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- Conversational Intelligence© C-IQ Enhanced Skills Coach.
- Former Certified EMyth Business Coach/Coach Trainer/Presenter
- Principle: Nestbuild -Construction and Remodeling Service.
- Co-Founder: Derezsynski-Duval and Assoc. -San Fransico, CA, High End Residential Construction
- Co-Founder: Edible Landscaping
- Board Member/ Volunteer - Alliance of Generations - Selective prevention and youth community based mentoring in Southern Oregon.
- Former - Inside Circle Foundation -Cultivating Emotional Literacy and Behavioral Change Training in California Prisons.
My story. (6 min read)
I'm an introvert, and love honest conversations. I'm essentially creative, and at times that creativity has worked against me. Like working so much as to grind myself into a pulp...yet that's still creative.
The way I define creativity is a mixture of ongoing practice and letting go in the moment to be willing to not know the answer or the next move.
I don't consider my life to be balanced, more a constant walk of balancing, failing, getting up, succeeding, always moving forward. So it's about continually and creatively finding a balance. It's how I make sense of the world - and the way I do something about it.
Engaged and thoughtful conversations have been a way of life since I was a teen. I've been making things since before I can remember, listening in the natural environment, excelling at English studies, fine and industrial arts throughout my education. Whenever I can I'm reading and making connections, identifying patterns in actions, in thinking. I see everyone as a philosopher.
I started working relatively early at the age of 12, tearing off residential roofs, doing basic building and landscaping and learning trades along the way.
So when it came time to end school and go into the world, I went into building, but with a twist and a short story...I was in my second year of Art School at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, loving the environment of creativity and support, and immersed in exploring ideas, materials and experiences - then I fell in love.
Long story short, when she didn't feel the same way as me, I made myself pay for it not working out. I paid for it by judging my whole artistic pursuit as ridiculous, an unrealistic fantasy. It was totally unconscious, but the price nonetheless. Despite having plenty of praise, and support to keep going, I left school to enter into the "real world".
Faced with my lost love, I figured I could make a living working with physical spaces, rather than to work with pieces of art that get put inside galleries.
In transition, my first job afterwards was as a bike messenger in my hometown of Philadelphia, furiously pedaling through the grid for 6 months. It was hard work, but fun and filled with adventure and adrenaline rushes.
Soon after I started my first business with a friend, Edible Landscaping. We were dedicated to bringing food based plants into residential landscaping. We learned that just because you're die hard in vision and passion, it doesn't account for being clueless about the skill set to run and grow a business. From there, a spattering of building and high end painting work.
In 1999 I took a risk and moved to San Francisco, and in two weeks time had a guy tap me on the shoulder and ask me if I was looking for work. Seriously, that's how it happened! He was a man with a meticulous approach to building and contracting, and had thought I was a European passing through who he might give a few days work to. I loved the result at the end of the day after building, assembling, tiling, painting, and orchestrating something functional and beautiful.
I apprenticed and honed my craft from finish carpentry to managing subcontractors and 2 years later co-founded a building company with a partner I'd met along the way. In the following years we managed several million dollars in remodeling and light commercial construction projects. Then, as things seemed to be only getting better...
My partner had taken on a project with a wealthy figure in the music industry in SF Bay Area, while I was managing another project. We weren't getting signed documentation or providing clear contracts along the way for the large project scope, thinking that it was ok because our work was beautiful and ahead of schedule. It unravelled in the last month as we were shorted tens of thousands of dollars. Our business 'house' was not in order, the client sensed it and as we found out later, had done this before. After receiving a one paragraph letter from our client's attorney, we faced bankruptcy.
Around the same time I started a men's group having met a few like minded peers who wanted to connect more deeply than what we were finding in the mainstream world. It allowed us to develop our integrity, emotional literacy, support and challenge one another, and get in touch with more personal meaning in our lives.
I decided it was better to leave the company for my own good, but still managed to carry a burden of self-blame. There it was again, making myself pay for what had happened. It took me a year and a half to stop introducing myself as a failed business owner. All the while I carved out a niche with clients who appreciated my artistic craftsmanship, professionalism, and the way I respected them and their homes. I was getting a new perspective on how the attention and care in relationship and communication made all the difference in the project management and workflow. I deepened this style of smaller scale contracting for 7 years. All the while working on myself introspectively, playing drum set in a trio, plenty of time outdoors, therapy, workshops, and volunteering in the prison system.
After moving from California to Southern Oregon in 2009, I landed a 9 month job remodeling a barn into a high end living flat. The relationship I built with the homeowner over that time laid the ground work for becoming a business coach. Why? Because they had a seat on the board of the long standing small business book and coaching company EMyth Worldwide, and after getting a first hand experience of my work and care saw a great potential for coaching. Five months after the job ended, I got a call from the then CEO asking me if I would like to come onboard and be trained as a business coach. I had a round of self-doubt but with awareness decided finally to not make myself pay and took the risk to completely change careers to begin working with people - rather than people's things.
I was originally trained and certified as an EMyth business coach. I spent hundreds of hours in training and mentoring over 5 years. During that time I coached, was coached, mentored new coaches, presented and led new coach trainings. I served dozens of small business owners over the years. In late 2014 with some turn of events and incredible outside coaching, I got clear it was time to go out on my own.
To step off the edge of what I knew and risk a new learning curve, I walked away from the brand, certification, and library of tools to create my own new material. I draw from many different sources in my work. Most recently I engaged in an intensive 7 month coaching training in Conversational Intelligence©, and have added a new credential as a C-IQ Enhanced Skills Coach.
I created Inside Start LLC in January of 2015 in anticipation of the changes I knew would come. I engage in several months of coaching myself each year. My skills include in depth tailor made assessments and tools, dysfunctional business diagnostics, balancing of strength application and blind spot revelation, business stage assessment, direct training in self-organization, time-management, and training you to become a mentor in your own business. All of the above work is built on the early phases of uncovering and aligning your personal purpose with your desired professional outcomes. And that, is just the beginning.
I currently live in Southern Oregon with my wife Anna where we share a dream of having a child and plans to build a home in the next few years.