Client Study #2

How I helped an ecologically sensible architect transform her personal and professional life.


Client Introduction:

Name: Sigi Koko

Profession: Architect and owner of Down to Earth

Sigi is a bright, energetic woman who operates an architectural design and consulting practice. As an architect, her area of expertise is design that’s ecologically sensible and sustainable, with a focus on creating healthy environments that function in synchronicity with their larger environment. She’s a respected authority in her area of expertise with numerous publications in trade journals, as well as mainstream newspapers and magazines.

Client Goals and Challenges:

When Sigi initially contacted me, she was recovering from a recent break-up in her personal life. Professionally, she was understandably unfocused. Her confidence was shaken, and she lacked inspiration.

Although she had no problem getting business, she took on whatever projects came along, and her workload was sporadic. In her words, “it was either way too much or not enough.” Consequently, she was struggling with the emotional ups-and-downs that come with that type of environment.

She was also struggling to handle the day-to-day operation of her business. She had a constant to-do list that never got done. She was missing deadlines, and it seemed she was always putting out fires. She was working 80-100 hours per week just to keep up, while her income was nowhere near the level she desired.

As Sigi put it, she was “just doing projects rather than running a business.” Her practice was suffering, her life was out of balance and she was exhausted – physically, mentally and emotionally.

Her first three goals were to:

  1. Stop procrastinating and sabotaging herself.
  2. Regain self discipline, self confidence and time management.
  3. Find balance between her personal life and work life.

What We Did:

The initial focus of our work was to strengthen Sigi’s confidence and help her regain her inspiration. To do so, we utilized a method called the Purpose Process to help her flush out and overcome the limiting patterns of thought and action that were driving her life.

We replaced those patterns with more effective and healthy patterns based upon her passions, her values, a vision of her ideal life and a more empowering (and accurate) sense of her talents, creativity and core essence.

With a solid foundation of confidence and inspiration in place, we began making changes in Sigi’s personal and professional life. In particular, we sharpened her skills in time management and project management, with a focus on separating her work life and personal life to create a more healthy balance.

We created short-term and long-term business plans for her practice and began strengthening her skills to fulfill those plans. Skills such as financial planning and budgeting, schedule accountability, marketing, prioritizing, communication skills and customer service. We also developed systems and structures to make her day-to-day business operations simpler and more effective.

Results Achieved:

Sigi has certainly stopped procrastinating and sabotaging herself. She’s working less (40-50 hours/week), while her income has nearly quadrupled. She has more time to be with the people she cares about, and she’s more engaged and present with her clients.

Everything feels much more natural and effortless for her, and she’s re-inspired about her life and her work. Her time management is “infinitely better,” and she states she has “gone from constantly putting out fires to gracefully navigating projects that are win-win relationships” for her and her clients.

Clients Comments:

“It never occurred to me that as a solo-professional I could have this kind of support.”

“It was painful to see how poorly I treated myself.”

“I [now] support myself instead of fighting myself.”

“I [now] take better care of my clients as well as myself.”

“Helaine, you are a gift! You have truly brought evolution to every facet of my life. I’m often overwhelmed with gratitude that you are in my life . . . I feel more solidly grounded, I feel present and connected in my interactions, and I have been able to actualize goals that used to just swim endlessly in my head.”

“Thank you for sharing your remarkable ability to see the positive attributes in absolutely any situation . . . Thank you for graciously accepting and working with me exactly the way I am at any given moment, without judgment. And thank you for the simple yet extraordinary tools you share throughout the Path of Purpose process. I often flip through my journal from our sessions to read through some of your quotes of wisdom to give me inspiration. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!!!!!!!”