Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Smith.
Lisa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was laying on my office floor at a large urban high school in Long Beach, CA. I was an Intervention Counselor and this was my dream job. This was my third or fourth “bout” of severe illness since I’d started this job and no doctor could tell me what was wrong.
The fatigue was debilitating as was the nausea, dizziness and weakness. I literally could not go on so I closed my office door and laid down. I knew I had to take a leave of absence to find out what was going on with my body but then I wondered what I would do if I was not able to return to work full time. How would I support myself? And that’s when it came to me. I’d be an In-Home Family Coach.
My job as an Intervention Counselor involved doing home visits for many of my students. I figured I’d take my skills and build a business doing the same thing… but privately instead of through the school district. While I had post graduate degrees in counseling, I knew nothing about starting or running a business. But, how hard could it be? I was soon to find out.
But before starting a business, I had to find out what was ailing my body. I’d struggled with the same symptoms since childhood. I’d always said “as long as it’s not lupus.” After endless tests and doctor visits I received the news that it was lupus and for decades this diagnosis had eluded my general practitioners. It wasn’t until seeing a specialist at USC were we able to put all the pieces together, get a diagnosis and start receiving adequate treatment.
It took months to begin functioning but, eventually, I got there. I also came to terms with the fact that I could never return to my dream job and that my back up plan of going in to business for myself had to be activated. So I got to it. I got help from Everett Andrew Marketing to build my website and do my Google AdWords… neither of which I knew anything about. Slowly, calls started coming in and off I went to people’s homes.
Keep in mind these people were complete strangers and as my mom often reminded me “could be crazy.” While I have come across some sketchy situations with defiant teens, by far the families I have worked with have been warm, welcoming, humble and proactive to get their family back on track.
I work with families struggling with teens and adult children. It’s extremely challenging and extremely rewarding. I love it. Almost seven years later I’m still learning the business end of it and I’m still learning how to manage this severe auto-immune disease called lupus. It can still be debilitating at times. I’ll never be able to work full time again and this saddens me a great deal. But what I thought was my dream job as a high school intervention counselor was really just a great job. My current job, In-Home family coach, is my dream job. So in that since, lupus was a gift as it leads me to where I am now… exactly where I want to be.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Yes and no. I was lucky to have been introduced to Mark Chapman very early on in starting this business. He was a friend of a friend and is now one of my dearest friends. But at the time he was a complete stranger who kindly showed me the ropes and introduced me to networking and Google AdWords. Remember, I was a high school intervention counselor, not a businesswoman.
Mark and his small business, Everett Andrew Marketing, built my website and got me up and running. I’ve learned that with most small businesses it can be feast or famine. Sometimes the phone rings off the hook and clients abound while in other seasons I have few clients… that’s when I tell myself is the time to rest instead of worry.
Thankfully, I’ve brought on a business partner who works with couples and parents of young children. Together, we’ve rebuilt our website and marketing strategy and this seems to be helping. So up and down… yes. This coupled with living with lupus has been a consistent struggle. There’s days I have to dig super deep to find the physical strength to get myself together and drive to my clients.
Thankfully, my clients are most often kind and understanding and when a session is over I am grateful to be welcomed in to these families and their homes. It’s quite a personal endeavor on all parts.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Save My Family Today story. Tell us more about the business.
We are certified In-Home Family Coaches. There are two of us. I’m Lisa Smith and my business partner is Lisa Strong. We go to our client’s homes and provide coaching and support. I specialize in working with families struggling with teens or teens who are struggling and adult children. My partner specializes in working with couples, marriage and parents of young children.
The fact that we go to our client’s home sets us apart. It makes it more convenience for our clients as well as allows them to be in their environment, more comfortable and at ease.
I’m extremely proud of how committed we are to our clients. We invest ourselves fully, we continue to gain knowledge always go the extra mile to make sure our clients are growing, healing and meeting their goals. It’s our passion and we are very good at it.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
When I was laying on my office floor seven years ago and the thought “you can be an in-home family coach” went through my head… I suppose that was luck… or God. I’d never heard of such an idea and still don’t know of anyone else that does what we do. So that thought alone was what started his whole process… well, that and having lupus but not knowing I had lupus.
Also, being introduced to Mark Chapman and his small business in LA, Everett Andrew Marketing was a huge strike of luck. I say it all the time and mean it every time… I would have no business without him. He’s my main marketing guy to this day and he shall remain such as long as he’s willing.
Bad luck… perhaps, lupus. But even in that there’s good. I’m able to relate to people and have empathy for them in their struggle. And just as importantly, when I share that I have lupus which is occasionally, my clients see me as more human and tend to be more comfortable knowing that I have my struggles also just as they do. So I guess it’s how you look at it whether it’s good or bad luck.
- Website: www.savemyfamilytoday.com
- Phone: 562-537-2947
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/savemyfamilytoday
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/save-my-family-today-orange-county-3