I’m Leonard Shostak
aka hardy brooklyn
Life & Business Coach
Helping people live authentic lives in an inauthentic world.
I help creative artists, entrepreneurs and inventors, and others like you to get past the obstacles that prevent you from reaching your goals and to empower you to live authentically and achieve your ideal quality of life.
Starting and running a business can be challenging. I get it, because I’ve done it—several times. As a coach, I bring decades of experience as a serial entrepreneur and business consultant to guide your success, whatever that looks like for you.
I can help you structure goals that are attainable, realistic, measurable, and moving towards what you want instead of away from what you don’t want.
As a seasoned public speaker and performer, I leverage my training with Upright Citizen’s Brigade, Dale Carnegie, the Sandler Sales Presidential Club, Landmark, and other programs, plus years of active Toastmasters experience to help you communicate powerfully and authentically and make sure your audience clearly understands your message in the way that you intend it, whether you’re making a formal presentation or telling a funny story.
I also coach clients on interpersonal communication, for example, how to effectively communicate and maintain healthy boundaries with other people.
Helping clients manage stress is an important part of my coaching process. While stress management isn’t my core expertise, it is a key element in focusing on your mission, because extra stress in your life makes it difficult to live authentically. I teach clients stress reduction techniques that I find helpful, such as meditation, deep breathing, exercises, and managing expectations, to give them a customized stress-management “toolbox.” Another important way to reduce stress is by creating healthy boundaries with other people and not letting their expectations and demands overwhelm your own priorities.
Your Career As an Artist
What Is Life Coaching?
Life coaching is the process of helping someone find the path between where they are now and where they want to be. It is about setting and achieving goals in many areas of life: business, health and well-being, career, relationships, and work-life balance. It can be as broad as wanting to find what will make you happier or as specific as wanting to start a new job. Life coaching is centered on believing that everyone can achieve their goals through acknowledging and using their own resources instead of being told what to do.
Coaching typically consists of one-on-one sessions between you and your life coach—usually 45–60 minutes each. Once a week is the most popular schedule, though some clients prefer every two weeks or once a month, depending on their needs and goals. You and your coach will agree on what works best for you before starting the coaching engagement and can usually adjust the schedule if necessary. Sometimes there is “homework” between sessions—specific actions you commit to doing to move towards your goals.
It’s perfectly fine if you aren’t already clear on your goals at the start. Life coaches are trained to use insightful questioning and active listening to help their clients identify the goals they want to achieve, recognize their current circumstances, consider all the options open to them, and choose which actions they will take within a defined time frame.
Even if you aren’t sure what you want from life, you’re only sure about what you don’t want, life coaching can help. A skilled coach can help clients consider all areas of their life and narrow down what they want to focus on and what might be holding them back from achieving it. And it doesn’t stop there—coaches also help clients recognize their strengths and how they can use them to reach their goals. Gaining a better understanding of their personal strengths and values helps clients set positive goals that focus on what they want to achieve instead of what they want to avoid. Life coaching provides clients with the tools, techniques, and strategies they can use to create lasting change and ongoing success. Commitment, accountability, and follow-through are some of the most valuable components of the life-coaching process, and they are key reasons why most people can make more and faster progress working with a life coach than they are able to do on their own.
Whatever a client discusses with their life coach during coaching sessions is kept strictly confidential. However, life coaching is not therapy, counseling, mentoring, or consulting, even if some aspects of coaching can seem similar at times. A life coach may recommend or refer other services if they believe they would benefit the client.
Who Can Benefit from Working with a Life Coach?
Some people turn to life coaches for guidance in navigating a significant life change, such as taking on a new career. Others seek life coaching to help them build a happier, more meaningful life. Whatever your reason is for working with a coach, a trained life coach can help you identify personal and professional goals, discover strengths, and develop strategies for reaching your goals. The coach’s role is to assist you through the change process, providing clarity, accountability, and support.
Working with a life coach could be for you if:
- You’re facing a major transition
- You’re letting fear hold you back from getting what you want
- You want to be more decisive;
- You’re still trying to figure things out in life or business
- You’ve tried other methods and still don’t feel fully authentic
Life coaching can help you shed limiting beliefs, move past obstacles, discover your strengths, reach your goals, and live more authentically. Being confident in who you are is the gateway to wonderful relationships with others—and yourself—and to having a great life!
What Is The Process Like?
1. I use motivational interviewing techniques.
One technique I use is motivational interviewing, in which I ask open-ended questions intended to help elicit your own reasons for change. Instead of the doctor saying, “You need to lose weight,” I might ask, “How might your life be different if you lost the weight that you’ve been trying to lose?” The concept, which has been proven effective in many research studies, is that people who are changing for their own reasons, on their own terms, are far more likely to succeed when compared with someone telling them what to do—which is less motivating and is more likely to instill resistance to change.
2. You get to call the shots!
I don’t tell you what to do. I’m here to help guide you along the way. I am your life coach, so you get to call the shots! And so, you get to decide how you’d like to use your coach. Want help with short-term goals, long-term goals, or a specific area of your life that you want to focus on? You get to choose. Share with me what you want to accomplish, and I’ll help you develop a plan to make it happen.
3. Help with commitment and goals.
I help you stay on track by working with you to create a clear plan with milestones and timelines. Through regular communication, I support, encourage and hold you accountable when resistance causes you to veer off the path.
4. What actually is a belief? And why is it so hard to change?
What actually is a belief? And why is it so hard to change?
5. What does authentic self mean?
The concept is still debated today, but in 2000 two psychologists Michael Kernis and Brian Goldman, developed an Authenticity Inventory that comprises four key factors:
- Self-awareness: Knowledge of and trust in one’s own motives, emotions, preferences, and abilities.
- Unbiased processing: Clarity in evaluating your strengths and your weaknesses without denial or blame.
- Behavior: Acting in ways congruent with your own values and needs, even at the risk of criticism or rejection.
- Relational orientation: Close relationships, which inherently require openness and honesty.
Intensive Discovery Coaching Session
A powerful one-time discovery session of up to three hours is tailored to your needs, so we can help you: uncover specific challenges and personal or business obstacles; understand a difficult decision you have to make; or achieve clarity through all the constructs and chaos surrounding you.
Getting Your Feet Wet:
6 sessions/3 months
26 Week Coaching Package
I’m Leonard Shostak, AKA Hardy Brooklyn, a fun-loving, successful serial entrepreneur who has bootstrapped several of my own businesses while still finding plenty of time for family, travel, live music, and nightlife. My guiding principle is the vital importance of human creativity. Whether it’s music, visual art, performance, an idea, or an invention—or something that doesn’t even exist yet!—I’m passionate about helping people tap into themselves.
As a serial entrepreneur, technology and business consultant, event producer, speaker and performer, soccer ref, Eagle Scout, artists’ model—and the list goes on—I’ve been helping people identify problems, find solutions, and change negative patterns in their lives and businesses my whole adult life. People kept turning to me for help solving their dilemmas, and I realized that they trusted me to help them clear up emotional baggage and get down to essentials. But I never realized quite how much of an impact I’d had until I started telling friends I was working on getting certified as a life coach—and they surprised me with responses like:
“You’ve really been like a mentor to me.”
“I’ve seen how you help people get clarity regardless of your own personal opinions.“
“Am I going to have to start paying you? You’ve been like a coach to me.”
“You’ve opened my eyes to possibilities that I never knew existed; and been someone I can depend on to talk to without being judged.”
It turns out, all the time I spent being a technology and business consultant and advisor was great preparation for becoming a life coach. I’ve seen so many people and businesses throw money, technology, time, and all sorts of things at problems that could easily be solved instead by opening their eyes to what the actual problem is or finding the root of the behavior that’s causing it. As a life coach, I work with my clients to uncover those root problems and change to a more positive mindset. My coaching training includes Achology Certified Life Coach, Achology Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), and Transformation Academy Happiness Life Coach (certificate in progress).
I’m also proficient in a wide range of communication skills, from Dale Carnegie and Sandler Sales training, to Toastmasters, to improv with UCB East. I’ve presented and led workshops, webinars, trainings, and team-building activities for all kinds of organizations; performed in burlesque, improv, sketch comedy, the Moth, TV shows, and independent films; and produced and emceed variety entertainment events in New York City.
I became a certified life coach because I believe in human creativity and the power of change. I specialize in helping people understand who they truly are, explore who they want to be, develop a strategy for how to get there, set needed boundaries, and begin living their authentic life.
If you want to explore who you are, who you want to become, and how to get there from here, please get in touch!
“The most significant change from working with Hardy happened in my classroom. Working with the queer community, the sex-positive community, and then my classroom community, I think the change with my kids has been the most significant, and seeing them respond to me differently has been fairly validating. So now when my when my queer babies come to me, and they’re talking about issues, you know, I just kind of channel my inner Hardy and I’m like, ‘So what would you want to see happen? What would you want to come from this?’ Suddenly these ideas are formed, and it’s really great, and the kids enjoy it. So that’s really nice. The kids are being able to open up and share and it’s going to be a big thing, just remembering to take a step back and really listen to them. Let them take up this space.”
—Coaching client T. B., NYC public school teacher
“Boston Man.” (content to come)
“Space Man” (content to come)