For over 12 years as a self-employed coach, I’ve had the honor of helping people with big hearts to hear and activate their true callings.
Most of my clients are introverted and/or highly sensitive (HSP) women, like me. I once felt like a total misfit, with all the anxiety that goes with that misfit label.
Thanks to some soul searching (including with the help of a coach), I have come to a place of celebration and ease with being true to myself in my personal and professional life. It’s not perfect and it’s always evolving, but it works for me.
My soul searching process included discovering what my unique strengths and values actually are. I couldn’t see it myself. Turns out most people don’t know these things about themselves, and yet it’s life-changing to learn it.
I believe the dominant money-driven culture needs more of the gifts we sensitive souls have to offer. So I’m determined to make it easier for other so-called “misfits” (who I now call “black swans”) to do what you’re here to do, and be who you’re here to be.
I’m not about pushing you to do anything. (There’s already too much of that in your own head. Right?)
Val introduced herself – her voice was so warm, kind and calming…was this really a coach?! You mean they’re not all full of extroverted energy ready to burst at the seams…this was a great start! …[After working with Val] Not only did my business take off wildly, but I’m learning to live ‘out of my head’ and ‘into my heart’ which has completely changed my life.”
~ Cindy S., introverted solopreneur
My Superpowers (Psst, you have superpowers too.)
- Empathy. (People who meet me feel deeply seen and understood.)
- Seeing the genius in you – even when you can’t see it.
- Helping you see where you are on the “map” so you can find solid ground and then go for what matters.
- Helping you uncover what you actually want, and how to manifest it.
- Some kinda crazy-good intuition.
- Making networking and marketing much easier for introverts.
- Getting you unstuck.
You can learn more in this video story about me and how I got into business/career coaching.
Val is gentle, kind and compassionate, and the work she does packs a surprising punch. I walk with my head held higher now…”
~ Janice Beetle
My methods are informed by these approaches or beliefs:
- It doesn’t have to be that hard. When it feels hard, you’re trying to do too much all alone. (It doesn’t mean you’re weak to let in support.)
- I’m not about pushing you to do anything. Connecting to deep inspiration works better.
- Authenticity is the most effective way to reach your goals.
- Room to breathe is essential.
- People with big hearts are needed. Our sensitive nature is a gift, not a flaw.
- Work should feel joyful. And it is possible.
- Nature can be our source of grounding and guidance.
- Optimize everything with Love.
More Questions About Me?
I help people all over the place, thanks to the phone and videoconference tools. I am in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA, situated on Nipmuc and Pocumtuc land, within an area often called “Western Mass.”
I’m committed to being welcoming and inclusive of all races, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, cultural or class backgrounds, body sizes, and abilities, and I’m grateful that my coaching experience includes that whole range.
I continue to build my own cultural openness and humility. Social and racial justice issues are near and dear to my heart. I know it’s a lifelong learning process too so I won’t always get it right. I welcome you sharing your perspective with me. (I love feedback and I don’t freak out about it.) [Full Inclusion statement.]
It’s also true that my approach appeals more to women, and that’s why I focus more on women on my website.
- Former wallflower who enjoys socializing, on my own introvert terms.
- Over 12 years as a self-employed professional coach (and a lifetime of informal coaching before I knew the word).
- Self-supporting business owner even during a down economy.
- Extensive training and experience in adult learning, training, and group facilitation.
- Longtime practice in meditation and mindfulness (with ups and downs of course).
- Featured expert in the media, including a work advice column for introverts that was syndicated on Huffington Post. Interview topic range: introverts, self-employment for introverts, superpowers, heart-centered work, work-life harmony, marketing for introverts, impact-driven work choices, and related topics.
- Graduate of the Coaches Training Institute, accredited by ICF. (Loved it!)
- Committed to following the International Coach Federation (ICF) ethical standards.
- Former Chair, Western Massachusetts Coaching Alliance.
- 20+ years in health and human services.
- 20+ years in management (non-profit and business worlds).
- 20+ years in marketing and communications (non-profit and business worlds).
- 15+ years helping with websites and web marketing, especially for healing arts professionals.
- 20+ years experience in public speaking, from schools to international conferences.
- Inbound Marketing Certified Professional (includes SEO and social media)
- Successful experience in a range of settings — including education, health care, human resources management, and web marketing.
- 5 years of training in conscious communication (also known as non-violent communication [NVC] or mindfulness communication), a powerful tool for heart-centered and direct communication.
- Longtime veteran of 12-step living (Al-anon).
- Lifelong love-based action for anti-racism, intersectional women’s rights, LGBTQQIA, health care access, human rights, peace, climate crisis.
- Former illustrator and ad designer (award-winning).
- B.A., Tulane University (Double major: Sociology, Latin American Studies)
More importantly, I am living my purpose. I also happen to be a confident and social introvert. (That’s a real thing.)
For the real-deal credentials, check out my client testimonials.
I find that assessment tools like Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), CliftonStrengths, StrengthsProfile, and the Enneagram can be very revealing and useful for seeing blind spots. But they can be problematic when used without an advisor to help you interpret them, and if they are used to put you in a box as some employers have done.
If you’re like me, you might enjoy knowing my “type” from various measurements, like these:
- CliftonStrengths Top 5: Connectedness, Empathy, Strategic, Relator, Activator. (No wonder I ended up in coaching!)
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: INFP (near the middle on most)
- Enneagram: 1w9
I think all of these findings have been good validation for me, that I’ve chosen a field that aligns with my natural strengths, and the yin/yang of life. I love helping others find their easeful alignment too.
Oh I could go on and on but this list could give you a window into my inspirations:
- Desmond Tutu
- Michael Bernard Beckwith
- Rosa Parks
- John Lewis
- Mahatma Gandhi
- Gladys Tantaquidgeon
- Lyla June
- Rachel Carson
- Spring Washam
- Van Jones
- John O’Donohue
- Mary Oliver
- Mother Earth
In other words, I’m inspired by Fierce Love, which is another way of saying Love in Action even when it’s hard to do.
I first opened my own business in 2008 as a consultant for service professionals (e.g., healing arts) who wanted help with communications (e.g., web and social media), because I already had a good reputation for it from past jobs.
I soon found that many of my clients had fears that got in the way of their marketing, such as networking anxiety, or fear of exposure. So my compassionate coaching style kicked in, and we’ve all been a lot happier and seen more results since then.
After some additional coach training in 2009, I started calling myself a business coach more than a consultant, but I bring both skills to my work. I think it makes a nice blend because we can deal with the inner confidence and clarity stuff, and the practical steps all in one session so things can keep moving.
I soon added life and career coaching, especially coaching for introverts.
I’ve been doing something like coaching for ages under different names (mentor, program manager, human resources manager, friend, listener). It’s been a joyful birthing process of bringing more of the real me to work. It’s an ongoing journey and I’m so grateful for it all.
Yes, my actual name is Val Nelson Taylor. I had my business before I got married and so I kept Val Nelson as the name of my business.
Hey, if you’ve read this far, you’re the kind of person I love to hear from.
- Testimonials/ Client Stories
- Overview of Coaching for Introverts and HSPs
- The Black Swan Story: More Impact, More Ease
- Inclusion, Equity, Antiracism, and Reparations Commitment
- Climate Crisis, Mother Earth, and My Work
- Video Interview of Val: My Inside View on Career and Business for Introverts
- Val in the News/ Press Kit
Whenever I work with Val (and I’ve asked her support many times), I come away with clarity, lightness, freedom and it feels like a lamp has been lit for me.
Val has a special gift for helping her clients to feel safe, relaxed and calm. Her way of working is just SO RIGHT for me as an Introvert. She gives me the chance to think as slowly and deeply as I need, and she has a beautiful way of helping me to bring out my own truth. She works in a gentle, kind way with so much compassion – yet she’s not afraid to ask the hard questions that helps me to get clarity in the uncomfortable places.
I am SO loving her unique combination of strengths that helps me to face my “Elephants”, while staying soft, open and spacious. Her strategic thinking has helped me see beautiful possibilities where I was unable to find them by myself.”
~ Liesel Teversham, EFT Coach for Sensitive Souls, London, England