Transformation Academy Rising Star – Deborah Bryan

Here at Transformation Academy we are excited to announce our November’s Transformation Academy Rising Star – Deborah Bryan!

Our goal with this initiative is to recognize and celebrate group membership who demonstrate the heart and service of a coach. Each monthly recipient of this recognition will be selected for a unique reason. Some will be seasoned coaches who serve as valuable mentors within the group. Others may be just starting their coach-training journey and exude a contagious attitude or passion. Others may be actively supporting other group members, whether by providing resources, answering common questions, or providing moral support. Regardless of each of our wonderful group members’ background or experience, we all benefit from the mutual support and varied perspectives offered within this diverse group!

The Rising Star initiative is a way to give a special THANK YOU to those who go above and beyond to share of themselves within this community.

This month we would like to recognize Deborah “GypsyOwl” Bryan for her positive vibe, helpful posts and comments, and overall being a role model of what it means to be a coach!

Deborah has been a group member for over 2 years! Her tagline is “The Joy Broker helps Caregivers find inner-balance, which when achieved, unlocks joy.” We are grateful that she brings this joy to her fellow coaches with her engagement in the group. She is both an advocate for and shining example of the importance of both creativity and self-care. She is a powerful example of a coach who is her own client, meaning she is dedicated to her own personal development and practicing what she preaches.

About Deborah:

Deborah Bryan (aka Deb “GypsyOwl” Bryan) is The Joy Broker (happiness coach), self-taught Intuitive Artist, Creative, Certified Reiki Master Teacher and lives a quiet artistic lifestyle amid full-time caregiving. A decade of Paraprofessional employment as a Therapist Technician (MHMR Crisis Residential), Certified Master Life Coach, Certified Master Mindset Coach @Transformation Academy. Working on Certifications in Advanced Caregiving as well as Assisted Living Management @AmericanCaregiversAssociation. Studied Business Marketing and Social Media Culture at Jones Intl. Studied Social Media and Business Writing Existential Well-being Counseling: A Person-centered Experiential Approach at EdX. Active Associations: International Reiki Organization and Transformation Academy Alumni and Graduates.

You can find out more her at

Below is an interview we conducted with Deborah.

What is your niche (coaching focus) and how did you choose it?

Here’s what I have learned in my over two decades of practice: Caregivers tend to be molded into a box of “self-sacrifice”. This tendency often keeps Caregivers in a cycle of servitude, lacking balance and sadly – Joy. I help Caregivers discover inner-balance which unlocks joy.

Who is your ideal client?

I am. This realization shifted the otherwise complicated question to an easy one. I am a caregiver and struggled with self-care due to a belief the ‘good’ people do not focus on their own needs. I’m not alone.

What inspired you to become a life coach?

The tools I have developed help Caregivers intentionally find a balance between self-care and caregiving, which leads to a more sustainable and joyful Caregiving practice. In the first four decades of my life, I continued perfecting a persona of servitude, which gradually took a toll on my well-being.

How long have you been coaching?

I’ve been a coach all my life. Being the oldest child in a large family, with both adults working outside the home, I often had more responsibility for my siblings. The dynamics of the environment were complicated. I ‘learned’ early in life to take care of others above taking care of myself.

How did you get your first client?

I volunteered for peer support consultations, for women caregivers in crisis, in transitional situations.

How has your coaching journey changed your life?

Learning about myself, basically coaching myself while training for certifications, changed my perspective on my life. I discovered what I need to achieve and maintain joy.

What is the Most Challenging Part of Being a Life Coach?

Realizing my own progress and development will always have room for growth and transition.

What is the most fulfilling part of being a life coach?

Realizing my own progress and development will always have room for growth and transition. (Same answer as I gave for the previous question, from a different perspective).

What has been your most inspirational coaching moment, with a client?

Often it is silence. A pause. Followed by a deep breath. Those moments when the belief that we are expected to be weighted down float away and we become lighter.

What is your favorite coaching activity or exercise to do with clients?

The ‘hat trick’ I developed is my favorite. It is a process of guiding a client to make two lists (some like to use bullet points; some may prefer a pie with sections). The first list is ‘all the things to make life perfect’ which evolves over time to reveal the basis of the list usually comes down to one thing. The desire to be happy. The second list is ‘all the things on the to-do list’ and why they are there. Now let’s reframe the process so we are happy with or without the perfect life list completed and choose to remove (or add) things from the ‘to-do’ list. Many times, the list gets shorter when happiness isn’t tied into ‘doing’ and ‘having’ but is maintained by ‘being’ and ‘inner-balance’ again it is tied into the desire to be happy.

What has been the most effective strategy for finding clients and/or growing your business?

When a client is starting their coaching, I let them know I will be asking for a review, periodically, two or three times. These are kept for inspiration when working toward evolving my content. I may use excerpts for testimonials. When the two or three are compiled, I return them to the client for verification they still agree with what they wrote. Those little notes become treasures for the client to see how far they have come. We have our closing session with this note as the focus. That is when I ask each client to refer a friend for a complimentary introduction.

What advice would you give YOURSELF back when you first dreamed of becoming a coach?

Start coaching ASAP: I kept saying ‘just one more course and then I’ll start thinking about starting.’ It was later, I learned it isn’t required to have a certification (in my case – in the USA – coaching is unregulated), so there is not a requirement to ‘finish all’ of the pieces of training first. If I had looked first at what I needed, which turns out was confidence, then I would have taken Confidence Coaching first and started offering services as soon as I finished that one course. Then continue to take courses for Continuing Professional Training purposes.

What is the impact you want to make in this world?

Do you remember the quote?

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

― Howard Thurman

My fondest wish is to help people so when they read this quote, they will be able to say “I AM” yes I am discovering what makes me come alive every day. I know this is possible because I Am. I discovered that creativity makes me come alive. So every day I create something with intention.

Is there anything else you would like to share with Transformation Coaching Magazine readers? When I started coaching as a child, I was a daily life survival coach. Throughout my life, I have been a complete this or that list coach (list usually provided by an employer or others). When I took coaching training courses, I was guided to look within myself, to complete the assignments presented in courses ‘as if I was a client’ and honestly, I had no idea how much coaching I would receive while being a student. My daily life has honored this by taking care of myself first, my creativity time, my self-care. Then, having a full cup I am better able to help others when I am coaching or caregiving. In-between caregiving and coaching, I create. Creating is an essential part of my self-care routine.

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