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Sepia Prime Communications & Coaching: Helping Teams & Leaders Embrace Change With Courage & Compassion

Sepia Prime Communications & Coaching: Helping Teams & Leaders Embrace Change With Courage & Compassion

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey. Initially, you spend every waking hour working on your business. And it can feel like you’re stuck on a desert island. Who do you turn to for guidance?

Sure, there are millions of online articles, videos, and other resources on how to build and grow a business. But what if your business is unique and a one-size-fits-all solution won’t work?

This is where business coaching comes in. We present to you Sepia Prime Communications & Coaching (SPCC), who can be your best guide on how to go about starting a business. Before knowing what SPCC is into let’s know how it started.

The journey of SPCC from scratch

Michele Aikens was working as a magazine publisher and was sacked at the age of 50. She struggled to get a job for nearly two years although she had decades of experience in organizational leadership.

One day a former student asked her how to start a magazine and 90-minutes of insight and advice came out of that phone call. Aikens realized that if she had knowledge at 50 that could help someone start a business, so did other 50+ women who had lost their jobs.

Michele then established Sepia Prime Woman to support women who are 50+ to convert their knowledge and experience into business, authorships and consulting opportunities. Now, Sepia is not just limited to 50+ aged women, even younger women and men are keen in being part of Sepia Prime. To reflect the clientele, Sepia Prime Woman was changed to Sepia Prime Communications & Coaching.

Michele is a certified life coach, and credentialed through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). "We added this offering because in meeting clients we understood most issues were not about ‘what’, but ‘why’, said Michele. All of SPCC’s coaches are certified and adhere to the professional standards of the ICF. This emphasis on coaching helps businesses and individuals courageously embrace growth and change. As CEO and Lead Coach of Sepia Prime Communication & Coaching, Aikens impacts leaders and their teams through customized workshops and coaching sessions.” No matter where you are, SPCC can help you find the answer to the “What’s Next?” question for your business.

Michele says that success is such a funny word; you can make your revenue targets but miss the point of your mission.  Does that mean you’re successful? she asks. She believes the biggest factors to her idea of success are threefold: Trusting instincts, lining up actions to prepare for what she anticipates but doesn’t yet see, and following up on the plans she makes.  As organizations, so many of us have plans to be successful financially, which are important, but lose track of why we started in business in the first place.  Michele quotes, “When I find myself overwhelmed by an engagement, I stop and ask myself three questions: Why this work? Why this client? Why this commitment?  If my insides don’t respond with an enthusiastic yes, I correct the course.  I’m blessed to be able to choose or not choose engagements.  Enjoying the work with individuals and teams, that is appropriately respected, is my gauge of success.”

The hardest decision Michele has ever made was to end her relationship with magazine publishing. She found it hard because she had the fear of switching to another field, not that she enjoyed the [magazine] work. Very often these men and women, in the middle season of life, have done certain work for so long that they can’t imagine doing anything else. The transition into something completely new can be intimidating and invigorating. Michele is happy today, to be doing the most rewarding work of her life; other leaders in transition can find the same fulfillment in a different profession.

In today’s work culture it is essential to motivate teams and leaders to embrace change with courage and compassion. Michele believes that the whole world is in a new place of how we work, relate to others, and evaluate what is most important.  The “easy answer” is to go back to how things were before the change.  “Let’s see if we can put the genie back in the bottle.”  Going back to the way things used to be requires no courage or creativity.  If organizations and their teams are to thrive, we must look ahead at what we haven’t seen before.  While we contemplate change, we must also consider transition.  A mentor once said to Michele, “Change is what happens outside, but transition is what happens inside individuals.”  Transition is messy. Transition can be painful.  We observe patterns in our lives and businesses that served us well but are suddenly outdated.  Yet we are attached to those patterns.  How do we embrace what is new and uncomfortable?  How do we reform teams around a shift in our stakeholders’ expectations? Have our organizational mindsets reflected the best of the team, or what management assumed was best?  Exploring these questions as we re-position ourselves requires that we look at what we might be doing wrong; that takes courage. If we are courageous to implement change, it will not be easy, and for that reason, we must be compassionate with ourselves and our teams.

Sepia Prime Communications & Coaching encourages anyone who is fearful or anxious to first breathe.  Breathing reconnects you to your physical state.  You are still standing, or sitting, with your feet on the earth.  You won’t fly away; you won’t be carried away physically by some ill wind.  After taking a few deep breaths, and calming the physical body, it is time to look at what is happening within the spirit.  Anything that makes a leader fearful is something they need to look at head on. Michele encourages them to look at the worst case scenario – the thing that is causing fear.  Once they can articulate the worst case scenario, she asks, “Then what?”  Looking beyond the fear helps us realize that even if the worse happens, we can identify strategies and solutions.  We become anxious because we believe we are powerless over what we fear.  If we can look into the face of fear and imagine what comes after it, we get a sense of our own power and resilience

When asked how SPCC will transform people’s lives, Michele said that it happens when people see new possibilities for their lives. “I believe we are all uniquely created with skills and temperaments that can lead us to amazing opportunities. Our willingness to pursue those opportunities, no matter how daunting, are directly tied to the possibilities we see within ourselves. Having a coach – a partner in your transformation – will provide the challenge and accountability to see your life with a new perspective.”

Greet the exemplary persona

Her areas of specialty include ministry leadership, executive women, transitional, and team coaching.  She consults with non-profits and growing businesses in the areas of leadership, team and change strategies.  Aikens has more than 30 years’ experience in training, publishing, communications strategy, and team development.  She helps individuals and groups navigate challenges with insight, empathy, and humor.

Michele holds a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.

“No matter where you are, SPCC can help you find the answer to the “What’s Next?” question for your business and your life.”

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