Janice Hoffmann is an artist and a coach who has the ability to ignite the fire within her clients and help them identify, create and accomplish what they want. In fact, she is the main reason Love and Water is evolving into what it is today. Last August we sat down for a talk in Bryant Park, and I told her I was thinking of starting a t-shirt company that gives back to charities. When we left each other, I had my vision for Love and Water. And we did it over a couple of glasses of wine and a few crab cakes! If you want to experience a truly AMAZING artistic talent, who collaborates with each of her clients to help them create incredibly fulfilling life projects, read on. You will LOVE this woman’s work, I promise you that.
Love and Water- Tell us about Success is Sweetest!
Janice Hoffman- It’s a coaching boutique that is now 11 years old located in New York City, although I coach more and more people around the country. So many of my clients have moved out to LA, and I work on the phone with my coach, so I’m completely comfortable coaching over the phone. I work almost primarily with actors because that’s the industry that I came from, and slowly but surely began working with small business owners as well. So it’s primarily small business owners and actors, and almost all women.
L&W- Really? Why do you think that is?
JH- Well, I do work with some men, but the majority of my clients are women. I think women like partnership; they like collaboration. We get a lot out of sitting for an hour and really working through a process. Women are very process-sensitive, I feel, and it serves us well to collaborate.
L&W- I nkow you are always working on projects yourself. What project are you personally working on right now that is serving your coaching?
JH- I’m really interested right now in “cool hunting.” What that means mainly is searching out people who have very little resources but are making really big things happen. I don’t know if you saw the article in the New York Times about the kids in Detroit who are around 22 years old, and have moved there and are renting out spaces for very little money to start movie theaters and book stores and creperies. That, to me, is true inspiration. Most people move to New York or Chicago and say, “what can this city do for me?” And Detroit is a city that says, “what can you do for us?” And these kids understood that as an opportunity, not something to run away from. They’re starting something from almost nothing, and that is where the gold is. It’s a “cool hunting” find.
L&W- So how do you incorporate that into your coaching?
JH- First, it’s a source of energy. It’s a model that provides another kind of structural resource. I use it as an example of a major “Wow” project, which is a huge part of my coaching process- helping my students develop “Wow” projects to complete. What do I personally do with that story today? Nothing, except talk about it and Tweet about it, and cut out the article and keep it in my folder. But eventually, maybe I go there and I talk to those people and I ask them how to turn around a neighborhood. That’s so interesting to me, because it’s thinking outside the box. It’s a HUGE “Wow” project, and it’s deeply innovative and humane, and will serve to inspire others who are less fortunate to think in new and exciting ways.
L&W- As a coach, you actually help people become trailblazers in their own lives. Can you talk about your way of bringing out the fire in order to help a person accomplish his or her dreams?
JH- My feeling is that we don’t need a lot of mediocrity or business as usual. What I’m helping people do is think outside the box and create what they want out of life. I want to foster innovation, creativity; to deliver the message that resources are plentiful, and are not just composed of money. I like to look at what a resource is, and come up with as many as we can think of together that aren’t the norm. And that gets people excited and stirs a creative fire that enables them to inevitably accomplish things they may never have thought of before. The beauty of the owner of the creperie in Detroit is that she’s making the crepes, and loving it! I love sweat equity. I love the idea of reinventing the structure of business in order to fulfill dreams and inspire others. It’s the same for actors and artists- when artists separate themselves from the group and do something truly meaningful and personally exciting to them, amazing things start to happen. When someone hires me as a coach, that’s what they get, because that’s what I’m doing in my own life. Taking raw materials and turning them into something that is meaningful and amazing to me.
L&W- How did you come up with the name “Success is Sweetest?”
JH- Well, there is a reference to an Emily Dickenson poem, but I don’t remember exactly what moved me to call it that in the beginning. But now, it’s a point of view. I’m really a cheerleader for success, and success means something different to everyone. It can be spiritual, financial, a business endeavor, a personal relationship. It can be anything that someone hasn’t been able to accomplish on their own. So when we can define someone’s definition of success, and then come up with ways to achieve that, it’s just awesome. It’s sweet! Sometimes the smallest successes are the sweetest, and those sometimes can mean more to me than to my client, because I know what they’re going for and I can see what a huge impact this one small step is going to have in the long run. That’s part of what makes my job so incredibly fulfilling.
L&W- What is one thing you want people to understand about your way of coaching?
JH- I definitely am a project coach, and I help each of my clients construct a “Wow” project for themselves that takes them to a new place. I like end results. I like evidence along the way. I want people to have evidence of their results, and I want them to create a project that challenges them outside their comfort zone and makes them and everyone around them go “Wow!”. I want them to be able to say at any given time, “I’m up to something. This is what I’m up to…” If it’s a good project, then they can say that and brag about it. And if they can brag about it then we’re starting to win. We’re edging toward their success. You will definitely need other people to help you along the way, which is part of working on a “Wow” project- learning how to get what you need from others who are willing to help you. That is very empowering in and of itself, because whether you realize it or not it makes you accountable to others in a way you may not have been before, and it makes you look at who you are and what you want in life in a brand new way. That’s what I love helping people to do.
Visit Janice and Success is Sweetest and check out her amazingly inventive coaching packages (including coaching in a box!), her SmArt Workshops, and her annual Success Grant opportunity that gives artists a chance to win a grant that lets them work on their project for a whole year! : http://www.successissweetest.com/coaching.html
Follow Janice on Twitter here: a_sweetlife