By Coping with Change, 
I Found My Calling

I was born and raised in Minnesota (a fact that I am very proud of).  As the oldest of four girls, I fit the first-born stereotype to a tee.  I was your classic straight-A, hardworking, type-A perfectionist with the ability to turn anything I touched to gold.  I was also an award-winning, private-jet-flying, million-dollar-contract-negotiating corporate superstar.  On the outside, I had it all together, on the inside, my soul was dying a slow, painful death.

My wake-up call came on July 9th 2005, the day of my 25th birthday. I arose that morning and did a quick quarter-life progress check-in.  It went something like this:

1.            Interesting job that is the envy of my friends and family? ✔

2.            MBA in progress? ✔

3.            Designing and building a house? ✔

4.            Making the most money of my peer group? ✔

5.            Happiness and fulfillment?  Nope.

Simple though it may be, this little ‘check-in’ started what I now affectionately refer to as THE MELTDOWN.  For the life of me, I could not figure out how I had achieved everything I’d hoped to by my 25th birthday, but the end result was this immense feeling of emptiness.  The truth was abundantly clear in that moment: I didn’t like the life I had created, nor did I have any idea how to get out of it.

What followed was two long years of depression, complete with full-on panic attacks and debilitating anxiety.  The depression forced me to start coping with grief – bringing me face to face with fear, anger, loneliness, pity, and despair.  As I fought for my life, I learned something truly valuable – that I had the capacity to be with any situation life handed me.

Suffice to say, I quit the job, sold the house and vowed to find a path that would bring me fulfillment.  Coaching found me shortly thereafter.  While it was immediately clear that I was born to coach, I struggled to find the population I was meant to work with.  As I continued to work as a coach, I realized that it was my skills of coping with change and grief (both things I learned during my depression period) that made me a perfect fit for individuals in transition periods.

Fast forward to the present moment where I live in Washington, DC with my diplomat husband and two year old daughter Nia.  I have become quite skilled at coping with change, as we switch countries every 2-3 years with our lifestyle.  I have been coaching 7 years now and my business, which is web and phone-based, travels with me.  I choose my work hours and still have time for my other passions as well – volunteering, photography, travel and my family.  It’s a glorious existence that satisfies my mind, body and spirit.

Fun Facts about Yours Truly

  1. I bake a MEAN Tator Tot Hotdish.
  2. I quit my high-paying job in corporate America without having another job.  (The misery was not worth it!)
  3. I met my beloved husband through a matchmaking service.
  4. I routinely burst into song and at times don’t even realize it.  I even made it to the finals on Cruise Ship Karaoke.
  5. I ate ice cream every day from Memorial Day through Labor Day one summer and for all 3 meals on my birthday (July 9th).
  6. I’ve swam with Whale Sharks, stood atop a glacier and survived a massive typhoon.
  7. I throw the best theme parties of anyone I know (and people fight for an invitation to them).
  8. I’ve visited 26 countries on 5 continents.
  9. Once when I told my husband he was sucking up all my joy, he replied, “That’s not possible, you are a self-contained joy-making factory.”  Enough said.
  10. I still have all my wisdom teeth.

Professional Bio

Sarah Novak, CPCC, CCGC, MBA is committed to working with individuals in transition who feel like they’ve lost control of their life.  By coping with both grief and change, Sarah’s clients are able to process their loss in a way that enables them to move forward with confidence and clarity.

Sarah is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach(CPCC) through the Coaches Training Institute, the most successful coaching school in the world. She is part of the elite top 15% of individuals in her field that hold a coaching certification recognized by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).  Sarah also became a Certified Creative Grief Coach(CCGC) in 2012 so that she had more tools to help individuals facing adversity.

Sarah holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business and has been fortunate enough to immerse herself in a variety of learning environments throughout her career, from fortune 500 companies to non-profit organizations to her current entrepreneurial venture.  She brings her rich blend of experiences and a rare passion for life to all her coaching.

Sarah was born and raised in St. Paul, MN, and is fond of all things Minnesotan – from boat parades to hot dish! She married her husband Nick in January 2009 and is journeying with him overseas in his role as a diplomat for the U.S. Foreign Service.  Sarah is currently living in Washington, DC, and will be there through the summer of 2016.