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Inspiring Conversations with Lisa Marker Robbins of Flourish Coaching and LEAP

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Marker Robbins. Lisa and her team share their story with us below:

Lisa Marker Robbins understands how overwhelming the college-bound journey can be for families. She takes joy in watching her clients move from overwhelmed and confused to motivated, clear, and confident about what comes after graduation. With information is power and Lisa’s purpose is to guide families to be able to make informed decisions. 

For over 30 years, Lisa has professionally worked with teenagers and their parents. She began as a teacher and then became an independent college counselor in 1999 as she started her first company LEAP, a test prep, academic, and college coaching company. In 2010, she began her work as a college major and career coach. A Master Certified Birkman personality coach, she is a recognized expert in her field having worked with well over 3,300 individuals. Most recently she’s started the College and Career Clarity podcast that aligns with her Flourish Coaching course, Launch Career Clarity, and serves teens and their parents privately. She also helps through high schools that utilize her course and coaching. 

While she’s had thousands of “kids”, the three most important are her own who are now young adults, and her two stepchildren. She’s happily empty nesting with her husband in the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I had earned degrees in education, so I had no business background at all. However, I grew up with a father who is an entrepreneur and had an attitude of I can figure it out. It helps that I love to learn, so I’m always seeking expert guidance in the form of people, articles, podcasts, and resources to lead my companies. As a coach to college-bound families, I know the value of coaching and pursue it for my own growth. 

In many ways, it was much easier when we were a small team. With growth comes more to figure out and some complications. But the privilege of watching a family move from overwhelmed and often frozen to clear, confident and motivated makes it well worth it. 

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
In 1999 I started LEAP which began as a tutoring and ACT/SAT test prep organization, but when I saw the overwhelm families with teens had at this critical stage, we quickly grew the organization into assisting families through the entire college-bound journey to help remove their overwhelm. This includes finding the right college, knowing what major to apply to, and applying as well as writing essays. 

In 2010, I added college major and career coaching for teens and young adults to our services as I had seen students staying in college for more than 4 years due to college major changes or not even knowing which direction to go in the first place. As my coaching practice developed, I created a 3-pillar system for teens and young adults: Know Yourself, Know Careers, Know Your Path. 

After ten years, the demand for my 1:1 coaching was outpacing the hours I could devote to it. In part, this was due to two college consultants including my work in their published college planning books and Forbes including my work on a first step to improving the return of the college investment. At this time, I moved most of my college major-career coaching into an online 5 module course, Launch Career Clarity, with live support from me throughout the course. The very best part is I’m able to interact with and reach more families to help teens and young adults become empowered to confidently chart a path into independence and adulthood. 

It was very quickly obvious my Flourish Coaching brand and Launch Career Clarity course were resonating with overwhelmed families who needed a compass and a framework that gets results. In early 2022, Flourish Coaching became a separate company and grew to include my podcast College & Career Clarity to further resource more families. I am still owner and actively involved in both companies, LEAP and Flourish. 

Launch Career Clarity is offered to private pay cohorts of families and in high schools where they desire to help close gaps in future planning for students. 

I am most proud of resourcing families to be intentional & productive in taking actionable steps to move from overwhelmed and confused to motivated, clear, and confident about their teen’s future. I have seen over the last 23 years a transformation in test scores, GPAs, college choices, well-done applications, and future direction that has opened doors and made great things possible which is at the heart of what every parent wants. 

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
My weekly newsletter with Flourish includes free curated resources for families, so I’m a junkie of podcasts and books in the college planning, career planning, and mindset space. It also helps me find guests for the podcast. I’ve met really cool people who want to help others from a New York Times best-selling author and former Dean at Stanford University to a Pulitzer Prize winner and many people in between. 

I coach to call outgrowth in others because I’m a life-long learner myself with still so far to go. So I lean into resources and sponge them up. 

Full Focus’ Business Accelerator program with Michael Hyatt has been instrumental in my business and professional growth as well as surrounding me with other entrepreneurs. I think it is crucial to surround yourself with other professionals. (Podcasts: Lead to Win and Focus on This) 

Donald Miller’s Storybrand framework and his resources have helped me fine-tune my messaging to reach more families and help them confidently navigate the college-bound journey. (Podcasts: Business Made Simple and Marketing Made Simple; Membership in the Business Made Simple platform) 

When developing my online course, Amy Porterfield’s Digital Course Academy and then her backend Momentum membership have armed me with the framework and tools I need to develop a course that engages families and creates transformation. (Podcast: Online Marketing Made Easy) 

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