2016 was a tragic year for Jeremy Stegall. He lost his mother to cancer and was removed from being divorced. Jeremy soon began noticing repeating patterns in his relationship that reflected similar issues as when he was married. He recounts, “I couldn’t shake a profound sense that life would never be long enough and that if I was going to do something to change my behaviour and live a life of purpose and meaning, I had to begin immediately doing something different.” Jeremy’s mother was a nurse. Hearing the stories of her impact from her coworkers left him desiring that same impact and connection. At the time, he felt he lacked a meaningful contribution to the retail store he worked in and applied for a job relocation.
“One day in the new sales territory, I was reprimanded for asking for help to resolve a customer’s urgent problem, despite the last-minute call to fit them into a busy day. Their frustration with how I went about helping them left me feeling like there had to be another way I could be of value, and I began my blog,” shares Jeremy. He began to write about what he was doing and the results his experience produced. The writing was cathartic for Jeremy. He enjoyed the process and soon began talking to his new community about becoming a coach. However, he was still determining how he wanted to do it.
Jeremy says, “After relocating to Seattle, I self-published my first book. I hired a writing coach to deepen my writing ability and develop my competency to write better conversations. After publishing the book, my writing coach knew I wanted to transition into coaching and suggested enrolling in a Coaches’ Training Program while I completed my second book.” Jeremy’s first book, Where the Change Happens, is about developing specific areas in life after divorce. It helps readers look for new ideas to help build an improved mindset in our new normal. First published in November 2020, the book has reached readers globally and is consistently ranked as a top seller of books on divorce on Amazon.com.
The success of his first book inspired Jeremy to enroll in The Coaches’ Training Program with Accomplishment Coaching In 2021. He received vital training from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) accredited program to learn tools and core competencies in support of launching his coaching business, Where the Change Happens Coaching, LLC, in 2022.
A Terrible Manager Turned Transformational Leader
Today, as an author, coach, and speaker, Jeremy uses his education and professional experience to bring new creative energy to the workplace, working with entrepreneurs to step through fear and commit to a new possibility for their lives and organizations. However, from childhood to finding his true north in the coaching industry, Jeremy had his fair share of challenges. “Kids in the neighbourhood often teased me and made fun of how I spoke. I was an outlier as an African American that liked hockey and didn’t play basketball. I decided around age 13 that I would be me and lean into what I liked, alternative music and hockey,” says Jeremy. He grew up in what he describes as a black-and-white world in Joliet, Illinois. With the opportunity to travel playing hockey, he could experience different communities of people and the similarities and differences in the cultures of varying regions.
“Leaving home to play hockey was the first step to realizing I would be ok following my dream. I moved to Canada alone and was committed to getting better at hockey,” recounts Jeremy. Even after being chased off the ice in one of his first games, Jeremy found a new level of courage training in Banff, Alberta. “My challenge from starting hockey at a later age was always one of perseverance and a willingness to get up more than I was knocked down.” He adds, “Moving around allowed me to reinvent myself into a version that reflects the many communities I’ve lived in and to declare what my values are and the vision I am creating.”
Jeremy was also a manager at a movie theatre for a few summers after high school. However, he wasn’t a good manager, often walking around with writeups in his pocket and being the demanding manager no one liked. He shares, “I knew nothing of leadership back then, but I eventually learned the hard way about what to do and not do as an assistant manager.”
As Jeremy moved to a professional career in retail sales, he realized he still had areas he could improve in his leadership and communication styles to encourage his staff to work with him. Jeremy says, “Around that time, I had begun listening to podcasts and reading personal development books, implementing what I was learning and could apply in my store.” He soon started finding success in the store and applied for relocation to South Florida, beginning a new sales territory. “I learned something about humility during my two years there, and continuing success brought me to Seattle. Continuing my education has supported me in developing new ways to be, and it’s helped my ability to connect with people,” he explains.
Bringing Changes in People’s Lives
Jeremy was trained in the ontological approach to coaching, a study around our being, what we bring into our relationships and the results we create. Before Jeremy starts his coaching sessions, he asks his clients to fill out a Life Evaluation Questionnaire to get a sense of their well-being and gather insight into how they view their life and the areas that bring them to coaching. From there, sessions are structured around the client’s commitment and vision. Jeremy shares, “I begin sessions by asking questions, like, what you want to talk about and what you want to get out of the conversation. From there, it depends on the person and where they are. Being with my clients and reflecting on their behaviour or pattern can lead to a conversation about a belief that may no longer be true or highlight a tendency holding them back.”
The clients and groups Jeremy works with hire him for either three, six, or twelve-month contracts. His 1:1 session is structured around the client’s vision and commitment, with conversations, focusing on creating that once and for all shift or achievement. The Men After the Divorce Group Coaching programs have more structure around practice areas, creating a vision with community support, and completing the end of a relationship to create a path forward. “When I left Iowa in 2017, I knew there was something meant for my life and that it was possible that I may have to create it to realize what gifts I uniquely contribute. Each day, each week, and each year, I continue to act committed to creating the life of my dreams and to be in service of supporting the lives of as many people as my creator gives me the capacity to be with,” Jeremy says humbly.
For Jeremy, a challenge for the moment is addressing the need for more awareness of what coaching is and how it can be of value. Remembering an incident from one of his training sessions, Jeremy says, “I was coaching a client and asked an individual a direct question, and they shut down. I thought it was probably a topic they weren’t open to discussing. Still, in reviewing my experience with my coach, I noticed how my context around the client’s experience they were avoiding crept into my pushing the session rather than meeting the client with curiosity into the line they drew in the sand and not being attached to any result one way or another for the client. In hindsight, I would like to ask more about what came up for them that triggered their response and ask them about their experience if that barrier wasn’t there.”
Jeremy believes that many understand the role of a coach in sports. Still, personally and professionally, Jeremy clarifies how coaching supports expanding businesses and expands individual capacity and commitment to create new levels of achievement. Writing his second book, After the Divorce: From Looking Back to Leaning In, as a fiction novel is part of Jeremy’s answer to what coaching is and how it can be of value in relationships and the workplace. In fact, Jeremy has been fascinated with human nature since childhood and majored in psychology at Iowa State University. Jeremy adds, “Continuing to read about the topic and write about it has become part of my mission. I’m also sharing my story on podcast interviews and discussing what coaching is and who I serve with Where the Change Happens Coaching.” Jeremy considers self-publishing his first book, Where the Change Happens, the most successful coaching initiative, as it finds new readers and inspires his vision to provide tools and support to uplift our well-being and communities globally.
Life of a Coach
Jeremy’s workday begins at 6:15 am with his morning routine to set the tone for the day. He walks his dog, meditates and journals for fifteen minutes, and reads for an hour. After breakfast, he will answer emails or join a networking meeting. Jeremy says, “The details of each day vary during the week. Still, I schedule time each week to engage in social media marketing and have a weekly educational presentation I put together for my networking group, which meets every Thursday morning.” Jeremy also records podcast interviews weekly and continues working on his writing projects around his personal development journey and ways to make minor shifts in our daily behavior.
When Jeremy has a coaching call scheduled, he dedicates 30-45 minutes before to meditation and to reviewing notes from previous calls or tools he has available that may support the sessions. However, to handle the pressure and stay calm all day, Jeremy has a self-care practice to support his well-being. “Exercises such as meditation, self-induced hypnotherapy, journaling, and going for a walk are all parts of well-being practices I’ve listed to re-centre if I feel off. I also utilize writing exercises to support addressing the feeling of overwhelm or having a breakdown,” explains Jeremy.
Jeremy aims to achieve his first coaching certification with the ICF this year. He is also working to collaborate with one hundred podcasts to share the value and impact of coaching and his writing. Jeremy also has goals of speaking on twenty stages and hosting the Men After the Divorce Group Coaching program this year. Jeremy concludes, “Being recognized as someone to look up to internationally last year, selling hundreds of copies of something I’ve written, and starting my own business realizes what once was a dream and are my result of consistent intentionality. These milestones are part of my experience of creating from a vision. As a coach, this highlights that creating a life of purpose and meaning and living a dream born from a vision is possible.”
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