“I don’t want to change anymore.
I just want to be more of myself.”
– Thomas Leonard
On Miriam Reiss:
Where I grew up and where I grew. Being raised on the Big Island (that’s Manhattan, not Hawaii) was both a blessing and a responsibility. My New York City roots taught me to value diversity, tell the truth (New York cabbies have this honed), and always carry exact change. I made my immigrant parents proud by attending Cornell University and then Columbia University for graduate work. A lifelong quest for personal growth led me to Peace Theological Seminary, where I received a doctorate in Spiritual Science. And, most recently, I went back to school for a Masters in Spiritual Psychology, with an emphasis on Consciousness, Health and Healing, from the University of Santa Monica. I now have more letters after my name than are actually in my name.
Career admissions. In my early career, I worked as Director of Admissions for graduate management and urban planning schools, doing marketing for academic institutions like M.I.T., Boston University and a consortium of the top ten MBA programs in the country. While my results were brag-worthy, my soul kept yearning to be in advertising. I became a copywriter for Boston ad agencies, creating print and broadcast advertising. I wrote for maternity wear stores, fiberoptic cable companies, tech firms, candy companies, investment houses — anyone who needed to promote their product or service. I then got recruited to become Director of Marketing for a residential and commercial mortgage banker. That led to marketing stints for a regional chain of community centers and then, an HMO.
It would have made my resume more palatable to Human Resources if I’d stayed in the same industry and career, but my wiring was eclectic. My demonstrated ability to leap industries and careers was seen as an asset by national outplacement firms, who eagerly hired me to teach their clients how to get hired in bum economies. I never flew across the country giving bad news to about-to-be-fired employees. This happens mostly in George Clooney movies. Everything I had done up to that point morphed into having my own marketing, career and communications company, where I did professional speaking, coaching and training for companies and individuals.
True calling. I found my heart’s purpose with coaching. I began coaching in the early years of the industry, long before it was recognized as an industry. In my usual zest for learning, I completed Coach University and did coursework with multiple other programs. I received my Master Certified Coach (MCC) certification from the International Coach Federation (ICF), their senior ranking. As President of the Washington State Chapter of the ICF, I took that chapter from on the brink to financial solvency. I’m proud that they have become an award-winning chapter.
Where I am now. I have lived in New York, Boston, Seattle, and presently, Los Angeles. Along the way, I have traded my native skyscrapers for chowder, eternal rain and now, the world capital for plastic surgery. I’ve gained much from organizations like Insight Seminars, Landmark Forum, the Hoffman Process, PAX and many more. These places worked their butts off to make me a better human. I’m not done yet.
Over time, I’ve had a wide range of hobbies, from movement therapy, handwriting analysis and sacred aromatherapy, to watercolor and salsa dancing. These days, in my spare time, I’m doing yoga or Zumba, listening to jazz, playing keyboard, painting, meditating, writing musical parodies or traveling. I have an annual standup comedy gig where I regularly test the limits of Divine comedy and good taste.
Coaching philosophy and style. I believe the goal is to be who you truly are, and that each of us has hidden gifts wanting to be revealed and activated. I am drawn to people who model integrity, authenticity and heart. My clients, who are wonderful and impeccable mirrors of truth, describe me as clear, creative, direct, loving and generous. I favor honesty over being “nice,” which can make me a kickass coach. Coaching is my way of serving in the world. Helping you be your best self, and make your business and career thrive, is my joy, passion and privilege.