As a high-powered but under-valued leader in an advertising agency, Sharon felt that for many years her company had taken her expertise but not rewarded her in return. She had been repeatedly passed over for leadership roles and salary increases she deserved.  At the same time, she was given more and more campaign directorial responsibilities.  She and her team were basically producing the companies best and biggest work.

Coaching together to change her situation, in a short 6 months, Sharon not only developed an exit strategy but she developed a start-up strategy for an agency of her own.

Sharon says it best. Here’s our coaching progress, in her own words:

“There are few things more important than honesty and getting feedback and an objective perspective on my career was something I longed for. As a typical successful, type-A, overworked, stretched-to-the-max director in a fast-paced agency, I had lost my ability to look at my career, my accomplishments and my setbacks in a way that would allow me to make good choices about what’s the next best step for me.

I was bored, burned-out and feeling used by leadership that refused to bring me in as a partner, while financially profiting and creatively skating on my creative leadership and management skills. My viewpoint had become more and more narrow and I was looking for someone to give me a process to work through to get clear about what I needed to do to truly create the life I want to lead.

I began working with Jan in the Deep Dive coaching program, a combination of individual coaching and group mastermind sessions.

In the first phase, Jan guided me through my fears and obstacles. I started sorting out the many irons I had in the fire—job, investments, side projects, and obligations. Jan helped me see my situation in a clearer light, helped me find people and resources to deal with the many open projects I had. She helped me start to create a new big picture for my life.

Then we started working toward creating an exit strategy to leave my company. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m in the middle of this transition and I can feel my creativity starting to soar.

I’m not there yet, but the support has made a huge difference as I make my way forward. I’m no longer stuck in what was; I’m moving forward into what I want my life and my new business to be.

Now we’re beginning to envision and strategize my new start-up company. I plan to launch later this year—Another “deep dive,” but the outcome will be all my own!”

Sharon J.


Dr. Jan Hoistad