THE LIFE COACH WE ALL NEED
Know what you want and then “work your ass off,” says coach Sonia Zarbatany.
By Carol Besler
Most of us have it in us to make even small changes in our lives that can produce dramatic results. But where to begin? And how to get motivated? The job of a personal life coach is to get you started, cheer you on, and help you focus on what needs to be done. After that, says Sonia Zarbatany, it’s up to the client to do the work.
Like most people who work in the realm of motivational psychology, Coach Sonia speaks in terms of transformations, insights, breakthroughs and possibilities. Just in the past year and a half alone, she says she has coached more than 500 people. “I am very success driven,” she says. “My coaching is personalized to my clients’ needs. I bring through a process of what it means to have an ideal life. First by helping them to realize what that ideal life looks like and then by helping them build a blueprint for getting there.” One client, for example, went from billing $3000 a month in her business to billing $30 000 a month. Another, whose professional success had already been achieved, was looking for the man of her dreams. Sonia helped her focus, create a plan, and go for what she wanted. She is now engaged to be married.
Her MO can be as simple as explaining the importance of the skills her clients are interested in developing or just making them feel they are intrinsically worthy of love and respect. She might encourage them to leave their comfort zone or improve their social skills, or even improve their diet.
A year and a half ago, Sonia was president of Vince Camuto in Canada, a job she had trained for all her life. “I grew up in the fashion business,” she says. Her father was the president of Guess Jeans in Canada, and in 2010, acquired the Canadian distribution for Vince Camuto brands, where Sonia served as executive vice-president. In 2017, the family sold the business back to Vince Camuto U.S. and she was asked to take on the role of president for Canada. She took the job, but it wasn’t where her heart was.
After graduating from university, Sonia moved to L.A. and while living there took self-improvement courses at Landmark Education and attended seminars by Tony Robbins. From then on, she knew she had found her calling and soon became a certified life coach. She put that on pause when she took the top job at Vince Camuto, working with only a few clients at a time, but longed to return to full time coaching. “The fashion industry was great,” she says. “But selling clothes was just not my vehicle. It wasn’t really the right fit. I wanted more. So, I dug deep, and asked myself, what is it that I’m passionate about? What is my gift? I know that when I speak, when I’m up on the stage and I’m able to help people shift from what’s stopping them or what’s self-sabotaging their world, and help them achieve the life they want, that’s my gift. For me, there is no greater purpose than to be able to achieve that.”
In addition to coaching and holding seminars, Sonia now holds transformational retreats. These days, she is busy prepping for a six-day retreat to Marrakesh, where she will help participants create a new game plan for their lives. “We will go into deep reprogramming and transformation, from mind to body to business to relationships,” she says. “There will be morning meditation sessions, workouts, camel rides, visits to palaces.” A team of videographers will be in tow, creating content for her social media sites and possibly a documentary. They are part of Tribe Media, Sonia’s company of photographers, videographers, graphic designers and web designers who function like an agency, helping clients build their social media profiles. She also runs a coaching academy in which she helps other people become certified coaches with the International Coaching Federation. Her headquarters is a 9000-square-foot space in Montreal’s Decarie Square, which includes a section with 60 offices that she rents to people who want to work in a shared space.
“GO WITHIN YOURSELF AND FIND THIS GIFT, THIS HUNGER THAT YOU HAVE INSIDE OF YOU”
Many of her clients are women who are trying to balance it all – kids, career, spouse, and personal time. Her advice to them? “Go within yourself and find this gift, this hunger that you have inside of you. Anything that is not aligned with it, put that aside and just go for it. Work your ass off. Be hungry. Make it about what you feel is your purpose and about impacting other people.”