Meet Felicia Baucom, founder of March To Your Own Drum and author of Midlife Transformation. Felicia is passionate about living an authentic life and coaching women (and awesome men) do the same. With a degree in Transpersonal Psychology, Felicia transforms clients’ lives by utilizing her childhood change-management skills, tools she has learned in her training, and her natural talent for listening to help people create their own unique path to happiness.
You grew up in a military family, experiencing constant change – how did that shape who you are today?
In so many ways it has shaped who I am, but I’ll mention only two, otherwise this could be a book! First, I have a wild appreciation for diversity, especially after living in different cultures in the US and overseas. And even if we lived in one place for a while, I went to school with kids from a variety of backgrounds. I was also exposed to different ways of thinking and being and a variety of food, music, and art. I learned early on that there is more than one way to view the world. All opinions are valid, even if we don’t like them. We can respect and appreciate differences, a quality that is very much needed these days. We are not carbon copies of each other, nor should we live our lives that way.
I also learned to adapt to new environments. In my case, my family and I moved from the Philippines to Arkansas to England within a span of 10 years. Quite the drastic change. And it meant stepping out of our comfort zones. In fact, having to go to new schools while they were already in session, with cliques already established and tables in the lunchroom already called for, was often an awkward experience. Fortunately other kids experienced the same transitions so that made them easier. Plus I learned how to talk to new people and navigate new environments. I learned to be comfortable with discomfort because I had to be many times. It helped me when I went to college, whenever I changed jobs, and when I moved from North Carolina to California without knowing a soul there.
What is the biggest overall lesson you learned as you started your own business and launched March To Your Own Drum?
My biggest lesson is to not do all the things. I’m a recovering overachiever and people-pleaser, so it was hard NOT to do everything. At first I attended every webinar I could, signed up for every newsletter, and opted-in to receive many free gifts. I had my own coach but I was eager to learn and figure everything out. Eventually I realized that my brain was overwhelmed with information, some of it contradictory. For example, some say you need to have a website. Some say you don’t, at least not when you’re starting out. Others say you can have a website, just keep it simple, one page maybe. I have one, and it’s more than one page (I have a tech background, couldn’t help it), and I think it’s a good thing that I do even if I got ahead of myself. Anyway, so I started scaling back on the webinars and unsubscribed from some newsletters and found I also had more time to actually focus on my business. And without all the noise, it allowed me to tune into the next right steps for me. There’s always going to be someone telling you that you need this program or that one NOW, and you need to be on ALL the social media, but you have to check-in with yourself and ask “What is the right thing for me and my business right now?” And despite what “they” might say, you will get what you need at the right time.
A lot of the women you mentor have experienced burnout – or are going through it as you coach them – how do you help them get out of that feeling of being in a rut and into a place of optimism and growth?
I’ve been in that place of burnout and feeling I was in a rut, especially during my corporate years. Many times I researched the term “existential angst” on the web. I have a private blog about my discoveries. Anyway, I’ve found one big thing that was true for me and is true for some of the women I work with: they’re trying too hard to meet other people’s expectations. They’re saying yes to others and no to themselves. The reasons vary, but ultimately they’re tap dancing to another person’s tune and find that they can’t keep up, so they try even harder even though it’s draining them. And they don’t see a way out. I coach them to get in touch with what they really need and what they value. I also help them look at the stories they’re telling themselves. We all have stories that keep us stuck. And then I also help them see their internal resources – their skills, gifts, and qualities – and connect with them so they can use them to start exploring other options. Eventually they realize that the “shoulds” and “have tos” that are leading their lives fall away as they give themselves permission to live from their heart. I particularly like helping women explore their creativity as I believe it helps them focus on what they can control and meet their own needs. They feel a sense power and excitement and optimism as they engage in something that lights them up.
What advice do you find yourself consistently giving to people you work with who are out to make radical changes in their lives?
I like to ask why, so that would be my first suggestion. Know your “Why.” Examine your reasons or purpose for making the radical change. What needs will be met as you make this change? Are you trying to run away from something? Are you running to something? Those are not necessarily bad reasons, but I know from experience that there’s truth to the statement “Wherever you go, there you are.” Things don’t automatically improve because you’ve changed jobs, or changed locations, or changed your partner. One client I had knew from the get-go that just getting another job was not going to solve her problem of feeling discontent. She knew she’d end up in the exact same place of frustration and dread. She also knew she needed to follow her passion, and she was deeply connected to her reasons why. She’s since launched her new business. She’s doing well and she’s much happier!
Connecting with your “Why” will also help you during those times when things are tough. And they will get tough. You’ll want to quit, thinking that the old life was much easier or spending all your time on Pinterest or Netflix will be much easier. Knowing your “Why” will help you reconnect with your desires so that you have the motivation to keep going and be open to new ideas and opportunities.
Your book, Midlife Transformation, is coming out this March! Tell us a little about what to expect and where we can grab a copy!
Yes! I’m so excited because I love personal transformation books and I’ve always wanted to write one, and this unexpected opportunity landed in my lap.
In Midlife Transformation: Redefining Life, Love, Health & Success, publisher Linda Joy brings you a collection of powerful, intimate stories that reveal the miracles that happen when a woman makes an empowered choice to release the weight of her past, step out of the shadows, and embrace a life that fully honors her sacred truth.
You’ll be touched and inspired by the stories of these empowered and awakened women who found the courage to follow the whispers of their hearts, move through the darkness of fear and doubt, and embrace their purpose, passion, and calling.
At some point, each of these inspiring women woke up to the profound realization that her goals, actions, and circumstances were no longer in alignment with who she was. Whether it was a soul-depleting job, a health scare, a relationship shift, or a personal identity crisis, something jolted her into the awareness that she was living the wrong life―and that her soul was calling her to become more–and the transformation began.
The book will be available on March 14th at www.MidlifeTransformationBook.com
How has being a She Is Fierce! member helped you on your journey?
She Is Fierce! was one of the many valuable resources that helped me get clear on what I wanted to do next. I don’t remember exactly when I stumbled upon the newsletter, but it was right about the time that I was still asking myself what I wanted to be when I grow-up. And what inspired me to join was the desire to be a part of a community of like-minded women who wanted to take leaps into the unknown. I had done that before, and felt like I had made huge mistakes, so while I was at a place of figuring things out, I felt I needed support to go there again. She is Fierce! also gave me the tools to develop my story, connect with my values, and to feel more comfortable networking, which is something I had not been doing at all and hoped I would never have to do. Coincidentally, I went to my first 3 networking events soon after I became a member!
What would you say to other women considering becoming a member?
I would tell them She Is Fierce! is a wise investment in yourself and your well-being. It’s a dose of self-care as you go along your journey, and I believe self-care is highly important no matter where you are right now. And if you know you’re ready to create the life or career of your dreams, but you need support in making that happen, this is the place to be. It’s so important to connect with others who are doing the same or similar things. Your friends and family may be the kindest people in the world, but they’re not always going to understand why you need to make a change or take a leap or some of the challenges you have as you do so. And even after I’ve launched my business, I still need support and reminders that I can do this. So if you’re finding it hard to take the next right step for you, become a member and see what opportunities show up!
Learn more about Felicia and her work at www.marchtoyourowndrum.com.