Darcy Luoma, Darcy Luoma Coaching & Consulting

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Darcy Luoma, CEO, Darcy Luoma Coaching & Consulting.
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What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

Let’s just say it’s quite tricky to run a business as a single mom with 100% custody of two teen girls who still need to be driven everywhere! I’m trying to systemize things to free up my time, but I have an internal battle with a part of me that doesn’t want to give up control.

Having said that, I wouldn’t change what I do for the world. It’s incredibly rewarding to work with the amazing people on my team every day, and then witness our efforts result in fewer people problems and improved performance for our clients.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

Senator Herb Kohl, hands-down. Over and over again during my time running his office for 12 years, I saw him attract good people and then step back to let them do their thing. Personally, I thrived under his leadership because I felt like he trusted me to do my job without micromanaging me. Now that I run my own business, I see just how hard — and valuable — it is to be that kind of leader.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

It took me five years of intense research to finalize the methodology for “Thoughtfully Fit.” We’re talking thousands of hours of coaching and consulting clients, from which I distilled the top six hurdles people struggle with to be high performing.

Five days after finalizing the model, my life fell apart when my husband — and full-time stay-at-home dad to our two young daughters — was shockingly arrested for sexual assault of a minor he’d met online. Suddenly I became ground zero to test drive “Thoughtfully Fit” in my own life — not the best go-to-market strategy, admittedly!

So, sharing with the world how I used “Thoughtfully Fit” to get myself through that crisis and his 10-year prison sentence — in a book that was published by Harper this past summer — has to be one of the high points.

Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Invest in yourself. Coaching, therapy, mentors, degrees, certifications — the more, the better. It’s the most important tool you have in your life to be successful, bar none.

Yes, it‘ll cost you time and money in the short-term, but you’ll get that investment back tenfold as your career progresses.

It‘ll also open up opportunities you can’t even imagine right now, as sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know.

What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

I’ll be real original here and say the great outdoors; bet you haven’t heard that before! In all seriousness, we’re privileged to be surrounded by so much incredible natural beauty. I absolutely love that I can access amazing mountain bike trails, cross-country skiing, or open-water swimming a few short minutes from my home office.

And you can’t beat all the fun races as a way to connect with other outdoor enthusiasts. Whether it’s the Shake Your Shamrocks, Glow Run, Berbee Derby, Paddle and Portage, Haunted Hustle, Fetch Dog Jog, Devil’s Challenge, Horribly Hilly Hundred, or Ironman, there’s always a great event to keep my motivation high to continue training!

On the other hand, if you want a more urban lifestyle with cultural events, fantastic restaurants, and unending entertainment options, downtown Madison is just around the corner.

So, you could say we have the best of both worlds, which I love most about living and working here.

Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

People often see me as a bit of a workaholic, so it might surprise you to learn that I’m secretly a master of self-care!

I get massages every other week and enjoy regular floating sessions in an isolation tank. I meditate every day (even if only for 10 minutes!) and aim to have a rolling average of 8-plus hours of sleep per night. I also make time for exercise six days a week, ranging from kickboxing to strength training to yoga and nature walks. And jaunts to Sundara Spa are a special treat.

What are your guilty pleasures?

I have a habit of binge-watching YouTube documentaries about all sorts of weird subjects. I’ll take a random topic I’m intrigued with, like cyclo-cross or the Olympics, and then spend hours finding out as much about that as humanly possible.

Let’s just say this sometimes takes me down some rather unusual rabbit holes — from the hidden world of Scientology all the way to body language experts who dissect the nonverbal cues of famous people, like Elizabeth Holmes. There are some things you just can’t tear yourself away from.

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