I burst my “What if …” bubble; You can too!
My name is Anza Goodbar; I am an empowerment coach. I partner with women to guide them through the process of loving themselves unconditionally, increasing confidence, practicing self-compassion, and embracing a positive body image. You might be thinking I chose this profession because I have life all figured out. Far from it, I’m still a work in progress! Allow me to share a portion of my story with you.
I grew up in an entrepreneurial home. Both of my parents were business owners. I started working in our retail store when I was eleven years old. My first public speaking opportunities were teaching cooking skills for microwave ovens. Yes, I know that dates me, but that is when I first knew I wanted to be a speaker and positively impact people’s lives. I didn’t know what that could look like, I just knew that’s what I wanted to do.
I continued to work in our family business for the next five years. Eventually, I was able to fill in for our bookkeeper and dispatcher over the summers to give staff vacation relief. Working for my Dad taught me many life and business skills that would serve me later in life.
When I was sixteen, I made a choice that would change my life forever. I became a pregnant teen and chose to keep my baby. Almost every adult in my life told me I had just thrown my future away. They said I’d never go to college, I’d live a life on welfare and my kids would repeat the cycle.
My entire support system was disappointed in me, well, all but one! My high school teacher, Dana Howie, was the only one who stood by me during this difficult and uncertain time. She encouraged me by saying I could still realize my dreams, but I would live an unconventional life. She instilled in me the belief that if it was important enough to me, I’d figure out a way to make it happen.
She was right, I have lived an unconventional life filled with adventures and tons of personal growth. I followed a different path than most of my high school classmates did. I focused on my young family and worked my way up in several organizations. I was eager to learn more and prove myself. The basis for my eagerness was built on the premise that I was less than and undeserving of the opportunities. I had an extra dose of shame attached to my life story. I felt like I had to work harder than my co-workers to prove myself worthy of holding that job or getting a promotion.
Over the course of my career, I walked through every open door. I learned all that I could while I waited for my chance to go to college. Wanting a college degree was a high priority for me. I thought it would fill that void in my heart that was yearning for validation. I was constantly searching for a way to feel like I was enough. I needed to know that my contributions mattered.
While working a demanding event planning job, I decided to approach my employer and ask for their support to go to college. They were on board with my plan. They allowed me to work from home and have a flex schedule so I could attend classes. My life was busy raising four kids as a single mom, working full-time and taking a full load of classes. I felt like it was finally my time to invest in the future life I wanted.
Upon graduation, I knew that there had to be more to life than building someone else’s business. My oldest son had come home from college and wanted to start a mortgage brokerage company and asked me if I’d join him. The time was right. I was ready to step out and spread my wings.
All of the lessons I learned while working for my Dad came into play. The lessons I learned from each crazy job I held over the past 17 years also prepared me to step into this exciting new chapter in my life. We had a hugely successful business until the crash of the mortgage industry in 2008.
We were looking forward to our best year ever in 2009. We were poised to open additional offices over the next couple of years. We were ready to play big! Little did we know that the entire industry as we knew it would collapse. It was like running full steam ahead into a brick wall. We lost everything, the business, our homes, our cars. We had to start over.
While we decided what our next move would be, I started a virtual business solutions company. In the beginning, I thought it would be a short-term financial solution, but has it lasted for almost a decade. I built a six-figure business while we developed a new company. I partnered with entrepreneurs, startups, and small business owners to create strategies for organization and growth. It was an exciting time.
My kids and I have gone on to own several other six and seven-figure companies, a packaging and brand management company, a video rental kiosk company, a manufacturing company and a window washing company. After the collapse of our mortgage company, we decided it was better to have multiple streams of income and not keep all of our eggs in one basket.
Over the years, we have banded together with our collective gifts and talents and focused on areas that would benefit us as a family unit. My friends always ask how I can work with my kids and still be their Mom. I say it’s easy; at work, I’m Anza. At home, I’m Mom. Our relationship was built on mutual respect, and our goal has been for everyone to succeed. We all contribute to the good of the whole.
Even while we have had other businesses, I have continued to keep my virtual business alive. It has offered me the flexibility and freedom me to take my daughter and granddaughter to live in Belize. The structure of my company let me stay with my Mom and help her transition after her husband died. It has given me the opportunity to be at home and help raise my granddaughter.
Several years ago, I started supporting coaches and helping them grow their businesses. It was exciting to learn a new industry, but more than that, it opened my eyes to a niche that wasn’t being serviced. I knew I had to become a certified coach and work so I could empower women to succeed at higher levels.
I had worked through my issues of feeling like I wasn’t enough. I had struggled through body image issues that lead me to play small in my life and business. I had discovered the power of having a regular self-care routine so I could serve others at my highest levels. I realized that what really held women back was their lack of self-love and self-compassion.
You see, women are outward focused. They use up all of their energy serving others and rarely put themselves first. They are on the verge of burnout and don’t have the confidence to say what they want in life. Many women have never seriously considered who they want to be or what they truly want out of their relationships. Many women settle for a career they hate because they are afraid to pursue their passions.
This revelation was the catalyst that birthed my coaching practice. I reflected back to my first job working with my Dad, and I knew I was designed to fill this role. My life experience was all about overcoming challenges, failing forward, and learning empathy. It all made sense!
Building a coaching practice hasn’t always been easy. It is an incredibly competitive field. Finding a way to stand out from the masses has been essential for success. Building a foundation on the basics, being intentional, consistent and flexible has been vital. I have learned that I don’t have to do it all myself, I can ask for support. I have learned that we can achieve more as a team than I could ever possibly do on my own.
Everyone loves an underdog story. When I work with women who are uncertain that they can start or sustain a business, I let them know that if I can do it, they can do it too. They have an advantage of not having to overcome the setbacks I had early in life.
If you are a woman sitting on the “what if…” bubble in life, I want you to know if you can dream it, if it is your life’s passion, you can design a life and business that makes you wildly happy! It’s never too late to pursue your dreams.
Anza Goodbar is an overcomer. As a pregnant teen, she was given the choice to abort the baby or be disowned. She chose to keep the baby and figure out life on her own. The future that was anticipated to her was bleak at best. She might have started out life on a misstep, but she has taken life by storm! Owner of several multi-million dollar companies, she has learned what it takes to love her self unconditionally, take the shame out of her story and embrace the building blocks that brought her to where she is today. She has a passion for helping women overcome life’s challenges, face life’s transitions with grace and reinvent themselves to experience greater levels of success in life and business.
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