I am Jessica Riesenbeck
I am a Master Life Coach, Virtual Assistant, wife and mom of two. Most importantly, I am a me--Jessica.
I decided to become a Life Coach while working with Martha Beck- one of the best-known life coaches in America - as her Virtual Assistant. I was blown away by Martha and the amazing group of coaches I had the opportunity to connect with. I've always loved being there for others, watching them do things they didn't realize or believe were possible and supporting in any way I could. When I told family and friends about this new path, they were not surprised.
In my spare time, I love hanging out with my family (my husband, two kids and our two dogs) and friends. My family is my heart. I like a good book, hot bath, great glass of wine and a good comedy--one I can just enjoy--no thinking required. I love music & will dance until my feet will dance no more. Flowers, music, hugs and my kids’ laughter fill my heart with smiles. I am told that I’m funny, fun to be around, spirited and passionate. I give my all to everything I do and I try to find the humor and have fun in everything.
I’ve been told for years that there is something about my personality or my energy that allows people to feel comfortable with me, able to open up and share things they don’t normally share with others. I’m great at holding the space, listening and asking questions that allow you to consider other thoughts or options. I help you to dig deeper, question what you’re feeling or thinking and connect with how you feel and how you want to feel as well.
I learn by experience and stories and that is the way I work with my clients. I share examples and personal stories. I’m also good at metaphors—providing an analogy of how a situation appears or can work. I have to say I always surprise myself with these but love when they happen.
Being a Life Coach is part of my journey. I don’t’ believe it’s my final destination but it’s on my path to wherever I’m going. When I talk to others and coach them my heart is filled with light and happiness. I can be having a bad day, get on a call with a client and hang up feeling revived and happy. I love seeing what people are able to create in their lives and enjoy pointing out that it’s not just coincidence, but because of the actions they’ve been taking. And, to hear from past clients with brags or success stories—that is the cherry on top of the sundae.
Email Me: firstname.lastname@example.org
My entrepreneurial story began in the Fall of 2003. After having worked for a small business for over eight years as an Office Manager it was sold to a large corporation. With the new ownership came unexpected changes. My life and my family’s life changed radically from what we had become accustomed and grown comfortable with.
With these unexpected changes I experienced a lot of emotions—I cried on a daily basis, feeling powerless and lost, then angry. I then realized I wanted it to be up to me to make decisions that impacted my family and me when it came to my job. I would work for myself, start some sort of business that I could do from home so I could decide how many days a week I would work, what my hours would be and the amount of my paycheck. I wasn’t sure what this looked like but I knew I’d figure it out.
One day while reading Time Magazine, I read an article on Virtual Assistance and AssistU. I instantly knew in my heart that Virtual Assistance was what I had been looking for. I copied the article, read it to my husband, and then I read it over and over for a few weeks. I had figured out what would be next for me.
After a lengthy application process, I was accepted into the Virtual Assistant training program through AssistU and the whirlwind began. I began studying in February of 2004. I quit my job in March, had my son in April (my second child) and launched my VA business in July. It was one of the most difficult and most rewarding years of my life, and in the life of my family. It was also challenging on my marriage.
Cashing in my retirement (about $6,000) was the only way I could quit my job, but was necessary because of the stress I experienced while at work. We had a three year old and a newborn. The VA clients didn’t fall from the sky as they did in my sleep deprived fantasy. I had to get out there and find clients--it was up to me to make things happen. It took a while for me to find my confidence and courage. Again, I cried much of the time-- most of the time, but knew that what I was doing what right for me. It was right for our family.
To grow my VA business I moved from dreamland to reality and began finding ways to look for clients while working from home as part time employee for a family member. I made a connection with a woman who eventually became my first client. I also went to networking events where I ate a lot of food, hung out with my sister-in-law and got a lot of dead leads.
In the Spring of 2005, my husband’s work hours were cut and things there were very shaky. We were tight on money and patience. I went to my parents’ house, jokingly (but seriously) asked if I could grocery shop at their house because we didn’t have enough money to buy groceries. For me to ask this was heartbreaking. As if I admitted I failed. In my head I imagined having to get a “real” job, not be there when I was needed for my kids and not do what I truly felt was possible. My parents insisted on helping us out and gave us a check for $500 (after sending us home with bags of groceries). I promised to pay them back. And, that’s what I needed--to make that promise. I wasn’t going to take money from my parents and not pay them back, especially since I had helped to create our situation.
I can still be shy, get caught in fear, irritable and grouchy some days. I also laugh, challenge myself, feel more confident, question my thoughts and actions and let my kids do things even though I want to hold them close. I color my hair red—it feels fun and natural. I travel to grow my business and to learn more about myself. I cry more and laugh more. I feel my emotions rather than stuffing them down, and I know we are all learning, changing and growing every day. Change is normal. It’s OK to have bad days because there are also good days. When we lose the fun in our lives, everyone else around us loses, too. Happiness isn’t about smiling every minute of every day. It’s about having a full heart
The reason I wanted to share this story with you is because it’s important to know we’re not alone. I wanted you to see the roller coaster of highs and lows that impacted my husband, our family and me. I wanted you to see there were good things and struggles, challenges and achievements, along with unexpected turns that took us on paths we never imagined. Life is made up of ups and downs, twists and turns. What looks to be horrible or devastating at the time can have beautiful messages and turn out to be a gift we would have never given ourselves. If we learn how to navigate, allow what is happening to happen without resistance, experience our emotions so that we can move through them more quickly, life happens. Amazing things happen. We live our lives in a way that is true to who we are. We become happy.
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