My whole life has been a journey towards finding purpose. Ever since I can remember I've asked questions like: “Why do I like this? Why am I made this way? Why in the world was I born? What's my purpose?”
Each time I've made a major decision in my life — where to go to college, whether or not to move to another state, the right person to marry — there has always been a question bubbling just under the surface. “How will this decision resonate with the purpose I was made for? How will this choice make me more of who I am meant to be?” I guess you could say I am a certified “life purpose junkie.”
My name is Erica and I'm the founder of Beacon Coaching. Beacon is the coaching business I started at the beginning of 2015, but the vision for Beacon Coaching has been bubbling up ever since I can remember. When I was six years old I would ride around my father's gas station on a sparkly magenta, banana seat bike and speak to the crowds I imagined gathered in my mind. At the age of nine I would stand on the walkway beside our house and speak to the masses of people I could see in my mind's eye. I would talk about all sorts of things. Anything from how to be the best cheerleader to the smartest way to organize your stuffed animal collection to the basics of astronomy and the universe (I had a wide range of interests!). I began to find that what made me happiest was synthesizing information, packaging it into a process or a set of principles, and delivering it to a crowd. I was developing into a teacher who loved to speak, inspire and help. That's where my soul started to realize it could sing.
I've always leaned towards leadership. Captain of the cheerleading squad in eighth grade, president of the service club my senior year, and always up to coordinate a project or manage a team. I found that I could just “see” how something could come together successfully, even before the project had begun. Over the years I learned to develop the skill of communication around those “best practices” (I learned early on that no one likes a know-it-all!). I had to learn how to communicate in such a way that I didn't run people off before we could solve the problem, win the prize or otherwise get to the end successfully.
I graduated from college with a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. I went on to get my Masters of Science in Taxation from Golden Gate University and I was licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in the state of California. I found I had a passion for ticking the boxes, balancing the rows and helping people and businesses to organize their finances and make sense of their money situations. I spent a number of years rising through the ranks of Deloitte as a tax specialist and I eventually wound up at one of my Fortune 500 clients serving as the Senior Director of Global Tax Accounting for four years. During those years I put my process engineering and management skills to good use and found these to be the true passion of my career. I simply loved helping people find solutions to their most pressing problems while empowering them in the process. I began coaching people around personal finances through a ministry of the church I belonged to. And I could hear my soul start singing again.
But in the midst of finding my passion for process and helping people, I was also living chronically ill. Diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (“IBS”) early in life, after having absolutely every diagnostic test known to man performed on my digestive system by the time I was 15 (barium swallow anyone?), my days were spent preoccupied with what foods I could and couldn't eat, what situations were too stressful and would produce symptoms, and what medications could possibly help. I missed out on a lot in life early on as a result. Eventually I found ways to cope as I learned to master life with IBS. But in the early 2000's I began to have flares that simple diet changes and stress management techniques weren't resolving. More tests and more medications, and the diagnoses weren't conclusive, but they suggested the possibility of a full fledged bowel disease. I began to do my own research and took even more drastic measures with my diet, now adding in supplements instead of powerful medications that simply weren't helping. Still, I continued to flare. Fast forward to having my second child in 2010. After an extremely stressful year during pregnancy, I gave birth and then immediately found myself spiraling into postpartum anxiety. I began to research the connection between the mind and the body, the gut and the brain. And with a combination of clean diet, supplements, medications, counseling and a God-sent community based support system, I began to climb out of anxiety and to heal my gut. This sparked in me a desire to know how this all worked at a deeper level. And because it will always be about helping others for me, I found that coaching people around their health to find unique and powerful solutions for their conditions was part of my passion, too. So, in 2015, I graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition as a certified health coach and began facilitating some group coaching online.
In early 2011, my husband, Doug, and I moved back to my childhood home town of Tampa, Florida. We left our church in NYC where we were members (and very involved) for 10+ years for what we thought would be a two month vacation. We knew within a week we weren't going back. We felt called to plant a church in South Tampa, and in late 2011, with the support and help of our church family, we did just that. C3 Church Tampa was born on December 18, 2011, and my husband and I still co-pastor the church today. As an ordained minister, pastor and preacher, I have found another level in my purpose of bringing breakthrough and victory to the lives of people using practical, God based principles and strategies.
Beacon Coaching is the culmination of all of these passions, leading folks into breakthrough and victory in the areas of personal finance, health, relationships and empowered living. To help people find their “best life” in the midst of challenges and despite setbacks. To equip people so they can live a life where their own soul begins to sing. Like mine did all the way back at six years old when I was just a little kid on a sparkly bike speaking into my own future.
A single coaching company focused on finances, health, relationships and inspired living may seem like a bit much. But it's my passion to see people living the best version of their whole lives that binds all of these things together seamlessly. I've found that the key to breakthrough and victory in any of area of life is virtually one and the same. It involves vision and faith and determination and measurement. And through Beacon Coaching I can share that process with anyone who has a desire to breakthrough and find victory in their own world.
And so that's the story behind Beacon Coaching . . . and my mission: To be a beacon — a signal and a guide — to your best financial management, health, relationships and overall life through the inspired sharing of principles and a proven process. I'm looking forward to going on this journey with you! I'm certain our souls will sing.