Tameika Hughes-Foote is not a therapist. She’s very clear about that.
“I’m a self-development, women’s empowerment life coach,” she said. “I really like to center on every new mindset and on relationship building, particularly with ourselves, building healthy relationships with ourselves and how they foster into other healthy relationships.”
Hughes-Foote is founder and proprietor of Go Girl! Life Coaching, which she launched two years ago. Like many entrepreneurs, she spent a whole career becoming an expert before starting her own thing.
In fact, she still works as a case manager at St. John’s Ministries. Before that, she was a social worker at Freedom House Ministries. In all she’s worked in human services for nearly 20 years.
Therapists guide you through that walk, looking back to start healing from those traumas that you may have had that prevent you from moving forward. As coaches we look forward. Where do we go from here? Tameika Hughes-Foote
She brings her own life experience to the table, too.
“I came to Green Bay (from Indianapolis) as a single mom in 2004 to remove myself from unhealthy relationships,” she said. She already had three children by the time she was 19; now she has five, plus three “bonus children” and five grandchildren.
Go Girl! Offers a 12-week one-on-one coaching program, as well as an online empowerment course. Hughes-Foote also leads workshops and works with nonprofits to lead sessions and programs with girls in high school and middle school.
The mission is “to empower women and their families with the tools to be the best version of themselves.”
The core 12-week one-on-one program starts with an all-important consultation.
“The consultation is very important because this is where I find out if this person is really fit to work with me or maybe they need to take some steps,” she said. In that consultation, she said she listens for “trigger words.” If a potential client seems to be suffering from depression or other mental health issue, she’ll suggest they see a therapist before embarking on a life coaching program.
“Therapists guide you through that walk, looking back to start healing from those traumas that you may have had that prevent you from moving forward,” she said. “As coaches we look forward. Where do we go from here?”
Life coaching is not a licensed profession, but Hughes-Foote made the decision to study for and earn a certification from the Transformation Academy. Doing that, and renewing that certification, helps her keep up with trends in the field.
“I’ve been in the field for almost 20 years but it’s always evolving,” she said.
She opted to join Transformation Academy only after looking for more local certification and continuing education options, but there just aren’t many such opportunities in Northeast Wisconsin.
“Life coaching in our region is kind of new,” she said. “You go to New York or Florida or Atlanta, there’s coaches by the dozen … I do spend a lot of time educating (people on) what coaching is here. And a lot of it is helping people understand why they might need a life coach.”
With the exception of the work she does in schools, she restricts her clientele to women aged 18 and older. She said she doesn’t intentionally cater to women of color, but that’s a clientele she naturally attracts. That’s partly because of shared experience and partly because of her approach.
“Sometimes life coaching can be very fluffy,” she said. “I don’t like fluffy. I like raw honesty.”
Hughes-Foote has also found that some women who could really use coaching lack the means to pay for it; that’s why she’s recently registered a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that she plans to fully launch soon, to enable her to offer coaching and other services for low or no fee.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, her advice to aspiring startup founders is pretty simple.
“It matters who you tell,” she said, noting that much of her business has come from word of mouth referrals. “Timing is everything. Remember that your dream is your dream.”