Especially in ways I’ve never imagined. Here’s my full story:

I’ve always been an avid personal development fan: friends would give me books like Tim Ferris’s Tribe of Mentors for my birthday and I would also go to the annual $1 book fair in San Francisco to haul back 30+ books. I would devour these books in my never-ending quest to build a career that I love, because I believed that the answer was somewhere out there.

Interestingly, this quest lead me to cycles of productivity-focused burnout, where I was tied to my calendar in 30 minute increment tasks that I assigned. I constantly thought I needed to fix myself, and measured my worth based on how many tasks I was able to check off. On the surface I was being efficient, but on the inside I was suffering beyond words. 

Coaching changed all of that.

I finally got coaching when I realized that what I was doing wasn’t working: I was buying endless courses out of desperation to get my business going, and felt so confused and unaligned. I realized that I couldn’t do it on my own anymore, because if I knew how, I would’ve done it already. It was time to get outside help and learn from those who’ve done it before. 

Fast forward to now, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been — my business feels fun and easeful, I’m working with amazing clients who inspire me (welcomed four new clients in July!), and I just had the biggest month ever, where I made more money in 30 days than I did during my first year of coaching. AND on top of that, I just came back from living abroad for 6 months with the love of my life. 

Thinking that this is impossible? I thought so too. 

If someone told me that within a year of getting coaching that all of the above would happen, I would’ve bitterly laughed in their face.

And now I’ve realized that this is exactly the power of coaching: 

Coaching makes the impossible possible

Here are three of the most profound ways coaching changed my life: 

1. I went from endless self-doubt to taking full responsibility in creating results in my life. 

One of the reasons I put off coaching for so long was because I had this fear: “What if I went all in, AND FAILED?” At least when I’m taking the DIY approach, I can say that I’m still figuring things out. Interesting, this was exactly what was keeping me stuck. And like a self-fulfilling prophecy, me not going all in was the exact reason to my business not growing.

I realized that while the do-it-yourself approach has worked well for me in the past in terms of creating side projects and a personal MBA to get to where I am now, it was no longer working. I needed to let go and try something different to get to the next level. 

The moment I decided to get coaching, I was already halfway there towards success. Because the act of getting coaching was a promise to myself to go ALL in. It was such a profound moment because it was me saying to myself: “Yes, let’s do it! l fully believe in you. I want to take this chance to pursue this dream.”

The first coach I hired was a LinkedIn leader, a kind and generous human being and an entrepreneur who just made 6 figures in his business. He was the type of person I wanted to be, and designed the type of business I wanted to build. Getting coaching from him was saying yes to my ideal life, and I saw the results almost immediately. 

Within the first couple of months, I got to work with my first high-end clients, and ideal clients. It was incredible — I helped them launch businesses, create their own clients, and get unstuck from being a hidden gem to fully thriving in their new fulfilling career. And just a half year later, I have more than made my investment back. Not only have I continued to work with high-end clients who want to make a big change in their lives, I was also able to make a huge change in my life. 

For the first time, I lived abroad for 6 months as a digital nomad (taking my business with me) and had the adventure of a lifetime: I traveled to Japan to see the cherry blossoms, stayed at a fisherman’s village in Bali, and road-tripped across New Zealand for a month.

All made possible because I said yes to going all in for myself.

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2. I went from looking outside for validation to finding the answers from within. 

Remember when I said that I was searching for all the answers in books? This was a pattern from childhood, where I looked outside validation (i.e. teachers and parents) on whether I was doing something right. I was the typical good student who followed orders, and whenever I had a big decision to make, I would freak out and frantically call a mentor for advice. 

No wonder I felt so lost, because I looked everywhere except for within myself. I had forgotten how powerful and wise I was. Thanks to coaching, I’m now able to go within and ask myself: What do I really want? 

This may seem like such a simple, easy question, but it really makes a big difference, especially for a recovering people-pleaser like me. It feels so liberating to learn that I don’t need to look outward for permission — that I can just go ahead and do it.

Questions like:

  • What career to focus on? Transforms into asking myself what feels good to me instead of asking other people what they think I should do. 
  • What marketing channel to choose? Transforms into asking myself what do I enjoy doing in terms of getting the word out, instead of pursuing a profitable channel that I dislike (which only works in the short term)
  • Who to work with? Transforms into asking myself who I’d love coaching and actively doing it, instead of passively waiting for all types of people to come to me.

I also learned that even if people disagreed with me, that’s okay too. My parents didn’t want me to travel; I went ahead anyways and had one of the best experiences of my life. Some people didn’t like what I posted online about pursuing unconventional careers; I continued ahead anyways and inspire those who want to carve out their own paths. 

People may judge you or even mean well, but only you know what’s best for you. So go ahead and do your thing!

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3. I went from prioritizing getting things done, to prioritizing my wellness and feelings. 

In other words, I got into spiritual growth, and started to chose Being over Doing. In the past, I always operated under the belief that hard work triumphs over all. That it was okay, even normal, to sacrifice my health and positive emotions in the present, because the sweet rewards of my hard work will come later. 

I was continuously delaying enjoyment for the future, and looking forward to the day when it made this work all worthwhile. But it ended up being one of those things where when I reached the destination (i.e. when I created a client), I wasn’t as elated as I thought I would be — I only felt relieved that it worked out, and dreaded doing more of the work that I didn’t like, but produced results.

You cannot have a happy ending to an unhappy journey.”- Abraham Hicks.

It was through coaching that I learned there’s another way of being. My coaches emphasized the importance of listening to myself and my feelings. Emotions were my inner GPS, and I learned to honor them instead of discrediting them as invalid. 

Whenever I felt tired, I rested instead of pushing through. Whenever I didn’t like doing something, I asked myself if it felt aligned instead of forcing myself to do it. Whenever I felt like crying, I let it all out instead of repressing them because “I shouldn’t be crying right now.”

Emotions aren’t useless or a waste of time. Interestingly, emotions are actually the most direct route to our goals. Because at the end of the day, we do things because we want to feel a certain way: we latch on to stable jobs, because they give us a sense of security. We fantasize about traveling, because it gives us a sense of adventure. We want money, because it gives us a sense of freedom. We do things because we think it’ll make us happy. 

So what if we went directly to the source and asked ourselves: what would the happiest version of me choose? 

This is why I started having No Meeting Mondays, stopped doing the type of marketing and selling that felt icky to me, and devote most of my mornings to working on my mindset. 

And the more happy and aligned I was, the more my business flourished. Once I was there on an emotional level, the physical results were inevitable. 

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A life completely transformed:

Coaching has helped me not only produce concrete business results in my life, but also empowered me to access my inner wisdom and become the fullest version of myself. 

This has also influenced coaching with my own clients as well — I went from productivity-based coaching, into transformational coaching where my clients learn how to make lifelong lasting changes. 

I can also attest to lasting changes: coaching ended up affecting all areas of my life, because how we do one thing is how we do everything. Not only did my business grow, my relationships with my family and romantic partner also deepened. Thanks to learning to sit with my emotions and let go of old childhood stories, I was no longer so charged when talking with my parents. And thanks to learning to self-coach and not jump into old toxic patterns, I was able to build a beautiful relationship with my partner, especially when we were living abroad together.

Coaching is the fastest and cheapest way to get results. 

Not only did I get coaching for my business, but as a byproduct, I also got coaching for how to show up with my clients and my relationships. 

And coaching was what helped me turn the impossible, into possible.


  • Yunzhe Zhou

    Business + Creative Coach for Asian Americans

    Yunzhe Zhou is the business and creative coach behind She helps Asian Americans leave the 9-5 and gain the confidence and clarity to start their own creative businesses. As a result of working with Yunzhe, her clients from traditional backgrounds such as Fortune 500 and top tech companies have built their own successful paths as writers, artists and entrepreneurs. Yunzhe's work and holistic style of coaching have been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, and other leading publications. She's also the founder of the One Month Projects framework, the ARTS podcast (Asians Redefining Their Success), and loves all things creative: whether it's Zumba dancing, painting or making travel videos. You can follow Yunzhe on LinkedIn where you'll find her talking about career experimentation, life lessons and traveling around the world as a digital nomad.