How a Coach B*tch-slapped Me - In a Good Way!

Do you have your own Personal Board of Directors?

 In 1999, as I was sitting in class thinking about the future accounting firm I was going to build – I imagined having a Board that will help with my decisions.   (Can you believe I started my career in Accounting?!)

I can’t even remember where I drew that concept from. 

The first person on my BOD was my school counselor.  And then my financial advisor.  At one point, there was Wes – the father of the (5) children I was a nanny for who encouraged me to go after my dreams.

Each person on my Board gave me advice, encouragement and motivation on living life. 

As I progressed from classroom to corporate, the people on my PBOD varied.  Like how it’s done in the business setting, putting a PBOD together is a thoughtful process.  Sometimes a constant cheerleader, sometimes a sounding board, sometimes someone to allow you verbally vomit everywhere, without judgement.

And then there’s the one that says something and you just – burst into tears.  Because he or she said what you needed to hear - in a way that pushes you to face your truth!

This happened the other day.  I was working with a coach – who is smart as heck and good at what she does – and the reason I reacted the way I did.  She was right.  She was spot on. 

I had been making excuses for why I wasn’t taking action.

I was saying one thing, but doing another.

What she said stung. 

AND it was also exactly what I needed to hear to reflect and course correct.


I realized I was out of alignment – heart space in one place, head space in another.

I was spending too much time trying to convince myself of what I thought I wanted.

I spent too little time appreciating the path I was already on.


I felt somewhat embarrassed to have cried over it.

I even beat myself up for NOT seeing what she mirrored back at me.

 I thanked her. 

In that moment, she performed the role of the mirror on my PBOD.



The mirror is someone who reflects the life of the person looking into it.  It’s not to mold and shape the person into what the mirror wants, but rather, guide the person into their own self-discovery process. 

This coach was my mirror – she reflected back to me what I was saying, and asked the tough questions to help me discern what was really happening and what I was really feeling. 


In career and confidence, the PBOD can serve you in many ways.  In fact, a client of mine joked that she is a “Board of Directors Poster Child” because this concept has helped her navigate her career from corporate into entrepreneurship. She also uses the PBOD for advice on raising children.

Here are Jan’s Just Three questions you can ask yourself when seeking someone on your Personal Board of Directors:

1)    Can I trust this person?

2)    Is this person looking out for my best interest?

3)    Do I have a Board that is balanced to ensure a variety of perspectives?


Do you have your own version of PBOD?  If so, message me, I'd love to hear about them!


Janice Tanaka