What is a life coach? This has been on my mind since first meeting Yvonne Box. There is something about Yvonne that makes you smile. She possesses the ability to be a super positive person and also be honest. The balance of this is someone who you want to talk to but also you know will give you the truth. I love this about her.
- AL: How would you describe your childhood?
My childhood was rather unusual. I was born in Christchurch, but at the age of 6, my family moved to Auckland, then to Melbourne when I was 8, and then to Hong Kong when I was 12. I commuted from there to boarding school in Dunedin from the age of 14 till I finished school, and then went back to Hong Kong to live. I left home at 19, and came back to Auckland, armed with a suitcase, $200 and a whole lot of dreams about my future!
- Tell us about you and your home life:
My human significant other is a very private person, so I’m going to skip him (love you xx). How about Buddy? He’s my second Poodle – a gorgeous black boy, who’ll turn 2 years old in January. The successor to Holly (if you know anything about music in the 1950s, the two names might resonate!) It’s no joke that Poodles are extremely bright, and he loves to help around the office and is a very good sounding board for my new initiatives, or when I’m practising a presentation. He also reminds me when it’s time to step away from the computer and go walkies or just play with him and his toys in the back garden. We’ve also got another dog, Ice, two cats, Jackson and Popcorn, who were both, in their own way, rescues, and 3 cute goldfish!
- Tell us about your business? What exactly is a life coach?
That’s a really good question. Probably everyone you ask will give you a slightly different answer. Put simply, coaching isn’t about telling people what they need to do, but holding the torch that shines the light while they seek and find it themselves. I’m a positive psychology coach, which means I apply the philosophies and tools developed by the “father” of positive psychology, Dr Martin Seligman, and many others in his field. That means my work includes a strong focus on my clients’ core character strengths and their values. We also talk about gratitude, resilience, emotional intelligence, and other things. Many people live much of their lives according to someone else’s expectations, rather than their own. Once you fully understand what you value most in life you get a picture of whether you’re living a truly authentic life or not. It’s about life satisfaction, not selfishness. Setting and achieving goals that lead to your own personal sense of greatness. Living a fulfilling life, not a frustrated one.
- AL: What made you decide to move to Beachlands?
We’d lived on a 15-acre lifestyle block in the Bombay Hills for 26 years, and I’d thought we’d never leave. But 2-1/2 years ago, it was time to go back to an urban lifestyle. We hunted all over Auckland looking for somewhere that suited, and there was nothing we liked at all. Then one day, I looked at a map and said “Hey, we used to go boating from Maraetai years ago. I wonder if there’s anything out there?” Our first drive out to Beachlands had us convinced. The people we met that first day, staff and clients at Sierra Café, agents at the open homes, and even people passing in the street were all SO friendly, we felt right at home. After only a few visits, we’d found exactly the home we wanted. I walked in the front door, and promptly said “This is my coaching lounge!” I hardly needed to see the rest of the property to know this was our next home, and we haven’t looked back for a minute.
- AL: Tell us a bit about previous roles you have had?
I’ve worked a lot in human resources, marketing, and adult education. Then, I followed my husband into the real estate industry, thinking I was going to be his part-time PA! That turned into a life-changing career move for me. After several years selling residential and rural real estate, I went back into the education sector, teaching real estate, writing course materials, and also doing coaching and compliance training, often for large audiences. I still do the real estate coaching and compliance training.
- AL: Tell us why you love your current job.
How could you not love seeing your clients make often incredible, potentially life-changing breakthroughs in their thinking and behaviour! Whether we’re working face to face at my Beachlands coaching lounge (not possible during lockdowns, unfortunately), or on Zoom or telephone, I still have a sense of wonder and deep appreciation for people who, although at the start don’t know me at all, feel comfortable in sharing parts of their life story, their issues, fears and dreams. Our conversations are always client-led, and together we journey through thoughts, ideas and goals, building towards the future they really seek but have often lacked the confidence to try. In a funny way it’s a little like being in a clothing store – when a client tries on something that they hadn’t previously thought of and discovers it’s a perfect fit… well, that’s when the magic happens for both of us.
- AL: Everyone is talking about “shop local”. Could you tell us about some of your favourite places in that you like to shop & eat?
Down at Pine Harbour, there’s the great team at Pepperjacks Kitchen and Bar, with the awesome view of the marina. But my life doesn’t just revolve around food! Paul Taylor Jewellers is a boutique business who I trusted to do an amazing repair on my engagement ring. Living locally, I get to walk to Creations Hair Design for a couple of hours of being treated like royalty, and when it’s time for something cheap and cheerful, I can’t go past Hello Banana.
I also put huge trust in the wonderful team at Franklin Vets to care for our two cats and two dogs.
And when it comes to grooming, Pets At Whitford Spa and Stay (PAWSS) give my two adorable pooches proper pampering!
Yvonne is generously paying it forward to her favourite cafe. She is giving away 2 x $25 vouchers for the Sierra Cafe in Beachlands. A chance to take a drive, see the local sights and have a bite to eat. Please see our social platforms for more info about the giveaway!
The Real Life Coach Ltd
Beachlands, Auckland, NZ