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Thursday
Apr222010

INSIDE WITH: LIZA LIFE COACH

Cheri Oteri as Liza Life Coach | Photo courtesy of AMC

By: Keith Huang

Got problems? Let Liza Life Coach (née comedian Cheri Oteri) sort it out for you. Liza's mantra couldn't be simpler: "People have problems. I have answers." And for the past two months, Liza has been aptly addressing troubles of all stripes via the Internet and, more notably, on AMC.

Oteri, perhaps best known for her illustrious five-year stint on Saturday Night Live (1995 to 2000), has lately been shooting around town some hilarious, high-end video shorts that play during AMC's Monday night-movie programming. What we also love about Liza is that many of our fave New York-comedy types (Heather Lawless, Eliza Skinner, Chris Smith) have been getting to work with her. To get a better sense of Liza's approach to Life Coaching, The Apiary dropped her a few questions about work, life and whether Life Coaching is her true calling.

Can anyone be a Life Coach?
I don't think so! Let's look at the statistics, shall we? Only 14% of the world’s population actually cares about other people. Of that 14%, 9% are too shy to tell other people what to do. Of the remaining 5%,  half don’t have proper marketing skills, half of that half couldn’t free up the three days for Life Coach training and certification, half of that half have other issues, like poor hygiene, a persistent cough, or a criminal record which would rule them out. And half of that half are traveling and couldn’t be reached for comment. So if my math is correct, there are only 26 people in the whole world who are qualified to be Life Coaches!  It’s a pretty exclusive club, believe me!

Photo courtesy of AMCSince becoming a Life Coach, what's the toughest question you've had to answer?
The toughest question I’ve had to answer is: "Where were you the night I found out my husband was gay?" The second toughest was from an eight-year-old client who asked me to explain "time zones."

What's the difference between a Life Coach and a psychiatrist?
It can be as much as $300,000 a year! I honestly don’t think that’s fair, because psychiatrists work on your past and Life Coaches work on your future. Do you really think you can change the past by talking about it? If that were true, by now I would have gone to the prom with a guy who didn’t sniff glue and drive his mom’s Chevette! Let’s get real, your past is over! But for most people, the future hasn’t happened yet. And that’s where we Life Coaches can make a difference!

Do you ever feel like you can't ever turn off your job? That you're constantly wanting to life coach people?
It’s true, I am always Life Coaching, trying to make the world a better place one person at a time. I think people appreciate it in the long run, even though in the short run they might say things like, “Mind your own business, bitch!” or "What  don’t you understand about 'Last call, lady?'" I think with my personal program "Liza Life Coaches the World!" I have made important progress everywhere I’ve gone except the DMV.

Is Life Coaching your calling?
You bet! I have been a Life Coach my entire life, although I didn’t know it, and, sadly, did not charge for it. I sometimes think about how much money I would have today if I started charging people for advice at age six.  Because the truth is, if you are a true Life Coach you can’t escape it. It’s like having a giant worm living inside you that is full of insight, compassion, tough love, nurturing skills, action plans, a flair for marketing, positive personal power, a great wardrobe, and free weekends and holidays. You can’t live without that worm any more than the worm can live without you!   And that’s what Life Coaching means to me!

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