S1:E2 - Robyn Eckersley is In The Studio with Calamity Jane
In The Studio with Calamity Jane is a show highlighting the incredible women of Las Vegas!
This episode features Robyn Eckersley, who is on a mission to change the world. Her work as an impact coach helps build up those people with a real passion for change, and empowers them to create that change in the world.
Get to know Robyn as she describes what she wanted to be as a kid, what drives her to continue helping people to be their best, and how you can create a business that drives change for the better.
If you're an amazing woman in Las Vegas (or know one), fill out the form for a chance to be In the Studio with Calamity Jane!
Hi, my name is Jodi, also known as Calamity Jane. Welcome to another edition of In The Studio With Calamity Jane.
Our purpose with this series is to highlight some amazing women in our community, and joining us today is Robyn Eckersley. Robyn is on a mission to change the world.
Hi Jodi, thank you so much for having me here. I'm very excited for this interview.
Tell us a little bit about your work.
Okay. Well, I'm an Impact Coach and a lot of people will say, she's a life coach, but where I've decided to kind of hone my coaching practice is in terms of impact.
Typically I work with women, one-on-one or in groups. And these women are people who view themselves as agents of change. They see themselves in a larger picture in the world. They see themselves making a real impact, a real difference, and creating a life that they're really proud of.
But the challenge they're facing is they might not have the tools or strategies to achieve that larger dream, that big vision that they have. So where I come in is I help them really get clear on that identity of being an agent of change, and what that means to them and what they stand for.
Then we talk about what mission they want to take on because often times people who want to change the world want to change a lot of things about it. So I help them get clear on exactly what that looks like and then put actionable strategies into place so they can actually create that impact, instead of just staying in this world of possibility of, I could do this or wouldn't be great if I did this. So really, it starts from the inside out. We start with who they are, what they want to bring about, and then we put that into real action.
We start with who they are, what they want to bring about,
and then we put that into real action.
And then the other half of my business, that I actually just launched this year, is working with small and mid-sized businesses to use social impact strategies as a way of improving their bottom lines, converting their customers into fans, and improving their employee morale.
How did you come to start in this field?
Well I currently do a lot of work with people around the meaning of their life and life purpose. And personally, I was on what this, what I call a hamster wheel of getting up, going to work. It's a great job on paper, it's a great life on paper, and then burning myself out at the end of the week and just doing it over and over again, and it was completely unfulfilling.
So even though the pieces looked like they fit together, I was getting nothing out of it and I felt like I could be making a bigger difference in the world. But my experience, and I think it's really common for other people too, is that when you think about making a difference you think about I'm gonna become a doctor or I'm gonna join the Peace Corps or I'm gonna start a nonprofit. They're very career-focused and... I just didn't know what career would give me that fulfillment.
I felt like I could be making a bigger difference in the world...
And then it all kind of came to a head when my husband and I were, we were in the middle of planning our wedding, I ended up losing my Silicon Valley job and I was in this place of like, what the heck am I doing with my life right now? Because I don't want to go back into the job I had because I was admitting I hated it. I just hated that lifestyle. And I started this search of let's find something that actually means something to me.
And so I came across a life coach for the first time and I had no idea what that was and I had a free session with her and was like, okay let's, let's give this a shot. And I was very skeptical about it and very you know, this sounds like a fake career to me at that point in my life. And so we were talking about the crossroads that I was at and we were talking about how I was looking for fulfillment, I was looking for something to fill that void and what I liked to do and who I'd like to work with. And at the end of it, she's like it kind of sounds like you want to do what I do. It sounds like you want to be a coach and I was like I don't really know what you do, like I don't know what we're doing here. So she kind of laughed and she was like just do some research into it like look into the profession of coaching, let me know what you think.
It was magic from there on out 'cause I found out more about what the coaching profession was. And I found a training school that I really liked and that really vibed with the type of tribe that I was looking for. So I went through that program. I went through the certification, I did all the official stuff, and then I decided this is how I help people. This is how I help women specifically and it's been a ride since then.
I started out as a self-care coach actually and I wanted to work with women to see that they are worth more than what they think they're worth. And I wanted to help victims of domestic violence because that's also my background and I wanted to help people come through that transition and that process of rediscovering themselves and building a world that they can thrive in.
Let's really take on the world and see what's possible.
And then after a series of months I shifted into becoming an impact coach where I wanted to work with women who were further on their journey of, okay now that I'm in a place of stability and a place of of believing more in myself, let's see what else I can do. Let's really take on the world and let's really see you know, let's see what's possible.
[Jodi] What you said was very very neat, so you started, you essentially want to help women through these kind of transitions. So you take them from, you started with with kind of place one, help them move into the next phase, and then once you were doing that then you take them from that phase to an even more empowered kind of a level where then they can turn around, essentially, and empower others or do what they... are uniquely suited to help change the world in their own way. That's a very powerful thing that you do.
Thank you. I like that you used the word journey because really I think all of life is one big transition and depending on where we are in that particular journey, we're going to need different kinds of support. We're gonna run into different kinds of opportunities, different people, and I feel like I am better suited for the woman who's really revved up and ready to go and take action. And you know, self-care and self-love and identity are important parts of what we work on anyway, with those types of clients, but they're not at the core. These are women who realize that self-care is important and they're focused on that being a tool to this larger plan of action. But yeah it's a very different kind of vibe, those two different groups or two different versions of maybe the same woman. So it's... it's just I think where I can better serve that particular woman when she's at that point in her journey.
What do you feel makes you successful?
I feel the feedback that I get from my clients makes me successful because when they tell me what has happened as a result of our conversations, even when it's further down the line, you can leave a session and say that was great, that was a lot of fun I learned a lot about myself. I discovered something new about myself and how I view the world or I got a great plan I can't wait to execute. That in and of itself is a success, if the client is walking away from the session and they're like, okay I got something out of that.
We can't predict what someone's going to do once they know
themselves at a deeper level. Part of that surprise for me is an
indication that, yeah you're doing something good.
I think the bigger success is what that facilitates for them. Like what that opens for them because we can't predict what someone's going to do with new self conscious self awareness. We can't predict what someone's going to do once they know themselves at a deeper level and part of that surprise for me is, is an indication, like yeah you're doing something good. You're helping these women.
So and by the way I do, currently I have two male clients and they're doing awesome things in the world too. So even though I are market towards women and they reach out to women, I do have the occasional real soulful guy come along and if that's what he sees himself doing too, then yeah I'm here to help him as well.
What piece of advice would you give a new entrepreneur who is just starting out?
A new entrepreneur is in a really vulnerable place. He or she might be second-guessing themselves all the time or feeling lost or feeling alone, sometimes being an entrepreneur can be a really lonely place. I guess the single piece of advice... I shall give two, if you don't mind. Two pieces of advice that I would give a new entrepreneur are one, trust yourself. Have the conviction in what you're doing and allow your creativity to run with that. So a lot of times we think about our trade as only one way of doing things.
So for example, as a coach I'm originally thought of my business as me sitting down with one-on-one sessions and that's the only thing I can do as a coach. Similar to like a therapist or a psychologist, things like that you, just do one-on-one sessions for the most part. But when you're open or when you open yourself to creativity you start to see different ways of reaching more people. Some people, if you're looking at it from a business perspective, you might see it as different streams of revenue, but when you're thinking about how can I help more people, you can write books, you can host shows like this, you could do group sessions, you can do workshops, and speaking gigs. It doesn't have to be one particular avenue for you to be reaching people and facilitating the change that you wish to see.
Having that conviction and allowing your creativity to run with it, that's one piece of advice that I would give. The second is to find a community.
Find a group of other entrepreneurs of people who are on a similar quest as you and surround yourself with them. Immerse yourself in that world, and part of that community doesn't even have to be in person. I consider... Marie Forleo and Gary Vaynerchuk and Seth Godin and all of these amazing people, Brene Brown. I consider them part of my community because I create an influx of their influence through their podcasts, through YouTube videos, through their books and recordings. So that shapes my world and it makes me feel like yes, I'm on the right track.
When you bolster your team, your community, that can give you the motivation to get through the tough times, to get through that loneliness. And the in-person support is just as important if not more I think because a "biz bestie" or "business bestie" is a great person to know. When you do have those moments of what am I doing, I should just go get a regular job. That would be way easier, and you know it would be easier but it would kill your soul probably. Honestly, if you're an entrepreneur and you decided to take the leap, going back would, it wouldn't be something that would last very long.
So having that community to kind of keep you moving forward and reassure you that you're not alone and that you're you're meant for something, to create something from nothing. I think those are two of the most important things I could offer.
And now, the famous questionnaire that was asked for 26 years by the great Bernard Pivot and made famous on In The Actors Studio:
What is your favorite word?
I think my favorite word of the year, currently. is resistance, and I say that because of what it invokes in me. When I think resistance the very first thing is Carrie Fisher in Star Wars, and she I think was a an idol for a lot of women and I loved what she stood for on screen and off screen and she didn't suffer any fools.
And then I think resistance is one of my favorite word's because even though I'm looking to change the world from a place of compassion and empathy, that doesn't mean being a doormat. That doesn't mean expressing compassion to the point where you compromise your values, and understanding this concept of resistance means drawing your line in the sand and saying this is what I believe and this is what I'm going to fight for and this is going to be part of the impact and my existence and identity. So this idea of resistance, I think a lot of people might think that's a weird thing for a coach to say. Saying hey you know, just love everybody and give everyone a chance and yes you can do that without being... without standing for nothing, I guess. So that's my current word of the year.
What is your least favorite word?
My least favorite word is stagnant because... What it represents and how it feels. It just feels like ugh, it feels flats, it feels lifeless. And that's also kind of what it represents to me, that there's no growth happening. That there's nothing being created, it's just plateauing. And that's a very dangerously comfortable place to be.
Just the other day a friend of mine and I were talking about how we... like to be safe. We like to feel safe but we confuse safety with comfort, our safety zone with our comfort zone. And I think when we're confusing the two, that's when we become stagnant, and that's where we really limit what could be because we just want to play it safe. And if we're uncomfortable, we think we're being unsafe and if we're not stagnant it could be uncomfortable. Growth, change, creation, it can feel really uncomfortable but, you know... that's part of also what comes out on the other end.
If you're stagnant, you're really foregoing all of the incredible experiences that you could be having and it's just like, even just saying it I'm like ugh. So yeah that's that's definitely one of my least favorite words.
What turns you on creatively, emotionally, or spiritually?
Being surrounded by people who believe that they can do something. I think that's why I enjoy networking events. I used to hate networking events and now I love it because I found the ones that, I'm around people who really care about doing something, about creating some kind of ripple effect. And that they are really committed to it, and that conviction, that feeling of yeah I'm in this. I'm choosing to spend my blood, sweat, and tears into making this real that you know, surrounding myself with people who have that energy and who have let that fuel, like I was saying about the entrepreneur advice, letting that belief fuel their creativity.
What if we did this, what if we did that, and that kind of like you know, idea generation. I just, oh my gosh, like that's my Energizer battery essentially. I love that, and for me it is fulfilling spirituality. It feels like you know, when I say spiritually I'm thinking of like a higher purpose. Meaning to what we're doing on this Earth milling around. So it seems like that, even if I'm really tired. If I'm like, I don't feel like driving across town to this event, I will do it because I know that I'm gonna feel like a million bucks afterwards. I'm gonna feel like, oh my gosh, all these amazing people want to do so many good things in the world and I'm so excited to see what they accomplish. I know I'm gonna walk out of there just on a high, yeah.
So what turns you off?
That's an easy one, that is arrogance. My entire life, if I felt that someone was being particularly arrogant, that was like a, I don't have time for you kind of reaction. Where it's like you know okay, like you you might be amazing but if you're going around in a really boastful way, or you should pay attention to me because I'm so great, like I don't have time for that.
There's a lot of other great people who are more concerned about using that greatness, that really everybody has, to be of service to others. Not just, I'm so great and that's why you should listen to me. Not, my greatness is helping other people look at their greatness, and creating that... that spirit of looking more towards others instead of just like, yeah I should be, you know, I should be the center of your attention. I just don't have time for that.
What is your favorite curse word?
My favorite curse word is probably like fuuuuuuck! Where it's just it could be really drawn-out, it can be really precise, and it can just like, it's like blowing off steam at the same time. Yeah, sorry mom.
What sound or noise do you love?
My husband and I go to a lot of live shows, we love live music and we love concerts and festivals. And I think one of my favorite sounds is the cheering of a crowd, like massive cheers, as soon as the band is walking on stage or starting to play. It's that like, it's the sound of anticipation, it's the sound of everyone coming together, and it's gonna be a great night. So yeah that initial roar of the crowd at a concert would be definitely one of my favorite sounds.
What sound or noise do you hate?
I have two, so one... just sets my teeth on edge, is when silverware is against ceramics or styrofoam. Yeah, it's like the worst. To the point of sometimes if it happens across the restaurant, I just like, I freeze.
My husband and I were at the buffet at the Cosmopolitan, like I think two years ago, and we were sitting across the restaurant from this older couple who, you know. They're moving very slowly and going to get their food and whatnot, and so being super cute and just very adorable together. And then the husband is just cranking away with that knife on the ceramic plate to the point where across the room, I'm like I can't eat. My teeth feel like little marshmallows right now. I just can't, and I don't think either one of them, either could hear it or could recognize it, just going to town on that plate. One of my favorite hobbies is eating and I was like you're ruining this for me. So anyway, that that's a terrible sound for me.
And then also something that really makes me sad, when I hear it, is people talking badly about themselves. If I hear my mom talking bad about herself or people saying that they can't do something, they're really not good at something, they're really, like a lot of self-defeating talk. I get really, it really gets me upset to the point of like, this is this is dangerous, don't speak like this because words are powerful. And you're reinforcing and building this belief that you have nothing to offer, and I know that's not true and I think one of the biggest tragedies in life is the number of people who believe they have nothing to offer because they've convinced themselves. And the sound of someone talking down on themselves it's just like, it's heartbreaking. It's just heartbreaking.
What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?
I would really like to try being a Marine Biologist. It's something that I've always wanted to do since I was a little kid and you know, wandering from the young adult section of the library to the college section, even when I was in elementary school. Checking out these books on Marine biology and learning about the oceans and learning about all the life that happens there, on these beautiful ecosystems. And the fact that there's so much undiscovered and I think that whole, the spirit of creativity. You know, what could we learn down there, what can we explore, and how does that help humanity in some way? Yeah, I would love to do that.
What profession would you not like to do, like ever?
I would never like to drive a truck. That's, I don't know how people wheel those tractor trailers all over the place but it's just it looks like a brutal life. I would also hate to be a Customer Service Rep for an airline. I think that's one the most unforgiving jobs and they receive so much undeserved flak. They're usually like, you know, the middleman and in a very like high-pressure environment. Yep, I don't see myself doing that anytime soon.
If Heaven exists what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
If God exists. And I... Poof, show up at the pearly gates, Then I think... this is like strangely unexpectedly emotional.... Just you did a great job. Like nice job!
The other day I was having a conversation with someone, and she's this amazing woman that's at my co-working space, and she was saying that I just, you know when I die if I could just see, if it was total darkness and everyone whose lives I touched was like a glowing orb or something. She's like I would want that darkness to be totally lit up. And I don't know, I don't know if God exists how he would verbalize that but something like, you changed a lot of lives. You helped a lot of people. Oh my gosh. Sorry, I was totally not expecting that reaction but yeah that was, that was awesome.
[Jodi] Thanks for being with us today Robyn.
No problem, thank you for having me. This was a lot of fun.
Thank you for watching, and join us for the next edition of In the Studio with Calamity Jane. Where we take one amazing woman from Las Vegas and put her in the spotlight for a moment.