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Dec. 27, 2022

Journey to Intentional Living after Shocking News | Danielle McCombs

Danielle McCombs was in a moment of change, questioning her career path and what she should be doing with the next 20 years of her life.

"I realized, oh, the title and the money are not the things that drive me."


Danielle McCombs was in a moment of change, questioning her career path and what she should be doing with the next 20 years of her life.

"I realized, oh, the title and the money are not the things that drive me."

Danielle McCombs is a certified coach who helps people find clarity and purpose in their lives. She is passionate about helping people discover their true potential and create the life they want to live.

Danielle McCombs worked in commercial real estate for 20 years when she realized it wasn't her dream job. She started working with a coach in June 2020 to help her figure out what she wanted to do next. In August, her mother was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. This made McCombs realize that life is short and that she needed to do something she was passionate about. McCombs left her job in January 2021 and started taking classes to become a certified coach. She is now a certified coach and can work on her own terms.

 

In this episode, we discuss how:

1. Danielle McCombs was in a moment of change in her life and career when she was forced to reflect on what she really wanted to do with her life.

2. After her mother was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer, Danielle realized that life is short and that she needed to make a change.

3. Danielle decided to become a coach, and she is now in the process of making that change.

 

Danielle McCombs is a growth-minded individual that is constantly striving to improve herself and deepen her understanding of the world around her. After a 20-year career in commercial real estate Danielle decided to pursue her passion for inspiring others to be the best version of themselves. She is a Co-Active Institute-trained coach. Danielle is the host of the podcast "The Opposite of Small Talk", where she explores new ways to grow both personally and professionally with her friend Kristy.

www.daniellemccombs.com 

www.theoppositeofsmalltalk.com

 

Resources:

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Another episode you'll enjoy:

Finding Oneself after a Cancer Diagnosis | Tory Campbell

 

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Transcript

[Matt Gilhooly]
I'm Matt Gilhooly, and this is the life shift, candid conversations about the pivotal moments that change lives forever. Hello, my friends, welcome to the life shift podcast, I am here with a new connection, Danielle. Hello Danielle.

[Danielle McCombs]
Hello matt, thank you so much for having me here.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Thanks for being here. Danielle and I connected probably a couple of months ago now and we chatted over zoom because Danielle is also a podcaster and this is not really what, what your story is about, but that's how we connected. And we talked about how I am searching for just the community because I just love this space so much and I could talk about podcasting and what I do and what other people do all day long. So that was a pleasure back then.

[Danielle McCombs]
I agree. And the thing about having a podcast that I did not expect was the amazing community that is created and it is my favorite part and completely unexpected. So it was great to meet you as well matt and I'm really happy to be here and that we can connect on this level podcasting.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Yeah. And you have a story that's uh I think something that a lot of people can relate to, I personally can relate to what you're gonna be sharing. So I'm not gonna give it away, just, I'm not gonna, you know, tell all your secrets right away, but uh to your point about podcasting, it's probably the most collaborative space that I've ever kind of been a part of theirs. It doesn't feel like anyone's competing with anyone else. It's just like you need help, here's what I do.

[Danielle McCombs]
Yeah. And I'll say that everyone is willing to help each other. Everybody is willing to share their resources because there's millions of podcasts out there, right? And there's one for everyone. So I feel like you don't have to be in competition, that the more we help each other and the more you could be a guest on my podcast, you can I can introduce your audience to my audience, it just grows more and it's such a wonderful collaborative environment, not cutthroat or competitive at all.

[Matt Gilhooly]
It's crazy and we should say that your podcast is called the opposite of small talk,

[Danielle McCombs]
correct and

[Matt Gilhooly]
what what what is your purpose with your co host.

[Danielle McCombs]
So my co host Kristy and I, she's a friend of mine from college and we talk about personal and professional development and really just finding new ways and new experiences to live your best life. So new ideas that you come up with, that maybe you didn't think of and Christy and I do joke that it is a very elaborate way for us to get coaching on anything that we want. Um you know, we started a podcast and we get to ask experts in their field um you know about what they're talking about. So tomorrow we're recording um an episode on confidence and who does not need more confidence in their life and so it's great to have somebody who just wrote a book on it to tell us all about it.

[Matt Gilhooly]
I see what you've done now. And, and to be fair, I wonder if this is true of many podcasters because I've said this before on other episodes of like this podcast was really made in a selfish way because when my mom died as a kid, I was always looking for that community or to feel like I wasn't alone in that experience. And so that's kind of what I aim to do is have these conversations where someone listening can be like, oh, I'm not the only one going through that or be inspired by what someone did with a very similar situation. So I guess we're both in this like selfish way of like, hey, we're helping others, but we're also helping ourselves.

[Danielle McCombs]
And I think that's the beauty of it is both can be true. You don't have, it doesn't have to be, I'm only getting something out of this. You're putting it into the world and helping others. And I feel like podcasting is such like an intimate thing because we're talking here, but when somebody's listening generally they're listening by themselves and you get, I feel like you feel it in such a different way and that's what I love about listening to podcasts is that you get this information in such a different way and it can make you feel in such different ways to

[Matt Gilhooly]
Yeah, or you feel like you're eavesdropping, like on a conversation that that you're like, maybe I shouldn't be listening to this, you know, like I have a friend and I'll shout her out because she listens but my friend Jackie, she says that sometimes she'll listen to my episodes and she'll talk back to like whatever we're talking about and so I found that I found that great, right? Like that's great feedback, right? It feels like you're part of the conversation, so without further ado we should talk about your story. Uh so what I like to do is have the guest

[Danielle McCombs]
kind

[Matt Gilhooly]
of paint the picture of what your life was like before. What we feel is that pivotal moment that kind of put you in a different direction and I think what's cool about your story is that I think other people will relate to that experience and I know I can, so I'm excited to talk a little bit about that. So, can you kind of paint the picture of Danielle before this moment?

[Danielle McCombs]
Yeah, so I was, I will say that I was in a moment of change. Anyway, I was going through it was pandemic times, right? So I think everyone had a lot of time to really reflect on where their life, was what were you doing and I was in the process of this, I had worked in commercial real estate, I was working in commercial real estate and I've been in it for 20 years and had found myself in a place where It just wasn't serving what I thought was gonna be my dream job. What I thought I was gonna be so happy doing, just wasn't really hitting the mark anymore. And I started working with a coach and I was like in the process of saying, what do I want to do next? And I started working with a coach in June of last year in 2021 And was really discovering what do I want to be in real estate, do I want to continue? Right, I'm like kind of mid career, do I want to do this for another 20 years? Um or do I want to try something new? And I don't know what that is. So I was

[Matt Gilhooly]
I and I have this conversation with so many of my guests is like, do you feel that you before this moment where you're like, am I do I want to do this for another 20 years where you kind of like playing the game like the society game of graduating, getting the job, getting the next promotion and kind of moving up. And and then at some point in 2020 when we were forced to sit with ourselves and reflect you were like, wait a second. None of this is actually serving me is that I mean

[Danielle McCombs]
100%. And that is exactly where I was and I will say part of even noticing that this wasn't the thing anymore was doing this podcast, because I was having these conversations with people who did all the things that you just said, I had the job, I had the title, I had the money and I wasn't fulfilled. And I heard that story again and again of people who have made these changes, who decided to change what they were doing and and listening to that again and again, had me saying, why can't that be my story to number one? But I'm also really scared to do that. I'm scared to take a leap to just do the thing, but I was being pulled in the direction, but wasn't sure how to really do that,

[Matt Gilhooly]
Right? And I mean, I feel like we're always trained to like money, you have to worry about money and so you're in a career for 20 years, it's like, well, what else do I Exactly?

[Danielle McCombs]
And so it was really an identity moment of, you know, I worked for 20 years in this career, I got my master's degree in real estate. So then I also have this other thing that's pulling at me like, well, was that a waste of my time and my money, but it's not, it's a part of who I am, it's a part of what I know, but you have this thing if I made this decision and now I have to keep on this path and so june 2021 I I hire a coach and working with him trying to decide what are my next moves and um was in that process and kind of figuring out like this isn't it? And in august my mother was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. So as I was going through this process of, I'm scared to do something, I don't know if I can take this leap all of a sudden, I'm faced with the mortality of my mother and what is really important,

[Matt Gilhooly]
like

[Danielle McCombs]
My mother is the most important person to me and I want to be able to a be there to support her through this, but it also makes you believe, like realize like life is short and so what am I doing right for the next 20 years? Do I want to be doing this thing that I'm really questioning or do I want to take a leap and and do something that I feel really passionate about, feel really excited about and feel that I can make an impact in a different way?

[Matt Gilhooly]
Yeah. Do you think that that hearing the news was was kind of that like light bulb of like I'm in the right direction, I need to keep going or was it something as part of your mom's battle?

[Danielle McCombs]
So I mean hearing the news, like I can remember right when you have that moment, you can remember exactly, I was laying in bed and my mother called me and asked me to get her in touch with a friend that I have that works at Sloan Kettering in new york, and that moment I knew right, like, okay, this isn't good, you know, and we started that process and I think it took obviously some time for that to really set in what is this, and then finding out that, you know, it was stage four and we didn't know what was gonna happen next. And so there was a part of that, I live in California, my family is in new york, so that also was a moment of I need to be there or what being here is not the thing that's important to me now. So

[Matt Gilhooly]
there

[Danielle McCombs]
was, I think there was a couple of different things, it was like, I don't think I put those two things together right away, like I need to get out of here

[Matt Gilhooly]
because

[Danielle McCombs]
um my mom is sick, but my, you know, my job at the time, my uh my bosses were saying that they would be really supportive and that they were, you know, whatever you needed, and about a month later I asked like, hey, can I work remotely from new york for a month and they weren't as supportive as they said they were, and I feel like that was a moment that pushed me further, was realizing that I what they said as far as yes, you can do whatever you want, like, and we're here to support you, and then when I really asked for the thing, they weren't quite as supportive that then I was like, this isn't it? This is I don't want to be in this because my mother's health is much more important than this

[Matt Gilhooly]
job that

[Danielle McCombs]
I'm already like, not thrilled with. Um there was, there was a couple of things that weren't going great and I had asked, you know, I in my self, my work on myself, right? And I love Bernie Brown and all of the things that she says, it's like being vulnerable and all that. And I came out and said I need help and I thought that that was my strength coming out of my vulnerability, like this isn't going the way that I wanted to, I need help and it kind of was turned against me, it felt like, so

[Matt Gilhooly]
you became a liability to them and or you felt like you became a liability to

[Danielle McCombs]
Them. And so then when I asked for, you know, the ability to uh to work remotely then that became an issue like almost that I wasn't performing and how can I work remotely, I also just want to say I was working remotely for 20 months before

[Matt Gilhooly]
that we

[Danielle McCombs]
still weren't back in the office, We weren't back in the office. So it wasn't as though, I mean, for all they could have known, I could have put up a fake background and they wouldn't have known where I was anyway, doing

[Matt Gilhooly]
the responsible thing and asking

[Danielle McCombs]
Yeah and that was, that was the thing that it just didn't sit right anymore and I don't, I do really respect the people that I worked for. It just, it hit in a different way than it may have a couple months, maybe a year, I don't know, it could have hit differently and I already had this idea of like this isn't what I want to

[Matt Gilhooly]
do. Yeah, it was just like another like sign of you know, there are other more important things and maybe also you can do something that will serve you in a better way, like right,

[Danielle McCombs]
and so I was able to before I actually ended up going to new york, I was spending the month of november there, I had, after getting permission to do that, I had a conversation with one of my um one of the partners on my team and I appreciate that he did approach me like I was a human being and not a cog in a wheel and straight up asked me do you like your job and I just said no, like there was nothing else that could come out of me at that time and I think part of it was knowing I wanted to do something else. Part of it was you're not serving my values of like I need to be with my family and nothing else really matters at this point and I just, I just felt like I needed that break and so we agreed to part ways and in that time, you know, I had three months that I was still there, which was, you know, I wasn't pack your stuff and get out, it was, you know, we're gonna give you time and also if we can help you in any way and in that time, like really realizing that what is important to me and what do I want to do with this was I decided I wanted to become a coach because working with my coach gave me a lot of clarity, especially in a time that was so emotional and so, like, there was, I feel like there was like things coming at all angles, right, that really made me be like, you need to make this decision, like you need to decide what you want and what is important to you. It really stripped down the money part the title, the all that stuff, um and so that was kind of, you know, I left there at the beginning of this year, but I had some time in between and um I gave him my letter, Yeah, so I did work remotely for the month of november, um and my last day was in january of this year, so they gave me three months, which was very nice, you know, allowed me some time to figure out what I wanted to do and offered help if if there was someplace else I wanted to be within the company or a different role I wanted on our team and it took some time to think about that and that might have been the safer answer, right? That might have been the, the answer of, you know what, maybe this just roll isn't a fit and I can find something else that I can squeeze myself in here and still have my safe paycheck.

[Matt Gilhooly]
But

[Danielle McCombs]
it just didn't feel right. It didn't feel right because I feel like it was just putting me back in a place where I would have wanted to in a couple of months, I wouldn't be happy again.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Do you think that? Okay. So I'm thinking of when my grandmother who basically became my mom after my mom died when she was diagnosed with cancer, the beginning part was like, okay, you have cancer. We're going to do these things where, you know, for me, I didn't get to that mortality part until it just got really bad. And when it got really bad, I kind of found myself making more rash emotional decisions. Did you wrestle with any of that where you felt that because you were in this more emotional vulnerable stage,

[Danielle McCombs]
right? And maybe, you know, when you say that, right? When, when I asked do you like your job and I just said no as opposed to probably measured Danielle would have said, oh, you know, it, there's some improvements that could be made or maybe we can make some changes and I just feel like, yeah, I was in a raw emotional state and was like, no, and it doesn't matter right, that this isn't the thing that's important to me right now. So when you say it that way, that probably makes a lot more sense to

[Matt Gilhooly]
Yeah, I mean, I just remember making these decisions which never served me poorly. It was just like The mat of 10 years or five years before that would not have done that because it would have been a very calculated kind of thing. And so you know, facing the fact that there is a limited amount of time left with someone in that stage for me was like, who cares about what society is telling me that I should be doing? Like, you should never leave that job because it's so great and look at all the things that you're getting and you're like, I am the most miserable I've ever been in my entire life and this actually, I did leave a job that was not serving me around the same time, like, right after my grandmother died. And so I, I get it, it

[Danielle McCombs]
brings clarity right? Like there's a clarity that was, it makes you really like what is really important and is at the end of the day, is it this job? No. And is it is that bringing me fulfillment in a way that at the end of my life I want to look back and say like, glad I stayed in that job for 20 years, that was a good move, like, I don't know, and it depends on what your values are and what's important to you. But doing that work with my coach too, I realized like, oh, like the title and the money are not the things that drive

[Matt Gilhooly]
me and

[Danielle McCombs]
I think that was part of it, and then being in an emotional state of just know it was, you know, like, I didn't, I feel like you don't have time for bullshit in some way.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Yeah, and I'm very much I was well, it's still not as much as I was before, but I was always kind of that person that worried about like, the outcome, like if I do this, what's gonna happen, if I do this, what's gonna happen and near the end of my grandmother's life, she said, I wish I hadn't worried so much because all that's left in the end is love and I'm thinking, okay, you're sitting, you're laying in hospice and you're right, it's only the people that love you around you, None of, none

[Danielle McCombs]
of what you did in

[Matt Gilhooly]
your career, none of that matters. So, so for me that was like, right, I need to find something that I feel good about doing so so you so you found that or you thought you found you want to go into coaching?

[Danielle McCombs]
Yeah. And so I did, I signed up and I was at my parents house last november and I signed up for a coaching um it's called co active training And I signed up for that in November. I started, my last day at my job was January seven and on January 12 I started my coaching classes and by the time this podcast comes out I should be a certified coach, um going through all of my classes and then a six-month certification process, which I'm nearing the end of and I'll take my oral exam within the next couple of weeks. And so within that year have made the total change of my life and finding something that is so much more fulfilling and something that I can do anywhere, so I can go and spend time with my mom, I can go and spend time wherever I want, but on my terms and the thing that I've also learned through this is being far away from my family while this was going on was really hard, but having the freedom to be there when I needed to be and felt like I wanted to be, has been really, really helpful and because I think being so far away you can, I could have felt as though I'm not doing my part or I'm not helping out and I'm not spending time with my mom, but for the, for a year I saw her pretty much every month and made, you know, made a point to to be in new york and to spend time there. And, and I will also say my mother is not a person who will ever ask anything of anyone. So she would never say to me, I need you to come here. And the beautiful part about that is that I've done that because I want to be there and so I know that and I can and it makes it's just a very interesting feeling of that. I know going through a really hard time like this, there can be a lot of guilt or or just it can cause a lot of strife in families too. And I've been very lucky that we're all very supportive of each other, but that knowing what I'm doing, what feels right for me has also been a really big part of that. And I think that comes from being having a coach and really doing the work on myself and not listening to those outer voices of like you should be here or you you have to do this, I'm doing what feels really right and knowing that I'm also doing what's right for my relationship with my mom.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Yeah. And when you just said that, I remember looking at your site and you have something, I don't know the exact words, but something about like living a life with intention and that's I mean that sounds like what you're able to do now in this version of your life where you're kind of making your own rules and screw what society tells you that you should be doing at this point in your life, right? I feel like we all have these, these expectations that are just where do they come from? Like why did we live our lives this way for so long? Cause

[Danielle McCombs]
nobody stops to

[Matt Gilhooly]
think because

[Danielle McCombs]
you get on this treadmill, right? You get on the treadmill of sugars and woods and your paycheck and then you have to have a nicer place to live and you have to have the nicer things and go on the vacations and, and, or whatever it is that becomes your showing up as people are telling you

[Matt Gilhooly]
to,

[Danielle McCombs]
then somebody's listening to something somewhere and a lot of times it's not your intentional

[Matt Gilhooly]
self

[Danielle McCombs]
and so it's getting clear on what those things are. What are the things that are really important to me? Like is it the fancy car or is it being able to be where I need to be when I feel I need to be there.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Do you think in your, in your current work or your training towards the certification? Are you finding that 2020 was kind of a reset for a lot of people I know, you know, just in this podcast that has only been out since March of 2020 to the people that I've talked to feel very much like despite the horrible things that had happened during 2022 now, even, you know, and the people dying and and just losses across the board for a lot of people, it was a really good time period for a reset or reflection of some sort. Are you finding that in your, in your current work?

[Danielle McCombs]
Absolutely. I think that people are, you know, the people that I'm coaching now, a lot of them are professionals and but had this time, they never had before in some way, like all of a sudden everybody's like, go, go, go, go, go, right, I have to be here and there and do a million different things and now you can't do any of that. So I think for the world, like it was like a reset button on the world and now as we're coming out of this and people are starting to go back to the office life is starting to feel like 2019 maybe in some ways, there's a lot of people that are pushing back on that and saying, I don't want to go back to that, I don't want to go back to my life of feeling completely overwhelmed at all times and I shouldn't have to because I was able to like, my life was able to continue on without doing those things. So I think it's an inflection point now as things open back up and events are happening again and people are expected to be in an office, a lot of people aren't willing to go back to that life and then it's figuring out, well then what can I do or what do I want to do? And really thinking about that, because we had a lot of time stuck in our homes when you know, there was enough of netflix and you maybe had to sit with yourself for a little

[Matt Gilhooly]
while now. I think, I mean, I think it it allowed people to find what matters and who matters. And I think a lot of friendships were gone, A lot of relationships that people were just holding onto because society was like, this is what you need to do, you need to, you got married. So stay married. You know, like you did this, you have to continue doing this. And I think in a good way it showed us a lot of humanity in a way, I mean it showed us a lot of not great things as well. So let's let's talk something controversial and a little bit on a tangent here, but quiet quitting. What are your thoughts on on this new term? I'll tell you mine, but I'll let you go first.

[Danielle McCombs]
Yeah, I think, I mean it's just a different word for what unsatisfied people do at work, right? You just slowly stopped doing your job and I actually was listening to a podcast the other day and it was Bernie Brown, Adam Grant and Simon Sinek, the three of them just chatting. So right there.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Exactly,

[Danielle McCombs]
and that's what the beauty of podcasting was, was like you could be. And so they actually tackled this topic and and the different things that come from it and I think the thing that I took away from that was that people feel neglected in some way and so they're just kind of stopping, which is almost worse than being unhappy is feeling like nobody even notices that you're there and so being able to just, you know, and I don't know, I don't know that I love the term quiet quitting, I think, yeah, I think that it needs to have like you basically what you have is dissatisfied people who are not performing

[Matt Gilhooly]
and

[Danielle McCombs]
if you can actually go to them and treat them as humans as opposed to not a cog in a wheel and saying, Hey matt, I noticed your job performance isn't what it was, what's underneath there, right? We've, we've collectively gone through trauma as a society and so not every everyone's not okay. I would say that most people are not okay. So even if you're performing at your job, even if you're, you know, doing the things that on the outside look okay, a lot of people have a lot of trauma inside of them that need to needs to be dealt with and it shouldn't just be, you're not performing at your job and I'm just gonna quietly, I'm just gonna quietly like do what I have to do to get by until somebody notices because when that's also happening, that's the worst part is when nobody is noticing that you're not doing your job because that's neglect and that is worse for people and more traumatizing I would imagine.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Yeah. And I I agree that the term is wrong but the way I see it or the way that I've seen other people describe it is that people are just now they've this reset and this is my maybe it's all me. But this reset has taught us that we get paid for a certain job and that's what we're gonna do. We're going to do the job that we're paid for. We're not gonna do. I mean 2020 taught us like do we really need to spend the extra 20 hours at work a week if we're not getting paid for it in hopes that someday we get you know $1000 raise. And so in my mind I see quiet quitting as now people are just finally not overachieving

[Danielle McCombs]
and that depends on who you're talking to, right? So there are, I would say that the camp, there are people in the camp that I was talking about of like feeling neglected and not doing their job but then there's probably managers that are saying oh these people are quite quitting because they're not working 60 hours a week, they're working 40 hours a week. Well if you want to pay them for 60 hours a week then you need that's so I think you're exactly right. Like I think there are two different things and it depends, it's in the eye of the beholder of what it's called.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Yeah. And and the reason I ask you is because now that you're coaching people, I'm sure there are people that are feeling this way that like I can keep my job and I can do it and I can do it well, but I'm not gonna do all the extra stretch goals and all these other things that we were doing in 2019

[Danielle McCombs]
because

[Matt Gilhooly]
now I've sat here and I know that that's not serving me right

[Danielle McCombs]
and the people that are like and the world continued to turn even when I couldn't be in the office, my job got done my and all of those things. So as much as there was this time of uncertainty of what was going on and how things were going to carry on, like most places that you know, obviously there are people who suffered a lot in their businesses and things like that, but like corporate America continued on pretty much unscathed and

[Matt Gilhooly]
I think that's where quiet quitting conversation and people are getting upset and I think it's really coming from, you know, people are doing their job still, but managers are realizing that they're not doing that extra anymore and you know, and people are getting upset about it and I really wanted to go down this tangent selfishly, but also because it feels like that's probably what like is that what you are coaching a majority of your your your clients and or what you plan to do is like career coaching or is it more on the life side?

[Danielle McCombs]
So I like to think of it as whole life coaching because we are whole people, we are not just someone who has a job and then we're not somebody who has a personal life. Most a lot of people. Exactly. And so most a lot of people will come to me and say like I need advice on my career. And I had a client that I, you know, I start all of our sessions when we our first session together tell me your story because I think there's power and people telling me their story and some things pop up that you might not have thought of right? But somehow it's important in some way. And I had a client who basically gave me her resume and at the end of it I said don't you have a husband and three Children? Like what about that part of your life? And she was like, oh well that's not this part and but it is, they all are together. And I think that if we can be better as whole humans, we can show up better for our Children, our partners, our family and our job, but looking that as a whole thing is really important. And so I do have clients that come to me and they want to focus on their career and that's fine. But I do also push to say like, well where else is this showing up in your life? Where else are the things, you know, because we don't just walk into a building and turn into a different human? Um I mean I did just finish watching Severance on Apple tv. I don't know if you've watched that,

[Matt Gilhooly]
which highly, highly

[Danielle McCombs]
recommended. What I just described is exactly what happens is like you turn into another human being when you get to work, but that also has some really bad things that go on to go on with that. So it's that we are a whole person and we need to be able to take our whole selves to work and we need to be able to take our whole selves at home and so figuring out how those go together because part of that too is what's your value system, What are the things that are really important to you and you can't have home values and work values, your values or your values. And so if you're in a job that is stepping on your values every day, you're gonna be miserable and you're not, you're not gonna perform well and you're gonna feel anxious at all times, you're gonna feel that it's just not right. You can't turn that off and become this other person. So it's figuring out how holistically you can do that.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Yeah. Do you think that you well? So you said you were on this journey of, you know, I hate what I'm doing right now. I hate what I've been doing for 20 years. Maybe you liked it at the beginning or you liked it?

[Danielle McCombs]
Yeah, I did. And I would say I wasn't, I wasn't hate. It was just the role wasn't right. And it was, it wasn't the thing, it wasn't fulfilling.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Okay, so you were on that journey of trying to figure it out. You're working with a coach. Do you, do you think that, that your mom's diagnosis really was the tipping point? Do you think you would be where you are right now? Had you not had that diagnosis news?

[Danielle McCombs]
I think that I was on that path and maybe now I would have been like, oh, I can take that leap. I think it accelerated it. It accelerated my ability to be bold to take risks and to realize what was really important. I think I probably, maybe I would have taken a class here or there while I was working. I would have played it safe and that diagnosis made me be like, life is too short to play it safe. What am I doing? I can figure out the other part. I figured out all the other things before and I don't want to, especially the time, you know, my mom is doing well now, but is, you know, she has cancer and she, she's on a maintenance plan and she will have cancer for the rest of her life. And so, but at the time I didn't know what that was. I didn't know if we had a couple of months, if we had, you know, and I still don't know, but I didn't want to at some point look back and say, I didn't do the things because I was at work or I didn't spend time with her because I felt like I needed to get this deal done. Like that stuff didn't matter anymore. And then to realize like I want to do something that impacts people in a way and I want to do it now. I don't want to, I don't want to wait a year, I don't want to wait two years and slowly do this. I want to do it now. So I think that it was this, I feel like I would have been here, but it would have taken more time.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Was your coach coaching you towards coaching? I'm gonna see how many times I can say

[Danielle McCombs]
coach, it's really funny because we've had this, I've had this conversation with a couple of people and I've confirmed, I am the first person that he coached that became a coach, so that it is not like a multilevel marketing scheme. He doesn't get, you know paid for me becoming a coach, um and that was so, he, he had, we had talked about it and he had like, was like, this might be a good path for you, right? And then we also then spent a lot of time figuring out, like, is this really the thing that's gonna happen, like, is this really, does this really make sense? And how are you going to make this work? Like, So it wasn't just like, hey, you should become a coach, and I said, okay, um it was a process of really figuring out, like, is this deep down going to serve me and what I wanna do?

[Matt Gilhooly]
Yeah, well, maybe if if your coach is listening, he should consider a multilevel marketing plan and I'm just kidding. I I only ask that because, you know, there are a lot of people that have coaches, right? Career coaches, whole life coaches, life coaches, whatever kind of coach. And I'm thinking, you know, like, your journey without your mom's diagnosis? Like, part of my brain is like, were you thinking of, like being a ballerina where you think, you know, like, what were there other options out there? Were there things that you were, like, thinking about and then when, when your mom got her diagnosis, you were like, no, I want to help other people because of how I feel with this coach.

[Danielle McCombs]
No, I think I always wanted to help other people, I think that's always been inside of me in some way and through my podcast, a lot of the people we talked to our coaches. So I think it had opened my brain to this world that existed that I definitely didn't really know about before, which then led me to hire my own coach and then the more I went through it and had somebody helping me through this process and all of the things that I gained out of it, that was where I decided this is what I want to

[Matt Gilhooly]
do because it's like

[Danielle McCombs]
I want to help. Yeah and I want to help someone else go through this. Like I want to help people find that thing in themselves that lights them up that makes you want to get out of bed every morning and makes you excited to do the things you're doing.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Well, I can tell you that you're passionate about it, which is cool. And by the time that this comes out you'll hopefully have that certification. And what does that, what does that change in your life?

[Danielle McCombs]
I mean it just gives me credibility. I have clients now. I've been working with clients um you know, since March and I continue to get new clients and I'm always looking to work with new people. Um this certification just says that I've gone through this process and I've learned how to coach and I think that that's that's important. A lot of coaches. just, you don't need to have a certification, you don't need to have any credentials to be a life coach. Anyone can say that they are and it was important to me to do some sort of training, like a lot of the things that I coach come from my own life experiences and the work I've done on myself, but now I have a toolbox of how to really help people find those things in themselves and I think that gives me one the confidence to do it, but to it really does make a difference and I I have, I have a different coach now, but the tools that they give you really work. And so I was talking to her the other day and I knew exactly what she was doing right? Because I've learned all the tools that she has and we went through this process and I was like, oh my, this stuff really does work because it does give you the, it gives you the mindset shifts that you need that you might not just get by saying, hey matt, what do you want? Like that doesn't evoke this transformation,

[Matt Gilhooly]
What do you uh you know, just as far as your clients go and I don't want any personal information, but what are you seeing that's common that's happening in 2022 with the people that you're working, with is there anything that's like a common through line.

[Danielle McCombs]
I would say a lot is oh it is a lot of like recovery from the pandemic and people saying my life was different and then I had this moment, I had to stop and now how do I get back? But I don't want to go back to the old thing and I think it gave people a lot of time to think about fulfillment. What is the thing that really does light you up and having that moment? I think we all have a collective moment of mortality because you couldn't leave your house because we didn't know what was gonna happen. And so it made people question like is this thing that I'm doing really it and I would say that is a huge through line and then another one and I just think this is people in general and I work with a lot of women and confidence is the other thing is not feeling confident, not knowing

[Matt Gilhooly]
or

[Danielle McCombs]
their definition of confidence is wrong or they just don't, they feel that they can't stand up is who they really are and question a lot of themselves, right? You're overthinking things and so women underestimate themselves all the time And that is something that I really want to help people not do because we are our own worst enemy when it comes to that, you know, anybody that you see and you're like of course you could do that, well there's 10 voices in their heads telling you of course you can't. And so I really want to work with people to really recognize the things that they've accomplished in their lives and making it not look so scary doing the next thing.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Do you think that society is changing a little bit with that confidence piece? So you think that's a product of these last couple of years?

[Danielle McCombs]
Um because

[Matt Gilhooly]
they're reflecting and you know, feeling like I can do this or you know, where am I going next or back to what you have on your site and which I love is like leading with intention. Do you think that's serving women specifically better because of this time period we've had,

[Danielle McCombs]
I think it's the time of being shut down and having that time of reflection has made people realize like, I don't know that I could do this on my own, but I want to and that's what makes people seek out a coach is I know there's something else there that's what made me seek out a coach is saying like there's this thing over here, I know there's something else. And so how do I get that? And knowing that maybe you need some help to do it? And it's not something you can do easily on your own and there's a lot of work you have to do on your own too. You have to be committed to doing this work on your own and putting in the time and the work I'm just here as a guide and as someone to help you do that. But people are more motivated now, I think because they can see that there can be a different way of life If that is, you know, working the 40 hours instead of the 60 hours and being okay with that, not feeling like I'm going to get fired at any minute or I'm not doing enough, like I have to over achieve that kind of thing.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Yeah, and I think, you know, part of it is maybe the confidence is just in the sense that they are confident enough to reach out to get a coach. You know, I think I'm not gonna, well I am, I'm gonna equate it to therapy in a sense, right in that I think we're finally getting closer to a space in which seeking help for anything, whether that's, you know, career help or whole life help or therapy is a little bit more mainstream and accept acceptable and and something that that people feel confident, either talking about or working towards.

[Danielle McCombs]
I mean, I am a huge proponent of therapy. I think in a in a perfect world, everyone should have a therapist and a coach because a therapist helps you heal the wounds of your past and get past past traumas. And um a coach is kind of look at you saying, well, where do you want to go and how do we get there? And I will, I mean, and I do want to be clear that when my mother was diagnosed, I was working with a therapist and a coach and I think that helped me immensely. Having that support in both areas because I needed, it was really, really important and that is something that I highly recommend. And I'm a big proponent of that anyone who has access to that and I believe everyone should have access, that's a whole other conversation, but that there's so much that we don't even know that is going on in our heads and unless you take time to examine that you're always going to be getting in your own way.

[Matt Gilhooly]
100%, I agree. 100%. I think especially, you know, we've all had some sort of trauma and like you pointed out, we just went through like a global trauma, right? So everyone has something and whether you wanna admit it or not, there's probably something to unpack that can affect you in a more positive way, moving forward. Right? And

[Danielle McCombs]
I mean, let me share my drink. Can I share my dream with you, is that everyone at birth is assigned a

[Matt Gilhooly]
coach.

[Danielle McCombs]
So because you have people who are raising you right that are doing the best they can in most parts, but sometimes they're not too, but that you have this like external third party that you could go to and be like, hey, um so Susie said something to me on the playground and it just, it made me feel icky and how how do I deal with that and just having somebody because sometimes you can't go to your parents or your parents don't have the answers. And I think that that would make a world that was very beautiful. And we, if we could start that at birth, everyone else on the planet right now gets a coach and a therapist to work through everything else. And that would be like just a place where everybody could really be themselves and would be the most beautiful place that it can I know that that is, you know, a wild and crazy dream, but I think that it would just make the planet a better place.

[Matt Gilhooly]
I agree. I mean, I feel like, you know, we're taking baby steps. I think that I love that people are being more open about mental health and just, you know, that in general we've for decades now people are so concerned with physical health, which also important, right? But mental health can affect your physical health. And I love that people are more open, you know, as a male myself sharing my vulnerabilities was always hard, right because of society or what I felt that society was telling me I could or could not do and, and as soon as I did, like as soon as I was comfortable enough to just put the gross stuff out there, you know, like the stuff that people don't say out loud because it's society says you shouldn't, that's when I felt like a whole human being right and that, you know, I wasn't the only one feeling this way because all the messages that would come behind the scenes and be like, thank you for writing that I would never write that, but I feel exactly the same, you know? And so I think baby steps to this coach and therapist idea is wonderful. Um maybe it's a little bit of a fantasy right now, but maybe we'll get there.

[Danielle McCombs]
Yeah, exactly. And that's I think that's so important to say to matt because with you putting your voice out there and and having people tell their stories, it's so powerful because people get to relate in a way that you might not get someplace else. And I think storytelling is so huge and to be brave enough to put your story out there and allow other people to put their is really great and is helping this world be a better place.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Well we'll quote burn a brown, your favorite and I don't know the exact quote, so we're just gonna paraphrase but it's something like we're emotional beings having a human experience, right? And so like let's lean on that emotional part and make these connections, which is what we're doing. I mean we're virtual here, but I feel like you're in the same room and we're having a conversation. So to wrap up this wonderful conversation, I'd love to ask you what this current version of You could say to that 2020 version of you. That was kind of on this fence not feeling very fulfilled. Is there anything that you could tell her

[Danielle McCombs]
you are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for? And there's something so much better when you take that leap

[Matt Gilhooly]
And would that version of you believe this version?

[Danielle McCombs]
Mm I don't know as she would want to but I don't know that she would.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Yeah. I mean and I think that goes to say like what a lot of the guests talk about on the show is that the journey is is the whole journey is part of it, right? We have to go through this. That and the other And so many of us and I don't know if you're included. But so many of us are grateful for those really hard moments because look what we get and if we do the things right and we serve ourselves properly. This is where we get

[Danielle McCombs]
Yeah. And even when you do the things wrong and you fall on your face and you get back up, then you you know, you can do it again. And I you know, I feel like I'm early on in this journey of what my next career move looks like. But it does feel so much better not feeling like I'm holding something back and I am grateful that I had

[Matt Gilhooly]
a

[Danielle McCombs]
moment of like real clarity to take that leap.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Yeah, I don't, I'm not grateful for the moment that you had to go through it but

[Danielle McCombs]
correct neither am I and I'm, but I am grateful that my, you know my mom is doing well now and we're living with what it is and she's been able to do that with Grace and she's an incredible human being who has taken this on in a way that also I think has given me insights into like the person that's within me too and how incredible to handle something in such a dignified way and head on. Um she has been nothing but incredible this last year and something that I always knew, like I always knew my mom was an incredible person but she proved it to me in ways that I could not have imagined um and continues to do that every day.

[Matt Gilhooly]
Yeah. And that trigger moment was the moment which you were able to do everything now with intention because you know that everything matters everything that matters in your family and the values you can, you can move forward knowing that what you choose to do fits fits properly right where it should be. I appreciate you being a part of the life shift podcast. It means a lot.

[Danielle McCombs]
Thank you so much for having me here matt. This was an incredible conversation and I appreciate your work and what you're doing in the world. So keep it

[Matt Gilhooly]
up. Thank you very much. And for those of you listening, If you're enjoying the life shift podcast, please rate and review as Danielle can say when she sees those reviews for her show, I'm sure it lights are up. I don't know if they do anything for us, but that's that's enough for us. So we will see you next week on the life shift podcast. Thanks. I'm Matt Gilhooly and this is the life shift, candid conversations about the pivotal moments that changed lives