The Successful Coach

Carol Parker Walsh


How do you find your purpose?

What is the process of finding your purpose?

Find out what abilities you have that you can offer. Unveil yourself to the world.

Struggles are part of the process, but you have to shift your thinking. You need to make a turn, go back up, and overcome it. Focus on the prize, and never lose sight of what you’re going after.

Give yourself time to know what you really want to do. You deserve to live the life that you want.

A bit about Carol:

Dr. Carol Parker Walsh is a powerful advocate for women unapologetically living life on their terms and doing the work they were meant to do in the world. When she was eight her mother asked her, “Why is it when everyone goes left, you go right?” She replied, “Why do I have to go where everyone else does?” Now, she empowers women to boldly walk their path, too. 

A two-time best-selling author, international speaker, and award-winning consultant, Carol’s been the “go-to” coach for Grammy Award winners, Paralympic Gold Medalists, Fortune 500 executives, and six-to-seven-figure professionals and entrepreneurs who continue to be successful and driven.

Before launching Carol Parker Walsh Consulting, Carol ran a successful image consulting practice, Evolve Image Consulting,  empowering women to build a strong authentic personal brand through a unique styling, powerful presence, and a strong digital footprint.

Today, Carol uses her image consulting skills, along with more than 25 years of executive-level experience in corporate, healthcare, and academic settings, to create compelling and successful professional brands and narratives. In this way, she successfully support women in navigating every stage of their personal life and professional career.

Often, and proudly, defined as a cross between Michelle Obama and Beyonce’ for her insight, wisdom, intelligence, compassion, and rebel approach, Carol helps her clients stop hiding in the shadows of their brilliance and step into the power of who they are – their vision, their purpose, their life’s work. There’s no one way to the kind of income, lifestyle, and success you deserve. Carol is the mentor that can help you find your path to get there.

Where you can find her:

Where you can listen to this episode:

Carol Parker Walsh 0:01

Following that process, I understood what it took to move to that place and the work that had to be done to get there. It's not an overnight proposition because most of us didn't get here overnight. But when you lean in and take the time to do it in a way that makes sense, you can get there.

Doug Holt 0:15

Hello, everyone, and welcome again. I'm so excited for this next guest, which is Dr. Carol Parker Walsh. Excuse me. Carol is a career strategist and professional branding expert who helps high-achieving professional women midlife unapologetically step into their calling. Carol has coached entrepreneurs, executives, leaders, professionals, a Grammy Award winner, and a Paralympic gold medalist. With almost 30 years of experience as an attorney, management consultant, executive professor, and even a dean, Carol runs the award-winning practice. She's been a TEDx, self-taught keynote speaker, and a two time Amazon number one best selling author. Carol also is known as a global thought leader, member of the Forbes Coaches Council, and a TV personality; she regularly appears on ABCs AM Northwest Morning Show. And I know I'm just scratching the surface there. Carol, thank you so much for being on the show.

Carol Parker Walsh 1:21

Thank you for having me. It's always an honor to talk to fellow force members and entrepreneurs, and other people searching out what to do with the world? It's an exciting thing for me. Thank you for having me.

Doug Holt 1:34

Oh, yeah. Well, I've been looking forward to this. As you know, we've had some great conversations before the show, just chatting about life and what's going on. And as a successful coach yourself. I'm excited about the topic today. I want to talk to you about today, a question I get so often from the listeners coming in, is how do you find your purpose? How do you go about so many people today who are working a nine to five job and got golden handcuffs, or it's a coach that's just starting out coaching or wanting to jump in? How do you even start that process?

Carol Parker Walsh 2:08

Yeah, the first thing I think you have to do, there are three things for me that are cornerstone and key to that. And the first thing is to really lean into what it is that you have to offer to the world. I call it unveiling your superpowers. It's reconnecting to not just the education you received, or the skills that you developed, but those innate natural qualities and abilities, those things that people compliment you on that you think, oh, that's nothing everybody could do. Or those things that you've been doing, probably year after year years, because you probably were ten years old and didn't realize that it was a great talent or trait. When you can lean into that, you understand what the underpinning behind all of that education skills and other things you've done is. And you're able to almost do what I like to call it, and it's like being on a potter's wheel with clay. When you put all that together and put it together, it's like, oh, it's a vase. It's what?

So that's the first thing you have to do like a call versus really leaning into. And I do an exercise with my clients where I have to go back and look for that thread that's gone throughout their life, things that they've done, things that they were excited about, things that brought them joy, things that they did naturally that people would come to them and ask them about. It's already there but what has happened is we put that to the side. If it doesn't match a box that society says this is the approved career, this is the approved job, right? So we put that to the side. And we started going after the things that we think we should go after or and we try to fit ourselves into categories or jobs or careers that we think will either make us money or will give us a lifestyle that we want to have or will get us a corner office that you know the world society tells us that's the sign of success. And we follow that track as opposed to really leading into what we're really designed to do in the world.

Doug Holt 4:20

I love that it's absolutely beautiful. Well, someone like yourself, and you have so many accolades. From attorney to the keynote speaker, you're sought after everywhere. I'm so lucky to have you here today. Has it always been that way for you? Or is this a quest that you were on yourself as well?

Carol Parker Walsh 4:37

Yes, no, it was a quest that I was on myself and has not always been that way. Right. You know, one of the things I think happens when you are stepping into who you are defining yourself is that you get these messages, these narratives from the people around you, that tell you in some subtle and not subtle ways that what you're doing isn't right, or you'll never be successful at that, or stop following that dream or get your head on straight, or that's ridiculous. We get all these little messages because people can't see beyond their limitations. So if I've only gone this far, you tell me you want to go this far? Well, that doesn't seem practical. And sometimes the advice is very well-meaning. I was born in between two narratives of my mother, who is the southern belle, whose greatest goal for me was to find a husband, and my father, who was a feminist way before its time and believed that his girls could do anything they wanted to do, including being president or a company, or whatever it was. So I was trapped between these two ideas, some that kind of gave me some courage and other ones that may be a little bit more fearful. So I did what, which is why I know this path, we follow the path, I looked out there, and I thought. What can I do, what careers would make me successful, or income or all of that. So all the things I talked about like I know of where I speak because that's the path that I took as well.

But there was something always nagging me, even as I achieved success in my career, that this just didn't feel right. I was not; I was never really happy. And of course, what we do is that we internalize that and think, well, it must be me, like, "Why can't I be happy?" and doing something as opposed to thinking maybe this is not really what I meant to do. There are aspects of my career that I love, but not fully. And I didn't really know how to articulate that. And it wasn't till I went through a divorce and went to a massive car accident that really had me start thinking, which is what I always say, "Life was too short to be stuck in the profession you don't love" it got me on the path of really leading it to, "I need to figure out what I really want to do." Through really a five-year process of going through trial and error and understanding and discovery, that I was able to really look back and say, "Okay, I understand where you're at" I understand what the struggle is in between when you're divorced or single mom, you have to make an income, and you need a job. It's great that your career seems ridiculous and selfish and like a big pipe dream. Right? You know, and so but following that process, I understood what it took to move to that place and the work that had to be done to get there. It's not an overnight proposition because most of us didn't get here overnight. But when you lean in and take the time to do it in a way that makes sense, you can actually get there. I wasn't born like this. I definitely had to go through the process to get to where I'm at right now.

Doug Holt 7:47

I mean, that's the thing that I love so much about you. And your story is when you find someone who does and teaches and coaches so effortlessly and does it easily. It's the journey they've been through that process themselves. And I've gone through it. And I know doing my research before we got on today, I know you have a master class that you take people through as well, where you actually take them and kind of unplug them. How does that happen?

Carol Parker Walsh 8:13

Yes, I love it, big movies, and I love it. It can be found in movies so that it's called unplugged from the career matrix. And it definitely follows kind of like The Matrix. So yes, they do. And the way I think about it is how do I help much like in the movie how Neo didn't realize he was plugged into the system and this way of doing things and he needed to kind of unplug out of it to see the truth of who he was really meant to be in them. That's the process if you see what this class is really showing you how to unplug. See the truth of what you're meant to deal with other my traps that will keep you from getting in that direction so that you can really embrace your calling. One of the things that Chadwick Boseman just passed, which was so sad for the contribution that he made with his acting and his insight and his wisdom, and he talked about purpose and the cool thing I found that has been coming out more recently, and he talked about how that's our greatest thing to do is to really find our purpose, but that is within us, and we just have to connect to it. And that's a lot of what I do and show what I work with my clients on it definitely this class, you're going to get a taste of that, and you'll see examples of clients who've actually gone through the process and how it's really helped them.

Doug Holt 9:30

I love it, and a lot of our listeners are in that seat right, and I like The Matrix kind of analogy with Neo being unplugged and, and for those that aren't watching us on video over your right shoulder, you have a quote says make it happen with a smiley face, which is kind of that push. Now I can see somebody sitting there and going, okay, all right. I'm a single mom. I can relate to that. I don't have any time, and I got that steady job that was nine to five. I want to be a coach. I want to coach people; I want to guide them and help them out. How do they get started? How do they make it happen?

Carol Parker Walsh 10:06

Yeah, that's what I would be number two of the process, which is what I call mastering your mindset. Honestly, the step between you thinking it can happen and happening is you believing that as possible. And in order to believe that, you have to really wrestle with the limitations of the narratives that have been placed around you, right? I know, as a single mom, there's a lot of narratives around that there. Being a woman, by the narratives around that dreading your own business, right? There's a lot of narratives around that there's a lot of negativity that could come from that doesn't seem the right thing to do. So what you have to be able to do is to kind of get away from other people's ideas and what's possible for you and really lean into what you and that means dealing with those stories, those demons, that mindset, I usually call it kill the kryptonite, because again, superhero analogies, which I love. But it's really killing that kryptonite, right?

The thing that is true is that you have a tremendous gift and beyond what you really know. But just like that kryptonite, even Superman, who was amazing, when kryptonite came in the way it took him out. It didn't mean he wasn't great. It just was a limitation that he had to learn to overcome. And so for you to be able to even as a single mom because I did this on my own. You take those baby steps and keep moving and growing and moving and growing until you really start believing in the possibility. And then it's amazing what happens how the universe or the world opens up to you. And possibilities. Because of probabilities for you. It's an amazing process, but it really takes mastery in that mindset, killing that kryptonite, really dealing with that because it's not going to go away. So what you have to learn to do is to figure out what that is. And then, to retool the story, create a new narrative around it so that you can keep moving forward towards what you want to do.

Doug Holt 12:15

Oh, I love it.

Hi, guys, I want to interrupt this show to tell you about the Biocybernaut Institute. Now the Biocybernaut Institute is the pioneer in neurofeedback training, helping you to tune into Zen-like states in days, not decades. Now, Dr. Hart, the founder, has been doing research in brainwave feedback and training for over 40 years. And up until now, this has been the secret of great coaches and successful people such as Tony Robbins and Dr. Michael Beckwith, and many, many others. In fact, after doing my Alpha 1 Training at the biocybernaut Institute, I actually took a job with them. The first job I've had in over 20 years, I was impressed not only with my results but with the results that I was seeing other people get-go over to, which is To find out more information. Now let's get back to the show.

I can imagine there's a lot of people that are in careers like an attorney or somebody who's got a quote-unquote great career is unsatisfied. Not happy, they've checked the boxes, getting a job, you know how it is?

Carol Parker Walsh 13:31


Doug Holt 13:32

Your life will be amazing. What advice would you have to somebody that's doing that, "Man, I'm just miserable at work. I want to take the step to the next leap, but I got a good paycheck. I got health insurance. I've got this `` the other" based on what would you say to them?

Carol Parker Walsh 13:53

So, first of all, I am not an advocate of quitting runaway join the circus. And I think that's the biggest fear people have. They think that if they just open their mouth even to express that they do something different, that the build is going to disappear magically, and they're going to be the poorhouse broke. I remember when I left my job and started my business. Even my daughter said, Are we going to be poor now, Mommy? Because we're so conditioned that way. As I said, it's a process. It's a journey. So you can't leap from one to the other of doing some of the work in between. So while you're enjoying that lifestyle while you're doing that paycheck, you begin the process of discovering what it is you're meant to do and then create a plan and a strategy for stepping into it. And it does not mean you have to let go of everything that you've built so fabulously to achieve, right? Does it mean that you figure out a way to determine how you want the lifestyle that you want to have? What is it that you want to keep? You take some practical steps financially to make sure that you have the ability to keep the lifestyle that you want to have. But during that process, you just want your out what it is that you want to transition into. I think, as I said, the biggest fear is that people think it's going to be this abrupt turn in life. And that's not the case. When you have the mindset right, you'd be surprised what is open up to you financially and other ways to be able to step into what it is that you really want to do. So it's a process. So it's not a leap. Right?

There may be a leap of faith, but it's not a leap out of what it is that you're doing. And that's what I had to learn. Because I was always fearful of that, I thought it was a selfish thing for me to be in this position to make it come and take care of my children to really lean into something that I wanted to do. And I think that's the other thing that happens when you've gone that route, or that education, you've achieved goals. A lot of times, women think, "Well, I've done it; you just wait for me." It's crazy to go back, right? I need to continue to move forward. But where you want to go is never a straight line, it usually is a winding road, and so sometimes you have to back up. Sometimes they can detour. You have rest stops along the way. Your journey is never just a straight line, not a very simple one. Life's not that way either, and for you to step into a career you love also helps you have the life that you deserve. And they go hand in hand because I believe in alignment, not balance, but alignment. And they do that is to give yourself space and time to really consider what you want to do. Listen, most of us who are high achieving fast pace, go forward achieving, just stop and say. "What do I want?" we don't take the time to really lean into what's important to us because we're so outwardly focused on what we want to achieve. And just giving yourself the space to do that is a powerful thing in another. And will help you along that process and the journey.

Doug Holt 17:07

Perfect. Now I gotta imagine on your journey, and you see this probably more with your masterclass and people going through it. But in your own experience in making this leap and making this decision, there had to be setbacks. There has to be that trying to get that first coaching client or that first sale, so to speak. How did you overcome those obstacles? And what are some of the other common obstacles that people that go through your program face?

Carol Parker Walsh 17:32

Yeah, that's a great question. I want to bring up champions again because he said the struggles are part of the process of coming into your purpose. It's par for the course. Listen, you have to shift your thinking around failures or struggles or challenges and really see them as learning opportunities for you to be better. I mean, I think I said it took five years to get here. When I thought I had it and took a shift, took a pivot, it was the wrong pivot because I decided to leave even to be entrepreneurial, so there are things I probably should have done ahead of time before I made the leap that I did. Ultimately, I thought I was ready to do that. I probably should have taken a little bit more time or put some more things into place to make that happen. Because there was a struggle, there was a financial struggle. There was a hit to my family because my income was the primary breadwinner. There were times that I thought, what am I doing? I should just go back and get a job because this is too hard. Listen, you work harder as entrepreneurs that you do. Let me tell you, employees; you're in a bubble because you get to go into an already decorated office; you have coworkers you can talk to their supply cabinet or supply room is filled with everything you need.

That's all very different when you have to do all that on your own, so every journey you take, there's going to be challenges and struggles. I look at it like I mentioned the car accident that I was in and I was coming home working on the weekend like I often did, I had my kiddos in the car with me and a drunk driver was on a two-lane road when a drunk driver hit me. But when I saw the lights coming, I thought, "Okay, is this car about to hit me?" and on either side of me was a drop off a ravine or oncoming traffic, which was a hill on the other side. So I heard this voice as clear as it was in the car with me and said ``turn now'' for a split second and I am thinking "Turn was?". But I did turn into oncoming traffic. I still was hit, and it broke this side of my body. I was in the hospital for my surgeries, wheelchair for six months. It was a hard way to come back from, but I look at it this way. A lot of times, we hear these voices. We hear this message in us. It says, "What we're doing is not what we remit , we need to make the turn, we need to do something different." And what is always true in life is that our options of A or B aren't clear choices. It's not always like, "This is amazing." and "This is horrible," which makes this choice so much easier. They're usually like, I don't know, right? I don't know what will happen. Suppose I take this to just not very clear. But what is true, like it was for me the day the car that if I stayed straight, I wouldn't be here if he hit me head on the damage and the impact I would be here. And even though I chose the option to make a turn, either one way or the other one, I'm still here. But to Yeah, I got hit, and there was some damage, and there had to be a comeback. And that's what's gonna happen, and you're gonna make a choice. And there may be a hit, and there may be a struggle, there may be something that you didn't foresee that now you have to overcome and move through. But I know for sure going in the direction I was going would have been way worse than making the turn and getting the damage that I got. And that's the same thing I think about when people like I have, or what do I do? Or what about the struggles and how to overcome them is to stay focused on the long-range goal of like being here and getting to what you want to get out and go and go after and achieve versus the setbacks and just look at those as opportunities to learn and grow for them. And that's the best possible way that you can frame that to really make sure that the struggles don't keep you out of the game. But yourself back up and keep 24.

Doug Holt 21:38

That's great. I mean, one, it's a great story. Two, great advice. I'm glad you're here with us to share it. I mean, what I can't imagine. But that's great advice for anybody going through adversity right at any part of their life, where they're trying to figure out that career path, that passion that they have, or they've hit any upset there, in their world or anything that's been divisive.

Carol Parker Walsh 21:58

Absolutely. And I am not going to sugarcoat it, if anyone tells you, oh, this is the path, and you'll never have a problem. They're like, "Run in the opposite direction," because you're gonna have the trials and tribulations. That's life, and so they're gonna come up, but it's just what you can learn from and deal with them. But stay focused on the prize of what you're going after. In the end, you'll have the story to tell that'll you can share and impact somebody else's life with it.

Doug Holt 22:25

Yeah, I've been coaching for over 20 years now, high performers like yourself. And one thing I've seen consistently happen, you can call it God, the universe, whatever you want to call it. When people start to really open up, and they really start to go after their dreams or better themselves. It seems like somehow they get tested. There is a test along the hero's journey. There's a test that happens, and some people decide, "Whoa, don't like this." And they go back to almost homeostasis, back to the norm, back to what's safe. But those that push through the way that you did, there is that sweetness at the end; there is that prize at the mountain top.

Carol Parker Walsh 23:04

Absolutely yeah, you have hit the nail on the head. That's exactly what it is. It's to me, it's the iron being forged, right? You know, the diamond in the rough, right? All of these amazing things that we love go through a process before they come out to be the beautiful thing that we love and admire, and we're no different.

Doug Holt 23:22

I couldn't agree more. So when you look at flipping gears just a notch, when you look at finding your passion and going through, you've given people a few steps to take and obviously, anybody that's interested in doing this, and you find yourself like I really want to go, you got to get into Carol's masterclass. It's obviously phenomenal. You're the real deal. There's no doubt about it. I was going through there. But I was talking to Carol, and I was talking to a gentleman yesterday in his 50s, financially set and making his money. His passion was coaching. He said, Doug, I want to coach. I want to do this. However, I just don't see a path to doing it. I don't see a way to do it. I don't see how; what would you say to him?

Carol Parker Walsh 24:09

That you're already on the path.

Doug Holt 24:12

Carol Parker Walsh 24:12

Right? Okay, and the reason I say that is because this is very common for I find that people, when they reach midlife, is that we put our eggs in a particular basket, and then we step out and say, "I don't know anything." Like "This is something new.", "This is so different.", "How can I possibly coach because I've done this for so long in my career." Without this is again going back to like a million superpowers without realizing that you've accumulated a wealth of knowledge, of wisdom, of insight of experience. And coaching is really about helping other people see that within themselves as well. And so if you can take the time to see that within yourself, you'll be able to coach. Coaching is not about achieving some great level of Guru-nes that I think people think they have to have to be able to coach. If you are a few steps ahead of somebody who's looking to be where you are, you could coach them. And I'm sure this gentleman, if he looked back on his life, there have been times where people said, "Hey, could you help me do this? Because I see you do that well", or "Can you give me some advice on something that I know that you have some experience around or knowledge of or just because I trust you, and I just admire you, I would love to get your input." You're a coach, right?

And then from there, you just develop maybe some of the skills or nuances or how to ask good questions or support people or whatever the case is. But you know, there's I see this too much of people in midlife is that they think well, oh, well, I've done what I've done, I have nothing else to give, not realizing they have a wealth of things to share and to give to the world and don't even realize it. And so yeah, that's what I would say, you're already on the path and on the journey, all you have to do is just decide that this is my path and journey, claim it on it and start

There you go. moving through it. That's really the last thing that I always tell people is that you embrace the calling. You embrace it. You get to embrace your significance and embrace what you have to share with the world. Everything else can be learned. But the stuff that you have innately within you is there, just do that archeological dig and pull that up and dust it off and own it and present it to the world. So when you start believing yourself in that way, other people will be able to get people to save gifts. Just look back to those times in your life that you've already been coaching, where you've already been giving people advice, you've already been supporting people, and you'll realize that you have what it takes to step into this world.

Doug Holt 26:52

Whoo. Dr. Carol Parker Walsh, everyone. Thank you so much for being here. Guys, seriously, if you want to take that next step, you want to figure out how to get unplugged from the matrix. As you so eloquently go over and see Carol and get into that masterclass. Carol, what's the best way for people to get in touch with you?

Carol Parker Walsh 27:12

The best way is to go to my website, go to because you can learn a little bit about me, my style, and what I am about. There are always ways to contact me and to connect with me there. But then you can also find me on social media. I am available on LinkedIn, and Instagram, and Facebook. So I'm usually all over the place you can find me.

Doug Holt 27:34

In the modern-day, right?

Carol Parker Walsh 27:36

Absolutely. But my website is always a great place to get started. Because that way, you get a feel about who I am before you start reaching out and some other things that I do.

Doug Holt 27:45

Absolutely great. I encourage everybody to do it. We will put those links in the show notes. Carol, thank you again for being here with such a pleasure.

Carol Parker Walsh 27:51

Yeah, thank you for having me, Doug. This is great.

Doug Holt 27:54


Thank you for joining us at The Successful Coach podcast. Please hit like and subscribe so we can bring you more great interviews like these. Until next time, have an amazing day.

Interested in working together? Fill out an application