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  • Writer's pictureAlexis Goggans, PCC

Meet our Spring 2023 Fellow - Michelle Puckett

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

We are thrilled to introduce you to Michelle Puckett, a student from our "Tiny But Mighty" Winter 2023 Cohort and our Spring 2023 Fellow. We personally want to offer our appreciation for the tenacity, authenticity, and compassion she brings to her coaching practice and social activism. Not only did Michelle receive the highest score on her Capstone Project, she exceeded our course expectations by launching her business from scratch in 6 months and securing 2 new clients within a month of graduating!

Read on to hear Michelle talk about her incredible work as a social justice coach, her experience as an IFCE student, and what she has been up to since graduating. And don't forget to sign up for her newsletter and follow Michelle on LinkedIn to stay connected!

Can you tell us about yourself?

I am a Social Justice Coach, & Facilitator, and Founder of Michelle Puckett Coaching. I use somatics, emotional awareness techniques, and spiritual tools to help people heal from oppression and self-doubt so they can cultivate justice and joy in their lives.

I would describe myself as a white, queer, feminist, kitchen-witch, poet, seed-grower, slack-jawed stargazer, and ancestor-reverent {r}evolutionary who grew up poor in the South.

I have supported over 75 women through pregnancy as a doula, served as an operations director of a disability rights non-profit, co-founded the Creating Freedom Movements school, and previously lived on a 200 year old farm in Ohio. I currently live in Richmond, California on unceded Lisjan Ohlone territory. I am glad to pay Shuumi and encourage others who identify as the descendants of enslavers and settlers to explore and honor the original Native stewards of the land they occupy.

"That’s why I now proudly wear the title of “Coach”- because I love seeing someone come face to face with their own brilliance and I’m a hell of a cheerleader."

What motivated you to answer the call to coach?

Truthfully, it had never been on my radar to go into coaching. But a powerful fellow white woman I know through movement work asked if I’d be her racial justice coach. She worked in philanthropy and wanted help making strong relationships with other white people as she organized them to move money toward backing BIPOC-led movements. Terrified (but excited), I said yes.

Some years later, that same client is successfully sunsetting her foundation. She's helped guide the spend down towards getting all that money out to amazing grassroots groups that are led by the people most impacted by oppression. She’s heeded the call that’s so often demanded from us with privilege: to redistribute and repair. I am humbled and beyond honored to have been a part of her journey. Supporting work like this satisfies me deeply.

That’s why I now proudly wear the title of “Coach”; because I love seeing someone come face to face with their own brilliance. And I’m a hell of a cheerleader.

What services do you offer?

I offer individual social justice coaching that helps my clients move from feeling stuck to feeling like the star-stuff you are. Social justice coaching is all about helping you become your biggest, bravest self and finding ways to act as a co-conspirator for justice. I help my clients develop honest and meaningful relationships that bridge differences so you can free yourself from the oppressive conditioning you've experienced. I also help folks learn how to be an accountable accomplice and find ways to apologize with sincerity and receive feedback with gratitude.

I also facilitate a 12-week “Study, Feel, Act” Racial Justice Groups that help white women grapple with the intersection of our experiences as both oppressed and oppressor, so we can move into action. My last study grouped kicked off in May of 2023 and I plan to facilitate additional courses later in 2023.

"Having a crew that I could check in with made such a difference. It was a really empowering experience for me."

What was it like being an IFCE student?

I absolutely loved this program! I had previously been doing a fair amount of coaching with one client but figured I needed to develop my skills. I came in with no context or understanding of what coaching is or how to be a business owner. The Business in a Box Program was intense while I was in it, but the accountability and having a crew that I could check in with made such a difference. It was a really empowering experience for me.

What have you been up to since graduating?

I have been working to grow my business. I have six clients I am working with right now and I am also facilitating a "Study, Feel, Act" racial justice group. I also do copy editing and book editing and continue to develop my skills. It's great to know that I am really working with my "ideal client". I am currently onboarding a new client and also have an exploratory consultation coming up so I hope to bring on more clients in the coming months.

Our "Tiny But Mighty" Cohort Graduation Picture
"Coaching is an inside job and a process of self love!"

What advice do you give to individuals thinking about becoming a coach?

I will piggy back on what the previous IFCE Fellow, Juli Santoyo shared; coaching is ultimately an inside job and a process of self love! This was so incredibly true for me. I had a lot of internal struggles about what's "right/wrong" and who am I to be a coach. I had to go through this process of putting myself out there- writing down everything I care about, taking headshot and that was challenging but incredibly rewarding. Alexis and Christian constantly reminded me that I don 't have to do it all; I get to choose where I put my time, energy, and how I show up. So take deep breathes and tell everyone what you are doing!

Any final words to share?

Know how excellent and just right you are so that when you do make a mistake, it no longer knocks you from your center, but instead falls into perspective as what it is: totally human!

Interested in working with Michelle?

To schedule a free 30 minute coaching consultation with Michelle, find a time to meet using her Calendly. While she does not have any upcoming events scheduled, she is currently accepting coaching clients and also works with value-aligned organizations. Michelle is a powerful coach and 100% of her peers enthusiastically recommended her coaching services. We couldn't be more proud of Michelle's work and are excited to see her sharing her experience and skills as a Certified Life, Leadership, & Executive Coach and leader in social justice coaching.

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