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User Spotlight: I Am Virago

I had the opportunity to interview Janice Lichtenwaldt, founder of I Am Virago, about her business and her experience using our coaching software. We talked for an hour and certainly could have continued on, so naturally I’ve edited for length and clarity. Enjoy!

What is Virago?

Virago is a derogatory word for an aggressive, powerful woman, [but] it used to be a title of honor in Rome, and I want to take it back.

Janice Lichtenwaldt I Am Virago with CoachAccountable

My mission is focused on helping women come into their fullness of being. Everybody has a different definition of what is satisfying for them, so the idea behind I am Virago is to explore all of the ways you want to show up in the world, find one that speaks to you, and be unafraid to go after it.

Success for I Am Virago will be [when] women aspire to be Viragos, and little girls are saying, “I want to grow up and be a Virago.”

The Bigger Picture

[I coach] a lot of women in executive and leadership roles who are looking to get past “imposter syndrome”. Women who ask, “how do I maintain my femininity and also display strength?”

I Am Virago Podcast for Inspiring Women JaniceI’m launching a podcast featuring everyday women doing great work and showing the struggle. Showing vulnerability: [life’s] not easy. We all struggle. We have challenges. We all have doubts. It’s important to share that. I’m writing a book about all [these challenges], too. [Editor’s note: this podcast was launched August 1, 2018]

I’m also securing a gorgeous piece of property on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State to build the Virago retreat center. It’s nine acres on a river, a thousand feet of river front, and even a swim hole. [There,] we can have intense focused retreats for women, yoga retreats, reading retreats, songwriting retreats, and corporate retreats. It’s in this beautiful area on a river out in nature, and it’s [a place to] shut out all of the modern annoyances so we can really focus on who you are.

The Origins of I Am Virago

I worked in corporate America up until June 2017. [At that point, my company’s restructuring] made me look at the different experiences that have led me to this particular spot. What I realized is, when you look back, you see a very clear pattern.

[For example,] when I was at Expedia, I helped found the women’s professional group there. When I was at T-Mobile. I helped found the women’s leadership group there. [Similarly,] I was the captain of the leadership track Women in Tech Regatta, [which has taken place in] Vancouver and Seattle and [will be held] in Amsterdam in October; I moderate and curate the panels.

Life Before CoachAccountable

I Am Virago Before CoachAccountable Software

Life before CoachAccountable was a little… crazy.

[My coaching management system before was] very, very high tech: a book. [I also had] an Excel spreadsheet of client names and [corresponding] numbers. Then, when I was taking notes, I would look at my Excel spreadsheet before the call. I would write the [client] number in the book, then write my client notes. The next meeting, I’d have to go in and look up their client number and find last time I talked to them in the [note]book. I wasn’t doing any pre-check-ins or post-follow-up. [I also used] Acuity for scheduling and Square for invoicing. I had all these different systems… it’s so much nicer to have it all in one system.

I Am Virago + CoachAccountable

I Am Virago Using CoachAccountable Software

Enter CoachAccountable! Two thumbs up.

It’s a game changer. [My clients] come to the calls way more prepared. We don’t have that awkward first few minutes going, “OK, what do you want to talk about today?”

Now they come to the call going, “So what I said on my pre-call worksheet….” We’re able to get into the call faster so they get more value out of the time.

The post-[appointment Worksheet] is even more important. Right after the call they’re so excited and they mean it that they’re going to do [the work]. And then life: squirrel!

But [with CoachAccountable], the next day they get a reminder. “What did you learn?” It’s been such a boon to them because [it] helps integrate learning. It’s also a great feedback loop for the coach because sometimes you’re just like, “Did they get anything out of it? Was there any value?” Then, you get these e-mails back and it’s like, “Oh! They actually got quite a bit of that!”

Coaching Client Feedback

The feedback [from my clients] has been extremely positive. They are much more engaged in the coaching relationship, and they sense that they are getting more value. They’re getting a higher touch experience. Where I was having one touch point (a call) with them, I now have three at least: I have the pre [worksheet], the call, and then the post worksheet.

They are given the opportunity to look inside and pull out what is what’s really going on, then write about it. No one ever gets to do that in real life. It’s a gift.

The Bottom Line

It’s going to change your life, [and] change your coaching practice.

Janice and her I Am Virago business partner, Tiberius.

A huge thank you to Janice for sharing about I Am Virago and the experience using CoachAccountable as your coaching management platform!

If you’re like pre-CoachAccountable Janice and using a notebook to manage your coaching practice, why not take us for a spin? It’s free for 30 days (sorry, no puppies included, but we can send you pictures).

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