“I could never have gone into it thinking, ‘I hope I can make a lot of money and help a lot of people and be really successful’ — I just don’t work well from that kind of pressure,” Jody said. “If I had never gotten to where I am today, if I had just learned what I did and made my life better, it would have been worth the investment and my husband would have been totally supportive because he saw how it helped me.”
As it happened, Jody’s passion for helping herself evolved into a passion for helping others. As she learned about life coaching, her passion grew from self-help to a helping hobby, and from a hobby to a thriving, worldwide life coaching business.
Jody’s coaching embraces gospel principles, though her “coaching with LDS values” reaches far more than Latter-day Saints. Her podcast, “Better Than Happy,” has helped thousands of listeners find a better way to live life, including how to embrace all of life’s emotions and why that’s better than just being happy. Jody is teaching others how to use tools to better their own lives, regardless of their circumstances — but it started with learning to help herself.
“I just love the tools so much; they’ve been so powerful for me, because on paper, my life looked great: nothing was really wrong,” Jody said. “I was married and having kids, which is what I grew up wanting. And yet, I was struggling with just feeling peaceful and not feeling overwhelmed. I felt a little bit lost, but I didn’t feel like I needed to go to a therapist, because I didn’t feel like anything was wrong with me.”
Enter: life coaching. “That’s what I love about coaching: No, it’s not that something’s wrong. It’s just that we’re human beings that have human brains. We have to learn how to manage those brains, how to how to manage our own emotions, and how to navigate being a human in the world. And I don’t feel like I was ever taught that.”
Discovering a Better Way
Raised in the Church in Spokane, Washington, Jody always thought she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. She thought she would go to BYU, get married and raise a family.
But that’s not how things happened.
First, Jody didn’t get into BYU. Crushed and surprised, she went instead to Utah State — pursuing a degree not out of any career goal but because her parents said she should. Though she anticipated getting married, it didn’t happen on her timeline.
“I was single and working for a while after college and feeling a little lost, because I really didn’t have any ambitions; I just thought, ‘Well, I’ll get married and my husband will take care of me and I don’t have to worry about that,’” she said. “Didn’t turn out that way — it turned out that I really loved working, actually.”
Jody worked for the University of Phoenix for 15 years, based out of California. During that time, she married just before turning 30, had two kids and kept working, becoming a corporate trainer and leadership coach. She also discovered life coaching — and how much she needed it.
One of Jody’s colleagues, Kris Plachy, was certified through The Life Coach School. Kris would help coach Jody through stressful situations at work using “the Model,” a logical, linear self-coaching tool that would become a staple of Jody’s business. Jody in turn used the Model to help others in her role as corporate trainer.
“I felt the power of coaching, and I saw that power when I used it to help others at work,” Jody said. “And while work could be challenging at times, what was way harder for me was home.”
With her first two kids less than a year-and-a-half apart, Jody felt completely overwhelmed. When three-day weekends came, she found herself thinking, “Oh no — I have to be home three days in a row!” because it was so much harder than being at work.
“I felt so guilty about struggling with it, because I thought, ‘I should be grateful — I’m married to this great guy, and have these two healthy babies. I want them and I love them, so I shouldn’t be struggling,’” Jody shared. “I would beat myself up, thinking, ‘That’s terrible. You’re a terrible mother, you should want to be with your kids.’ I compounded everything with the judgement, and I didn’t tell anyone because I was ashamed of it. I really disconnected from myself and from God spiritually, because I was ashamed.”
Nevertheless, Jody turned to the Lord when she got laid off. Though it didn’t come as a shock, having seen the changes coming, a significant part of Jody’s life had ended and she was left wondering what to do next. That’s when Jody began to realize that the tools she used in her profession could — and should — be used personally, to help herself as a mother.
“I was asking, ‘Well, now what? Does Heavenly Father want me to be home with my children?’ And I was open to that. ‘If that’s what He wants, if that’s what’s best for my family, I’ll do that,’” Jody said. “And then The Life Coach School opened up their first-ever in-person coach training, and it was 30 minutes from my house. People were coming from all over the world to this training, and I thought, ‘I have to go to that. It’s right here. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do now, but I know I need to go to that class.’”
She still didn’t know the big picture — she had no idea she would not only use the tools she learned to help herself but thousands of other people. Jody just knew it could help her and that it felt good — which made it the right step.
“I think that, ideally, is how we create whatever kind of success we want in our lives — by always coming from the place of, ‘This is good.’ This is useful, even if just for me, or even if it just makes me a better mother, or a better person in some way. You can’t go wrong then, you know?”
When asked about her husband, Jake, Jody can’t keep dimples from appearing in a loving grin. “Oh, gosh, he’s so great,” she began. “The Life Coach School training cost a lot of money for us. He knew, though, that I was sort of lost, and he knew how much I loved working. So when I said to him, ‘I really want to go to this program; it costs a lot of money, and I don’t know how we’re going to come up with the money, but it’s really important to me, I feel like it’s the right step,’ he said, ‘Okay, well, we’ll figure it out.’ He’s always been very supportive of me. He saw how the tools just lit me up, and was always happy to see me happy, engaged in something.”
Jody did the training for her own development more than anything else. As she delved deeper into the tools of life coaching, her passion for them grew.
“With our physical health, we understand that you might be totally healthy, but you still need to know how certain food affects your body and the benefits of exercise and sleep,” she explained. “We don’t wait until you’re sick to teach you that — we teach you that when you’re healthy. And that’s how I view coaching for mental and emotional health: It’s for everyone who’s healthy. You need to understand your brain and your emotions, and how to navigate yourself in the world.”
As Jody learned from The Life Coach School’s founder, Brooke Castillo, she couldn’t help but make parallels between life coaching concepts and gospel principles. When she was taught about the power of focusing our brain on what we want more of in life and who we want to become, rather than the negative things, it brought prayer to mind: Though we may complain to friends, usually, when we pray, it’s to ask Heavenly Father for help, for more of the things we need, and in gratitude for the things we already have and want to keep in our lives.
“When Brooke would teach a concept like that, I would think, ‘Oh! Maybe that’s why we’re taught to pray the way we pray.’ So for me, this work has only strengthened my faith. It’s been like the ‘how to’ of some of the gospel principles,” Jody said. “Like yes, I totally want to forgive everyone — I’m all in. But how, when this person did this terrible thing, how do I forgive them? Coaching taught me how.”
The core of the coaching Model is the idea that, as much as we’re inclined to think otherwise, circumstances aren’t what create our feelings and experiences: our thoughts about those circumstances create our feelings.
Early in The Book of Mormon, Laman, Lemuel and Nephi all had the exact same circumstances — trials and hardships as they travel through the desert. Yet they had completely different experiences. Even as Laman and Lemuel complained, saying they might have been happy if they’d stayed in Jerusalem and it would have been better if their women had died than to suffer in the wilderness, Nephi observes how great the blessings of the Lord were upon them, and the strength of their women in bearing children (1 Nephi 17).
Jody sees that as proof that circumstances don’t create our feelings or our experience: the way we think about it does, and thoughts are what we can work on. “We all sometimes will think about things in a negative, complaining way,” she said, “but knowing that our agency doesn’t just apply to our actions, that our agency applies to what we choose to think, which will impact how we feel and behave, that is so powerful.”
Growth & Progress
After the training, Jody felt so passionate about everything she’d learned that she couldn’t stop sharing it. “I just wanted to talk about it and share it and help anyone who wanted to listen,” she said. “And so that passion is what drove me to create content. I created a blog at first and then eventually I turned it into a podcast, only because I loved it so much, I wanted to share it with others. And then yes, the business strategy came along, but that’s never been and still isn’t my main motivator. I’m just not driven that way.”
Jody paired coaching with gospel principles right from the very beginning, at first aiming at mothers. It began as a hobby, a passion project that soon began to grow. “At one point, Jake said, ‘Do you realize that you’re about to pass up my salary?’ And then I was like, ‘Oh, that will be fun!’ So I did get a little more ambitious about the business part — and today, he actually works in the business with me.”
Jake and Jody have four children, ages 5, 7, 13 and 14, and have lived in Spokane Valley for four years after relocating from California. Since then, Jake needed a change from the healthcare industry and after much thought and prayer, left his job to help Jody run her business. Not only is Jake now working with Jody, but their oldest daughter, Macy, started a podcast of her own last November called “It’s a Teen Thing,” addressing common teen issues and hoping to help other teens be happier.
“Jake always jokes, ‘Gosh, The Life Coach School back then was a good investment!’” Jody said. “Neither of us thought of it as an investment at the time — he’s always been very supportive, even when it was just something I was doing for me.”
Jody Moore Coaching has had far-reaching effects, from the lives of podcast listeners to thousands benefiting from the Be Bold coaching membership program. Jody’s first book, entitled “Better Than Happy,” will be published later this summer; though she describes the process as a rollercoaster, the book has helped Jody get clear about her message. Each chapter focuses on a gospel principle, and brings in coaching tools to support and expand them. In the fall, Jody is getting ready to launch a business coaching program and especially hopes to work with women in the Church who feel inclined or called to start a business of their own — a group she feels a particular love for after taking that journey herself.
Despite the size and reach of the business, it’s all still a passion project for Jody. “I still feel a little bit like it’s pretend, you know?” she admitted with a smile. “In my mind, I’m not special; I’m not any more special than anyone else.”
That, too, is part of the work Jody does: Teaching people that they truly can accomplish their dreams, and grow and progress toward heavenly attributes — while also living a life that is better than happy, right now.
“I don’t believe that it’s God’s intention that we judge ourselves if we’re not further along,” Jody said. “I think that’s the tricky part: It feels like, ‘Well, if I’m supposed to be growing and I want to be growing, and I’m commanded even to improve and become more like Christ, then I should feel bad about not being there yet.’”
But that mindset doesn’t contribute to growth; it inhibits it. “Your brain wants to be right more than it wants you to feel good,” Jody said. “Your brain wants to be right more than it wants you to achieve your goals. I think the adversary tries to encourage the thought, ‘I’m just not enough; I should be better,’ because then we’re going to make that true in the end.”
Just as parents don’t chastise their crawling children for not being able to walk but instead celebrate every stage, that’s how Jody thinks the Lord feels about us. “We develop in different ways in different timelines,” she said. “This work has really helped me understand that you can want to be better and embrace where you’re at. That’s hard for people — they think, ‘If I embrace where I’m at, why would I try to get better?’ Well, just because you can. Because you’re alive, and it’s possible.”
And that’s part of what it means to be better than happy. “The Lord guides us, of course, but you can embrace where you’re at and progress,” Jody concluded. “And when we can understand that, we’re all just capable of a lot.”
To learn more about Jody, visit jodymoore.com.