Beyond the Arena is 8! (and 8 things I’ve learned)

Seven years ago, I received my coaching certification and Beyond the Arena began!

As I start my eighth year in business, I’m reflecting on the wild ride and fulfilling journey it’s been to work with over 1,000 people from all walks of life…

* divorced women in mid-life awakening
* teenage boys being bullied at school (and not able to open up in traditional therapy)
* disgruntled employees at corporate jobs who dream of owning their own businesses
* college students trying to figure out their career paths
* Wells Fargo executives needing team-building and leadership skills
* adolescent girls in recovery from sex trafficking seeking trust and self-acceptance
* retired women who want to rediscover their next chapters/true passions
* a well-known trumpet player learning to live with Parkinson’s
* and many more…

Even though all these people experience different challenges, there’s a common thread:

Everyone’s seeking connection and self-compassion, and the secret is through vulnerability and courage.

What helps you unlock vulnerability and courage? Connecting with horses. These magnificent animals help you turn the key, and it’s something I’ve witnessed 1,000+ times the past seven years.

Here’s what else I’ve discovered since making the leap to do what I LOVE:

1. Experience is the best teacher.

Often people take a Ready, Aim, Aim, Aim approach with their dreams. They’re afraid to fire because they fear the unknown. However…

“Clarity comes from engagement, not thought,” says Marie Forleo.

Start before you’re ready and you’ll figure it out as you go. (I’m still doing this — even years later.)

2. Mistakes are inevitable. The more you make, the faster you’ll learn!

I’ll never forget leading my first women’s group. I spent months advertising it, received positive responses from those who wanted to attend, and set up all the chairs in the arena with extreme optimism.

Turns out…one woman showed up. I was mortified and felt like a failure.

But I realized I had a choice: I could cancel the group OR give this woman the best damn private session ever. I chose the latter…

…and this woman went on to spread the word, attend every group thereafter, bring her company for an equine corporate team building event, attend two Unbridled Retreats, and become one of my best referral sources to this day.

When things don’t turn out as you’d hoped or expected, DON’T GIVE UP.

3. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

You have to live outside your comfort zone to create your dream. Staying comfortable and operating the way you always have will keep you stuck.

4. Become friends with FEAR.

You don’t have to be fearless, but you do have to take action in spite of fear.

5. Take the advice of mentors and coaches, and above all else, LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION.

6. Making the transition from a job to a career you love is possible, but give yourself time.

I had a full-time real estate career and built Beyond the Arena simultaneously for 3.5 years before I “made the leap” and left real estate behind. More in the video below…

7. Replace overthinking with ACTION.

Daily small steps are key. Take at least one action a day toward your dream. Make a call. Send an email. Create a flyer. Take someone for coffee and tell them about your idea. Interview someone who does what you want to do. One small step a day equals 365 steps in a year toward your dream!

8. Course correct along the way.

If things aren’t working and there’s no momentum, it’s OK to change things up — but don’t give up. Stay flexible and be 100% devoted and committed to making your dream come to life.

It doesn’t happen overnight, but it DOES happen over time if you stick with it!

Thank you for being part of this incredible journey.

To patience, wisdom, and leaps of faith,


UNBRIDLED Arizona Retreat featured in COWGIRL Magazine

UNBRIDLED Arizona Retreat featured in COWGIRL Magazine

Look! The UNBRIDLED Retreat was featured in COWGIRL Magazine’s 2016 June edition.

Step into the boots of COWGIRL editor, Deborah Donohue, and read about her life-changing UNBRIDLED experience and how she overcame her fears, once and for all.

“When a woman’s attempt to live the cowgirl dream is derailed by a series of personal tragedies, she explores beyond the arena in hopes of getting back in the saddle.”



What it REALLY takes to make your dreams come true

I always appreciate when people are real with me. Genuine straight talk. Tell me the down and dirty of how they got started in pursuing their dreams and what worked for them and what didn’t.

Not just “Rah, rah, you can do it!” but the actual reality of how they did it.

Recently, a fellow coach asked if I would share with her client about my personal experience attending coaching school and building my business. Her client has an interest in going that route and wanted the nitty gritty details of what it really takes.

I’m always game to share. So I did, and I wrote it out below.

I know there are tons of articles, self-help books, gurus and advice on following your dreams and passion (I know because I’ve invested in them all), but I’m going to give you some practical tips that helped me personally.

Disclaimer: I’m NOT a financial advisor (but I have a damn good one), and what I share is based on my own experience.

There is no one right way to go for your dreams. But take what you will and hopefully this gets your creative entrepreneurial juices flowing.

1. Don’t quit your day job until…Don’t quit your day job until you can support yourself financially without it (pay your bills, have food on the table, roof over your head, provide for your family of two and/or four-legged), from your dream career or another income stream, savings, etc.. I’m grateful I did NOT end my real estate career when I started Beyond the Arena.

I worked full time in real estate and maintained that income while I built my Equine Gestalt Coaching business simultaneously. I never did strike a pretty “balance” between the the two. It was more like chaos and winging it, but well worth it. Three years and four months after hustling my a&* off in both “arenas”, I cashed my last commission check and cut off the golden handcuffs of my real estate career.

Pic of a realtor (with shoulder pads) turned ranch woman (with a real smile).

I was scared but I was prepared enough to know I wouldn’t be homeless or starving if everything completely flopped (worst case scenario). I knew in my bones that it was time to see what I’m made of.

“First you jump off the cliff and you build your wings on the way down.” -Ray Bradbury

2. Eliminate ALL the nonessential costs in your life and sell what you truly don’t need. I love this because I made it into a game. What do I truly need to pursue my dreams and what “stuff” can I get rid of/sell/donate? When I left the city life behind, I pawned jewelry, sold furniture on Craiglist, eliminated cable and started watching pre-owned DVD’s (Heartland is my favorite), got rid of my gym membership, and started working out outdoors (lifting hay bales, doing squats around the barn). My non-negotiable stuff I kept, such as important files and my beloved books.

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people cant.” – Warren G. Tracy’s student

3. Invest in your personal growth and your business. In the beginning years of Beyond the Arena, every penny I made that didn’t go toward basic needs, overhead, or the occasional splurge on a pedicure, was invested in my personal growth and went right back into my business. I consider this the key to the continued growth of any business.

If I’m not growing, learning and expanding on new skills and honing my craft, then Beyond the Arena becomes stagnant or backpedals. I’ve invested tens of thousands into business coaching, my own life coach (every coach needs a coach), workshops, trainings, continued education, marketing, and horse upkeep.

For me, it was worthwhile. My dad, a successful real estate agent, likes to say, “For every dollar spent, you will get two back.” He says this in relation to new carpet and fresh paint when preparing a house for the market. I believe the same is true for our personal growth and business growth. If we don’t invest in ourselves and our business, then why should anyone else?

“Whatever your dream is, every extra penny you have needs to be going to that.” – Will Smith

4. Find supportive people who GET IT. I’m blessed to have wonderful friends and family in my life and I love them dearly. But few have firsthand experience in what it’s like to build a vision/dream career from the ground up. It’s my established entrepreneurial friends I call when I’m hit by a tidal wave of self-doubt, have questions about marketing, or feel stuck.

These incredible mentors and coaches have walked the walk themselves. I would not be here today if I didn’t lean on these people big time. I call them. I email them. I cry to them. They GET IT and they also believe in me and my dream, my vision, and my passion. That means more to me than anything. They offer sage wisdom, advice, and tell me like it is, similar to what I’m doing for you here. You might think I’m crazy at this point…I am…it’s called being an entrepreneur.

“If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”- John Irving

Are you willing to make changes to go for your dreams? I hope so…it’s SO worth it. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

The realtor turned ranch woman,


P.S. Please share if you know someone who would benefit from this blog.