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From downward dog to upward trajectory

“It was 2017, and there I was in downward dog at a yoga retreat when four words popped in my head from seemingly nowhere:

“I want to grow”

“I tried ignoring it but the voice just grew louder and louder. So, I gave in and discovered that the thing it was telling me to grow was Insightfully.

“Trouble was, I was in my minimalist stage. Insightfully was a small learning and development consultancy offering 1-to-1 coaching. My clients were leaving behind insecurity, doubt, and stagnation, for workplace relationships that created success on their terms. I had a front row seat to their tenacity of hope, determination, and self-belief. I was content. And yet here was this persistent voice.

“So, I experimented. 

“I moved beyond coaching women, to include men and trans/gender queer people. I worked as a Head of People & Culture at a civic tech organization, which taught me about coaching in an organizational setting. I began using a “body talk” method so that clients could access the knowledge and wisdom of their bodies.

“In that two-year period, I had several breakthroughs that nudged me closer to the concept of an online career coaching studio with resources, programs and communities supporting people throughout their career journey. 

“First, I realized I had a unique coaching model, thanks to the feedback of a peer. I was enrolled in a training program that included peer coaching. I had just finished coaching someone in the higher education sector. We explored a challenge at her university connected to burnout that also challenged her perceptions and lived experience of gender. My coaching questions helped her experiment with the ideas, stories and moments that informed the role of gender. She felt heard, seen, understood and able to explore courageous, brave, and subversive actions. At the end, she shared that she much preferred the way that I coached to what we were learning in the training program. 

“That was a light bulb moment. I had felt many times that what I had learned about coaching across differences didn’t match the methods, approaches, and coaching philosophy I was being taught. (Someone actually told me I spent too much time listening to understand!) And yet what I found - again and again - is that the way I coached created mutual responsibility for psychological safety, which anchored the coaching relationship in dignity and possibility. Despite the emotional labor involved in disclosure and vulnerability. This breakthrough eventually led me to a virtual online studio model. I realized that the coaching relationship can become a space like a gym or a yoga studio. Somewhere to grow, pivot, and build the way people relate to power, purpose, and potential. 

“The second breakthrough came through reviewing the learning journeys of the 250+ professionals I’d coached across tech, law, finance, and health. They included product managers, marketing professionals, entrepreneurs, designers, engineers, investors, DEI professionals, etc. I identified some important trends:

  • Most of us need to ‘unlearn’ what we’ve been told about ourselves. Very often we don’t know the difference between ourselves and the feedback we’ve received over the years

  • Coaching is an opportunity to reset and find opportunity spaces in life, tapping into our strengths

  • We all need help structuring our actions and a safe space to experiment with how to act in the workplace

I was able to identify key questions, moments, perception shifts and actions that led to the idea of allowing folks to build personalized coaching experiences. Maybe I could bring together masterclasses, 1-to-1 coaching, programs and communities while accessing a roster of coaches, embodiment practitioners and facilitators.

“The last breakthrough was when an old client got back in touch to update me on her career. She asked me what I found to be the hardest thing about building Insightfully. I explained that at its core, Insightfully is about the exchange of trust. I have Stella - my very first client to thank for this. Our engagement made generosity part of Insightfully’s DNA, and the soil in which new possibilities flourish. This breakthrough meant I could concisely explain what Insightfully does:

“We help you build

meaningful careers where

you belong and thrive.”

“Insightfully is built on these breakthroughs and offers something unique, enduring, and transformational. It's a multifaceted way to learn and grow that supports you throughout your career journey. Our coaches, programs, resources, and communities equip you with the mindset, language, strategies, plans and tactics to turn your strengths into unique advantages.”

Iyobosa "Bo" Irabor, January 2024

Start your career (r)evolution today



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