who or what is east willow?
Let’s be clear – east willow is just a name but the work gets done by me, Kim LeClair. The name east willow is not particularly clever... I started my business in 2012 and I had recently moved. I really liked my new street name... East Willow. Since I work primarily from home it seemed like a good name. (And yes, I need a head shot here... yes, I know....)
I consider myself a friend with a flashlight to my clients. I'm there to walk alongside, shine some light, and keep moving things forward.
Putting yourself out in the world, claiming - proudly and strongly - "I can do this! Come and see!" - it turns out, this is pretty hard to do. And, whether you are trying to earn money or attention by getting people to say yes to your thing, it turns out that is pretty tough too. I don't think building a business or an audience has ever been easy, sometimes I think the internet makes it seem like it will be easy - but it isn't. And often, this adventure of doing your thing in the world can seem an awful lot like stumbling through a dark forest. During those murky times, when you feel lost, it really helps to have someone on your side.
For the past five years I've been lucky enough to walk along side quite a few fabulous folks. I've develop a phrase for what I do - I call it being a friend with a flashlight.
I can do the tech and I can help with the strategy, but here's a little secret - I'm also a certified coach with a background in Psychology - and that colors everything I do. For me, this is all about you. About you being bold enough to try something new. About you pushing yourself towards some personal goal or vision.
This work is personal, for me and for you.
It is hard to do this kind of work alone. And let me tell you, that statement is born of my own personal experience. I struggle myself with putting myself out there. I don't even want to admit to you how long it has taken me to find the right words to talk about what I do. I've said before that I wish I could find a "me for me." I wish I knew someone who would really listen, bring both her empathetic heart and creative mind to bear, who liked to get her hands dirty in the tech, and who I trusted enough to share some of the more vulnerable parts of the journey. The only person I've ever met who did all of those things is me. That may sound grandiose but it is also true.
I tell you all of this because I'm trying to convey that when I say I "get it" I'm telling you the truth. And of course, you and I aren't carbon copies, you will have your own strengths and your own vulnerabilities, the point is that I can help to make the journey easier. Like I say, I have a flashlight... let's hit the trail.
I went to school for Cognitive Psychology, earned my masters and then began a winding career thru the non-profit and government sectors doing both program development and training. I always ended up in jobs that had me between technology and people. I finally ended up at a large healthcare organization as a manager in the IT department with responsibilities for managing the electronic medical record and revenue cycle systems as well as the reporting function. Early in 2012, I took the jump out of corporate and into the great wide open.
Since then I’ve been building websites and my design skills. I have become a certified MBTI® practitioner and also a Board Certified Coach. For the past several years I've been teaching workshops using the Clifton Strengthsfinder® assessment.
I live in the suburbs of Chicago with my husband Tim and my awesome dog Boonter. I have lots of great friends and my family (at least part of my family) is nearby too.