Introduce yourself and profession to our readers: Gladly! I'm Sylvia High, a Florida native who now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is known for its natural beauty, liberal politics, entrepreneurship, and diversity. My husband, Michael, and I love nature in all her many forms. So we spend as much time as we can in the countryside, on the beach, in the mountains and sometimes just strolling through our neighborhood.
I am the founder, CEO, and Principal Coach of Aiming High Inc., a transformational training and development firm offering training solutions that accelerate achievement across a wide range of disciplines. Our work is premised on the ontological belief that human beings are not "fixed entities;" and that achievement grows when you retrain your mind to accomplish what hasn't been accomplished yet. Our clients choose from a broad array of vision-centered coaching and training products, including one-to-one customized coaching.
I'm the author of The Little Book of Big Questions - A Journey in Self-Discovery, which is a book for anyone who has ever wanted the freedom to triumphantly navigate almost any of life's situations. Sometimes the search for the answer can be more valuable than the answer itself. And by using this book, with its pointed questions and provocative insights, you will be able to sharpen your focus on what matters and take actions that will bring about the results you want.
What inspired you to pursue this area of interest? As a woman of faith, I believe that the inspiration for my business came from the same place that all inspiration comes from, and that's God. I followed a traditional path to employment after college, and had worked in sales and training positions at a handful of well-known corporations. Sometimes I resigned. Sometimes I was fired. But looking back, what I noticed is that in either case it was always just a job, a way for me to earn money -- sometimes "very good money" -- in order to have or do things. And it wasn't satisfying. And then one day -- while I was out of work, I might add -- it occurred to me that I could work for myself. Then bingo! The ideas started flowing, and my company was born.
What advice would you share with those interested in a similar pursuit? I'd say go for it! I think that the world itself is a demand for transformation, and that willing partners in transformation are needed everywhere. And I would add, be the journey of transformation. What do I mean by that? Lots of people gather expertise, and then set about applying it. In transformation work, it's important to be engaged in continuous learning. In fact, the learning never ends.
Discuss a professional challenge and how you overcame it: The first thing that came to mind is the challenge of going from a one-person shop to a multi-person shop. As the demand for Aiming High grew, I was faced with having to meet that demand by myself. But that was physically impossible, not to mention the emotional and spiritual drain that it placed on me. So I used my own book, The Little Book of Big Questions, to get to the core of what I was experiencing and the challenge I faced. I asked myself some hard-hitting probing questions that shifted my perspective and allowed me the freedom to overcome my fear that others could not represent my company the way that I could. I brought aboard a couple of people who were already conversant with the context that I operate Aiming high in, and I helped them develop their "Aiming High voice." And of course, I trusted them.
What is next for your brand/business in 2017? Well, I've made some pretty bold declarations regarding my business. Right now I curate and produce one conference a year. My plan is to do two a year within the next 5 years and to deliver my Supercharge training once a quarter on each coast. This hinges on how quickly and effectively I'm able to develop others on my team grow our public trainings and to do what I do now. This year, 2017, I'm developing online workshops and courses to be able to reach more people in a shorter period of time. I'm currently working on a book of inspirational stories by real people leading real lives facing real issues everyday. We're on track to publish it at the beginning of October in time for the I AM WOMAN Conference 2017.
How can readers connect with you online and through social media? Facebook: Sylvia High (Master Coach) Instagram: @sylviahigh Twitter: @sylviahigh LinkedIn Website Aiming High, Inc.