Tiffany Wiggins, PhD, ACC: Let’s Move Forward. . . Toward a Life Reimagined
Dr. Tiffany Wiggins spent the first 13 years of her career as a higher education professional, working with college students as an instructor, supervisor, advisor, and mentor. Over time, she discovered that students were consulting her for broader challenges in their lives – not just academics. She remembers jokingly posting on social media one day, “I’m a life coach for college students!” However, it soon became clear that she had a gift. She adds, “It wasn’t just the college students; friends and colleagues were also doing the same thing.” Responding to the call, Dr. Wiggins eventually became an ICF-certified coach, and launched Noire Coaching & Consulting in 2021.
A Consulting Firm with Global Reach
Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Noire Coaching & Consulting is a dynamic virtual firm with global reach, offering a wide array of coaching and consulting services, which include specializations in life, academic, career, and leadership. Rooted in the acronym NOIRE – which stands for Navigating Our Identities, Resources, and Experiences – the firm offers personal, professional, and organizational development services. Dr. Wiggins explains, “We provide a diverse offering of coaching and consulting support to our diverse client base, which includes individuals, groups, teams, businesses and institutions.” She describes her company as creating a safe space where change can happen.
A Holistic Approach
Dr. Wiggins emphasizes that her firm takes a holistic approach: “People think life coaching only involves someone’s personal life, but the reality is that it really does impact all aspects of their life, whether it’s regarding their career, academics, their family, and relationships. So, I want people to know that at Noire Coaching & Consulting, we are going to work with the whole person.” And this holistic approach applies to her work with groups and organizations, as well. She continues, “Each person, group, or organization that we partner with, they come with a variety of layers that they need to unpack in order to achieve their desired goal.” When Dr. Wiggins says that she helps people reimagine their lives, this applies to teams and companies, as well.
The typical one-on-one client at Noire Coaching & Consulting comes to navigate a major personal or professional change, which could be seeking additional education in graduate school or making a life transition, such as leaving a significant relationship or moving to another city. Dr. Wiggins explains, “I often work with clients who have a background in academia and are thinking about transitioning outside of the field, but that’s all they know.” These clients know higher education and are interested in transitioning into edtech or nonprofit. Their experience doesn’t clearly align with the jobs they are seeking, so they have a hard time even picturing the future. “Our team works with them to imagine it – what does that career look like? What will their life look like?” Once clients can envision the future roles, they are better equipped to think about what that kind of employer wants and how their skills may align.
Corporate clients also seek to guide their teams through change; the goal may be to improve morale, amplify diversity, or conquer challenges. “Many times our clients feel stuck,” Dr. Wiggins relates. “Working with our team, they leave feeling empowered to move forward past the obstacles in their way.” The Noire team recently concluded a partnership with a major tech company that is trying to improve its hiring pipeline. Noire Coaching & Consulting provided 1-on-1 and group coaching for aspiring professionals who were looking to enter the tech space. “These clients were from a variety of different backgrounds,” Dr. Wiggins recalls. “We worked with them over the course of four months, and we helped them to see themselves differently, so they could imagine themselves in technology careers moving forward.” The intention of the coaching was to help the clients feel affirmed, capable of moving past obstacles to meet their goals.
Growing a Business is a Challenge
As Dr. Wiggins developed experience in coaching, her goals evolved. Initially, she pursued her coaching certification because she wanted to offer coaching and consulting services to audiences that didn’t often receive them. “And then,” she says, “As I started to develop the company, I also wanted to create employment opportunities for others who are interested in doing similar work.” However, growing a business can be tough. “The biggest challenge in running my business is finding a balance between working in the business and working on the business,” Dr. Wiggins explains. “As a service-based company, I’m spending a lot of time working with my clients, and I can’t duplicate myself, so I have to be present in those moments.” However, the business has many other demands – marketing, sales, accounting, legal – that require time and energy. Dr. Wiggins smiles, “Finding the time to do it all, so that we can have a profitable business that will grow to scale, has been a challenge for me that I’m still working through.”
Freedom and Flexibility
As a parent who is balancing multiple personal and professional roles, Dr. Wiggins considers herself a multihyphenate. She enjoys the freedom of entrepreneurship: “As your own boss, you get to make all the decisions. I don’t have to go through other channels, and I know that I am making the best decision that I can for my company.” And, she treasures the flexibility: “Having the ability to create my own schedule, to have a coffee date with another entrepreneur, allows me to work in the business and live my life.” She enjoys the feeling that she is investing in what she values.
“Start by Starting”
For aspiring entrepreneurs, Dr. Wiggins’ message is to take the leap: “My advice would be to do it. You don’t have to have all the answers initially. Of course, do your research, but don’t let the fear of not knowing everything keep you from just starting.” She believes that entrepreneurs don’t benefit from overthinking. “One of my favorite sayings is, ‘Start by starting’,” she continues. “I think with entrepreneurship, you have to just kind of jump in there and learn along the way.” Aspiring entrepreneurs who do too much analysis risk paralysis. Dr. Wiggins advocates learning on the job.
Providing Tools for Life
Dr. Wiggins’ own journey from higher education to entrepreneurship exemplifies the vision, determination, and transformation that she hopes for her company’s clients. “After they’ve worked with our team at Noire Coaching & Consulting, I hope that they feel empowered and equipped with the tools to move forward in whatever endeavor they have in front of them.” She hopes that clients take away tools, approaches that will help them to navigate not just the current challenge, but also future transitions in their lives.
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