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Names are important. If someone can name their fear, name what is holding them back, name what they want and what they strive for it supports their progress. As a second-generation English teacher and after dedicating years of my professional development to learn what it means to listen as a coach, words are important. It took me a long time to name my business, it was one of the hardest parts. I wanted to name that could grow with me and I wouldn’t have to change or rebrand. I wanted to name that would capture the fact that I’m passionate about working with businesses and entrepreneurs, management consulting, executive and professional coaching, and organizational development as well as mentor coaching, new coach training, continuing education for coaches, and building sustainable coaching programs. That’s a lot for a name. But thankfully Jeremy Ideus with his concise clarity said “your business name doesn’t have to explain your business”. And that opened up a new world of possibility for me.

I am so fortunate to have learned to coach, learned about business, become a coach mentor and coach manager with InsideTrack at 55 Hawthorne Street in San Francisco. Those coaches which turned into those friendships which introduced me to my life’s work have been a continuous gift in my life that words cannot express. Every personal and professional milestone in my life since 2005 has been celebrated and supported by the coaches I met and the community we built locally and remotely at 55 Hawthorne.

But I also wanted the name to reference that this business would be an inclusive education provider with classes designed “for coaches, by coaches”, to be a space where coaches could teach content that they own the rights to without having to figure out the business aspects of being a education provider. At some point when I had the Hawthorne but not the Union I was flipping through a catalog advertising customized street signs. And that was it. In Nashville where I supported coaching quality and culture development in our new InsideTrack location, where I joined ICFTN and began networking with professional coaches, where I was a short drive from Alabama to build sustainable coaching programs in community colleges, where I started my business, was on the corner of 2nd and Union. My Hawthorne shout out was complemented perfectly by the community of coaches enriching my life 10 years later on 2nd and Union.

As an unplanned benefit, if you hear the name Hawthorne Union and want to know more you have to ask a question. And asking questions and listening and learning are what coaching, consulting, and development are all about.  What’s on the surface is rarely the most important, and the richness that we find when we ask questions, listen, and make time and space for what people share is where the meaning and the impact come from.

I have profound gratitude to the people who supported my personal and professional growth from Hawthorne Street to Union Avenue. And that gratitude extends in welcome to include you in the community of coaches and people dedicated to their personal and professional development. Welcome to the Union. -Diana Ideus