willing to say something that might make them feel uncomfortable, we’re not really serving them. Almost every private coaching client I’ve had the honour of working with has said that the reason they chose to work with me is because I saw and spoke to a pattern in their behaviour that was getting in the way of what they said they wanted. That’s our job as coaches. To help our client find a shift in perspective that shifts how they then show up in the world, so they get more of what they want and less of what they don’t. Obviously only if there’s an opening and permission from the client or potential client – otherwise we’re stepping over a boundary.
The other side of the coin of course is knowing when not to speak. That’s self-expression too. We don’t have to explain everything to everyone. And especially as business owners, and especially as highly sensitive business owners, boundaries are paramount. Sometimes a short, clear email is much more effective and powerful than a lengthy ‘honest’ conversation. Like everything, it depends, and like always, only you know.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?
I am currently dreaming of Kauai! It’s calling. And the West coast of Ireland – the wild Atlantic Way. I mean even that name is magical and mystical right? I have Irish ancestors on both sides and I’ve never been to Ireland – I have a sense that when I finally get there it will be an important experience. But essentially put me anywhere near the sea and I’m ridiculously happy.
Where can people find out more?
Come join my highly sensitive wildly successful community at www.katewolf.global/community or find us on facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/highlysensitivewildlysuccessful If you know that fear gets in the way of you showing up, I made this for you! http://katewolf.global/move-through-fear