“A lack of clarity could put the brakes on any journey to success.” -Steve Maraboli


Hi! My name is Holly Ridgway.

I’m a life-coach. A Hendricks Certified Big-Leap Coach, specifically.

I specialize in happiness coaching.

Satisfaction and ease are my favorite words to contemplate daily.

My favorite verbs are: enjoy, savor, complete, and optimize.

My passion is helping people get down to the business of enjoying life rather than managing it. 


And I’m back in college for counseling…though I occasionally take a photography course for variety. See, my childhood passions were photography and psychology and (at 40 years of age!) I finally began to honor that. Today I mentor under two of the best and most cutting edge psychologists around, Drs. Gay and Katie Hendricks. Today I successfully coach people to identify and pursue what makes them happy. Today I sometimes hang my photographs at local coffee shops for fun. And today, I LOVE my life.  

Before this, I was a nurse for eight years and was actually in school full-time to further my nursing degree when I took the Birkman. It was then that I came face to face with a truth I had known in my heart for some time…I don’t want to be a nurse.

In fact the only times I was remotely happy or ever excelled at my job as a nurse was when I was working in hospice or working in private drug and alcohol treatment centers. These are the rare instances in nursing where a slower pace and genuine curiosity for others’ emotional states actually makes you a better nurse. There was more enjoyment for me with less burn-out because I was doing what comes easily to me.

My Birkman confirmed that I am happier and most effective when I’m in a position to be interactive, thoughtful, emotional, planning, strategizing, listening and connecting. Turns out I’m most effective when doing things slowly, consistently and deliberately. This is not to say that others can’t operate this way successfully BUT, I have done enough Birkman consultations to know that as individuals we CAN do so much, and do it well, but we EXCEL at certain things more so than others.

I have heard it referred to as “zone of genius” in the book The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. This is when you’re “in the zone,” where time stands still so to speak, and it’s the answer to that annoying question everyone will ask you while trying to help you identify your passion and purpose in life: “What do you enjoy doing so much, that you would do it daily anyway, for free?”

My answer was always, “Nothing.” And I felt like something must be wrong with me for that.

It was very difficult for me to remember what I loved. It took me a while to see what I was good at and notice what came easily. I had been “working hard” and thought that’s what is important. I was managing life, people, places and things for so long that I really thought this is just how life goes. I honestly thought, “Sure, I’m happy enough.” Now I think, “blehk!” when I hear “I’m happy enough” from anyone.

On a happiness scale of one to ten, I was living at a three. But how would I know! My happiness ceiling was at a six at best.

Now my really bad days are at a six.

“We do not know the entire meaning of life. But we are very sure it is not to have a bad time.” – Gay and Katie Hendricks

We human beings have an intense desire to know about our purpose in life that leaves us feeling fulfilled while making a difference in the world.

We search for our life’s purpose through spirituality, careers, family, friends and material possessions trying to pinpoint what we should be doing with our lives that will give our lives meaning and purpose. In the process we are pulled in so many directions by family, spouses, friends, community, career, and of course our ego to do something, anything which might be the “thing” to fulfill our needs…until it doesn’t and then we go on to the next “thing.”

I spent forty years searching for my purpose and wanted more than anything to find my “thing” that made me want to jump out of bed in the morning and do it. Leaving the medical field felt like a big leap, however, I was CLEAR about it.

This business was named Big Leap Consulting at first but I realized I’m not a Big Leap-er, not really. And in coaching with others I saw that oftentimes they were actually on the right career path. Thank goodness they didn’t leap!  We discovered their problems stemmed from ignoring their other needs and interests—meaning, those things they can do that fill their cup so job and family become allies again.

Through coaching and Birkman we find out clearly what your real needs and interests are with data that is conclusive. When it’s right in front of you on paper, with numbers and graphs, it’s quite a relief because all the noise goes away. All the “shoulds” and pressure and expectations are left out. It’s just you, and you.

Clarity, at last.