THE THOUGHTFUL ENTREPRENEUR PODCAST
In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the Board Certified Coach & Master Certified Coach, Sarah Fruehling.
Sarah Fruehling is not your average business coach. Her background in positive psychology, strength-based mental health, communication, and trauma informs her unique approach to coaching.
Sarah works closely with founders, owners, and C-suite executives, offering a brand proposition beyond traditional business strategies. Sarah's expertise lies in her ability to integrate an understanding of mental health systems into her coaching, which is a game-changer for many high achievers.
Sarah discussed how the impact of trauma can shape the lives of high achievers and the necessity of creating spaces where individuals can confront their internal battles. Her approach fosters a safe and brave environment for clients to address their fears and struggles.
Many of Sarah's clients are ambitious individuals chasing financial and time freedom. She shared that these driven personalities often encounter awakening moments that prompt them to seek her services.
Sarah's coaching philosophy centers on the power of insight and action. She helps her clients understand their internal wiring and apply these insights in practical ways to design their ideal futures.
She touched on the common traits of high achievers and the importance of self-celebration. Sarah pointed out that individuals are at risk of burnout without recognising their successes and prioritising self-care. High achievers need to acknowledge their accomplishments and take time to recharge.
Key Points from the Episode:
- Introduction of Sarah Fruehling and her coaching approach
- The intersection of mental health and professional coaching
- Impact of trauma on high achievers
- Awakening moments leading individuals to seek coaching services
- Significance of insight and action in coaching approach
- Common traits of high achievers
- Importance of self-celebration and self-care
About Sarah Fruehling:
Sarah Fruehling stands out in the coaching world with her 20+ years of experience as an entrepreneurial private practice therapist. Her expertise lies in relationship dynamics, healthy communication, and emotional intelligence, shaping her niche in coaching.
At Fruehling Coaching, she leads a team of world-class coaches, each with unique backgrounds and skills. Their approach is tailored to match clients with the ideal coach, fostering personal and professional transformation.
Sarah is not just a board-certified coach; she's also an expert in team dynamics and strategic planning. Her abilities in developing healthy teams are unmatched, enhancing communication, trust, accountability, and value alignment. This skill set, expert facilitation, and strategy propel companies towards their ideal futures.
Furthermore, as a ForumSherpa Certified Facilitator, Sarah enhances the Forum experience through retreats focused on life balance, leadership, and legacy. She enjoys working with both new and spousal Forums.
Sarah loves spending time with her family and friends outside of work, doing outdoor activities, cycling with her husband, cooking, and travelling. Her holistic approach to coaching and life reflects her commitment to helping others achieve their goals while maintaining a balanced personal life.
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Check out Fruehling Coaching and Facilitation on LinkedIn at
Check out Sarah Fruehling on LinkedIn at
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Josh (00:00:04) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence.com and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence. Com and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now it's Sarah Fruehling. Sarah, you're the founder, CEO, and master certified coach at Fruehling, coaching and Facilitation. Your website is Fruehling coaching.com. To our friend that's listening. Go ahead and just click on the show notes. Click around in your podcast app so you can find the direct link so that you can get to Sarah's website.
Josh (00:01:18) - Sarah, thank you so much for joining us.
Sarah (00:01:20) - Josh. It's a joy. Thank you for having me.
Josh (00:01:22) - Yes. Please do give us an overview of who you work with. You work with, uh, companies and leaders in pretty decent organizations here. So I'm really excited to see, you know, kind of hear more about the work that you do.
Sarah (00:01:34) - Yeah. So I work with mostly founders owners. I have a team who serves the C-suite and managers. So my clients in particular are owners and founders. They tend to be incredibly successful, incredibly wealthy. And I have a really unique brand proposition for clients. So I really want to make sure to share with you what's different about my coaching. I've listened to so many of your episodes for a long time now. Thank you. You talk to all? Oh yeah, it's a fantastic show and you talk to a whole range of people. And so today, for your listeners, I really want to jump in to the heart of what I do and how I serve people, because it's different then I think what anybody else has talked about on your show.
Josh (00:02:29) - Please do carry on, tell me more.
Sarah (00:02:32) - So one of the things that I think is a secret superpower that I have, I came out of my first two and a half decades is my first career. I was in mental health and I shifted eight years ago, almost a decade ago, to professional executive coaching. What I didn't know when I did that was that most business coaches, especially like me, I'm a professional executive business coach. I'm certified in business executive, corporate leadership coaching. I serve fortune 20 companies and what most business coaches where they come from is the world of business. So what I didn't know when I made this leap into coaching was how my background in positive psychology, strength based mental health, communication and trauma would serve me so powerfully. And idea.
Josh (00:03:37) - Yeah. Uh, well, let's talk about that intersection of the work that you've done historically. Particularly I was looking at your background as well. So I have an appreciation for that. It's interestingly, that was my undergrad that I did was in family science and psychology and that sort of work.
Josh (00:03:54) - My wife is a licensed marriage and family therapist and sex therapist.
Sarah (00:03:57) - Yeah, I know that.
Josh (00:03:57) - So yes, I'm a huge fan of mental health work, and I think that there's such a valuable I mean, there's there's so many valuable tools, I think that would play so well in professional coaching, if we're empathic to some of those mental health systems, particularly as you're talking about trauma. Listen, I mean, if you're the founder, if you're a high achiever, um, you know, I was just having a conversation with my dad, who's a small business owner, and I'm like, listen, you know, as a business owner, you know, there's times where you just have to put on your big boy, big girl pants and, you know, you got to do some pretty tough stuff. And sometimes it's sometimes it's not real fun. And, uh, you know, it can leave bruises.
Sarah (00:04:41) - Yeah. And. Absolutely. Yes. And if you also have trauma, that is part of your neural wiring.
Sarah (00:04:50) - And it's showing up underneath kind of in the driver's seat of what you're doing, but you're not self-aware. Once you get to a certain level. Well, actually, let me say that more powerfully, no matter what level you're at, that can sabotage you. But when you get to a really big game and you maybe are running an incredibly successful, powerful company, that gap between who you are on the outside, the success you're having and the fears. The doubts, um, sometimes the truth of your story on the inside, that can become really a painful gap for people. So one of the things that I think is really unique about how I approach coaching is creating this safe, brave space. I am trauma informed, which means most coaches you want to talk about trauma, grief, death, all the kinds of things that get people in trouble. I mean, I've been brought in to work with a top. Company because they found out one of their senior partners was sexually inappropriate with a slew of interns.
Sarah (00:06:04) - So they brought me in to work with the team to heal the trust. I mean, this person was removed and we worked with PR so that they could manage and mitigate the damage, but the internal damage was so significant.
Josh (00:06:19) - Oh, yeah.
Sarah (00:06:20) - So that's a team example. We also have those kinds of things happening individually. Um, I worked with a public relations woman, and she really suggested to me that I use the tagline, the 1% coach for the 1% client. And Josh, I've never used it because it felt kind of I don't know, it feels a little pretentious, but there's a piece of that that I feel is really valid. Most coaches are going to say, oh yeah, I'm not going there. We're not talking about anxiety or neurodiversity or maybe neurodiversity. Um, we're not going to talk about OCD like you need a therapist. And that's where some of my skill sets really shine. And I'm not coming at it from a therapist point of view. I'm coming at it from a coaching appreciative inquiry in, to be specific, that type of coaching future focused.
Sarah (00:07:15) - And so it really I mean, I can't even tell you how much fun it is. It's such a delight.
Josh (00:07:21) - Yeah. Yeah. So you know, I'm just trying to think of you know, I think all of us, you know, we think about the personality traits of like what makes a high achiever to begin with. And, um, some of us, you know, kind of get into it because we just for me, you know, maybe I'm still trying to feel like I have to prove something to somebody. You know, I think that was a part of my early narrative. Just trying to impress dad or whatever it was. Right? Who knows? But there's so many benefits to, you know, some of these personality traits or some of these character traits or some of these experiences that have helped create who we are. Right. And but that doesn't come with some baggage as well. Right. And so it must be interesting for you to kind of develop this personality profile of overachievers.
Josh (00:08:10) - What are some common traits that you see among high achievers?
Sarah (00:08:16) - I'm going to back up for a second to your comment because you said, what's this driver like? Why? What is it about high achievers? What causes them? What gives them the drive it made me think of? I heard an interview of actually it was probably on, um, welcome to Wrexham with Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds said, oh yeah. I was always trying to prove I'm good enough to my dad. And so I do think there's a piece, whether it's trauma with a capital T or a little T, because some of us have true trauma and some of us just have our life, our wounded. Well, our life knocks that affect us, that can really impact us. So when I think about my ideal clients are and the clients who I serve, they might be incredibly successful. They're super driven. So one of the things I would say unite all of my clients is this piece of ambition. They want financial freedom.
Sarah (00:09:15) - They want time freedom. They want joy and fulfillment. They're not content is good enough kind of people. Um, they're the kind of people where if you set a goal, the minute they achieve it, it's already on the other side of the horizon because they've set more goals.
Josh (00:09:31) - Yes, yes.
Sarah (00:09:32) - Yeah. So there's this ambitious piece that lives inside of these leaders. And often people come to me. I mean, I'm a boutique business. I have a team of coaches, but almost everybody comes to me, word of mouth, because they've talked to this person or that person, and often they've had an awakening moment. So, Josh, an awakening moment could be a death, a divorce, a rock bottom moment. It also can be something gorgeous, a beautiful moment. It could be an awakening through a journey or psychedelics. We have lots of people in this space playing with that, and some doing a much better job than others doing that mindfully and with reverence. And so most of the time, people find me because they are going through an awakening and they just want more.
Sarah (00:10:26) - So they've hit this success, and then they're either thinking about legacy, what am I going to leave? Or they're there and they're terribly unfulfilled and thinking, is this it? Like, what next?
Josh (00:10:42) - Yeah. Um, Sarah, talk about what? You know, to someone that maybe is listening to this conversation, and they're they're researching you right now, and they are they're familiar with you. And maybe something on the, you know, on their mind might be. What does it look like to work with Sarah? Can you maybe describe that? Yeah.
Sarah (00:11:00) - I have a firm belief, so a lot of ideas are popping through my head. But I think an important concept to share that I don't think other people have talked about on the podcast. For me, part of my secret sauce is this dynamic duo of insight. So I want clients to have these beautiful aha moments. It's how am I showing up and why so am I? Why am I showing up this way? Is that working for me? Is it working at home with my family? Is it working at work, with my business? With my team? And if it's not working, understanding the wiring and if it's trauma related, what got you there? That's the first part, this insight piece that I absolutely love that's so fun.
Sarah (00:11:47) - But I don't actually think it means much if you don't put it into action. So we can have gorgeous insights and think, wow, that's mind blowing and do absolutely nothing with it. Well, that, you know, that doesn't serve you. So the dynamic duo for me is this dance between the AHA's and okay, well how are we going to use that in life. How are you going to practice that? How are you going to test this? How can you show up differently so people ultimately can craft their ideal future and be pulled into it with joy, with fun, with that ambition driving them instead of the way I see so many of my clients when they first find me, their clients running away from their past, trying to prove who they are. And you know, if they haven't proven it already, what's it going to take? Because they're incredibly successful? When is enough enough?
Speaker 3 (00:12:44) - Yeah.
Josh (00:12:45) - You know, my wife has to sometimes remind me to celebrate my wins. And I'm like, I know, I know, I know, like, I could, like, I have no problem feeling good about something, but then immediately, like, I think just like you illustrated earlier.
Josh (00:13:02) - So I just I wanted to share that, you know, to our friend that's listening. If that sounds like you, I think you're in good company.
Speaker 4 (00:13:08) - That's right.
Josh (00:13:09) - You're not alone, right? It's just like, you know, it's amazing. Or I think another thing, Sara, which could come up a lot, is, you know, we have 99 good things happen to us in the day. And we think about the one bad thing and it's like, oh, come on, give ourselves some grace. Shall we?
Sarah (00:13:26) - Yeah, definitely. So I think slowing down, celebrating those wins, really treating yourself. So for every listener, I hope you hear this like you're your number one best asset is so true, especially with entrepreneurs and founders. If you're not taking care of yourself, really doing the work, celebrating your successes, that's a problem. Because eventually you're going to hit the ceiling and you're going to burn out.
Speaker 5 (00:13:55) - Um.
Josh (00:13:55) - All right, so Sarah, your website is fooling coaching.com.
Josh (00:14:01) - And I know you've got some resources and, uh, someone's been listening to our conversation, may or may not be ready for a conversation yet, but what would you recommend? They where should they go from here?
Sarah (00:14:11) - Yeah, I have a great presence online in social media, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. I think that if people are curious, pop on to the website. Get on the newsletter list. I usually send out weekly videos, teaching and talking about what's happening in the world of business and how to think and shift your mindset. Josh, I have a real belief that coaching the best coaches you know, I'm a master certified coach with the ICF, only 4% of us are. We've had people talk about this already, so I'm not going to explain that. But I think a surface level coach talks about tools and skills a little bit better. Coach goes one layer deeper and they might be talking about strategy and mindset. But the deepest level of coaching, which happens in the coaching sessions with my clients and with the clients that my team serves, is really about the being, the being of how you show up and who you are and how you are being in the world.
Sarah (00:15:17) - And so one of the things I want to offer clients can check me out, watch videos, get on the newsletter. But I really want to offer the gift to me, which is my most precious resource, which is time. So if you have a listener and something that we've said, I know they're fast interviews, but something's been sparked for you. If you reach out to me and say, you heard me on Josh's podcast, I will give you the gift of time and a complimentary session for us to talk about whatever you want to talk about. Um, so that's my gift to your listener. I thought of a lot of things. A lot of people do all kinds of things, but honestly, I think that's the most powerful thing I could offer.
Josh (00:15:57) - Yeah. Again, your website Fruehling coaching comm. I'm going to spell it one time. The rest of you. All right. So here we go. F r u e h l I n g coaching.com. And again that's you've got a great blog.
Josh (00:16:15) - Certainly. Yes. You're a great follow on LinkedIn Sarah. But again the website fulling coaching.com . It's been a joy. I really appreciate your insight. I love your vocabulary, by the way. It's just, you know, when I hear you speak, I'm like, oh yeah, I recognize that language, I recognize it, and I tell you, I'm spoiled. Uh, you know, being married to someone who has that background. But to our friend that if you don't have access to that, you know, it sounds like you marry kind of that perfect world of, you know, this sensitivity to mental health with, you know, that professional leadership kind of high achiever personality coaching. So it's wonderful. Sarah, thank you so much for this conversation.
Sarah (00:16:56) - Yeah, it's been a delight. Thanks, Josh. Thanks for having me.
Josh (00:17:04) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence common Guest.
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Speaker 4 (00:18:07) - Minutes each.
Josh (00:18:08) - Day. Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur movement.