Join me and Life Coach Wil Fisher to talk about how to LIVE FULLY and be your authentic self.
Wil Fisher is an entrepreneur, life coach, facilitator, producer, performer, writer, nonprofit professional and drag queen. After graduating with a BFA in theatre from the Hartt School, Wil moved to New York City and quickly found his energy pulled towards social rights issues- predominantly those affecting LGBTQ youth.
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Welcome to the Healthy and Wealthy and Wise podcast with global sales trainer and professional speaker Lois CofI each week, it is her goal to share inspiration and education for you to be to have the best health and wealth and wisdom for your life. Hey, all right, hello. Happy Friday, everyone. Welcome back, this is Lois Cofee with another episode of Healthy, Wealthy and Wise. And I'm super excited to have you guys back here today after my relaunch.
And we've just had so much powerful, positive feedback. I want to thank you all again for supporting and writing your reviews and helping me get to the top ten in five different countries and then, of course, the top 20 here in the US. And I'm just really, really grateful for all of you. And I did start a Facebook community group for you guys to to dive into. I'll talk more about that later. I want to dive into our amazing content today with my amazing friend, Will.
Will. I think it was just a little over a year ago that we met at a board meeting. And I actually got to see will speak that day. And I think I don't believe in coincidences. I think I was meant to be there to hear him speak. And I was so moved by his story and his passion for what he does. Will has an amazing nonprofit background. He's a life coach. He's an executive coach. He also is the chair of the annual gala called The Autumn of Abundance.
And that is to do amazing fundraising. I've been there amazing to support the North County LGBTQ center, which, of course, I got to see him in drag for the first time. And I was like, will you look better in a dress than I do? Man, this is a fair like what do you what are you eating? What are you doing? I want to know all your secrets, but without further ado, I want to go ahead and introduce Will.
And I'd love for you to share your your why why do you do what you do? How did you get where you are today? Sure.
First of all, it is such an honor to have you there at that benefit where I was hosting. And, you know, especially great that you brought your kids who I had met before out of drag. And it was just so fun to have them experience me in this big get up. And they loved it. They were confused, but they were also intrigued and appreciative. You know, they they were very well responsive. I loved it. And I love being on the show.
So thank you for having me as your guest today.
I feel really honored and privileged to share this time with you.
So my journey to where about today, which is I'm living here in San Diego of sunny San Diego or having a beautiful, beautiful summer day. And I live next door to my sister we've met and my little nephew who loves your kids. And I am a life coach and an executive coach. And my practice is called willfully living. And I support folks in connecting with who they are with really getting in touch with their authentic self and then tapping into their courage so that they can stand in their power and fully express who they are and in so doing, share their gifts with the world.
And it's my belief that the more people we can get to do that, the more healing we're going to have on the planet, the more harmony we're going to have and the better this place is going to be to live. Right. And we certainly need some of that right now improving the experience of life.
So you want to hear a little bit about how I got here is without the question, absolutely.
Any any obstacles you've overcome? You know, because our audience is filled with people who are looking for hope, encouragement. And I know you have an amazing story. Oh, thank you.
Thank you for that. Yeah. So I was actually born and raised here in San Diego and I came from a challenging background. So both of my parents were alcoholics. My brother is a drug addict. It was very complicated and challenging household to grow up and a lot of dysfunction, a lot of chaos. And as a result, I started developing some coping mechanisms. I was definitely a people pleaser and carried that out through most of my adult life and was very challenged with being in my power, with speaking my truth, with being authentic.
I also, on top of all the chaos that comes with alcoholism and drug addiction and other family dysfunctions, I was I knew that I was gay. And so I was holding on to this sort of shameful secret. It felt shameful at the time anyway. And so growing up during that time was very challenging. And I wasn't able to connect with all I who all of who I am and to step into my highest self until I did the work.
But it took me a while before I even realized that I had some work to do because my people pleasing tray was actually serving me really well. I was excelling. I was constantly trying to be the best and trying to prove my worth and prove my value and give value and be of service. And I was really motivated to please everyone around me. That's that's how I knew how to create harmony. And so it did serve me well. And I was in the as you mentioned in my bio in the nonprofit business, and I sort of climbed my way up the ladder and eventually I became.
The executive director of an LGBTQ personal growth retreat center, and previous to that, I started dabbling in personal growth work and I started realizing that it was up to me to create the life that I wanted to create. And so then this opportunity presented itself for me to serve as a consultant originally for this retreat center. I've been living in New York City for 17 years, and then this retreat center brought me on to help produce me that this is a retreat center in the middle of the woods.
And I was suddenly like, maybe this is what I need. Maybe I need a change of pace. I've been in the Big Apple dealing with the chaos of the city life, being a drag queen, part time, living my best life, helping these nonprofits using my demobilising skills to excel. And I started to want something different. And so this opportunity to go support this retreat center felt like a really great new adventure. And so for the first couple of years, I was just consulting for them and I negotiated a little cabin.
So I had this little cabin in the woods at this retreat center. My cabin had no electricity, no plumbing. It was like totally tiny little home. And then I would be there for a couple of weeks and I'd be like in the beautiful woods. And then I'd go back to New York City and be like all of the New York City lifestyle and then back and forth and back and forth. And it was a pretty wild, amazing couple of years.
And during that time, I was also experimenting with all these different modalities of healing and personal growth because it was in my backyard when I was at the retreat center, I had access to all these incredible teachers who were coming from all over the world and making these offerings. And so I was able to really start to develop my personal growth work and learn about different modalities. And I started to offer my own workshops and my own retreats. I have a master's in Applied Theater, which is essentially using theater techniques and activities to engage people in dialogue and to address issues that might be getting in the way of them living in harmony and living their best life.
So I started using that background to offer my own things and started to develop myself as a facilitator and as a leader in the personal growth space. And then after two years doing that, while back and forth, back and forth, that's when the board of directors of the retreat center invited me to serve as their executive director. So I moved there full time, left New York City, upgraded my cabinet, but still lived off the grid and started running this retreat center, which was also a personal growth center as well.
It was also an intentional community as well. So all my staff I was working with all live together and work together. So as you can imagine, a retreat center, a nonprofit intentional community drama, inevitably happens. And so I was still trying to use my people pleasing skills and it was not working and I needed to step up my game. And so luckily, I was able to work with amazing teachers. My my teacher questioned my my coach, Jim Lopata, all these other incredible people who came and supported me in my growth to start really claiming my power and really getting to know myself and step into my power and my confidence so that I could lead in an effective way and let go of that people pleasing skill.
I integrate it. Right. It's not about letting it go completely. It's about finding a new way to be in relationship with it so that I could really step into my leadership in a good way. Then I started working with a life coach myself who helped me in that process as well. Then we had an opportunity to bring this amazing guy. His name's David Goldbach. He's the former International Coaches Federation IQF president, and he is just a champion coach.
And he came up to lead me to the first ever coaches training program for LGBTQ coaching. So specifically for coaching LGBTQ folks. And it was really an honor to have him and to be launching this program at the retreat center. And he said, listen, we've got an extra spot in order to make our numbers work. I'm wondering if you would like to take it, because even if you never become a coach, it'll be great in your executive career.
I said, yeah, I guess I'll check it out. I thought of retiring as a life coach someday, but I didn't really think it was the time to do it at this at this present moment. So I did it and I realized that I loved it. I realized I was good at it and I started doing it sort of on the side. So it's still consulting for nonprofits. I was still running this retreat center. I came back to San Diego, kept it on the side, and then I started realizing this is really where I want to put my time.
And so I have since then made that my main focus is developing my private practice, willfully living and then also coaching a lot of executives, primarily in the tech space. I do a lot of that through a coaching platform called that. But I've got major, major executive playing executives that I coach in addition to my life coaching practice, which is less career oriented. Wow, there's so much in there, you've overcome a lot and they've grown so much and so much.
I mean, I trust you implicitly because you're just authentic. I mean, our kids have spent time with you on weekends, and you're just such a great spirit. How did you figure out? I have a two part question, and you can either answer both the same time or I'll come back with a second if you don't remember it. But how did you figure out you were a people pleaser? Like, what were the symptoms and did you figure out what was the cause of that?
Because I hear that a lot. I am myself. I jokingly call myself in recovery of people pleasing. I know what that means for me, but I think it's a huge thing to talk about for our listeners today.
Yeah, absolutely. I would say the cause is. Let's see both of those things sort of happen simultaneously, right? So recognizing the trades and recognizing the cause was really supported in my 12 step program. So I am not in AA, but I am in a group called A.S.A., which stands for adult children of alcoholic parents. And it's essentially a 12 step program for anyone who has experienced a dysfunctional childhood upbringing. And one of the main things that we look at are the characteristics, the character traits that many, many, many people develop as a result of growing up in a dysfunctional household.
And so I remember going to my first meeting and when they read that list, so many of them resonated for me. I was like in tears right up right at the top of the meeting when they read that list. But the one that stood out the most was my people. And so I started bringing a lot of mindfulness to my choices and made my decisions in the way I was moving through the world because it was being done in a in a pattern.
It was a habit. It was it was a default mode. Right. So I was constantly people pleasing and it was influencing the way I was making choices in the way I was navigating and I wasn't aware of it. So so having that highlighted during those meetings and during the the 12 step process helped me bring mindfulness and awareness to it. So then I could start making new choices so I could say, like, oh, I'm doing that thing again.
No, I'm going to make a different choice.
I'd be curious if this isn't too personal a question, can you give a couple of examples of what you were doing as people pleasing? And then maybe I can share a couple of my own because I really want people to connect with that, because awareness is so powerful. And I know that's the place that you come from and coaching to. Sure.
I mean, I'm not thinking of a very specific, dramatic story, but one thing that I had been guilty of. Was when folks would bitch about something or someone my my immediate response would be to agree and chime in and add to it. Right. And so it was just to make them feel better. That was my attempt to make them feel better and to commiserate with them. And so even if I did agree, even if I thought that the waiter was actually friendly, who they're saying was a piece of shit, right.
I would I would lie essentially. I would not be honest and I would chime in with them. And I learned in that instance that another choice is to either just hold space, to let them do their thing or to speak my perspective and to find the courage and strength to do that. And that and the other piece there is like I later realized that me chiming in didn't make them feel better and made it worse and made that negative energy actually grow.
It's like adding adding fuel to a fire. So my thought was, oh, this will make them feel better. And maybe it was satisfying to them in that moment, but especially when it's a negative energy, it just makes it more negative, right?
Oh, yeah. Misery loves company, too. Right. So they're there. Yeah, it's it breeds more of that because I know for me, having been a people pleaser and growing up in a dysfunctional and not not to the extent of what you but you raised by a single dad having a mentally ill schizophrenic mother, you know, I was all about approval and saying yes to every thing. You want to volunteer for this? Oh, sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Do you want to do if you want to take this leadership role. Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah. Before you know it, I was so stressed out and just exhausted and then using alcohol or some other coping mechanism to kind of keep me sane. And that was, that was my experience with people and just saying yes to everyone.
Yeah. One hundred percent. Yeah. And I still fall into that trap sometimes. I mean, the trolling days for me is I'm also an opportunist who is passionate in his multi passionate. And so sometimes it's like, am I leaning into my opportunities to multi passionate self or am I defaulting to my people pleasing self? So it's like questioning that too. I try to keep that in check. Right. Keep that in balance. One hundred percent. I know there's a lot going on right now in the world, right?
We've had civil unrest, right? Well, you and I probably haven't because we're we we've been working on ourselves. We've been personally developing ourselves. And we're friends. We keep each other accountable, just even checking in on one another. But there's a lot of people out there who are experiencing trauma or experiencing dysfunction. Right. Maybe through job loss or decreased income, all of the typical stressors. Do you have any quick tips for our audience today that could help them, even just one thing that they could implement today after listening to this episode that can help them in their lives?
Yeah, so I have been supporting a lot a lot a lot of clients through the challenges of the pandemic, through the challenges of Black Lives Matter, through the challenges of shelter in place or the I mean, so much time and energy spent supporting folks through this. And I feel very grateful to be in the profession that I'm in so that I can do that. And I've done some pro bono work with people in the medical field, some some of the first responders, frontline folks.
And I felt really grateful to be of service. It's one of my highest values being of service. And so it feels really nourishing to be a person in my position right now and. I guess some of the themes that are coming up for me are resilience, so reframing this experience as an opportunity to grow in our resilience, knowing that this moment is going to support us in the way that we are relating to challenges in the future. And and just remembering that keeping that in the back of our head as we go through this, leading into the parts of this that we can be grateful for, which if you stop and think most people can find things, this slowing down the opportunity to connect more with family, the opportunities around working from home.
For many people, there are some silver linings. And so really highlighting those and leaning into gratitude and then leaning into gratitude in general, just being thankful to be alive, being thankful to be healthy, like the more that we can shift our focus on what's good and less, again, it goes back to this adding fuel to the fire, the less energy we're giving to what is not working.
And when we're focusing on what's good, more of what's good is going to manifest. And so the more we can shift our energy and our focus towards what is working and what we are grateful for, the the more of that that's going to come into our lives. That's awesome. I love it. And do you have any upcoming events, any meditations? I know we've been doing some stuff like that together and you pivoted like we did in person meditation.
Now you have it online. Do you have anything coming up to highlight for our listeners today as well?
Yeah, we've been doing some online stuff. The event I'm more excited about right now than the online stuff are in-person events that are covid safe. And so one of those events which I I'll I'll post and the Facebook group when we have the date confirmed because we're still working that out. But it's a it's a beach event, so it takes place at the beach, which creates the possibility of social distancing. And we've got all the sunlight in the sand and it's beautiful.
And we come together, we I lead a meditation, then we do yoga, and then we have a dance party. And it's all done with these headphones. And it's just like such a beautiful community building. And so the event is called The Universe Shows US it's the vision of a collaborator of mine named Dejan. And so he and I will be working on the next one soon. And this next one, I think, is also going to have an ocean advocacy element to it.
We're going to bring in education and ocean conservation advocacy.
So it's everything is like meditation, yoga. Sometimes you breath work, ocean advocacy and dance party. What more can you want?
I know. And I'm actually maybe I'm going to put this out there so, you know, and if anybody has any questions on the live broadcast, please type them in right now. We're going to probably wrap up in the next ten minutes or so, so feel free to ask those questions. That's why I continue to do this podcast show live every week, because I want you to have your voice heard. And in that vein, can you give any advice for those people who are struggling with addiction right now or maybe they're struggling with the fact that they're gay and maybe they haven't spoken their truth that you went through a combination of all those different things is there is any hope or encouragement that you can give to to people like that right now?
And one of my key demographics that I support our young gay people, I love helping young gay people are still struggling to feel fully comfortable in their shoes and to feel safe to be their authentic self and express themselves in the world and in an honest way. That's a population that I love supporting. And I would suggest that they take advantage of resources. I mean, right now, I think one of the beautiful aspects of our new virtual lives that we're living, which, listen, I don't want it to go on forever, but when we're looking at the silver linings, one of the perks is that there's so many different groups meeting online.
So if there's a gay young adult or adults, right. Living in some tiny town that doesn't have the LGBT center, that doesn't have support groups, now is a wonderful time for them to connect with these online meetings and to to have face time with other folks who might be experiencing the same thing that he might be. And so using those resources, having the courage to actually show up at a meeting and get the the wealth of knowledge, experience and skill share that might be present at kind of meeting.
That's awesome, because you know how I've lost a brother essentially to addiction and even my own self and my journey of having fear of speaking my voice. That's why I started this podcast out of total fear and being able to have support of people like you in my life and being able to share these amazing stories is a just a testimony to the importance of when in doubt, reach out and surround yourself with amazing, awesome people in your tribe, just like.
Well, and to that point, where can they find you? Other than I did just post my private Facebook group guys are it's a it's actually a public group, but you have to you have to get permission to join it. But I'm going to have Will and they're all my speakers so you can connect with these amazing, amazing leaders. But in the meantime, where can they find you? And tell us about your free 30 minute consultation. Yeah, wonderful.
So my website is willfully living I spellbinder the one else that's wild dash, fully living dot com. And there's an easy way to get in touch with me that way. And then my Instagram is ninety nine and I love the Instagram. So direct messages on there is great as well. And then my offering today is a half hour consult and I call it the Fantastic Future visioning console. And so what we do is we look at the future that you want to create for yourself and the change that you want to make.
Coaching for those who aren't familiar with it is a very future focused practice. Where is therapy? We're often looking at the past and how it's impacted us. Coaching is a model where we're looking at the future and then we are finding anything that might be getting in the way of that. And we're brainstorming how we can get to that future. And then we're starting to take actions that I'm creating that process with my clients and holding them accountable to take the actions that are necessary to get to the future that they want to create for themselves.
And so I do like a 30 minute consultation that I'll set that up and leaves them with a couple steps. Even if they don't coach with me, they'll have some resources right off the bat.
Awesome. Thank you so much for that generous offer. Guys, take advantage of it. I did post his Google link in there where you can request. Right?
That's where they request to fill out a little form and then I'll get it all the time. Awesome. Awesome. And of course, this will be uploaded and to iTunes. And always, if you know someone who's struggling, who could benefit from Will's wisdom, please do do share this with someone who could really benefit from it right here, right now. Is there is there anything else well. That you would like to share? Since we don't have any questions at this time?
Feel free to ask me any questions here. Guys, if you do, is there anything else that you feel in your heart you would like to share with our audience today, knowing that there's mostly sales people, entrepreneurs out there that are wanting to live their best life?
Well, I appreciate you asking from my heart. And I guess that would be my response is to operate from the heart. I just I think we need more people tapping into their heart power right now. I think that a lot of our problems that we're facing right now have come from too much focus on the brain and navigating this world from a brain space. And so the more that we can start moving into a paradigm that is heart focused, I think we can create more harmony in the world.
And so even in sales, even in small business owners, entrepreneurs, when you have decisions to make, when you are taking approaches to to ask your heart, like what is it you should do rather than just using your mind to analyze it, to really check in with this, because it is a powerful, powerful tool.
And would you say that a lot of times it's when people aren't listening to their heart, they're stuck in their head, that is when they pretty much create their own demise or their own challenges? Absolutely. Yeah.
I mean, stuck in your head, right? It's a perfect expression and it's it's an unpleasant place to be stuck. And so the solution is to get into your body and get and tap into your heart. Yeah. And it also is about experiencing life, right? It's about enjoying life. Like my practice is willfully living. The way that I am able to fully live is by being embodied and by experiencing my emotions. And that is that is life in its fullness.
And so if we're scratch our heads, we don't work. We're we're cut off from that.
Is that how you came up with your name willfully living? Yeah.
And the other play is willful. So to be willful is to be intentional. So in my coaching, I'm very intentional, in my client's very intentional about what they want to create and how they're going to do that. So it's both. It's a play on both of those things and using my name.
Yeah, I love it. You're meant to have that name. It was really, truly were destined. Cool. Well, thank you so much. I'd like to close off with my final signature question because it has a lot of meaning to me. It's the name of my podcast for a variety of reasons. And I love to hear your perspective when you hear the phrase healthy, wealthy and wise, well, what stands out to you? What does that mean to you?
Healthy, wealthy and wise, what stands out for me is abundance of like really tapping into the abundance of life and I see those three categories as the areas of abundance that are most life giving. So the more you can create manifest abundance in those areas and our health and our wealth and our wisdom, the more satisfied, the more pleasure, the more connected, the more full of life we are going to be. So that would be my invitation to folks, is to really bring some time, energy and attention to how they're relating to their health, to their wealth, to their wisdom, and to give us some more time, energy and attention to those areas so that they can live in more abundance.
I love it. That was beautiful. Thank you so much. And again, guys, please share this if you if you liked it and can comment. And what was the what was the number one thing that you got out of today's session? I would love it if you would comment below. Reach out to Will. I'm posting in the comments here. His consultation has his website and then, of course, moving forward right now, I'm streaming live on a few different platforms.
And starting next week, I am only going to be streaming live inside of my healthy, wealthy and wise podcast community. And that's the goal, is to bring a lot of like minded people together to connect with well and all the different people that are going to be guests on here to help you find that abundance, living your best and highest version of yourself as much as possible as we journey through this thing called life. So please come back and tune in.
Next week, we will have an amazing brand new podcast or friend of mine. Her name is Amy Kaiser from Wisconsin. She specializes in soul healing. She's a Reiki master. So she's going to help you understand better how balancing and healing your energies will give you success and abundance in your business and in your life. So thanks and thanks again, Will, and thank you. Until next time, everyone. Here's to your best health. Hey, guys, thank you so much for listening to this episode, if you enjoyed this, please subscribe, refer a friend and please drop me a rating or a review.
If you do that, I'll reward you with a free 20 minute free coaching session on crafting your journey to your best self. Reach out to me at Loess, at Loess, CofI Dotcom to claim your 20 minute slot until next time. Be healthy, wealthy and wise.