My name is: Liz Tran.
My stomping ground is: I spend half my time in an apartment in Manhattan, and the other half in my Connecticut country house.
I’m known for being: The executive coach to the founders and CEOs of the world's fastest-growing startups. I also share my work with a broader audience via my podcast, Instagram and forthcoming book.
I'm talking about: Helping people reach their greatest potential. Learning, growing and changing. This is what we are all meant to do constantly in our lives. I help my clients and audience navigate the intimidating process of evolving into the next version of themselves.
Before I started this work: I worked in tech for over a decade. In my last role, I was the only female executive at a top venture capital firm.
My interest was sparked when: I saw firsthand in my venture capital job how important personal growth is for the founders of fast-growing businesses. Founders are the rate limiters; if founders don't evolve, then their companies can't either. During this time, I was also on my own journey of self-expansion, mostly through deepening my understanding of spirituality. I became a meditation teacher and a reiki master and, in the process, it became clear to me that I had to leave my cushy venture capital job and take a risk to pursue my purpose and to help others to the same in the process.
I started working with clients when: I left my job in venture capital. I grew my roster of clients steadily through word of mouth. The founders I worked with would refer me to other founders, and now I have a full roster of clients who I love and look forward to speaking to each week. During the pandemic, my business changed and evolved, and I started using my podcast and Instagram as a way to process the challenges I was going through. It was incredible! From being truthful and authentic about my experiences, my audiences for both expanded quickly, gaining over a hundred thousand followers in a year.
The idea behind it is: I see my clients on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, and I work best with founders of fast-growing companies who constantly have new challenges they've never seen before. Coaching is a long-term relationship. I've been working with most of my clients for over a year, and a few for more than two years. I kick-off the coaching process using a personality assessment called the Hogan, and intermittently do 360 reviews with their teams. These tools give me the data to understand where my clients need to evolve.
What makes it different is: I owe my success as a coach to my personal spiritual practices. My years-long exploration of Buddhism and mindfulness provide me with the perspective to be a grounding and insightful coach to my clients.
My favorite lesser-known detail is: Coaching isn’t really about telling the client what to do. Of course, I’m drawing from my deep well of experience working in tech and venture capital, but, more importantly, I ask a lot of questions and share concepts and frameworks. I see myself as the catalyst so they can arrive at their own insights, reflections and revelations.
I hope my clients walk away feeling: My goal is for each of my clients to spend the majority of their time in their Zone of Genius—the work that they excel at and also gives them energy at the same time.
Having support and guidance is so important because: We humans can't see ourselves clearly. Oftentimes, we tend to be overly critical in some areas, and then have huge blindspots in others. Coaching allows you to shed the outdated understanding that you have of yourself and to intentionally remake yourself anew.
A coach who really helped me personally was: My high school guidance counselor, Mrs. Albright. I came from a low-income, immigrant family where no one was guiding me into the future. She was the first person who told me I could be anything I wanted, then she helped me with the tactical knowledge of applying to college. There’s no way I could have had the career I have without her. When I think about my role, it's similar. It's about both belief and process. I see who my clients can become before they even see it themselves. I show them what is possible, then I roll up my sleeves, and help them with the tactical steps to get there.