About Us

Short Biography

I’ve been inspiring entrepreneurs and corporate executives throughout the world to come to life more fully for more than 20 years. I currently do so through this blog.

I’m a seasoned professional coach, nutrition educator, author of Seven Sacred Attitudes – How to Live in the Richness of the Moment, and an avid participant in my own wellness journey. I’ve traveled the entrepreneurial terrain myself, launched three successful businesses through the years, and know first-hand what a commitment it takes to embrace both wellness and entrepreneurial success. I hold a B.A. in Social Welfare from UCBerkeley, a Master’s degree in Organization Development from USF, and lots more credentials I’d be glad to tell you about if you want to give me a call.

As I said, I know the topic of wellness for entrepreneurs quite intimately. I’ve “been there done that,” burned myself out working too hard, heeded a wake-up call and re-created my life to embody wellness from the inside out. If you want to learn more about me, and have the time, read the longer version below.

The Complete Story

Pour a cup of tea, sit back, and put your feet up…this is quite lengthy☺

My Early Years as an Entrepreneur

I became an entrepreneur at the age of 12. At the time, my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Oliver, challenged his class to create small businesses. This was 1969 and a novel idea. (Well, it was also northern California, Marin County so I guess not that novel.) We could form teams of 2-6 kids and had to come up with ideas for our businesses. We were to write a small plan, develop our product or service, and market our products and services to our classmates…we all used a set amount of monopoly money to “purchase” things and services from one another. I opted for just one business partner and a simple business idea. My teammate Laurie and I loved to collect odds and ends and so we decided to sell some of our used stuff – erasers, pencils, marbles – sort of like a small-scale ebay. (We even had a jingle for a commercial but I’m not going to hum it here.) We did okay but we gave away more free stuff than we planned and so our profit levels were not as high as the group who made video movies at recess. We vowed our future efforts in real life would be more successful.

The entrepreneurial bug had bitten though and soon I had a thriving babysitting business where I charged extra if people wanted me to bake a pan of brownies or cookies (not organic though) for lunches for the week.

When I was a junior in college, I invented a carrot cake recipe using little flour and no sugar (I hate to tell you what artificial sweetener I used, but hey, that was then…) I baked 10 loaves and sold them to a restaurant that specialized in salads and Weight Watcher’s approved foods. Looking back, it wasn’t the idea of making money that had me so enamored, it was the idea that I could contribute something unique to the world and do so by using my creativity and pursuing something I adored. The money was a symbol that I had done so. That idea keeps me jazzed to this day.

My Early Introduction to Healthy Living

I have also been a wellness proponent since I was a kid. I am blessed to have grown up with a mom who loved to cook healthy food. She taught me to appreciate a plate of beautiful veggies and enjoy their flavors, aroma, and gorgeous colors. We grew tomatoes, zucchini and beautiful flowers in our backyard, and the idea of taking in nourishment from the earth was as natural to me as breathing. (My mom’s a nurse and I’m happy to report that I’ve persuaded her to add some healthy recipes to the blog!) For me, exercise as a kid was just a given. Swim teams, cheerleading, and long bike rides kept me happy and healthy…a feeling I so adore.

Working With Human Potential Training Companies

After college, I worked with two different Human Potential Training companies that were in business to inspire, motivate and encourage people to show up more fully in life. As I helped others show up more fully, I was doing the same myself as I expanded my natural leadership and training skills. It was a perfect venue for a young woman interested in helping people be all they could be. My graduate studies in Human Resources and Organization Development were a natural outgrowth of this interest. After grad school, I headed into the business arena.

Corporate America Beckons

I just knew that bringing a spark of life into organizations was the right place for me to head after a few years in the Human Potential Training arena and grad school.

I spent the first few years as an Outplacement Counselor with Drake, Beam, Morin in San Francisco. Coaching executives and helping them reinvent their careers (they’d been out-placed due to layoffs and corporate mergers) was rewarding work. DBM was a great training ground for the transformative work I now do with entrepreneurs, years later.

A can’t-say-no-to-this-one opportunity showed up in 1985, and I decided to direct the Training and Development function of the Finance Division within Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Innovative Leadership Program

Committed to making a difference at PG&E, I developed and implemented a customized Leadership Development Program for all four departments (Finance, IT, Accounting and Law) headed by the CFO.

I had a fat training budget (remember, this was back in the day when sizable training budgets were commonplace) and the CFO’s trust in me that the five-day program design I proposed was well worth his executives’ time away. I also had an incredible boss who recognized my innovative, entrepreneurial spirit and encouraged me to pull out the stops and design things my way. I did just that.

Held offsite at the beautiful Chamanade Whitney resort in Santa Cruz, the Executive Leadership Program incorporated the best leadership, self-development and teambuilding programs on the market at the time. My team and I rolled out the program to the CFO, his four Vice Presidents, and more than a hundred executives over the course of a year.

The ELP consisted of: Outdoor experiential segments, (we were one of the first corporate groups to subsequently build our own ropes course), Human Synergistics’ Lifestyles Inventory assessments, business simulations including Whitewater (co-written by my husband, Steve) and Desert Survival exercises, the Hay Company’s Organization Improvement program, and a corporate speakers’ bureau segment. There was also a morning aerobics option (I taught this piece) and time for teams from all four departments to get to know each other over walks and a barbeque.

These diverse experiential components, and the CFO’s commitment from the top down, contributed to remarkable results back in the workplace. Watching the amazing transfer of learning inside this part of the organization made me anxious to do the same for many more companies.

Launching Out

My entrepreneurial fever reached a peak and I left PG&E to launch my own consulting firm in 1989.

I set up shop at home. Equipped with a phone, the earliest version of a Macintosh computer, and (as my Jewish great aunt says) pure Chupzta (pronounced “hutspa”) I set that entrepreneurial spirit to work and became busier than I dreamed possible.

Business Skyrockets

I had the honor and joy of working with large corporations such as Intel, Kaiser Permanente, Pacific Bell, Texaco, PG&E (this time as an external consultant) and Wells Fargo Bank. I coached executives and teams in all of them and traveled across the continent to do so. The business grew and soon my husband left corporate America too and joined me in the business. We found a way for us to each have our own entrepreneurial needs met and collaborate at the same time. However, I was single-focused on the business and clearly living out of balance.

Wake-up Calls

A serious car accident and a physical health challenge became the wake-up calls for me to do things differently. With a clear intention, a humble heart and the support of those who love me, I went back to basics. I stopped working for a year and applied my own philosophy about passion and wellness and balance to myself. I re-tooled my life.

I began to slow down and craft a more luscious life for myself. I turned my focus from corporate consulting to coaching entrepreneurs who, like me, were both thirsty for exercising their adventuresome spirits and yet desirous of living a balanced life.

Studies with Great Mentors

I stopped traveling and doing keynote speeches. I started studying with mentors from the body/mind world including author Dan Millman, Cultural Anthropologist Angeles Arrien, Bioenergetics expert, Stanley Kelleman and dance-therapist, Tamara Greenberg. My husband and I volunteered as staff members in Dan Millman’s Courage Training program, where we helped students practice using martial arts basics while standing by their hearts to experience true courage. All along I kept incorporating what I was learning into my coaching work with entrepreneurs.

For fun (yes, learning is just plain fun for me) I went to nutrition school and became a Nutrition Educator, did post-graduate work in art therapy and spent time doing art therapy in an outpatient psych unit. I studied the principles and philosophy of Chinese medicine and I furthered my coaching skills by graduating from B/Coach and Coaches Training Institute. I also embraced the remarkable Gremlin-Taming Method® of author and psychologist, Rick Carson in a year-long program. I continue to learn from Rick in his on-going mentoring program.

On the outside, it may seem that I began to have as busy of a life as I had early on as a new entrepreneur in 1989. But I altered my life dramatically from the inside out. I learned to incorporate the many principles of wellness I’d been studying with mentors and in programs. I began to write about all the growth I was experiencing. I continued to weave the lessons from all of the teachers and mentors I’ve had into my daily life and into my work with entrepreneurs. To this day, my blog readers and I benefit (in body, mind and spirit) from the shift I made and my on-going commitment to wellness and personal growth.

Lone Ranger no more

In 2006, my husband and I participated in financial coach Loral Langemeier’s program, “Loral’s Big Table™”. Having a chance to strengthen our financial and investment literacy amid a supportive and motivating community was amazing. We took our financial well-being to entirely new levels, met other participants from all over the world, and (by far the biggest learning for us in our experience in the Live Out Loud™ community) began to shed our “Lone Ranger” hats and surround ourselves with a rock-star team of experts to support us in our lives.

I want this next chapter of my life to be about weaving together the many threads of entrepreneurial lessons and wellness that are so dear to me, sharing them with a community of entrepreneurs and together creating a substantial and rich tapestry that has meaning to all of us. I intend WellnessCoach.com blog to be a big piece of this chapter.

What makes my heart sing?:

I love: reading, swimming, kayaks, fresh produce, Golden Retrievers, my lavender garden, end-of-day strolls and the Green Tea Café with my husband, family barbeques, sudoku, Spring Frest QiGong, 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles, and organic dark chocolate with ginger.

Favorite quote:

“To come to life more fully,

So as to serve life more

wisely and more nobly.

Sagely stillness within,

Sovereign service without.”

–John G. Sullivan, J.C.D., Ph.D.

Author, To Come to Life More Fully: An East West Journey

Cofounder, SOPHIA program, Tai Sophia Institute

Contact Info

• Phone: 925-933-7445

or send an email to: erica at wellnesscoach dot com