“Back in the ’90s, when coaching was just emerging, I had a coach,” Newman says. “And she always pulled me forward and helped me break those belief barriers. She would always question your strategies, help you build strategies, look at the decision process that you were in, how you were thinking about it. She made me stretch beyond who I was, and I really appreciated that. And I thought, ‘I want to be that person to someone.’”
She went back to school, again, this time at Drury University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology before getting a master’s degree in counseling. She started coaching in 2000 as owner of Life University Coaching and Counseling. She began a decade-long study of how she could incorporate horses into her work, and by 2010, Newman was actively including them in her work. It was then, too, that, she connected and trained with the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA). She soon realized that she would need a partner, someone with expertise to complement her strengths. Around six years ago, she got equine specialist Tim Brock on board by signing him up for an EAGALA course. The two set about devising methods to assist people in a rut, those looking to jump-start their businesses or explore alternative methods for productivity. Newman says that, in the past three years, they’ve started to pull everything together, discovering what it is they like to do best, shoring up marketing and finding the right clients.
Newman markets herself as a person with solutions, so it might be surprising to discover that she still keeps a coach of her own. But it makes sense—for one thing, there’s a shorthand she can have to help cut through the noise. Plus, it establishes her as an equal to her clients because she, herself, seeks help. For Newman, there’s value in opening up and showing that even someone in the self-help business needs it, too. “I have to [keep a coach],” Newman says. “You have to be willing to have that person in front of you, pulling you forward, because… it’s like standing in the middle of a tornado—you can’t see how big your own tornado is. I also personally believe, look, if you’re going to make a living keeping others on that cutting edge of change, you need to live there yourself.”
Grooming Her Technique
Through Zero2Sixty, Newman works with clients in 22 states and four countries, including ones as far away as Alaska and England. The centerpiece of her methods are the horses and donkeys. She estimates that they’re involved in about 20 to 25 percent of her practice; the rest is group or individual work. The animals aren’t something you can really hide; for one thing, they are quite large, for another this type of work is not masked by subtlety. With a practice like this, the only way for it to be effective is to lean into it, guided by someone who wholeheartedly believes in the product. Newman owns the domain HorseBusinessWhisperer.com, a site name as cheeky as it is literal.
As you might expect for someone whose livelihood depends on effective communication, Newman has a specific style. She slices the end of her sentences, making it very clear when she’s done speaking, peering at you with expectant eyes to offer something new to the conversation. Her voice is emphatic and booming but only when it needs to be. It rises several octaves when she recalls what someone else has said. And despite her time spent living outside of 417-land, she hasn’t lost her Ozarks drawl, pronouncing her home state Missour-uh. She’s also quick to point out 80 percent of communication is nonverbal, and that communication is key when it comes to her trainings. “Horses are brilliant—masterful at seeing all that nonverbal communication,” Newman says. “They read nonverbal communication, all levels of communication that come from you. If you’re stopping and hesitating about something, that horse is going to respond to that. Or if you’re being overly exertive in your communication, they’re going to respond to that.”