Leslie is a CDC-certified Divorce coach and CDC Transition and Recovery Coach. She is also the author of Not Mary Not Roe and the owner of Leslie Hope Coaching, LLC.
Leslie Hope Coaching, LLC has the mission to guide people from the pain of divorce to finding hope and happiness in life. With the hope and happiness method, You can create an action plan for who you want to be after your divorce.
Furthermore, she is also a Doctoral Candidate in Doctor of Public Policy and Administration at Walden University.
In this episode, Leslie shared her divorce journey, her actions to move forward, and how she helped other people get through the pain of divorce.
Leslie had been through the worse in her life. At the early age of 15, she got pregnant. At 26, she experienced a horrible divorce and became a single mom with two sons.
But through the guilt, embarrassment, shame, and failure that she felt, Leslie did not waver and let her emotions drown her. Instead, she uses those negative emotions as a motivation to get back on track in life and find hope and happiness.
Now Leslie has a coaching business where she uses the things she learned to help other people overcome the pain of divorce.
Leslie also tells her story of how God helped her to stand back on his feet. During the time when the adversity she was going through was too much, Leslie talked to God for the first time n many years, and she immediately felt at peace. And within three months, a sequence of good things happen in her life.
Moreover, Leslie tells how she helps others who are divorced or those who are struggling with co-parenting.
Leslie Holthoff’s story is an inspirational and spiritual story of one who goes through the adversity of being pregnant at an early age and experiences the pain of divorce. But eventually, get back into life with the help of God.
This episode of The Beyond Adversity Podcast is a must-listen for anyone who is a teenager pregnant, divorced, or in the process of divorce, and single parents struggling to raise their kids. This story reminds you that whatever adversity you face, even if it began at an early age, is not the end of your life, and there will always be a way for you to enjoy and find happiness in life.
“The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller is published weekly with the mission of helping people “Grow Through What They Go Through” as they navigate adversity and discover their promised life of peace, prosperity, and purpose.
Dr. Brad Miller 0:00
Our guest today on beyond adversity is Leslie Holthoff. She is the force bestie, which means she's experienced divorce in her life, and various other difficulties as well. She has a doctoral student study the perspectives of joint share custody, the adult to the eyes of adults who have aged out of a to home system. She is also the author of the book, Not Mary Not Roe. And you can find her at LeslieHopeCoaching.com. Let's hold off Welcome to Beyond Adversity.
Leslie Holthoff 0:37
Thank you happy to be here. Thank you.
Dr. Brad Miller 0:39
So it's a pleasure and privilege to have you with us. And one of the we deal with a lot of adversities here and beyond adversity, people with health issues and depression and eel grief and so on. But a major one is relationship oriented issues that people deal with. And we, and it's often exemplified by divorce, I myself am a divorce person, and deal with joint custody issues through my life. And you are call yourself the divorce bestie. And we're gonna talk about that. She said, Well, first of all, what does that mean? What's a divorce bestie.
Leslie Holthoff 1:20
So I'm a divorce and co parenting coach. And a lot of times people think that that means I'm some kind of a couples counselor. And that's not the case. So what I do is I work with people while they're going through divorce. So typically, I would become involved after you're separated. So I don't usually help with those Should I Get Divorced, should I not get divorced? Once the decision is made, the separation is there, I walk with you sort of hand in hand. That's why I call it the divorce bestie. from beginning until the end, and what's important is that we sit down and say, for example, you're going to go to your lawyer, we're going to really talk about what information you need to have prepared to talk to the lawyer, we're going to say, Okay, let's go ahead and get ahead of this. What would you how would you like to see things? And where do you want to be in 12 months from now? How do you really want to see this play out both financially, emotionally, but also as a co parent? How do you see this relationship changing from now into when you you are more settled into the co parenting role. So through the whole thing, I really work with my clients. And I call it a bestie. Because other than having margaritas together, we really do talk about a lot of things. I like to tell my clients that the difference between working with me and a therapist as your therapist is, you know, a one hour call once a week or meeting or whatever that is, as your divorce coach, we do plan on that, that one hour a week of one on one coaching. But I'm also there for emergencies. So if you're suddenly served with papers saying that, you know, your ex is filing for full custody, I should be your first text message slash phone call. I also work with you in communication. So I help you write you know those emails to your lawyer. And I can help you respond to correspondence with your ex in a way that will hopefully make things go a little smoother and help you reach your goals that we've already set for where you want to be at the end of the divorce.
Dr. Brad Miller 3:14
Well, that's a powerful service to give, because what people turn to many times when they go through a trauma, drama and versity they will often go to the professional counselor first or to someone like me, I'm a retired pastor, they don't usually go to me. They don't usually go to their parents or whatever they go to their friends, don't they, they go to the friends. And the friends, their friends are not always equipped to deal with things
Leslie Holthoff 3:40
usually why? And I say to your friends are there and they care. Of course they care about your spouse, they care about your children. But in caring about those people, they also can't 100% be in your corner. You know, they can't be 100% for you because they are worried about your kids. And they are perhaps they might care about your spouse. And so that's what I say as your divorce coach, I'm in your corner 100% I only care about what's good for you and your children, of course, but but I'm able to really focus and I don't I don't know your spouse, you know what I mean? So I'm not biased by who I think he could be or who she might be able to be if you push it through like I don't have any of that. And I think that that is really helpful in trying to cope.
Dr. Brad Miller 4:19
Yeah, well, that's a an awesome service. But I got a feeling, Leslie that this comes about you became the divorce bestie and the author of your book, not marry not to row and offer divorce coaching, because of some experiences of your own, which were transformational and led you to the path you're on right now. So set the framework for us a little bit what led what's what's your story that led you to this place?
Leslie Holthoff 4:50been co parenting since about:
Dr. Brad Miller 7:02o parent of a daughter, since:
Leslie Holthoff 9:15
For me the hardest part, but the most effective thing was really changing the storyline. You know, I was taught that you you step one was you fall in love step two is you get married and then step three is you have kids and then step four is you stay married forever, you raise those kids. And when I screwed up, step one and step two, I was just where do you go now you know, and I was overcome with embarrassment and shame and failure. And I could easily have stayed trapped in those emotions and just thought to myself, well, this is it, you know, like I could have decided that I was what other people thought of me. Luckily and I don't know why. That those thoughts and that kind of A treatment motivated me because I just always felt like I was more than what my first impression was. And so that I finally just sat down and I said, What can I do just tobacco?Dr. Brad Miller:
So you, you felt like you're more in your first impression, you feel like you're more than the first impression that you think other people ahead of you, or that you're having. Okay? All right, yeah, sorry.Leslie Holthoff:
Meaning when somebody finds out that you're 1617, however old, and you have a child, they automatically assume that you were, you know, they make certain assumptions about your sexual behavior, they assumptions about usually your economic background, they make a lot of assumptions. And then I got married young, I had another baby. And then I was 26. And I was getting divorced. And then there's this whole, you know, kids with two fathers, that's its own set of stereotypical thoughts that come along with it. And then of course, getting divorced was this whole thing that I was wrong. And I, you know, I grew up in the church. And all of a sudden, I was faced with the fact that I was just mounting up all these reasons where I wasn't going to be allowed to go to the heaven that I've been taught my whole life, which was supposed to be my goal. Yeah. And so that was a huge struggle for all that guilt,Dr. Brad Miller:
all that shame on junk. And from, you know, from bad, unhealthy. And from my perspective, not, you know, a Christian or other faith base place, really, we can talk about it some more. But let's talk about your story. But I'm saying that that is so huge, in my experience,Leslie Holthoff:
it is and the guilt that you just mentioned, the guilt is overwhelming. And I realized the guilt was making so many of my decisions. I felt so badly about the situation I put my parents in. They weren't grandparents at 40, which is better than 29. But it's not great. You know, and so I was so overwhelmed with guilt with that. And I was the oldest of three girls and how my pregnancy and having a son had an effect on my two younger sisters. And so so many of my decisions were made based on guilt. Well, those decisions were based usually on somebody giving me advice. Perhaps it was my parents or an aunt or I got advice from a lot of my friend's parents. But none of them had ever been in my shoes, right? None of them really knew where I was what I was capable of. And one day I kind of, that's what I did, I had to draw the line and say, I'm not like anybody else who's ever been in this situation, right? I'm me. I'm the only version of me I'm the only one of me whoever is in this exact situation. And I really took my my family, I felt like I'd won the family lottery. I have wonderful parents, I have wonderful sisters, I have a million cousins. And I said, Okay, I'm lucky to have this. And I started just really focusing on the things I was lucky to have. And then I said, Okay, there's going to be things I can't do. For example, I couldn't graduate from high school and go live in a dorm and go to college, I couldn't do that I had a child to raise. So I did a different version of that. I did go to college, but I lived in an apartment off campus. And it really that didn't work out for me at first, you know, so then I moved back home and I still went to college, it took me about 10 years to get my bachelor's degree. But I got my bachelor's degree, you know, and that is kind of everything I did took longer. But I fought for it tooth and nail. And that meant getting up at 5am. To do homework beforeDr. Brad Miller:
I had to before you do too much further, always say congratulations. And way to go on that effort right there. To get your bachelor's degree. I know you've got advanced degrees, and you work on your doctorate and I've got a doctorate. So I know what that means. But that is so huge, because I've seen so many people get stuck at either high school, or not even getting done with high school. And it just sets the stage for so much. So you fought through that. So yeah, God, way to go. Congratulations.Leslie Holthoff:
Thank you. And I did that when neither one of my parents went to college. And my mom was a stay at home mom and my dad luckily became an entrepreneur. And it was very successful with that, but both of them sort of were like you have a kid is college really what you need to do. I mean, you know, not that they weren't, they weren't not supportive, but it wasn't like, you got to go to college, and we're gonna push you on it. You know, it was, it was me deciding and you know, and even I for a while I was like, I don't know if this is the best thing or not. But what I did know is when I was standing at a party or around other people, they would always say What school did you go to? And for me personally, I was always so embarrassed because I knew they meant What college did you go to? And I would always name my high school, right. And for me, that was just something that I felt like, held me back. It made me feel lesser than and so I decided to change it. And it was a long, hard battle. But I'll tell you why. When I walked across that stage, which wasn't like I said, until I was I think 31 or 32. It was one of the happiest days of my life.Dr. Brad Miller:
It's a soaring moment. And those people who've done that to say, That's awesome way to go.Leslie Holthoff:
No one was more surprised than me than I did.Dr. Brad Miller:
So determination, resilience. I'm sure the word I look at For tenacity is where to look for tenacity towards getting your education was a part of the actions that you took. And yet you really and even with the situation's of having a child, I guess, to children to raise and not exactly having the resources of the family, meaning you were college oriented, things like that. That's amazing way to go.Leslie Holthoff:
Another big shift for me is one day, I decided, and it seems so simple, but it's so true, I decided to believe the things that were good. And not believe the things that weren't, you know, it used to be when someone gave me a compliment, oh, my God, I hated compliments. And I would maybe turn red, and I didn't know how to say thank you. And I would say, Oh, my God, you know, and I would like to hide my face. And I didn't know how to handle it. And then one day, I said, no matter when somebody gives me a compliment, I'm going to learn how to just say, thank you and sincerely mean it and sincerely think about and remember what they said, and just that small shift, for me changed so much. Because it turns out people really were saying nice things to me and encouraging me. And I was just so stuck on the negativity for a while that I wouldn't even allow myself to hear it. And once I allowed myself to start leaving the good. It was transforming for me.Dr. Brad Miller:
That's huge. Because, you know, we're talking about here, mindset shift here. And, yes, the mindset gets stuck, you know, I can fit in the writing it, I call them the malaise, it kind of gets stuck, you know, you kind of get to get out of it, in order to get out, you really got to work out of it, and shift that shift thing is so important. And therefore you can take them when people say to you, and then use it as fuel instead of, you know, some people don't take the compliment, and kind of the, because they have such a bad mindset, you know, that's like quashes them there. It's like throwing cold water on you. So education mindset, or anything else were part of the actions that you tookLeslie Holthoff:
um, like I said, just recreating my story. And I decided that I wanted having, being a teen mom and being divorced to be something that people described about me at the end of the story. You know, I wanted to be like, Leslie did this and Leslie did that. And Leslie did this. And she had a kid when she was 16. And she got divorced at 26. You know, I wanted it to make all the things I did mean, more and not Well,Dr. Brad Miller:
yeah. Like, what it does also give some context and some color. And that's not the right word, exactly. I'm looking for but certainly some vibrancy to your story that not everybody has. But he's rarely a lot of people do have somewhat a similar story, that you can be an example for the other you can be a part of a success story through through bad stuff.Leslie Holthoff:
What we all have stuff, right? Yeah. Oh, no, it doesn't. And it's just different stuff. And, you know, I had these two really life changing things about 11 years part, you know, and it would be cool if that's when it all stopped, wouldn't it didn't, you know, like, adversity comes in waves sometimes. And, you know, later and you know, I don't write about it in my book, but I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2015. And that was another huge check for me, like, Okay, I've spent all this time trying to get my education and focusing on my career and trying to really be a good parent. And the thing I wasn't focusing on was my wellness, you know, I wasn't focused on my health. And so that really shook that up. And then in 2017, my dad died, you know, and I know that happens to almost everybody. But you know, we were really close. AndDr. Brad Miller:
this was your this was your dad. And your health situation was your body, you know, and it happens to you, I, I call this I call a diversity, or I categorize adversity, I call them the five big ds of adversity, we all got them. And you've, you've already ticked off several of them. One of them is depression, which we haven't really talked about, that's the mental health piece, the D of depression, that second D I talk about often is divorce, which is anything relationship oriented, and you know, a breakup, or you could be leaving a job and any number of things. The third one is disease, which is your multiple sclerosis is in that I just, I'm dealing with the cancer in my body right now, the dead started a few weeks ago. The fourth one is debt, financial issues. If you're a college student trying to go to college, raising kids, I know that had to be part of your story. And then the other one is death, you know, which is death of a loved one. And you mentioned that as well. We all got them. Those are the five big D's, how we handle it makes the difference. And that's what's impressive about your your story, Leslie andLeslie Holthoff:
I can check all five of those. So I hope that means that my next 40 years are going to be cake. That's whatDr. Brad Miller:
that's what it means. Absolutely, absolutely nothing but slide on through. That's great. Yeah,Leslie Holthoff:
I'm learning that the older I get the older my kids get, maybe maybe then that all starts just applying to them. Right. So then you're going through it again and you're watching them learn to be successful and do their own thing.Dr. Brad Miller:
And then What would you do with your kids and I'm the father of three adult children and two and have two grandchildren. And yeah, it's a different deal. But you when they go through some of these things that you have, we've described your, your hurt in a different way. But you got to hopefully be a resource to help them get, get through those things. And that's what you're doing is being a resource for people in all kinds of ways. I want to touch a minute about another aspect of this, which you touched on earlier, which I think is important to at least touch on, you mentioned how kind of the faith story was a mixed bag for you, meaning that, you know, you had some guilt, you had some religious teaching that some that may have been helpful. Some have been, but not, but tell me anyway? And if if No, those are correct, answer your was there any way that connecting to some power greater than self, whether it be religious, whether it be meditative, be it something beyond self, how that was a part of the story for you to navigate adversity? Can you go there for a little bit, please?Leslie Holthoff:
Certainly Can I talk in my book, sort of the turning point in my book is, I had hit my rock bottom, I had been divorced for a few years, I had been laid off, like, Oh, my God, I think maybe for the third time in, not that many more years. And so I was desperately broke. I had my two kids and I, I just said, I cannot do this anymore. Right. So I, I was living with a friend of mine. And it was this beautiful time where we were helping each other and raising our kids together. And, and that was great. But I had just gotten laid off again. And I was like, this is more than I can handle. And so I sort of had, I don't want to say turned on God. But I had definitely pulled away from God over the last few years at that point. And I have this moment, right, and I hit my knees and I'm crying. And I talked to God for the first time in a really long time. And I just say I cannot do this anymore. You know, like I'm weeping uncontrollably, and I'm just the hits keep coming. You know, I'm not even probably 30 At this point, and I'm exhausted, the adversity is just too much. And it was what it was, but I felt peace after I cried, and I kid you not within three months, I want to say my entire life turned around a bunch of really nice things that seemed bad at first started happening. And then the next thing I know, I got back on my feet, I was able to move back in my old house with my kids, I got a really good job, I ended up meeting the guy that I'm now married to, just like things just fell into place. And for me, that was a really important moment. And I realized that the thing I had lost with my faith wasn't religion, or it wasn't God, it was religion. Right? Like I had fallen, I was baptized Catholic, I was raised Catholic, and then Episcopalian, and my church was there for me. I mean, I was in all the youth groups, and they didn't shun me or anything. When I found out that I was pregnant, they were actually extremely supportive. It wasn't anything like that. But it was coming to peace with how could I be the person that God made me and also check all these boxes for being a bad person, the way that I had been taught or earlier, and I couldn't make sense of it. And so for me, my faith got bigger than the Christian faith, right? Like I now look at it more as a bigger God, a bigger universe. And I also just really believe we're all on our own journey. So my journey and yours are perhaps totally different. So I certainly can't expect you and I to be talking to the same version of God at the same time, or here to learn the same lessons, or here to go through any of those things. So I sort of recreated a faith of my own that takes pieces, from all of the things that I've learned studying those things and had to find my faith again, because that my whole life changed that day on the floor. And like I said, that's in my book is when everything in my life flipped, and it has stayed completely different than it was up until that day.Dr. Brad Miller:
So it sounds like you had a release of a lot of stuff, a lot of stuff. Some of it was you know, religious crap, although whatever from before. It sort of was, you know, guilt and all the other stuff from that was imposed on you whether it was overtly or covertly and you released it, and then you kind of gave a surrender over to something greater than self. And then that kind of set you on a new path of fulfillment. And I'm a big believer that, you know, those who really have a spiritual experience are experiencing, you know, true fulfillment, as opposed to, you know, lack of fulfillment, which is so many people fill. And in fact, I think it's a real epidemic proportions in our world right now. People feeling, feeling kind of lost and uncovered. In life, and so seeking a direction seeking fulfillment is so huge. And I do believe there's always, in order to truly have that you got to have a spiritual experience. And that's a good thing. And that, that leads me to where I think it's important for, for people to understand you and your story and how it impacts their story, their perhaps lack of fulfillment, whether it's through a divorce or being a young mom or through other opportunities here is that you then began to put it together, not only kind of the action piece, which I consider the physical piece, and not only the spiritual piece, but you began to put it together on okay, what am I going to do now? What is the process is what is the disciplines? What are the thinking, the cognitive part, how do I apply this to my life? And I think you do a lot of that in your book, for instance, especially when you're comparing you're talking about not marry not row, the trauma you, Leslie, here. And so how do you start to put this together? What are some of the disciplines? What are some of the patterns, the way you navigate life now our way you are, this will process some of the teachings of your book, can you go there with me a little bit lighter.Leslie Holthoff:
Um, you know, I really started it goes back to mindset, I really started focusing on what I had, and not what I didn't have. And really just being thankful for the little things, right. And sometimes when life feels overwhelming, you feel like you're supposed to be thankful for all these big things. And that's not what I was thankful for. Right? I was thankful that I did have my kids dads in their lives to help them write down because I was a mess, and I needed help. And I was so thankful that I had them to lean on. And honestly, up until that point, my co parenting had not been fun, it had been more aggressive on both sides. And when I finally got a little vulnerable, and I said, Hey, I'm in a bad spot, I need your help. They showed up. And so I appreciated that. So I started to really be thankful for what I had, which which made what I had, grow. But some days the thing I was thankful for my GSP watching a sunrise, right, or a cup of coffee or something, you know, having heat and air conditioning and a roof over my head. And so I really focused on that. And I probably took it too far because I became such a grossly positive person. And my friends were like, you gotta tone it down. Like,Dr. Brad Miller:
Debbie, Debbie Downer to happy hell on or whatever.Leslie Holthoff:
Oh, yeah, like my friends laugh at me. Because they would say how was you know, whatever you did yesterday, and I was like, Oh my God, it was the best day ever. Like, the sun was shining. And the food was great. And I just got to spend all this time. And so they said, we were not asking you how many? Because you're no longer in a realistic realm. Right? Yeah, I had to tone it down a little bit. But I just became a really positive person. And I doubled down on what was important to me, which, you know, like I said, I needed an education behind me to make me feel like I was worth listening to. And so, for me, education gave me my voice. And so it wasn't long after that, that I was able to finish my first degree, went straight through, got my master's degree, which obviously helped my career, all of a sudden, I was making money again, and I could take care of my kids, which helped my everything, you know, I was just more comfortable and more confident and, and it just that those things just really changed my life. So I ultimately, mindset. I know people, it's hard to hear it, but it's so true.Dr. Brad Miller:
And you've then you manifested your change of mindset by these other things by doing the work of education, which is no small thing, especially if you've got a master's degree in you know, working on a doctorate degree. And if you manifested that through getting then a better paying job than whatever the job you were doing, as you were doing before, and I think you said a couple of things are really, really important, Leslie that you found your voice and you gained your personal credibility. You didn't feel credible in your own right before. Now you felt like I have some credibility is am I am ILeslie Holthoff:
and what's interesting was around that same time frame, the friend that I was living with, she had started going through a divorce. So it's like I I didn't know what at the time but I was basically her divorce coach through that, okay, and then people that I knew my age started getting divorced. And so I started all of a sudden just like talking to people and I was really getting that I was good at connecting with people and helping them through this really challenging time and I had no idea what a divorce coach was at the time. But I said I, I am fulfilled helping people through this and it makes me feel good that everything that made me feel bad, right can actually create something positive and save them the same hurt or at least soften the blow. And so that was one I really started, I couldn't, I didn't put my finger on it for a while what I was going to do, but that is when I first started getting that feeling like, I'm really good at this, I really enjoy this, this fulfills me and started really focusing on trying to build a career that would cater to thatDr. Brad Miller:
kind of key where you said there, I'm good at this, and it fulfills me. And I just love that because you know, it ultimately, kind of that's what everybody wants it that they want to feel like they're making a contribution. They're feeling like they're giving something back into the world, and that it's fulfilling to them. It's not just punching the time clock or just getting getting by just kind of existing that's, yeah, no, no way to live. And so you were doing this, and you were helping helping other people then so let's, let's go there. Sure. But how you help other people?Leslie Holthoff:
Yeah, I actually worked with a career coach to figure out how I can kind of connect the dots. And it's funny, I had never heard of a divorce coach. And so I thought I made it up, I realized very quickly that I did not make it up. It just wasn't really that popular have a thing yet. And so that's how it was like a coaching was created. So you know, like I said, I focus on divorce and co parenting, sometimes my clients have been divorced for years. And they're just at a point where they're struggling to co parent with their kids or perhaps with their, with their ex. And we just focus on how to I get a lot of dads actually, that are struggling with their teenage daughters, which is totally fair, because we all struggle with teenage daughters. And so, um, you know, that it just depends, I connected with different people and different things. And it's been really fulfilling, and I enjoy it. And I decided I was gonna write a book when I was about 17 years old. So it took me a very long time, I wrote multiple versions of this book, and finally published it just this past September. And it stops right around not long after my divorce. So I have another almost 20 years of books to write.Dr. Brad Miller:
You got more and you don't you?Leslie Holthoff:
Oh, I can't wait. Yeah, I'm trying to make myself not write books while I write my dissertation. But the book thing is more fun. So we'll see. But yes, I can't wait to write more books. AndDr. Brad Miller:
it's a hard thing. It's hard thing to do write a book. I'm writing to write a book right now myself, but it is fulfilling, and it is fun in a way. But such slow things. The lot of times the things we do that are hard, are really fulfilling and fun. Yes. So yeah. So it's the easy things. When they come easy, sometimes it's just too easy, or it's too, we slide into patterns where we think the easy way out. And that's, I think, you know, we grade three tracking. And I think that's where it's sometimes not every team parent is this way, but some team parents think about, oh, having a baby will love me. And it's just the opposite.Leslie Holthoff:
People say that, Oh, I had a kid young, and they're my best friend. And I'm like,Dr. Brad Miller:
Yeah, that's just not. It's just not reality. And that kind of it's notLeslie Holthoff:
reality. And I mean, I know if it is it's the exception, not the rule. You know, my oldest son is high functioning autistic.Dr. Brad Miller:
So Oh, you got that in the mix, too. Oh, my goodness.Leslie Holthoff:
Welcome to adversity, right. And I didn't even know until he was about 14, I want to say, I knew he was, you know, a little, we'll call it different, but I didn't have the name for it. Sure. Anyway, he's almost 30 now and learning to communicate with him has been a challenge. He's the hardest person on earth for me to communicate with, I can communicate with almost anybody. But when he and I talk, we have to sit down and I have to really work at it. And I really struggle with that. And there's something that I keep trying to get better with. And I'm like, I can't imagine what it would have been. If he and I have been best friends for example, you know, like that just wasn't what it was. It was definitely always a parent child relationship and trying to figure it out along the wayDr. Brad Miller:
still is and still will be it changes and evolves, but autism was kind of his own unique thing to deal with. I want to tell you about the title of your book for secondary to get on cup something else here I want to be clear, not married not row. That was just kind of your story of those. For someone who has not read the book, give them the synopsis of why that title. In terms of your story.Leslie Holthoff:
I picked the title because when you think of a unwed mother there's like two stories right it's the Virgin Mary and then this famous Jane Roe who who got abortion legal in the Senate you know a long time ago and it was like that's really it right there's not any right off the bat successful single moms that you can think of, there's not really, really great successful teen moms that you can think of and so not Mary not row was like, Look, I'm definitely not the Virgin Mary. And I'm definitely not Jane Roe. I'm somewhere in the middle like I think all the rest of us are every other surprise pregnancy out there, you know, we just tried to figure it out. And so that's why I picked the title because it's about creating something that's just mine. And recreating the story that that I knew I needed to make for myself. So it's the subtitle is the survival story of a reluctant Teen Mom, I survived it. I did not want to be a teen mom. I didn't know that I had any options at the time. So for me, there wasn't a choice. It was just the way it was. And I survived that. I did.Dr. Brad Miller:
Personally survived it, but you've thrived it and now you have something to offer other people. That's where I want to go now for a couple minutes here, Leslie. And that is? Let's just say the circumstances are that you know, I'm a pastor and somebody comes to me, and they're going through a bad divorce. Or maybe there's a, you know, a child involved, that kind of thing. I'd say, Okay. I can only help you so far. But maybe we can get you connected up with the Leslie and maybe at least offer a conversation with her. And maybe that might be helpful thing. If I referred a young 30 year old woman to you who's going through software, that's situation, what's the process? What are you going to share with him in that initial conversation, where where that might lead if it ends up being a coaching relationshipLeslie Holthoff:
the way that I started with everybody is a conversation. So you would go to my website, kind of follow a couple steps, but you end up making an appointment for what we call a discovery call. And I, I pretty much give myself two hours, we plan on one hour, but sometimes when you're in these things, you know, I want to make sure I've got plenty of time, and we just talk and that's where it starts that's free doesn't cost me anything. I need to know where you're at to see where I work, if I can meet you, you know, I'm not the best coach for everyone. And so I really tried to make sure that if we will be able to connect, we talk in this conversation, we see how we get along, we see what your needs are, I'm able to meet them. And then we together kind of decide where to go from there. So I do like cut, it's more custom. Because you might just be you know, looking for co parenting you might be in if you just got separated, you're in the hardest part, right? Your next year of your life is going to be overwhelmed with divorce. So that person is totally different from somebody who says I've been divorced for 40 years, but I just I'm not connecting with my kids or I'm in a new fight. Right? Maybe maybe your ex remarried and now things really taken a new turn. A client is totally different than somebody who just got separated and doesn't know where they're going to live. You know, it's just a different type of client. So we just start with the conversation. And, and that's it,Dr. Brad Miller:
you find Lastly, sometimes in those initial conversations, that somehow you become a safe person that people pour their heart out to just almost initially just kind of like, I call it, I call it bleeding all over the place when somebody does that is what I call it, it may not be the best analogy. But do you find that's the case? And how's that? Oh, absolutely.Leslie Holthoff:
I know most if that doesn't happen, we might not be a good fit, right? Like I need them to feel like they can trust me. And that we're able to talk openly. Or we're not going to be if you're going to keep secrets from me, I cannot be a thorough coach. So you need to make sure that the two of us feel really comfortable talking to each other. And so I like it, when that happens. That's why I give on my calendar, I was blocked two hours, we'll plan on one hour, but sometimes in the thick of it, you know, you need more than an hour. And this is for some people, this is the most important and scary thing that's happened in their life. And they need to be heard. And a lot of times I always say it's very therapeutic to hear how you explain your life to someone who doesn't know anybody in it. There's a lot to be said in that as well. So I like to just really take it in,Dr. Brad Miller:
there's something to be said about someone you can share with who is safe. That's an important thing, I think, but also has some anonymity, meaning they're not connected to your family or your church or your town or your school or whatever. There's some some safety in that is or not.Leslie Holthoff:
There is There absolutely is. And I pride myself on that. It's that's not even I mean, that is one of my my coaching. Most important group coaching rules is obviously I consider myself like the vault. But I'm also like that in life, right? That's how I am with my friends and I'm someone that that I you know, you tell me your secrets, I'm taking them with me to the grave andDr. Brad Miller:
things go well, that initial conversation, then you're able to set up some ongoing coaching program. And there may be resources that they did you may provide or maybe there may be. Tell me a little bit about how it kind of works in you know, the coaching program, is it a, like a set time like a six week program orLeslie Holthoff:
I usually do six months, but again, that depends on where you're at in the process, but usually, most of my clients is right around that six month mark where you can just see an enormous change in their lives from where they were Six months ago, like all of a sudden a new problem will come up, and they'll tackle it in a completely different way than they did six months ago. You know, it's something that would have emotionally crippled them no longer does that. And it makes me so happy to see that. So I usually do a six month program. You know, some people stay on for maybe an extra month, sometimes we might finish up a little bit early, but it's usually right around there.Dr. Brad Miller:
Once a week in that six months basis,Leslie Holthoff:
yes, we have a one on one, it's usually a phone call, or we can do zoom, but it's usually a phone call. And then like I said, we have emergency session. So as things pop up, and I'm also available to my one on one coaching clients over text and email. So as things are happening, it's very interactive.Dr. Brad Miller:
Yeah. Can you tell me a story, Leslie about? Keep it anonymous, of course, but a person that you have helped, you know, tell me about someone who you've seen this aha moment come, you've seen that transition? During the closer you're coaching, that you say, okay, something good has happened here.Leslie Holthoff:
You know, my book is very vulnerable. And it tells a lot of my story that I read before my book was published, I was terrified. Um, so anyways, I ended up talking to this person who was actually doing my hair at the time. And I said, you know, what, let me I'm gonna give you my book, I was telling her about us, I'm just gonna give it to you. So I go out, and I give it to her. And I didn't really know her that well, at this point. And, in fact, we'd never communicated over the phone, you know, I would always call in make an appointment, whatever. Anyways, I woke up the next morning, and I had like a four or five paragraph text message. And she had started reading my book after work could not put it down. So it turns out she was in. In her marriage, they both came to the marriage with kids and had had another child together. So it was just a the family dynamic that she just totally connected with my co parenting totally had connected with, with my book. And it was just she went on and on about how it made her feel really understood. And it made her feel really comfortable. And just inspiring. And it was just that text message made me feel so good. Because I knew then that my book was going to reach even more people than what I thought, you know, like this book is made for just teen moms, right, or even just people who are co parenting because I also say, everybody, co parents married or not, you're a co parent. And so that really meant a lot to me. And I was just really happy that she ever in fact, most people tell me it's a short book, but they told me they sit down, and they read the whole thing in one sitting, which is also as an avid reader, I knowDr. Brad Miller:
well, that's a compliment. And you know that woman then pass it on to her co workers or a sister or whatever it would be. And then that's a good thing. And then the idea here of course in our conversation is to help to get word out about your book and about your coaching. And so there could be more people like your hairdresser and I and you know, a lot of therapy happens in those places does.Leslie Holthoff:
Supirising how much but yesDr. Brad Miller:
yeah. Well folks, how can folks like this person, get a hold of your book or find out more about your coaching if they resonated with our conversation here today? Sure.Leslie Holthoff:
My website is the best place to find me Leslie hope coaching and there's links on there to my social media, you can shoot me an email pretty easily you can call like I said schedule and we can have a discovery call. Anyway that's comfortable for you. My book is available on Amazon Barnes and Noble pretty much anywhere that you buy a book so in and but those links are also on my website. So LeslieHopeCoaching.com is the best way to find me.Dr. Brad Miller:
So her name is Leslie holdoff her website Leslie hope coaching.com Her book, Not Marry Not Roe. fascinating conversation to hear today. Helpful in many people if you know people in your life, they have yourself or others who are divorced or single moms or any of these, in many of these other circumstances co parents that we talked about here is a great resource for you. We'll put links at our site, Dr.Bradmiller.com. And we think soon to be Doctor, Leslie Holthoff for being our guest today on the Beyond Adversity podcast with Dr. Brad Miller.