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Meet Emily Kerpelman of EK Coaching in Pacific Palisades

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Kerpelman.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Like a lot of us in LA, my story starts with music.

When I was a kid, going through all of the changes we don’t understand at that age (or maybe ever), I was hungry to figure out how to express and understand myself. My sister left a guitar when she went off to college, so I snuck the guitar into my room, figured out how to play it in secret, and started to quietly write songs.

I brought my music to college, where I also studied/obsessed over the human mind, earning a major in Psychology. Upon graduation, the passion for music won out initially, sending me off to Los Angeles to find my place in the entertainment industry.

Over the next 8 + years, I pursued my dream of songwriting and performing. Unfortunately, that meant I also led a life ripe with anxiety. I’d be driving to songwriting sessions and my hands would go numb because of (what I would learn later was) a panic attack. I’d have to pull off the freeway to try and catch my breath, the anxiety escalating because I had no idea what was happening to me. It got to a point where driving scared me because I never knew when the attacks would hit. I didn’t understand what was wrong. Wasn’t I working toward the life of my dreams?

Then came that fateful day of realization: my bandmate and I were looking at a contract that could lock us into our very first record deal. Keywords: LOCK US IN. It was like a kick to the face, but as soon as I knew, I couldn’t fake it anymore. The life I was leading wasn’t right for me. I was terribly unhappy, and the record deal felt more like a cage than an opportunity. Through being real with myself, I experienced true freedom for the first time. The relief was profound.

But I was also scared in a new way. I decided to break up with my career in performing music (I hurt a few people with my decision, which sucked), and I had to mourn the loss of a dead dream. But taking that chance opened up just enough space in my life for a change. Turns out, that space saved me.

In my initial days of trying to figure out what to do next, I decided to hire a life coach. The self-awareness I gained through that relationship led to a well of confidence and energy I had no idea existed within me. It spilled out into every part of my life, changing the way I saw the world for the better. I was inspired and moved by my experience, and one day recognized with astounding clarity what I had been missing:

I burned to support others in the same way. I wanted to spread the word, that life doesn’t have to be what it’s always been, just because we don’t see the other possibilities. Every person deserves happiness on THEIR TERMS, and I’m inspired to offer them the space they need to find it. Because when someone did that for me, it changed my life.

Today, I’m an ICF certified life coach and a songwriter (I found a niche in the music industry that suits me). I’m truly living, and I’m thrilled I get to help others to do the same.

Has it been a smooth road?
As I mentioned, anxiety was a huge struggle as I found my way. But it was also a clue, a red flag waving right in my face, that something was wrong and I needed to address it. Our bodies and minds are full of information if we learn how to be open and listen. Fear is a powerful motivator, and the unknown is terrifying. But I (and my clients) are living breathing proof that honesty is truly the best policy. This is the only life we get! We don’t have time to waste on something that doesn’t fulfill us because we’re afraid.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
My coaching practice is called EK Coaching. I’m a certified life coach, and I’m trained in Internal Family Systems, which is an incredible model for self-awareness and healing. I work mostly with women who find themselves in difficult transitions (work, life, relationships, you name it), or in painful loops that they can’t seem to make heads or tails of. My clients leave sessions relieved, hopeful, and confident, and they know they can trust me to hold a safe, judgment-free zone.

I have so much love for my clients (you know who you are and that I mean it). I’m proud of the success they’ve experienced through our work together, especially because the work we do is rarely all sunshine and rainbows. It isn’t easy for a person to take an honest look at herself and accept what she sees. But the results are totally worth it! I have long term clients that I’ve been honored to see through multiple life transitions while they developed deep, meaningful awareness about themselves. It’s my favorite thing, and they seem to like it too.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is a great city for coaching. It’s a relatively new profession, but most of the time, the people here are familiar with coaches and what we do. It’s a hard industry to break into these days because it’s very over-saturated, but in a place like LA, there is a lot of demand, especially within the entertainment industry.

So if you’d like to be a coach and you live in LA, do it! Just be sure you get proper training. It’s the responsible move. People appreciate certifications, and it will help you develop the skills you need to really kick some butt.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Kelly Elaine Garthwaite

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