If you’ve been out on the town lately, you might have noticed a certain brunette with a slight New York accent and whip-smart sense of humor. This is life coach Keren Eldad — Coach Keren to those in the know.
And while Eldad isn’t a Dallasite (she calls Brooklyn home), she has quickly made her mark on Dallas, signing on to coach many of the city’s top movers-and-shakers, from entrepreneurs and creative types to the rare-air execs who fly with the YPO/WPO circle.
Aside from her one-on-one coaching, Eldad is a mainstay on the public-speaking scene, bringing her inspirational lessons to the masses. (See above re: whip-smart sense of humor.) Monday night, she lands in Dallas for a talk at the Joule hotel, themed “10 Steps to Getting Anything You Want in 2019” and hosted by one of Eldad’s longtime friends, Eva Yazhari, founder of the social-impact Beyond Capital Fund.
Before her Dallas entree, we caught up with Coach Keren about everything from New Year resolutions to personal style.
What exactly does it mean to be a life coach?
A life coach is an accredited professional who counsels, supports, and encourages clients on matters having to do with either their personal or professional lives.
Basically, we are what you get when you marry Frasier with Mrs. Maisel — the fusing of practical therapy chops (Cognitive Behavioral Theory) with the disposition of a great motivational speaker.
Life coaching is for everyone, and covers all matters — or challenges — that are important to you, from your career, to your finances, to your relationships, to that dream you have of one day opening a cupcake shop for cats.
As such, my job is to get you really clear on what you want, why you want it, help you get rid of what’s been blocking you, and see you through to the fullness of your potential.
Sounds a bit “out there,” I know, but think about it: Just as Olympic athletes wouldn’t think of training without the added insight, objective perspective, and enthusiastic support of an athletic coach, many of today’s most successful business leaders, professionals, executives, entrepreneurs, and CEOs use coaching to take their lives, careers, teams, or businesses to the next level.
I coach several of them, including [people working for] Christian Dior, Van Cleef & Arpels, Waypoint, and Dallas’ own Delos Shipping and Beyond Capital. And I also coach regular people — who get this, and who are ready to take their life to the best level yet.
What were you doing before you started your current business?
I was a superstar marketing director. An overachiever. A “hard worker.” Like you. Like all of you.
Ever wanted to win a Webby? Or an Effie? Or an ADC award? Been there, got the T-shirt.
I also hold a Masters degree from The London School of Economics, and even went and got extra business chops at Columbia Business School. In total, when I started coaching, I had been presiding over the marketing teams of billion-dollar corporations for almost two decades. And, fascinatingly, I was still majorly dissatisfied with my life, and knew there had to be another way. Which brought me to coaching.
That’s why today, whether I see clients as a life coach or as an executive coach, my work focuses on the principles for living a happy, balanced life — regardless of circumstance. This background has made me particularly attuned to what i call “The Superstar Paradox” — that success does not always make you happy. The solution? Coaching.
Do you believe in making New Year’s resolutions?
OF COURSE I DO. You know, the goals are not really the point to us coaches, we are all about the joy in the journey, etcetera. But expansion is our nature as humans — we all want more and should strive. And creating goals should feel fun.
Plus, there are so many studies that show a direct correlation between setting goals and writing them down, and a far greater likelihood of achieving them — so why not? My first talk of the year tonight in Dallas will directly address how to set goals properly, and how get them accomplished. Like, for reals this time.
What’s on your list for the New Year?
I have two goals for 2019, and am very proud to share them with you:
Have my first book launch and become a New York Times bestseller — in order to be able to reach and inspire the thousands who deserve this support, even if they are unable to afford private coaching right now.
Take more vacations with Ryan, so we can breathe, and be, and recharge, and therefore be of greater service to others.
Three pieces of advice for accomplishing our 2019 goals?
When it comes to the next step in crushing your New Year’s resolutions, there’s a reason only 8 percent of the population comes through: usually, fear. Being afraid that you can’t really have what you want is the culprit that stops people in their tracks.
If this is you, and you are thinking: “It’s too much,” or, “It’s too big — so why start anyway?” or, “You know what, I’m doing just fine and don’t need to do this,” you can cut the nonsense and step right up to the goal shattering of your dreams. Here are my top three tips:
Focus: Make no more than three resolutions (see above? I only have two). You only have so much time and attention, so hone in in on what truly matters to you. Deep down, you know you only get one shot at this awesome life. No matter where you’re at, you can still be, do, and have what you want. The new year is a fresh opportunity to go for it.
Celebrate Success: As you rock your action plan to goal crushing, remember why you’re doing this and how much your life will improve.
Success comes in different forms, and they all totally rock. Beating yourself up because your fiction novel surely won’t be the next Sex and the City or because your new eating habits haven’t left you looking like your favorite figure? Stop looking at what you haven’t achieved and focus on what you already have.
Celebrate that you did get the attention of a major literary agent, or that you may not have dropped 10 pounds, but you did drop 3.5 — and kept them off. It counts. Praise yourself: you are in this to win this.
Silence the Buzzkills: “Buzzkills” are people who fail to support you and your goals. These are the types who will tell you, “It’s hard to start a business,” or, “Dating at your age is impossible.” These opinions are nowhere near as important as your own, so step aside to keep moving forward. Say: Hell yes!
Of all the things you teach your clients, what is the one major takeaway you hope they always remember?
It’s all a choice. Sadness is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Regret is a choice. Rocking your life is a choice. Once you truly understand that, and the power of your ability to master your perspective, you will never suffer again. Or at least not for very long, anyway. That’s what “enlightenment” is, you know.
Best piece of advice you have ever been given?
“You should become a life coach.” My first coach told me that. I had not come looking for a new career, just wanted to figure out some stuff in my life. It was one of those unusual moments when all the thoughts swirling around in my head became one, and suddenly I found clarity. The rest, as they say, is history.
Single piece of advice you would give your 15-year-old self?
The very same thing I tell the dozens of people who text me via Crisis Text Line each week: “YOU ARE DOING EXTREMELY WELL. BE EASY ON YOURSELF.”
I hope you all heard that.
Finish this sentence: My work brings me joy because …
I help people change their lives and get really happy. There is no better way to make a living.
The fun stuff: Tell me about your own personal style… What do you love to wear?
That is fun! I love clothes. The best answer I can give you is to quote Mindy Kaling: “I feel the same way about clothes as I do about food: I want everything.” In other words: If it’s beautiful and it fits, game on.
How can personal style and/or appearances impact one’s overall life?
Personal appearance has a tremendous impact, but as with goals — it’s really about your intention: how light you are about them; and how much fun you are having with your style, which makes it useful to you.
See, if you’re dressing up to impress others, your life is probably filled with anxiety and Instagram FOMO, plus, I would wager your bank account is a bit sloppy.
Instead, if you choose elegance to maintain a high vibe, to make yourself feel your very best, then it’s a wonderful thing.
Stated simply, upgrading your look (or upgrading anything in your life) is all about energy. The higher the effort you put into your appearance, the higher impact outwardly in your life — from your career to your personal relationships.
You’re a NYC gal … Five places you couldn’t live without in the city?
The roof-deck at Soho House
My Soul Cycle
Tutto il Giorno
The Whitney Museum on a Friday evening
I hear you have two kittens… Tell me about them.
How much time have you got? Seriously, I could regale you with tales of Moose & Waffles (now 6 months old) for hours.
Do you plan on being their life coach?
Sadly, no, I cannot be their life coach because in our relationship, they’re running the show. And that’s just fine by me.