Joan Washburn Finding Clarity and Building a Life on Purpose

  • by Pat
  • 5 Months ago
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Joan Washburn

Joan Washburn was a driven results-oriented corporate sales person before two major life events stopped her in her tracks nine years ago.

For 27 years, she traveled every week of her life – to at least 1 city, often 2.  Looking back, she realizes how she missed out on creating a life outside of work. However suddenly, the company that she currently worked for as a Vice-President of Sales, Marketing and Executive Management was purchased by a multi-national corporation and she lost her job overnight. It was tough but soon other job offers, to continue in her same role but with a different company, were forthcoming.

As Joan was processing these new opportunities yet another challenge occurred. A debilitating illness, with only a 70% survival rate, forced her to take time away from her career and reevaluate her life goals. The illness required her to spend time recuperating in a hospital which resulted in plenty of time to think about what path she truly wanted to take going forward.

While recuperating she pondered the question,

“What do I really Love doing?  What do I really WANT to do the rest of my career?” 

What she began to see was that the part about her work she loved was coaching and training new people.  The people she hired, in her former position, were technicians that she had to teach sales, business planning and how to succeed in an environment totally new to them.  When she left 4 were Regional Vice-Presidents and one was a National VP.

Obviously, she was good at her job and it was something that she enjoyed doing. During her reflection period, she realized that she could merge her business experience with some new coaching skills and help people in the same manner that she used to in her corporate life.

The first step Joan took, nine years ago, was to further her own training, which she did by earning a degree from the Academy for Coaching Excellence (she is now also on the faculty). Her new education combined with her past work experience became the foundation for her own business, Washburn Endeavours.

Joan moved back to Ohio.  She currently lives in a house she loves in a village on the south shore of Lake Erie. It’s 7 miles from her parent’s farm, where she recently built a stable to keep her 2 Tennessee Walkers.

Her business working with smart driven professionals allows her to remotely coach people from all over the country, hold training workshops and webinars, deliver speaking engagements and be in control of her time. Her clients typically want to accomplish more but with less stress, to stop feeling guilty about work-life balance and FINALLY accomplish that goal they’ve had for a really long time! That’s something Joan understands completely.

Joan has compassion for people who are as crazy busy and driven as she used to be.  She shared that it’s her greatest joy when a person has an AHA! moment and sees there is a path to that dream they’ve had for years.  In her work, she supports them as they begin to take the steps necessary to make it a reality and, finally, celebrates with them when they make it happen. She loves it when someone goes from burnt-out to lit-up about possibilities they didn’t see before.

Joan said,

“I love my work, as well as spending time helping my parents and riding horses with friends. Recently on a walk, I was thinking about the fact that no matter what is happening in my life I feel like I am where I am supposed to be.”

That’s no surprise, since Joan is a strong believer in having a crystal clear vision for your life and your business.  Hers involves what she believes is just the right amount of business growth and personal free time.

As Joan continues to live her vision and values, one thing that she’s done is put her professional development trainings on-line to make it easy for people from all over to access them.  She loves that distance is no longer a factor. They are self-paced so her clients can enjoy them while relaxing at home, with a cup of coffee.  They all include one-on-one or group coaching so she is with them every step of their way to getting clarity on what’s important to them and conquering the obstacles that are in their way. That allows them to get past that place where they normally get stuck and quit.

Joan’s personal experience has helped her realize there is more to life that just a 70-hour work week. When we asked for her definition of success, she shared a new definition of success that she learned from Dr. Maria Nemeth while training with the Academy for Coaching Excellence.

“Success is consistently doing what you say you will do, with clarity, focus, ease and  grace. It’s not about how much money you make. That is the definition of success that I work with and bring to my clients.” 

Joan’s past corporate experience, training and knowledge give her the expertise to help guide business people in their operations. Plus, her understanding of what really makes a person successful in business,as well as life, makes her the perfect coach for any entrepreneur or overworked busy professional.

Joan urges everyone to email her your biggest challenge and, at no charge, she’ll suggest a simple step to get you on track with that goal or dream you’ve had for a very long time. Contact Joan: or visit her website, Washburn Endeavours.

Be sure to listen to her words of wisdom in our Soar to Success podcast interview. Also watch her video series, Coffee Break with Coach Joan, for many tips and strategies that you can apply right now.

Read this article in the June 2016 issue of Soar to Success magazine.

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