Thriving as an Empathic Business Owner with Catherine Wood

April 4, 2022

Welcome to this week’s episode of the Ambitious Introvert! I’m really thrilled to have Catherine Wood with me today, and I’m very excited to delve into her expertise in her very specific type of coaching – empathic business coaching. She’s also going to share a little bit more about herself and her background and how she runs a successful business as a highly sensitive empath. Enjoy!

Catherine and I discuss:

  • The importance of having a coach who not only knows you, but knows your people and why we’ll both always have a coach!
  • How coaching is actually a co-creative process that is designed together with coach and client
  • An overview of ontological coaching and why it can be particularly powerful for highly sensitive and empathic people 
  • Catherine’s journey to ontological coaching and how she knew it was right for her 
  • The positive and negative sides of being an empath and how to make it work for you as a business owner 
  • How to thrive as a prosperous, empathic business owner and knowing you’re deserving of it 

When you think about your relationship, career, health, money—what could you step into at every level of your life? Who could you be? What could you accomplish? These are all of the questions that Catherine helps her clients answer. Learn more about how you can work with her here

Catherine’s book recommendation for the Ambitious Introvert:

Worthy: Boost Your Self-Worth to Grow Your Net Worth by Nancy Levin

Episode Resources

Connect with Catherine:

Connect with Me:

Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode
[00:00:00] Emma-Louise Parkes: Hello, and welcome to this week’s episode of the ambitious introvert with me, Emma Louise. And this is gonna be a bit of a mash. I’m gonna say between a guest expert and a behind the business type episode. Um, I’m really thrilled to have through wood with me today. And. I’m very excited to delve into her expertisea in her very specific type of coaching, and also to share a little bit more about herself and her background and how she runs a business as highly sensitive empath.

So, Catherine, thank you so much for joining us. It’s my pleasure. Please tell my audience to a little bit more about you and your business. 

[00:00:51] Catherine Wood: Absolutely. I, um, let’s see. I am an internationally coach. International coaching Federation, master certified coach. And I’m an [00:01:00] ontological business coach. Uh, I work mostly with service based women who identify as empaths and highly sensitive to really help them scale their business in an aligned fashion without sacrificing their joy.

[00:01:14] Emma-Louise Parkes: I love it. I love it. So we connected through a network. We were in a networking group together and it was almost. I just think there’s something about the introverted, highly sensitive space. When you see someone it’s like, oh yes, you’re my 

[00:01:30] Catherine Wood: person. It’s so funny. You said that I felt exactly the same way.

It’s been joyful to be connected with you. And it’s felt so easy, which I just, I feel like that’s such a differentiator as an introvert, you know, your people or. No, they’re not . 

[00:01:48] Emma-Louise Parkes: I think this is why, and I’m not just saying this from like a, a business sales point of view, but I think this is why it’s very important to have a coach who understands those [00:02:00] traits.

Certainly, you know, the two high level coaches, mentors I’ve worked with over the last year, both. Introvert empath, highly sensitive. And it makes such a difference from being in that box of being told, well, just do it or be a bit louder or any of those things, you know, I find having that understanding.

And like you say, when we connected, then you can just chat to someone because it’s like, oh, I get you. Mm-hmm 

[00:02:25] Catherine Wood: absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. 

[00:02:27] Emma-Louise Parkes: So you have been coaching like me, you’ve been coaching a long time. What led you into coaching?

[00:02:36] Catherine Wood: There’s the long story and the short story. , there’s so many things I wanna talk about that I’m gonna give you the short story, but I, um, let’s see. After college I joined the peace Corps. Wow. Are you familiar with peace Corps? Yeah. Okay. So I, um, served in the Dominican Republic and then after that, I. Also worked in sustainable tourism with women owned businesses for two more years.

And [00:03:00] I was, I lived abroad for four years and, you know, for most people I really had a life that people dream of. Um, I got to spend my weekend at the beach with beautiful men fawning over me. I got to sounds 

[00:03:16] Emma-Louise Parkes: great. 

[00:03:18] Catherine Wood: Right. I got to see the direct impact of my work. I got to travel all around the Dr. Living in a Caribbean country.

Um, but I was, I felt deeply unsatisfied in life. And, um, that was really the, the, the thing that shifted that had me start kind of this personal search to find the thing that was missing for me. And as an incredible, incredibly high achiever, I work with many clients who feel that way. You know, they have this kind of endless.

Alphabet of acronyms after their name, but they never feel like, um, they never feel satisfied. They never feel [00:04:00] fulfilled. They never feel that deep sense of joy that. I’m a huge stand that we all deserve. And, um, so for me, that kind of took me down a long road. I went back to school. I thought I just, you know, wanted another degree.

I got my MBA that wasn’t it. I thought, oh, maybe I’m just homesick. I moved back to DC. I got a job working for the government as a senior economist and I, um, while very honorable that certainly wasn’t it being stuck, working with data behind two computer monitors and. Um, you know, all throughout that journey, I was kind of just on that inner, just inner quest.

And, uh, about that time, a friend of mine was getting trained as a coach and every time she would talk about the books, she was reading the insights, she was having the post-it notes, posted all over her. I just felt a deep sense of envy. And for me, um, [00:05:00] Envy is an incredibly empowering emotion. Envy is a, a real indicator.

It’s a flashlight. If we allow ourselves to be inspired by it. And, um, that was the, that was the. The kinda the light bulb moment. And, um, I then kind of got to experience coaching. I realized, oh, wow, I’ve been doing this my whole life. You know, people have been talking to me about their money and their financial situation, my whole life and childhood.

And, um, I had never realized that there was an occupation for it. And that’s kind of how I got my foot in the door and I’ve been doing it ever since. 

[00:05:38] Emma-Louise Parkes: I think so many listeners will identify with that because I know so many of my clients and my audience. Yeah. If they write down on paper, you know, their resume.

Tick tick all the letters after the name, you know, high earning kudos, all of this and still having that feeling of like this isn’t [00:06:00] right. Something’s missing. 

[00:06:02] Catherine Wood: Totally. And if I were just to elaborate, just one more thing, is that what I realized through. Working with my own coach in that first year, was that at the very core of it, I did not love myself.

So no matter how much I had achieved or how beautiful my life looked on the outside, um, if I didn’t love myself, I would never love my life. And, um, all these years later, it’s still the foundation of the work I do with business women to really help them feel deserving of living a love infused life so that they can create.

Uh, sorry, a love infused, you know, relationship with themselves so that they can create a, a love fueled life and business and relationships. All of it. , 

[00:06:49] Emma-Louise Parkes: you know, I was a teenager on the nineties and I just, I’ve got this very clear images from like school. And this is the kind of thing that comes up with like in a child while I, [00:07:00] and I just know the girls that.

You know, I’m looking now, we’re clearly very insecure and we’re trying to act out above that insecurity, but you don’t know that at the time. So they would be the ones that were like, oh, look at me. And I just remember groups of like girls going, oh, she loves herself. Like, and you know, that was the, one of the worst things that someone could say about you is to accuse you of loving yourself, because it was meant in a detrimental way.

Like, you know, oh, she thinks she’s something she thinks she’s like above everyone else. And so, first of all, it’s nothing to do with that. That’s a completely. That’s being completely mangled up into something different. And secondly, I now look at these poor girls who love themselves and think, oh, how they like struggling inside?

[00:07:49] Catherine Wood: How tragic? Yeah, 

[00:07:51] Emma-Louise Parkes: I dunno if that’s just a British thing, but that was such an insult to say that someone loves herself. 

[00:07:56] Catherine Wood: That’s such an interesting cultural I, um, difference. And [00:08:00] honestly, I mean, I, I think I was a teenager in the nineties also and, um, I don’t, I don’t remember that, but it was certainly not a, um, kind of body positivity, uh, self expression, accepting environment that we grew up in , you know, like we were more criticized and judged for embracing who we really are than accepted for it.

[00:08:28] Emma-Louise Parkes: So your own journey to co within coaching, should I say, did you hire a coach before you started to train or did you jump right in and go? This is for me. 

[00:08:38] Catherine Wood: So the program I did, um, required that you worked with a coach while you trained as a coach. And, you know, I’ve talked to many people who have an interest in being coach coached over or becoming a coach over the years.

And that’s something I always. Highly recommend because it’s really hard to become an effective coach if you haven’t experienced your own personal transformation. [00:09:00] And I Al and I’ve worked with a coach every week since becoming a coach 18, eight years ago. And, um, and I always say that, you know, the degree to which I can be of service to my own clients is cap by the degree to which I’m growing and becoming more self aware.

I think I read a statistic. Um, that said something like 90% of our daily thoughts, habits and beliefs operate in the realm of our unconscious. Isn’t 

[00:09:28] Emma-Louise Parkes: that wild to think about. It’s a phenomenal amount. 

[00:09:32] Catherine Wood: It’s wild. And so, you know, clearly we can’t change what we’re not consciously aware that we’re doing and being on a daily basis.

So, um, that’s why, you know, I will always have a coach as long as 

[00:09:45] Emma-Louise Parkes: I coach. I feel the same and. Obviously for, I think people look at it sometimes with business and I’m gonna say they look at mentors and strategists and all of that. And it’s very easy. It’s very tangible because [00:10:00] they look and they say, oh, that person has grown a six figure business, or that person has grown a seven figure business.

So I wanna learn. From that person so I can grow my business like great. But then the difference with coaching, which I think the lines get blurred, you know, we’re discussing this before we hit record, is the coach. Isn’t gonna teach you how to do something. The coach is there to facilitate your own growth, like to facilitate you, to be able to tap into that 90% that you may not even be aware of.

[00:10:30] Catherine Wood: Totally. I mean, I, I. I was sharing with you before we hit record also that I did a rebrand this past weekend and we were differentiating my strengths and we both agreed that one of my greatest strengths as a coach is the degree to which I model the work and, um, and embody it. And I really love that because we learn.

We learn so much more from who people are with us and what they do than what they say. And [00:11:00] in coaching that’s the same is true. You know, I don’t even need to acknowledge something to my clients or share a breakthrough I’ve had in order for that conversation to be the conversation I have with every client the same week or the break break through that they’re all up to in their businesses.

It’s wild, how it works, but it’s, um, it’s very. Very accurate 

[00:11:22] Emma-Louise Parkes: I love it. And I love that. I know, I think there’s place for both. So when people are looking for support, something that I know comes up a lot with my audience, it’s like, do I need a mentor or do I need a coach? Or do I need a consultant? Or, you know, all of, all of these things, uh, and it’s really.

Great. I think to be able to know what you will get and is someone just gonna give you some strategy, which is great. You know, we need a strategy that’s important, or is someone gonna hold space for you and be able to, to facilitate that real change at a deeper level? Absolutely. 

[00:11:59] Catherine Wood: I mean, [00:12:00] I feel like the, the longer I’ve been coaching, the more permission I give myself to be, to wear different hats in my relationships with clients.

But I used to be a coach trainer. I used to train new coaches. And so, you know, having that, those ethical standards and being really on purpose and intentional around the hat I’m wearing, what, whether it’s of coach trainer, or coach or mentor or colleague or friend or human. Um, and so. You know, I often will just name it on calls.

You know, I’d love to take off my Cocha for a moment to, to share something that I’ve experienced in my own life. Or, uh, I have a tip for you about finances. Are you open to it? You know, coming from former, you know, financial planner, lover and I think it honestly creates you even more trust in the relationship because, um, I’m not.

I’m never telling them what to do, which creates more space for them to trust themselves. But I’m consistently being [00:13:00] responsible for who I’m being with them along the way. I agree. 

[00:13:04] Emma-Louise Parkes: I think it’s an important, um, delineation for everyone. I definitely, you know, weave through different hats with, with my clients as well.

One of my clients blessed that she’s been with me for two years and. Whenever she updates her testimonial. She’ll always say like, to her, that’s a strength because she’s like, you know exactly what I need in that session. And mm-hmm you, you can give it to me, but I think there is you made an important point about either asking permission or something.

I’ll do quite a lot with clients. I’ll go. I’ve got a resource that could help you. Like I’ll share it after the call and then it’s up to you. If you want to investigate it, it’s not like, right. Go and do this. It’s you know, this could be helpful. See how you feel about it. 

[00:13:47] Catherine Wood: I think that’s lovely. Yeah. And I also appreciate, I mean, even your modality as a coach and consultant, I feel like you’re so responsible with your background as a coach for the [00:14:00] consulting.

Well, this is just my fault sense. , you know, um, that, you know, there’s really like a, um, an unattachment in everything you offer, which not all, all consultants bring. Many consultants are very attached to the ways in which they work with clients. And I think that’s a real skillset we bring as coaches, just a real unattachment like a offering.

It’s like, oh, try it on for size. If the shoe fits, take it. If it doesn’t, let’s find something else. 

[00:14:28] Emma-Louise Parkes: I do think it’s that question in nature as well. I mean, questioning in a good way, like a, a curious nature that I think to want to be a coach, you’ve gotta be really interested in people. You’ve gotta be really interested in how they tick and looking at all of the different.

You know, perspectives that someone could bring to it. Like, I, I just find it fascinating. I studied psychology as well. So it, it does tie in, but like, oh, you know, they’ve got this belief framework, like where I wonder where that came from. I wonder how they would feel about looking [00:15:00] at this in a different way.

So, absolutely even as a consultant, I think to be too rigid is just doing everyone service. If you can be open and curious, of course there are standards and frameworks and. You know, I’m working with someone in marketing that there are things that they will have to do, but how can we make this open and bespoke and make it in a way that feels personalized to you?

[00:15:22] Catherine Wood: Totally. Yeah. I mean, I think that’s the gift of our work is that we get to be completely creative and, and co-creative in the process, like really look at the accountability and the rigor and the level of stand and challenging that we bring and it gets to be designed. Together in partnership. And how many relationships do you get to co-create to that degree?

It’s very empowering. And I often say that, um, you know, your relationship with your coach is a reflection of how it goes in relationship everywhere else in life. So you get to practice [00:16:00] being with your co coach, how you’d like to show up everywhere else. And, um, I’ve certainly appreciated the growth that that’s allowed for me over the years.

[00:16:11] Emma-Louise Parkes: The whole, how you do anything is how you do everything. Totally. Which I have lived by for a long time, because I, I really do. I remember setting a client just years ago, setting a client, a task to do something really menial. It was like clean the bathroom or something, but I was like, I want you to take like three hours to do it.

And I want you to like clean every little bit of grounding in between the tiles, all this kinda thing, because this particular client was. She was unfocused and she was not giving her attention to things and thinking that she couldn’t and she didn’t, and that was like such a, it was, you know, we laughed so much about it.

And afterwards she’s like, it was really quite meditative when I started to do it. And then I thought, oh, maybe I could spend more time, you know, on my own. Or maybe I could spend more time [00:17:00] out in nature. And I was like, yes, how you do everything is how you do anything. 

[00:17:04] Catherine Wood: That’s so cool. I 

[00:17:05] Emma-Louise Parkes: love that. Random example, but I thought, I thought I’d throw in.

So the type of coaching that you do, which I always struggle to say, but I’m gonna do it now because I’m reading it onto logical. Correct? I don’t, I dunno why I struggle with this I am really fascinated by this cause I had a client that was trained in this modality and I. Could you tell us a little bit more about it because I think people will then understand why for empaths and highly sensitives in particular, it’s really powerful.

[00:17:33] Catherine Wood: Mm-hmm so ontology is the study of being. So when I coach my clients, whatever they’re bringing to the conversation, whatever they’re getting stopped by in their businesses, I’m always listening for who they’re being. That’s either in alignment with what they want or holding them back from who they wanna be and how they wanna show up.

And at the core of it, there’s two foundational ways of being. At the, [00:18:00] the full expression of who you are, is your essence, you know, at your highest and best you are your essence. I always say, um, you know, your essence might be when you’re on vacation or when you’re playing with puppies or children, like it’s just that fully self expressed, authentic, present to possibility version of who you are.

It is innate. We’re born with it. It’s the. Core of who we are. And then we have how we show up from fear. Um, I, I, we call this, I call this survival mechanism. It’s essentially the trained response that you have to, how you show up from, from fear in the world. And the challenge is that we don’t necessarily differentiate between that physical fear threat response, you know, because if someone.

Jumps out at you as you’re walking down a dark alley at night and you, you know, chase them or run away like that, that fear response is healthy, but I’m really. Speaking to the [00:19:00] fear inside of our minds, the fear of who we think we are and who we think we’re not the fears of what others think, um, we’re capable of or possible for us.

Um, and it’s learned, it’s learned and then habituated over time through repeated incidences that reinforce those same is of being, and what’s cool. And I appreciate this about you is that we’re both such bookworms and. The more I’ve read about personal development. The more I see these concepts reflected in the books that I read and there’s just different language.

So, whereas I might use essence and survival mechanism, you know, Debbie Ford in the dark side of the light chasers talks about coming from your light side versus your shadow side. And, uh, Maryanne Williamson talks about coming from love versus coming from fear and. Same concepts, just different names. And so when I work with clients, you know, we might be having a very tactical, um, [00:20:00] action based conversation.

And I’m still listening for who they’re being and whether it’s either aligned or holding them back. And as we work towards. Discovering new insights around who they’re being and how they’re getting in their own way. Then we’re consistently hooking new practices to those new awarenesses in order to not only bring more of what’s in their subconscious awareness, into their conscious awareness, but also then to be able to integrate it into how they show up in their own life.

And that’s why I call my approach to coaching transformational, because how we show up in. In one area of our life affects. So we be, and now we show up in every other area. So I’m constantly striving to support my clients in helping them gain access to more and more of their own inner knowing in order to be able to act on it and to access more of their own intuition and, um, and self on honoring parts of themselves.

And, [00:21:00] uh, and I really love it. 

[00:21:03] Emma-Louise Parkes: I, I love that. You love it. I love your passion for it. The it’s so true. When you say about like personal development books, I’ve been reading personal development books for well, 20 years now and probably quite seriously for 10 years. And there’s so there’s a point where you go.

Oh, they’re all saying the same thing. It’s in a good, and I, I don’t mean that disparagingly, but it overlaps and you’re like, oh, so that’s the same concept as this. And, and that’s this and the same with like mindset and energetic books. The, there comes a point, I think that you read so much and it all clicks in together and you’re like, Oh, it’s, it’s actually quite a simple concept.

People have just called it different things and given different steps to it. But when it comes down to it, it’s, it’s the same thing. Like I love the Marion Williamson example cause I, I love her work, but I think that’s such a tangible concept to people to go. Am I acting out of fear or am I acting out of love?

That’s just such a quick and easy filter. [00:22:00] 

[00:22:01] Catherine Wood: Totally. It’s so easy and it’s an empowering place to self examine. Right? I think a lot of the personal development work, we can use it to weaponize against ourselves. Mm. And are you coming from love or fear? There’s just kind of a welcoming to that line of questioning, like a loving, welcoming.

[00:22:20] Emma-Louise Parkes: I, I use that kind of filter with investments. So if I’m making investments, either in myself, personally, or my business I have in the past made investments from a place of fear, because I say, oh, if I don’t join this program, I’m gonna fail. And I’m never gonna, you know, that’s never a good place to come from.

So I wanna be making investments and from love, from like, wow, I’m gonna invest in this and look at the opportunity that I will have and look at the energy that. I’m putting myself in to be in this program or whatever is very, very different to, I need this because I can’t do it without this program.


[00:22:57] Catherine Wood: How brilliant. I love that. [00:23:00] Yeah. 

[00:23:00] Emma-Louise Parkes: All about love. Mm-hmm always, so I would love to move on to your journey of discovery that you were highly sensitive empath because like me, this came more recently for you. So. Was this, something that was even on your radar before you realized you were, or is it just something that all came together and you went, oh, that’s me.

[00:23:27] Catherine Wood: It was absolutely a later realization in life. And it actually started the first year I trained as a coach because, um, in my work with clients, there’s some found I do to actually distinguish their essence and distinguish their survival mechanism names. And one of my essence words is empath. And even after having that distinguished for me in probably the first month of my coaching journey, it probably took four years to start really being responsible.

And, [00:24:00] and self-aware about. How the empathic part of me was showing up in business and where I was leveraging it versus where I was using it against myself. And I think many of the clients I work with, um, don’t know how to, um, nurture and protect that part of themselves so they can really unlock the gifts of it.

[00:24:24] Emma-Louise Parkes: And for you, what would you see as kind of a healthy expression? If you’re an empath in a business, I know that people listening, a lot of them are earlier days in their business or thinking about starting, what would be something that you would see as like, this is a positive trait? 

[00:24:38] Catherine Wood: Well, it’s a value alignment.

So, um, I think that there’s a, an in intrinsic plus about collaborating with empaths in business, because there’s just a deep care, there’s a deep, um, care and passion for what they do and for the people that [00:25:00] they collaborate with. So I think that that results to more trust, um, more relationship, um, more access to support, um, and, uh, And almost for me at this point in my journey, it’s like a, it’s like a instant, um, assessment tool.

right. Like, I feel like I almost sense in the moment whether someone’s an empath or not. Yeah. Um, so I think that. It’s a, and, and I work, I personally work mostly like we both do with people mostly in service based businesses. And, you know, we often go into service based businesses because we’re empathic because we care because we wanna contribute and make a difference.

And we’re led by that empathy 

[00:25:46] Emma-Louise Parkes: hundred percent. And I think it’s, so I definitely see like a recurring theme with my clients is like coaches, healers. Designers creatives, because like you say, they have that empathic [00:26:00] nature where they feel, they feel their feelings. Of course, they’re amazing designers, writers, because they’re able to express those feelings as art.

And of course they’re amazing coaches and healers because they care very, very 

[00:26:12] Catherine Wood: deeply. Mm-hmm absolutely. . 

[00:26:16] Emma-Louise Parkes: How would you say, I know the first thing that comes to mind for me with empaths, how would they be. Negatively presenting in business.

[00:26:29] Catherine Wood: So, gosh, I think there’s a lot of, a lot of examples of it, but I think it’s essentially, I relate to empathy as a superpower mm-hmm and most of our superpowers are also our kryptonite. And, um, I mean, for many years, I wasn’t responsible for being an AMPATH. Or for really taking care of myself to protect that part of me.

So I think some of the ways in which, um, empaths, uh, are blindsided by [00:27:00] their empathy is that, you know, oftentimes in the moment we don’t differentiate. Our emotions versus other people’s emotions. I think we’re much more prone to taking people personally. I think, um, we oftentimes undercharge, um, because of that care.

Um, and we. You know, I think we under negotiate. I think we accept less because we allow ourselves to, um, accept, oh, I just, you know, I’m an empath. I care and um, I think we do more while accepting less. 

[00:27:41] Emma-Louise Parkes: The word that came to mind for me probably covers all of that was boundaries. Mm-hmm and specifically yes, of course.

Boundaries about like, oh, I care. So I’m just gonna, you know, check my email late at night in case a client needs anything, even though it’s out of hours or, you know, oh, I care. So if someone doesn’t like my design [00:28:00] work, I’m gonna take it and, and be upset, like all of that, but also for me, It’s the energetic boundaries of, oh, my client is upset.

And not taking on that emotion of, oh, here. We are like, I’m upset too now. And understanding that, of course you can feel that mm-hmm , but that it’s 

[00:28:20] Catherine Wood: not yours. Totally. And I think there’s no better way to learn boundaries than have them modeled for you. And I often, um, am mindful of that when clients make, um, requests outside of my business hours or, um, Or, you know, want special treatment or things like that.

And I, I’m very transparent about it. I am like, I often communicate, Hey, I want you to know, I really care about you. And I know that a lot of the work you’re doing in business is to honor your own boundaries. So I’m intentionally, you know, doing X to model this for, or you. And, um, [00:29:00] I’ll respond, you know, on Monday at 11:00 PM.

[00:29:04] Emma-Louise Parkes: 11:00 AM. . I love that. I have a, um, boundary subcontract. With my one-on-one clients, how 

[00:29:14] Catherine Wood: fabulous. 

[00:29:14] Emma-Louise Parkes: I’ve never heard of this. Yeah. So I have the subcontract as shame. I haven’t got it up. I could read it to you, but it’s, it’s along the same lines, but it, it comes after their contract and before they pay their own voice so that everyone knows the score and it basically says like, I will really care about you and your business.

And I probably care too. These are my business hours. This is how we can communicate. And it’s really about it’s for everyone to keep everyone in the same sphere, um, that we communicate on slack and that we don’t end up, you know, with messages on Facebook and Instagram and, and all of this. If it’s about business, like I wanna keep it all in one place for them.

But. Also to say, like, these are the days and the hours that I work, but sometimes I’ll respond [00:30:00] outside of those hours because I am quite flexible. Sometimes I work at weekend, but to know that that’s ad hoc and it’s not to be like the time. My response times are these, this number of hours these days, these times mm-hmm um, I’ve never had an you, because I think my clients know I tend to respond way quicker than it says anyway.

Mm-hmm but. If I do decide to work on a Saturday and I respond to them, I don’t like the next Saturday people aren’t going, Hey, Hey. And to be honest, I, I delete most of my apps over the weekend. So I probably wouldn’t know until Monday that they they’ve done it anyway. But I think it’s just such an important, like you say, you have to walk your talk and to be able to model it and show like, this is how I’m protecting myself and my energy.

And this is how I want you to do the same so that you can thrive in business. 

[00:30:47] Catherine Wood: Totally. I love that you do that. I do something similar. I just call it different something different. I call it our relationship agreements. Oh. And then I have sub sub names, right? Like what you can count on from me, what I [00:31:00] expect from you, our integrity agreements.

Um, and, and then we get to, you know, add to them if there are other agreements that clients have, have. Of me. And, um, and I appreciate that. I just appreciate the, the, having the willingness to kind of adapt. Um, and 

[00:31:18] Emma-Louise Parkes: I think what you 

[00:31:18] Catherine Wood: said is so important because I think, you know, as such heart centered business owners, when we make exceptions, then we, we often internalize that and then they, oh, then it’s the norm, but there’s such a different way of being of communicating.

Hey, I’m, you know, I will allow you to reschedule an hour before our call today and let’s honor our agreement moving forward. I’ll I’ll say things like that, just so that I’m really honoring myself and them. Because if oftentimes, if I have flexibility in my schedule, I will, I love being able to, um, be able to be [00:32:00] impromptu.

Like last week I had a client who was in Aspen, um, snow, uh, skiing for the day and she texted me early morning and she said, Hey cat. You know, I, I, we rescheduled our holiday day plans. We’re in Aspen for the week and I’m hoping we can reschedule this call and. You know, she’s working on living by joyful design in her own life.

So if I can support her, having the freedom to do that, I’m all about that. I was just delighted to be able to do that. And, um, and I think it requires a certain degree of being able to know yourself and honor yourself and your boundaries. 

[00:32:38] Emma-Louise Parkes: Yeah, I agree. And. You know, I, all of my clients, I think are very, very good with that.

One of my clients was, was sick and she was like, oh, I’m really sorry. I can’t make the call today. And it was like an hour’s notice because of the time difference, you know, she’d just woken up. It was the end of my day. And she’s like, it’s totally fine if I, you know, if I have to forfeit it. And I was like, [00:33:00] no, like you, it’s not like, this is a regular occurrence.

It’s a real one up. Like, to me, I got to. Switch off early for the day. I got like a, a bonus hour. Like you say, let’s be spontaneous. I’m like, oh, I’ll, I’ll finish early for the day. And I was like, no, let’s, let’s just add it onto the end of your contract. 

[00:33:15] Catherine Wood: It’s so funny. You say that Emma, my clients communicate breakdowns and schedules the exact same way.

well, I’m so sorry to have to miss this call, but I’m sick. And, um, it’s just, that’s because of us, right? Because we’ve modeled boundaries to that degree that they bring that much integrity to our relationships. And 

[00:33:35] Emma-Louise Parkes: that says a lot about ants and highly sensitives as well. I just, you know, I hear other people, so my clients just don’t turn up to calls.

And so I’m like what? That, like, that would never happen. Mm-hmm if like, if my client didn’t turn up to call, I’d be like something seriously wrong. 

[00:33:49] Catherine Wood: Totally a hundred percent . 

[00:33:53] Emma-Louise Parkes: So before we wrap up, you put something in this questionnaire that I went, oh, we need to discuss this. So [00:34:00] when I said, what, you know, what can we talk about in the podcast?

You just put this beautiful nugget and said, I’d love to talk about thriving as a prosperous empire. I was like, yes, I would love to talk about that too. What do you mean by that? Well, 

[00:34:16] Catherine Wood: you know, I think that there’s something so honorable about being empathic business owners because of how deeply we care and how much integrity and, um, passion we bring to our work.

And I think that that all often gets used against us because we undercharge for our services or we, um, we acquiesce much sooner than other. Business owners who don’t care so much that, you know, they may be in it for the profit or the game of it, or, and not to say any of that is bad, but I think empaths are really committed to running value driven businesses and, um, being willing and deserving and [00:35:00] worthy of thriving of prospering as an empath.

Um, I think is. A gift that we bring to the world because when we’re thriving, we’re bringing more of our service and our gifts, um, to the world. And, um, and I just, you know, I think that, um, it’s a learned skill. It doesn’t always come naturally to impact, to, to charge premium rates and to be very intentional and on purpose with high, how they, um, Charge for their time and their services.

And, um, I’m a huge champion for, for that, for, um, transforming that mindset that, um, That you can have it all that you can prosper and care deeply and that they are not mutually, uh, exclusive 

[00:35:58] Emma-Louise Parkes: it’s it was a, [00:36:00] definitely a struggle for me when I started the business, because, because I adore coaching and I love to help people, obviously I’m an empath it’s I like I would do it for free.

But that doesn’t mean I should. exactly. And then, you know what, it’s that building of, you know, well, I’m gonna charge premium prices and you know, something I went through and I know a lot of my clients did do as well. Is. But there’ll be people that can’t afford me and I want to help everyone and I want to keep it accessible.

And I think, like you say, it’s so important to have that intentional balance of knowing that you can create a business that has premium pricing and supports you and keeps you how, you know, in. Kind of physical, emotional, and mental health that you need to be in to support others, but you can also have products and services at different levels that also support people there.

That was a very difficult like thing to differentiate for me for a long time. Mm-hmm 

[00:36:57] Catherine Wood: one thing I’ve realized over the years is that [00:37:00] oftentimes the degree to which my clients invest in is the degree to which they show up for the coaching and for, um, taking on the actions outside of their comfort zones.

And I’m. I’m no longer surprised, but I used to be incredibly surprised when clients who I dubbed as, um, you know, not financially stable enough to invest in me, hire me, and then they’d blow it out of the park because they’re just that committed to thriving. Yeah. And that’s all it takes. Right. It has that.

It’s that willingness to just, um, be all in. 

[00:37:41] Emma-Louise Parkes: Yeah, I saw, oh, that could be a whole other episode because I think the energetics behind having that, making a, a larger investment like that from love, not from fear, but when it, it is from that place of love, I, I don’t. That’s when people talk about like quantum leaps and things, and it doesn’t [00:38:00] make sense.

Like, I, one of my clients, she was like, this doesn’t make sense. I was like, but you came and you stretched yourself and then you went all in and yeah, the results are just not linear. It’s just beautiful to see, but quite hard to describe to people. It 

[00:38:15] Catherine Wood: is. Yeah. It, and it, I think if you’re, um, CLO a closed off person, um, you, you oftentimes.

Are unwilling to even consider it. You know, I was very skeptical about the concept of quantum leaping for many years. Um, just because I was so scared of it. And I didn’t think I was worthy of quantum leaps, but oftentimes just that having that willingness to invest in yourself as at that level is such a example of being worth the, and then accessing more and more of your worthiness and charging accordingly.

I think 

[00:38:52] Emma-Louise Parkes: that’s a definite mindset thing as well. When I was training to be a controller, um, for a start, I was amazed that I [00:39:00] got the job because I was not very academic at school, but looking back, I think I was just, didn’t like the way things were presented, I was just kind of bored. But, um, you know, I, I didn’t go off to university and get a degree or anything like that.

And then I applied for this job where they were like, oh, only one in 1000 people that apply gets. Gets in. And I was a bit like, eh, everyone else got like master’s degrees in pure maths and astrophysics and stuff. And then, you know, I sailed through the interviews and got in and I was like, I know what’s happening here, but I’m gonna give this my best chart.

And, and I’m kind of made a commitment to myself at the start of the three years training. And I said, I’m not gonna to fail anything that I have hand in. So. Written exams, oral exams, any of that, like I’m gonna do all of the work. I’m gonna show up and do my part. But then obviously the practical exams where I get assessed on the simulator and stuff, like I’ll do my best, but I can’t control that.

So it was really that, like, what can I do? What can I control? I can make sure that I study and I [00:40:00] don’t fail any of that. And I didn’t so great. Um, but I think you can apply the same to coaching because I remember hiring a one on one coach and going, okay, this is a big investment. I’m I’m showing up, I’m doing everything.

She tells me to do 10 things between calls. I like I’m doing all of those things. And that was the point that my business had the most growth 

[00:40:19] Catherine Wood: mm-hmm. absolutely. I, um, I have this quote that I keep myself keep on my desk. As a reminder, we need to do our own work in order to earn the right to support other.

I really love it. 

[00:40:35] Emma-Louise Parkes: and I, I just think that’s such an integrity loop, because like you say, there are people in business that are maybe just there for the profit, just there for ego or, or whatever reason. But, um, I think something that us and pats and highly sensitives kind of gel towards each other and, you know, stick together for that reason be because it’s, it’s like a beautiful loop of everyone’s always learning so that they can give.[00:41:00] 

[00:41:01] Catherine Wood: Totally. Yeah, I really 

[00:41:02] Emma-Louise Parkes: agree. Beautiful, Catherine, thank you so much for coming and sharing your wisdom with us today. Obviously, before I go, I’m gonna ask you for a book recommendation for any of my introvert, empathic, highly sensitive entrepreneurs, looking to start or scale their online business. 

[00:41:20] Catherine Wood: So. The book I wanted to offer is it’s actually called worthy, uh, boost your self worth to grow your net worth it’s by Nancy Lavin.

And it’s just a lovely book about exactly what we talked about. Um, And I just thought that that was the most relevant book. I also wrote a book, which I’m sure you can include in the show notes. Um, 

[00:41:44] Emma-Louise Parkes: I will be included in your book, in the show notes. Absolutely. awesome. Yeah. Thank you. I have not read this book.

I’m really excited when a guest, well, it’s 50 50 cuz a guest either says, oh, I’m gonna recommend such and such. I’m like, yes, that’s such a great book or I’ve never heard of [00:42:00] this. And then. I’m on Amazon downloading it straight away. So I’m definitely gonna look that one up, Catherine. Thank you so much. I’m gonna pop that link, your own book, of course, and all of your details in the show notes.

So if anyone wants to connect with you, they’d be able to find it there. And thank you again for joining me. It’s 

[00:42:18] Catherine Wood: my pleasure.