While the journey to starting a business is rarely easy, for some, it may begin with a painful and life-changing event.
Kelli Monaghan experienced this when she suddenly lost her husband and found herself a widow at the age of 40. What followed was a series of massive life changes, as well as significant growth — and grief.
This journey of being a widow, she says, “sparked a passion in me, to build a tribe of widows, and to share my wisdom and knowledge with other widows.”
Today a widow wellness coach, she works with women who are grieving, but who are ready to courageously move forward with their lives.
In this week’s Spotlight, Kelli shares with us about her work, how she’s building a community of widows, as well as her experience working with Brand Genie, and advice for other aspiring coaches.
BG: What does a typical day in your life look like?
KM: A typical day in my life looks like waking up super early (4am) to make time for some very important self care. I like to start my day with meditation and prayer, some inspirational reading, then a work out of some kind, and then a walk with my dogs. In addition to coaching, I also have a full-time job, so I always make sure to fill myself up with goodness and grounding before I leave the house. That is my armor.
As far as my business, I take time, every day, to check out Instagram, and FB, and make sure I have a presence there. I take time to reply to emails, and inquiries, and also make time, every single day, to focus on my business, and ideas for upcoming events and workshops. I love making connections, in the community, finding out what therapies/services are available for encouraging healing, and am always finding ways to connect and collaborate with community partners, in order to provide education to my clients.
BG: What is widow wellness coaching? How is it different from grief counseling?
KM: Widow Wellness Coaching is different than grief counseling in that I focus on tools and steps to help a widow’s healing journey as they learn how to deal with their grief. I am very skilled in grief, as I not only experienced my own, but I also worked for hospice for many years and this took my knowledge to an entirely different level.
I believe a person will carry grief with them the rest of their life, only it changes over time. Widow Wellness Coaching provides information and tools on how really pay attention to yourself and treat yourself well during your healing. I like to focus on the entire person, rather than just their grief, or just their emotions. I believe if you add in elements such as physical fitness, physical well being, good nutrition, meditation, and many more things, you are helping your healing process. These are all things I have learned along the way of my widowhood journey and am passionate about helping my clients find what it takes to be as well as possible during their healing journey.
BG: What services do you offer the women you work with?
KM: In addition to the coaching services, I also do a biweekly widow walk in my community. Widows gather, and walk. That’s it! Sometimes we talk about our loss and grief, and sometimes we talk about family and work, and other things. There is no curriculum; the primary goal is to build a community. And, I also have monthly Widow Wellness Workshops, where widows gather and have a chance to talk, and cry, and whatever else is needed that day.
In each workshop, I have a spotlight speaker about different therapies which help encourage healing, such as a dietician, talking about sugar, a fitness coach, talking about the benefits of physical fitness and emotional health, a yoga instructor, or a coach who works with women finding a healthy relationship with alcohol. Some upcoming workshops will focus on therapies such as Cryotherapy, Float therapy, and many many more!
I’m so excited to be able to provide this kind of education to my clients, but most importantly to be building a community tribe where widows gather and feel a part of something, and know they are not alone. I’ve had my clients tell me this is so different from any grief counseling they’ve ever been to. They have told me they feel like they can actually share more here, because we are all widows, and share common thoughts, beliefs, experiences, in our walk.
BG: What made you choose Brand Genie for your coaching website?
KM: A friend recommended Brand Genie. I have gifts, skills, and talents, and building websites is not one of them! After my friend recommended Brand Genie, I checked out a few of the websites they created and thought they were all so beautiful and had a great representation. Then I talked with [Brand Genie founder] Elicia who really made me feel very comfortable and even more confident in their services.
BG: Why do you think a website is important as a coach?
KM: I view a website as a store front. A coach will often work out of their home, or via online conferencing, so a website is their store. In today’s world, people like to search things online, or google them. Having a website is a great way to have a presence for people to check you out on their own time and click around as they so choose. Or, if you don’t have much time to tell someone about you, or your services, you can direct them to your website.
I also love the fact I can change/update it any time I want. I am constantly making changes and adding things/events to my website and I love that freedom.
BG: What kinds of comments have you heard about your new website?
KM: I have heard nothing but great things about my website. Many people have commented on the colors, and how warm and friendly my website is. In fact, one lady actually said “I viewed your website and it brought color to my world.” Another lady said “your website made me feel like their was hope again.” Wow!! What compliments!
This is exactly how I want to be portrayed, because I am warm and friendly, and I want all widows to feel like we have a connection in our journeys, and that I am genuine. I want them to have hope, and know they can have an amazing life again. And most importantly, that they are not alone.
BG: How would you describe your experience with Brand Genie?
KM: My experience with Brand Genie has been phenomenal! They created a gorgeous website for me and I am so grateful! And the absolute best part, is that I can call on them, anytime, when I have new ideas and need to add things.
I have called on [Brand Genie tech expert] Debra many, many times, for technical assistance and she never disappoints! I have always worked in a corporate world where I had an IT department to call on when I needed help with my computer. Debra is like that, for me, with my website. In fact, I have a few things I need to add/change on my website, right now, and I know I can call on her for assistance.
BG: What advice would you offer other aspiring coaches?
I believe we all have gifts, and talents, to share with the world. There will always be doubters and naysayers, but listen to your gut.
KM: My advice to other aspiring coaches is, if you know, in your heart, you are on the right track, then never give up! I believe we all have gifts, and talents, to share with the world. There will always be doubters and naysayers, but listen to your gut.
If you know it’s right, keep going! Find the people who support you and believe in you, and fill your time with more people like that. There are more people in the world who need your services, than people who don’t!
BG: Thank you, Kelli!
If you’re ready to share your own talents with the world, book your free brand consultation today. We’d love to work with you!