Patrice Ford Lyn goes beyond solving problems to transforming your understanding of what’s possible. Since receiving an undergraduate degree in sociology from Yale University and a graduate degree in nonprofit management from the Harvard’s Kennedy School, she guided the startup of three national-level organizations and for more than 25 years (including as a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton for 10+ years) she worked with leaders in national corporations, nonprofits, federal agencies, and international development organizations to build their organizations while supporting them through their own personal growth. Whether it is working with a leadership team or coaching an individual, Patrice thrives at facilitating strategic conversations that lead clients to important insights, needed interventions, meaningful action and transformational outcomes.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
As a bisexual, black, immigrant woman, I bring a deep appreciation of the ongoing pressures faced by marginalized groups and the ways these truths can manifest in our lives. And, I prioritize companies and organizations that are committed to supporting the wellbeing and advancement of their BIPOC executives.
Primarily known for executive coaching and transformational facilitation, Catapult Change has worked with titans in industry e.g., Nike, leaders in the nonprofit space e.g, AARP and wellness organizations e.g., the Medical Society of Washington D.C to provide advisory services, thought partnership, coaching, workshops and group facilitation that enhance the wellbeing, productivity and connection of their people.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
The idea of the company came through a series of conversations with friends who continually reminded me that I was a great coach to them. In fact, my closest friends will tell you I have always been a coach.
How did you achieve awareness?
Coaching is not what I do, it is who I am. It is easy not to recognize the gifts we have when they come naturally. I decided to explore the idea by taking courses in facilitation, personal transformation and coaching. It quickly became evident that personal transformation was the most powerful contribution I could make to society. I was hooked.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
I am self funded. I started small, leading workshops at yoga studios, and coaching friends and friends of friends until I saw that the business could be self- sustaining, which is when I branched out full time.
What are the key successes?
My authenticity, professionalism and strong leadership skills are the keys to my success. Because, the way I show up instills confidence in others, they feel safe to open themselves to new possibilities.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
Coaching and facilitating require different mindsets and skills from those needed to run a business. The learning curve has been steep. Thankfully I enjoy learning.
What are your plans now/for the future?
I am in a beautiful growth phase which is motivating me to build a strong team to be able to have more impact.
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
Do work you love because how you feel and the energy you have as you move through your day is a key to your health and success.
Can you share you top tips for entrepreneurial success?
Make sure you create the space to think and BE – not just do. Structure your time so that you have chunks of time for deep work and aren’t chasing fires and emails.
Develop your own personal board of directors – people who can advise you on various aspects of business development – so that you don’t feel like you need to figure out everything by yourself.
Who are the people who inspire you the most and why?
I am motivated by Michelle Obama’s composure under the pressure of being the nation’s first Black First Lady.
I am motivated by Nelson Mandela’s visionary leadership which allowed him to lead a nation after spending 30 years in prison.
I am inspired by my immigrant family who left their culture, country and community so their children could have an opportunity for a better life.
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
“Accept it, change it or leave it. Don’t block your energy by complicating it.” – Patrice Ford Lyn
“Vulnerability requires safety” – Unknown
“It’s okay to not be okay” – Patrice Ford Lyn
“The most important relationship you have, is the one you have to yourself” – unknown
“It’s okay to be scared, but it’s important to be courageous” – Patrice Ford Lyn
What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so
our readers can connect with you?
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