SCC Catalyst Member Remy Franklin is a personal development coach, speaker and CEO of Remy Franklin Coaching. He trained in ontological coaching at the Academy for Coaching Excellence. He also earned degrees from Dartmouth College and the University of Arizona (in music, environmental studies, and human geography). Prior to coaching he taught in the social sciences at UC Santa Cruz and coordinated the Climate Alliance Mapping Project. The common thread through all of his pursuits is to mobilize the power of personal transformation for social change.
SCC: What’s your niche?
RF: I work with two types of people. The first group are young professionals at a career transition. They’re paying the bills and things are going fine, but they see something else they’d love to be doing. They’re not sure if they can make money doing what they love, and they’re also feeling the pressure at 30 or 40 to settle in a career, but they want something more in alignment with their passion. The second group is grad students who are feeling overwhelmed and burned out in grad school.
SCC: What has working with thirtysomethings taught you that you would want to share with grad students?
RF: One of the big things is that it’s so easy to get into the sunk cost fallacy–to think “I’ve invested too much in this path to leave it.” I”ve worked with people from 25-40 who feel invested in a path they don’t enjoy, who wish they had had better tools ten years before when they were earlier on their paths. It’s a reminder for grad students to show up to grad school in a way that’s more intentional and focused. When grad students have a clear picture of their long-term vision earlier in life, it’s so powerful.
SCC: Who is your ideal client?
RF: Every once in a while, I get on the phone with someone, and I think, “This is why I work as a coach, to support people like this.” Here’s a composite example: someone in his mid-thirties who found me through rock climbing (as about one-third of my clients do). He’s seeing that he’s been in a particular career direction, and that it’s been going fine, but he’s just been cruising. He would like to have more focus and goals–he feels distracted by lots of possibilities and feels overwhelmed by too many choices.
I’m seeing a pull in many of my clients to be more intentional in their work and hobbies.They really want what they do every day to be aligned with their values and habits. I like to work with people ready for a nudge, especially athletic/outdoorsy or artistic people who believe life should be filled with things they love doing.
SCC: What has been one of the most inspiring transformations you’ve seen in your clients?
RF: A client of mine, who is about to turn 40, has decided to become a coach and is so ready to be a coach. He came to me hating his current job, which he had held for several years. We worked to create an exit plan, but he needed to keep working for a few more months.
His biggest frustration at work was a challenging boss. One of the things I do with people, especially with challenging bosses, is to look at their assumptions. He was willing to question his characterization of his boss as having no empathy and being cold and rigid. After one coaching session, he could see how much more enjoyable work would be if he didn’t bring this assumption to the table.
He committed to asking his boss about his weekend, to interact with him as a human.
About a month later, he shared an update. Work has totally changed. He had discovered that he and his boss both like fishing, and they started connecting about that. Their growing comfort with each other improved the whole team’s dynamic. And a crazy thing happened: his boss sent an email to the entire team saying he had been struggling with Autism Spectrum Disorder. At first he had felt uncomfortable revealing something so personal, but the growing acceptance he felt from the team had made him feel safe to open up about it.
Did my client’s growth change the whole team? Hard to say, but I think it had an effect.
SCC: What’s a typical (ha!) day like? How has the pandemic changed that?
RF: It’s been a big transition, but I’m doing remarkably well, all things considered. I’m continuing to coach clients, and my workshops have moved online. As coaches, we are lucky to have some tools to manage our minds.
I was scheduled to do three workshops–all canceled because of COVID–so I reached out to UCSC to offer an online grad student coaching group. They hired me to coach an eight-session group. It’s a good reminder that all challenges are an opportunity for something. That group started three weeks ago, and I am working with about 30 people. I get to work with a group for many weeks in a row and offer a framework for being both successful and well during grad school.
SCC: What professional or personal tip would you like to share with other coaches?
RF: One of the biggest lessons from coaching and being a business owner is just walking the talk. It’s so easy once you’re a good coach to coach other people–it’s straightforward to show up for clients. But it’s challenging to do it for ourselves. My brand and my work require that I align my own lifestyle and career around things I love, in the same way my clients want to. As a climber I work with many people in the outdoor space who have similar values to my own. I find the more I am doing the things that matter to me outside of work–getting outside, showing up for my family, etc–the better things go for my clients. There’s no direct link, but it’s clear to me that being a successful coach and business owner is about living the vision you help people achieve.