Turning Down the Volume
by Cami McLaren
April 22, 2024
Cami with her book, Coaching for Attorneys

Cami McLarenWhen I was growing up, I loved language. I remember reading James Herriot and how beautifully he described the life of a veterinarian. And A Tale of Two Cities in the 9th grade launched my love of great literature.

When I reached college, my love of writing and language continued. And even though I was shy, I loved my speech class. When I graduated, it was time to pick a career. One of my professors suggested the law, which had never occurred to me before, but I thought about the potential for reading and writing.

And then I thought about my mom, who was a lawyer, and I thought, why not give it a try? Which is not the best way to enter law school, to be honest.

Sixteen years into practicing law, a coaching program dropped into my lap and it changed my life.

I had always loved personal growth workshops and I took a series of programs taught in part by professional coaches. I was so impressed with these people – their possibility mindset and commitment to accountability and growth, that I decided to enroll in a coach training program. I really wasn’t in it to become a professional coach. I just wanted to know what they knew. But after the experience of coaching intern clients in the program, I quickly fell in love with it and I left the law.

Coach Training

Coach Training

Since becoming a coach, I have had the privilege of helping others who want something more and who are willing to change their lives and themselves to get it. It is such an honor to work with people who want to find their passion and their voice and to watch them magically evolve. Coaching is about communication and language. It is about empowerment. It is one of the most amazing things I have ever had the opportunity to fall into.

Another pivot happened in 2018 when my mother the lawyer asked me, “Would you train me to be a coach?”


MoM and Cami

Mom and Cami

To say I was surprised would be an understatement. But after she asked, a couple more clients came to me and asked the same question. Well, clearly the universe was speaking to me and it was hard to ignore. At the same time, it was hard to hear the universe over the voice in my head saying, Who are you to do this? What makes you think you have the authority, the credibility, the skill set?

Within a few weeks we had four people who wanted to do this with me, so I took a deep breath and said, “Yes!” Again, the voice in my head, You have to stand in front of people. You are too shy. You have to find people who want to do this work and you won’t be able to.

I knew enough as a coach to acknowledge this voice and move on. Turn down the volume.

After saying “yes” to this opportunity, I decided we should have more people in this training and began enrolling until we got to 10 people. This was also terrifying, because a part of me said, just do it in your living room — don’t make this into a big thing.

Five years and four coach trainings later, I still have the honor of working with people who want to do great things. Now the great thing these humans want to do is to coach others so they can also get their greatest desires. And inevitably the thing that gets in the way most profoundly for these new coaches, just as it was with me, is the conversation in their head that says, You can’t. Who are you to…?

Turns out the farther we go outside of our comfort zone, the louder the voice becomes.

I struggled not only to build this coach training program but to build my own confidence as my voice would continue to whisper, People will not want this from you. Even after the program started, I worried that people were not getting what they wanted. Even though they told me they were. The voice is funny that way.

There is some vulnerability for me in admitting this. Admitting how much fear and negative internal conversation I had to move past in order to build this program. If I’m being honest, how much fear and self-talk I still get every day that I do this work.

But on the other side is this great reward. These wonderful and amazing coaches, now my graduates and my colleagues, also hear the same critical, doubting voices but who also quiet them enough to help other people – who in turn have the same voices. And turn down the volume to get what they want in this life.

Mom and Cami - Coach Training

Mom and Cami – Coach Training

My mother, the lawyer, coach, dynamic ager, challenges me to ask myself how I am aging dynamically. Now it’s obvious. The truth is I had the greatest role model you could hope for. I was raised by a woman who always sees possibility – in every circumstance. A woman for whom age has never been a limiting factor. It was not in her 60’s or even her 70’s or 80’s that she began speaking of this. My mom has talked about aging and the idea that it does not need to limit us since I can remember.

When my mom asked me to train her as a coach? She was 80 years old. When she started Dynamic Aging 4 Life Magazine? She was 84.

The truth is her age did not even enter into my thinking when she asked me to create a program so she could become a coach. Sometimes, on her scarier days, when that mean voice was talking to her (like my mean voice sometimes talks to me and my clients’ talk to them), she would say, “I’m the oldest person in there. How do they see me?” And the most remarkable thing she got to recognize is that no one ever saw her as anything other than an incredible, compassionate and powerful coach.

This year I turn 60. Suddenly I hear talk of retirement and my financial planner advising me when I can stop working. What will I do? I will continue to travel with my partner, spend time with my adult kids, my friends, my family. And I will keep training coaches. Until I decide not to. For whatever reason I decide not to. But it will not be about my age. I know this.

For that, I thank my mom.

Mom, Cami & Minnie the Dog

Mom, Cami & Minnie

Photos by Morgan Potter Photography

Cami McLaren
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Cami has been a professional coach since 2008. She is credentialed with the International Coach Federation’s highest designation – Master Certified Coach. In 2019 she created Transformative Coaching Essentials – a program training and certifying professional coaches. She is the trainer and lead coach for the program.
The next Coach Training program begins July 27, 2024 (www.mclarencoaching.com/coach-training)


  1. Karen


  2. Mindy Kay

    Love, love this article, and I love you both, Cami & Joan. Thank you for always being a beacon of aging strong and courageous and limitless.

  3. Ruth C. Jackson

    Really enjoyed the article and the concept of “turning down the volume”. Sometimes we can’t turn off the noise completely but we certainly can turn down the volume! What a dynamic duo!


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