Sarah Plummer Taylor is a counselor, yoga instructor, life coach, and ex-marine. In this interview, Sarah discusses how she went from marine to yoga instructor and how she built up a successful coaching and speaking business based out of her home in Denver. She also talks about writing a book on resiliency using both research and personal narrative from her deployments to Iraq.
[2:48] Sarah explains how she transitioned from being a marine to a yoga instructor, writer, and therapist. Yoga was the conduit. It had a positive impact on her life during her second deployment to Iraq.
[4:45] Sarah’s time in the military and competitive sports (she was often a team captain) partially led to her role as a professional mentor and coach.
[5:25] Sarah explains her workload. Her favorite way to work is with existing veteran support systems as a resilience coach. She presents 3-day training sessions about resilience leadership. The training sessions do not target specific diagnoses. She also does a five-day session with yoga and self-care added to the resiliency training.
[8:22] Sarah has also worked with first-year law school students around stress and anxiety. She’s worked with dental firms, media firms, and universities.
[9:55] Sarah discusses why resilience is the focus of her leadership training sessions. She had co-written articles with a colleague for many years on resilience. The term was already familiar to people, and she didn’t want to focus on deficit labels (trauma, depression).
[12:10] Sarah talks about her travel schedule. She goes to Texas, the Carolinas, and California frequently. She does some work in Denver, where she has a home office. Sarah teaches yoga in an office building that houses other holistic healers.
[13:41] Most of Sarah’s private practice clients are not veterans. She sees more veterans in her group retreats.
[14:30] Sarah teaches one yoga class a week and has started a free yoga class for veterans at the Denver VFW. She also travels to give keynote speeches.
[16:43] Sarah’s book, “Just Roll With It,” uses personal narrative and research on resilience.
[20:55] Sarah says initially her business aim was just to write a book. She had a stroke at 28, which was a wake-up call to quit her job in Washington and write. She met a marine who introduced her to some publishers and professional coaches.
[26:06] Sarah did a year of training to be a holistic coach. This coursework changed the direction of her book. She built up her coaching business at the same time. She initially offered to coach people for free to refine her abilities.
[27:16] Sarah recently finished a master’s degree in social work. She coaches people in person, over the phone, and especially over Skype. Many long distance clients and groups come from her retreats. Sarah says the first few years of speaking and coaching were “a hustle,” and she did many speaking engagements for free to get on the radar.
[29:30] Sarah’s first website was called “Marine Chick”—she says she followed bad branding advice. After changing her website and brand she got many more solicitations to speak.
[31:44] Sarah spoke publicly about being raped early in her military career. Because of her candor about it she ended up working with US senators and the media. She testified in congressional hearings and says the experience was mostly positive. She has friends who have been trolled and threatened for being advocates.
[37:00] Sarah explains how she’s clarified her business model this year. She likes having a small client load and she really likes teaching.
[39:00] Sarah speaks about upcoming projects. She’s going to co-host a blog and write a second book.
[40:30] Sarah offers advice to new therapists: this kind of work takes courage and you will hear the word “no” a lot. Embrace challenges with curiosity instead of fear. Be a consumer of knowledge, lots of information is offered freely.
BIO – Sarah Plummer Taylor – Colorado
Sarah Plummer Taylor is an established leader in the field of resilience building and holistic wellness. She teaches veterans, busy professionals, students, and entrepreneurs how to find clarity and build stronger and healthier lives.
A U.S. Marine veteran who deployed twice to Iraq, Sarah is the author of Just Roll With It: 7 Battle Tested Truths for Creating a Resilient Life. She is also the founder of SEMPER Sarah®, a national wellness practice.
Sarah holds a Master’s in Social Work with a Mental Health concentration from the University of Denver and a Bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of Virginia. Additionally, Sarah is a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and is a 500hr-RYT registered yoga instructor.
Her work has been featured on Capitol Hill and in noteworthy news and entertainment outlets like the Katie Couric Show, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, MSNBC, and others.
In addition to speaking, leading workshops, and providing individual and couple’s counseling and coaching through SEMPER Sarah®, Sarah gives back to organizations like The Mission Continues, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Team Red White & Blue, The Give Back Yoga Foundation, Yoga Service Council, Comeback Yoga, and the Women Marines Association.
Sarah lives in Colorado with her husband and their two dogs. You can find out more about Sarah’s work at http://sempersarah.com/.
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