Photo by Gregory Berg of Enso Photography
Meet Elizabeth Miner, coach and founder of Thrive This Day. Armed with a high school diploma Elizabeth raised two children as a single mother from below the poverty level, put both through college, and created a successful career as a paralegal, ending as a Sr. International Corporate Paralegal, before moving her part-time business into her full-time business and career. Elizabeth is truly living the life she dreamed about while helping others do the same.
When did you first learn about your field of work? What called you to it?
I am a coach, and it took me quite some time to understand the difference between a coach and a therapist. At one point I decided to hire a coach because I was struggling with how to do something that felt more meaningful and still pay my bills. When we began talking about how I liked to spend my time and what came naturally to me, she asked if I had ever considered coaching. I let her know that I did not have a psychology background and was not interested in going to school for a degree. This is when the difference between coaching and counseling was made clear to me and I realized that it was exactly what I wanted to do and had been doing for many years without realizing it.
The reason I am called to coaching is because it allows the experiences I have been through to help others. I have managed through some tough times and the resilience I have developed has shaped the way I see obstacles. This perspective I have cultivated allows me to help others change their perception of obstacles and learn how to overcome them with tools I have used over the course of my life.
What was the best piece of business advice you were ever given?
The best piece of business advice I have been given to date is from my sister, the accountant. I approached her to ask her to take over my quickbooks because I really hated and didn’t understand how to input everything I needed. She sympathized with me and told me she would help me but that in no uncertain terms would she do it for me because it was important for me to always understand my own books before someone else was in charge of them. As much as I hated to hear this, I do know it was excellent advice!
What is the biggest overall lesson you learned in running a business?
My favorite motto about running a business is that you will go far on your own, but you will go further with others. I think collaboration and strategic partnerships are key elements to a successful business. When I work with beginning entrepreneurs we spend some time brainstorming what other services and product their clients will also use so that we can approach these other services and products to bundle, collaborate, share and grow each businesses together. I am always looking for ways to enhance my offerings and add to other people’s business offerings and build strategic partnerships or collaborate with others.
What does success mean to you?
This question is something I have spent much time on, in addition it is a question I ask my clients right out of the gate when I begin working with them. It is critical to define success for the individual so that there is a target at which to aim. For me, success means that I am able to live life on my own terms. I am able to pursue projects and issues that are meaningful and important to me, that I can spend the amount of time I wish to with those that I love or am friends with at my discretion. Success also means that I can fill my days with things that bring me joy, happiness and peace.
What is your personal or professional motto?
My personal motto is “Our tomorrows are not guaranteed”. I grew up from the age of seven with a mother that was in and out of the hospital with several cancers and catastrophic illness over 20 years. I never knew anything but the fragility of life and how it can be taken away so quickly or that at any given time your world could just turn upside down and the activities that you loved to do would no longer be something that you can manage.
From a young age I learned not to take my days for granted, not to wait for some anticipated time whereby I would be able to live life in a certain way because there was no guarantee that the day ever comes, or that when it comes that you can enjoy it. I believe this has helped me create a unique perspective on failure – it is more important that I try and fail something than to possibly miss an opportunity. This is the root of how I have lived my life and why I choose to chase my dreams today and not wait for a time in the future.
Name a woman, past or present, whom you admire and why?
There are so many women I admire for so many different reasons. One woman that I will mention here is Brene Brown. I admire her courage to explore issues that are messy, hard to define and uncomfortable to address and shine light on how they affect each person. I think she has a brilliant way of sharing with the world how she grapples with the same topics she researches while having a clear distinction of how others can walk through the process she develops based on her own experiences. Brene is brave enough to be the trial subject, smart enough to disect what is going on within herself emotionally, and secure enough to share her vulnerable stories with those willing to learn.