I recently asked Life Coach and Poet Anne Tannam how she manages to balance her busy artistic and business life.
“The biggest difficulty is to use my time wisely whether in my artistic or business life. And the older I get, the less I see those lives as separate. Both lives complement and inform the other.
“ For example, as a poet, apart from the serious business of writing and developing my craft, I need also to network, to make strategic decisions regarding what workshops or festivals to attend, run or perform at, where to submit the work etc.
“Equally, in my business life, there is the day to day running of my practice, and all that entails, but the coaching process in and of itself, is a collaborative creative process which at its best, is an art form,” said Anne.
Anne who has lived in Dublin 12 all her life, has a background in teaching, and qualified as a Life Coach in 2009. In 2011 she left her teaching job and began working part-time as a strategic brand researcher for Brand Development company Islandbridge,
Anne is now taking more time to focus on her writing and building her coaching practice, and this year she will gain her Accredited Coaching Course (ACC) accreditation from the International Coaching Federation.
“I never thought to be a writer when I was growing up. I read but the idea that I could write literally never crossed my mind. Even in college, studying English, I always thought of writers as a breed apart.
“It was only after a good friend offered to coach me, as part of her training as a Life Coach, that I discovered this burning desire to write. Up to that point, I did not believe I could write, or that I’d have anything important to say.
“So the year I turned forty, I committed to turning-up for an hour every day to write, and that’s what I did. For one year, I got up early in the morning, turned on the computer and wrote. Slowly and tentatively at first, and then with more confidence as I found my voice,” added Anne.
Anne said she does find that her Life Coaching influences her poetry and vice versa, “The writing of poetry is all about deep listening: to oneself, to others, and to the world as it breathes in and out.
“At the heart of the core, coaching competencies is attentive listening. It’s often the silences between words that tell a deeper truth. The process of coaching and the process of writing require a slowing down, a willingness to be open, to lean into uncertainty, to trust what’s unfolding. At their heart, they are both expressions of a deeply lived life,” said Anne.
What drew Anne to Life Coaching was the simplicity and clarity of the process, she said people are wired for progress and coaching provides a solid framework to explore what people really want from life, she enjoys helping others set out, step by step ways to achieve their goals.
“When I turned-up to writing eleven years ago, I had no idea how my life would be transformed by the simple act of committing to a course of action, despite having no certainty about the outcome.
“The act of creating art through my poetry has brought immeasurable pleasure and satisfaction into my life. There’s the obvious satisfaction in having my work published and appreciated, but equally wonderful is finding a world-wide tribe of people who share the same passion for words.
“As a coach, I get to witness others finding their passion and purpose, in all areas of their lives, and that privilege is one I’ll never tire of,” added Anne.