Sooo Triggered


lisa fabrega


Over the last 15 years, I’ve had the privilege of coaching and advising some pretty incredible people. Some of them are celebrities and CEOs who, through our work together. have gone on to achieve incredible feats and grow huge brands.

Many of those names I can’t reveal for confidentiality reasons…but what I CAN share with you are a) the common traits they share that make them successful and b) some of the advice I’ve given them for which they’ve paid me six figures (yes, for ONE program). 

Over the next few emails, I’ll walk you through this because I believe we can learn a lot from observing the mindset and actions of people who have achieved the kind of visibility we want without burning out or reaching a finite capacity for success

Fair warning: depending on where you are with your growth, you might not want to hear what I’m going to share. But what I can tell you is that the people who work with me and are doing really well– this is the kind of stuff that, when I say it to them, they get LIT UP.  Because this is the level of insight and impact that they’re looking for from a coach. 

So here’s the first secret: They don’t want someone who’s going to praise them and coddle them constantly. 

They’re looking for someone who is going to tell them “Hey, you know what?  THIS is what’s actually going on with you.” They want someone who’s not afraid to tell them the hard stuff many people don’t see or are afraid to tell them. They don’t want a mom or a babysitter. 

When I give them feedback that’s a little hard to hear or a little confronting to their identity or perception of themselves…they know it’s not criticism-based. It’s expansion-based. They want this type of feedback because it’s the very thing that helps them grow quickly. This is what they pay six figures for. 

Storytime: I worked with a very successful client who owned an eight-figure business that sells a product you’ve probably heard of. She signed up to work with me soon after she found me online, but two weeks after the agreements were signed I got an email from her saying, “I think I need to withdraw” and there were a bunch of excuses as to why. 

Most people would say, “Okay”, and let her go. That’s what she was used to: getting off the hook easily when she showed up half-@ssed to important growth moments in her career…and telling herself she was just “too overwhelmed” to work on this very issue she’d hired me for. 

But just like I take your time seriously when you’re in my orbit, I take my time seriously. And I expect there to be reciprocal respect in that regard. When you sign up to work with someone and then try to get out of your now legal contract– there are many people your coach has rejected from that spot that you’ve been taking up since you signed up. 

Part of being a self-responsible and successful CEO is honoring your commitments and having integrity with your word (and not wasting someone’s time by trying to get out of a legally binding agreement they and their team spent effort and time putting together and holding for you). 

More importantly, I could see this was a pattern for her and it was one of the reasons she’d hired me. So I wrote her back:  “I know what you want me to do is to make you feel good about this decision, coddle you and let you off the hook. But here’s the deal. Right now you can choose to break that pattern, or you can keep doing what you’re doing here. But I’m not going to expend energy convincing you, or soothing you. YOU have to choose what kind of CEO you want to be.”

Two days went by, and I didn’t hear from her. 

On the third day, she sent me a message that said “I had to give myself two days to process because I was so triggered by the email you sent me. But I realized I was so triggered because you were right. You had the guts to call me out and I love that. I know I need to work with you. Thank you so much.”

With that response, I knew she was truly ready for the type of success she claimed she wanted and therefore WOULD achieve it during our work together. I coached and advised her for the next year and a half, and by the time she and I were done working together, her business had grown even more and won several awards. She was featured in Forbes as a top-growing company, and her team issues were resolved. She finally had more time for herself and her family, even while the company was doubling its revenue. 

That’s the power of learning how to take strong feedback.

The kind of people who I know are ready to work with me and are a good fit? They deeply value strong feedback and see it for the deep support that it is. It might hurt their ego temporarily to hear, but they’re ultimately deeply grateful for it and know it is expansion-producing. When I see that trait, I KNOW they’re going to be extremely successful. And so far, it has never been wrong.

How good are you at taking strong feedback? Is this something you want to improve?