Relationships gone awry and meandering career paths are the stuff of entertainingâ€”if not greatâ€”Hollywood films. But when real relationships or real careers fall short of an ideal, calling the ghost busters or Will Smithâ€™s matchmaking alter ego Alex Hitchens simply isnâ€™t an option. Calling holistic life and small business coach Al Lipper, however, is.
â€œLife coaching is a relatively new industry,â€? Lipper explained. â€œItâ€™s only been in the mainstream for about 10 years. Prior to that, itâ€™s something that, rather than being done formally, was done through mentoring relationships through work or family.â€?
- PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER GARDNER
- HELPING HAND : Holistic and business life coach Al Lipper helps people improve their lives, both professionally and personally, along the road to a little place he likes to call success.
# Lipper first discovered life coaching more than a decade ago when he was looking for a mentor to help clarify his career goals. He had difficulty identifying the type of mentor he needed, but when he began working with a life coach, he realized that not only had he unknowingly been looking for a life coach, but that the opportunity to be a life coach was the best kind of life change he could ask for. Though Lipperâ€™s current business, Destiny: Success, is only about a year old, heâ€™s been in the industry for more than ten years.
â€œI focus on a number of specific areas,â€? Lipper said. â€œSmall business if one of those. The other area I focus on is what I call â€˜holistic life coaching.â€™â€?
For small business owners, Lipper primarily focuses on increasing business profits while decreasing the number of hours owners invest in the business. The holistic life-coaching aspect of Lipperâ€™s business is markedly differentâ€”most of those clients are hoping to find solutions to relationship problems, which vary from dissatisfying relationships to not being in a relationship at all.
Clients who want to find success as a destiny generally canâ€™t have it both ways. Itâ€™s either business or holistic life coaching. Additionally, Lipper doesnâ€™t accept clients who have a psychiatric illness, who are purely seeking investment coaching, or who â€œfeel like their life has fallen apart and they canâ€™t go on another day.â€? Instead, Lipper, a soft-spoken but gutsy guy who seems well versed in infomercial speak, compares his services to those of a fitness trainer. He prepares a person of average physical fitness for large feats of athletic prowess, like running marathonsâ€”metaphorically speaking.
â€œWhen people say â€˜What can you do for me?â€™ I tell them to think about their life, think about one thing in your life that youâ€™re ready to change,â€? he explained. â€œCoaching is for letting you change those things. Itâ€™s about results. Itâ€™s not therapy.â€?
With a graduate degree in psychology, Lipper is probably qualified to offer therapy if he chose, but his other qualificationsâ€”which include offering leadership, team building, and communication workshopsâ€”steer him toward a less-traditional counseling path.
â€œRunning this business has been very positive,â€? Lipper said. â€œUsually, coaching programs are three months long. Iâ€™ve found that most of my clients have chosen to renew that commitment because they get results.â€?
Both business- and holistic life-coaching clients have the option of making a one-month, three-month, or six-month commitment to their new coach. Lipper generally suggests the three-month package, though the time period does vary depending on the person. Besides the length of the commitment, Lipperâ€™s services to each client are the same: They receive 45 minutes of his time once a week. Rather than meeting with his clients in person, Lipper prefers to conduct his meetings over the phone, which expands his client base across the country.
Anyone whose life is somehow not on the pristine path to Happily Ever Afterâ€”but who could potentially find that path if just one problematic aspect would fall into placeâ€”can visit Lipperâ€™s web site at www.destinysuccess.com, call 544-3938, or e-mail email@example.com. For those who are doubtful or uncertain, Lipper offers a free trial session, and the â€œDestiny: Successâ€? web site has free materials and questionnaires for anyone interested in a few minutes of self-reflection.
Arts Editor Ashley Schwellenbach knows that the answer is 42. Send your business news to firstname.lastname@example.org.