S2E11: Why You Need a Career Coach with Karen Cubides

Last week I spoke with Karen on Marketing for Musicians, and we discussed boundaries and showing your uniqueness to the world, and understand who you are serving.

In today’s conversation, I spoke with Karen about another part of her specialty – career coach, and dig into how people have different definitions of success, and to find the answers from within.

Karen Cubides is the passionate and engaging founder and CEO of the Karen Cubides Agency based in Nashville, Tennessee. Her holistic approach to coaching her clients allows her to serve a wide range of well-established musicians and young professionals alike in unique and personal ways. Through her intimate understanding of the relationship between personal growth and professional achievement, Karen builds up the individual, the artist, and the professional within each of her clients as they master goal-setting, lifestyle balance, and the nuances of our evolving industry. Her commitment, care, and creativity have connected her with incredible individuals and organizations across the world. 

Karen founded her agency early in her career out of her empathy for the people she worked with and admired. She firmly believes that musicians do not have to choose between promising careers and fulfilling personal lives. Her compassion has driven her time and again to better herself and her agency to bring out the best in each of her clients, both personally and professionally. By understanding and assessing the whole individual and not the performer exclusively, her clients continue to thrive in their creative passions and In their personal relationships. Karen has had the privilege of working with musicians of all backgrounds, from bird land to Broadway and from the Philharmonic to the Blair School of Music.


5:31 What’s COACHING?

Coaching is literally asking better questions.  There’s a difference between a mentor, an educator and a coach,: a mentor is somebody that gives you wisdom, and you actually are connected to them, whether they know it or not.

An educator is somebody who shows you how to do something step by step by step. For our context here, there is the right way to do hashtags, for example.

A coach is somebody who is there to help you ask better questions to guide you, but they’re not telling you what to do.

It’s different from therapy that it’s not like, how do you feel about it? But it’s more of like, “okay, well, you’re thinking about this, have you considered this? And have you considered that?” A lot of what I love about coaching is just being able to hold space for people to find the answers, which unfortunately, and fortunately, are within.  Just remove that interference, so that the person can actually see what feels good to them.


9:59 Finding The Answers You Had

Coaching is more about figuring out what it is that you want to do. And the reason that my coaching isn’t a program or isn’t a finite amount of time is because things take different lengths for different people.

And for me, I wear the hat of coach and the hat of consultant. So I’ll have a client come to me and asked me a very straightforward question like, Does my website need a media page, for example. That’s a consultant question. And the answer is depends on the person.

On a coaching perspective, it’s more of like, I’m uncomfortable sharing playing videos of myself, how do I get past this hurdle because I know that I need a media page. And that’s where the coaching comes in.

I’m just there to facilitate how to help them get those answers that they already have.

So not to be super meta, but a lot of people think that they want the same kind of success as somebody else. And everybody’s definition of success is so different. And I think that that’s why the answers from within are crucial.


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