Phil Okrend: Stepping Stones Coachig, Life & BusinessPhilip A. Okrend, CPCC, JD

Phil Okrend, founder of Stepping Stones Coaching, Inc. is a Certified Life and Business Coach, Organizational Trainer, Author and Speaker with experience (JD degree, psychology degree, trained mediator, successful business owner, certified ESL instructor through Duke University). Phil has had the privilege of working with hundreds of clients and guiding them on a journey towards authentic success. His background and experience makes him uniquely qualified to deal with the challenges faced by professionals, attorneys, doctors, managers and diverse multicultural work teams. He has been keenly interested in the ways that smart and educated people can limit their effectiveness by being in conflict with others, or becoming engaged in debilitating power struggles. Phil gives them a way to see past their situation and to make empowering new decisions with new accompanying actions. With his training in ESL with a focus on cross cultural communication skills, Phil has been able to leverage cultural differences to help individuals and work teams thrive.

Phil often meets clients in their work settings, hospitals, law firms, etc., interviews them to find their perspective of a situation and designs a coaching and conflict resolution process that is right for the organization and the individuals involved. The process Phil offers his clients gives them ways to see past their situation and to make empowering decisions that result in enhanced communication, increased morale and greater productivity for the individuals and the organization as a whole.

When coaching on a one on one or individual level, Phil is committed to helping others create their own unique vision of possibility. Phil knows that living a life from your own values and unique talents will allow you not only to personally thrive, but to be able to contribute more fully and profoundly to the world in which we live.

Phil began his professional career as an attorney in New York, specializing in business and family law. As a result of his own self reflective journey, he was able to transition into the life of a creative entrepreneur. Along with his wife and partner, Elise, he took a creative idea from inception and developed it into a successful greeting card company, MixedBlessing, Inc.. Through their vision and efforts, they were able to sell and distribute our cards to the finest stores throughout the country. The story behind their company has been featured in national media such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Businessweek Online, The Washington Post, The News and Observer and seen on Good Morning America.

One of the passions and special talents Phil has is for music. He composes and performs

on the piano and one of his great pleasures is performing with his son Jordan, a gifted guitarist. Phil produced, composed and arranged the CD, Dinner Notes, A Smooth Blend of Jazz and Rock which is available on Phi's last CD, Emergence received a glowing review in CHOICE, The Magazine of Professional Coaching.

In 2014, Phil collaborated with his wife, Elise to produce a beautiful coffee table book, Messages to the Heart  pairing Elise's healing pastel paintings with Phil's mindful writings derived from years of coaching clients to success. The Asheville Citizen Times described the book as a "tool that will help readers to pull themslves through life's challenges." The Laurel of Asheville said "the book contains spectacular images and words that will touch you, move you, and encourage you."

Phil received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1982 and his Juris Doctor Degree from Brooklyn Law School in 1985.

He is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach and received advanced training through the Coaches Training Institute. Member of the International Coach Federation. Phil has also been certified as a Family and Superior Court Mediator.

Phil lives in Asheville, NC with Elise his wife, their two sons Jordan and Joshua and their blue eyed dog, Maya.


Explore what coaching can do for you. E-mail or call 919-621-1578

to schedule a 30 minute coaching session.

My Story - Taken from the Newsletter, Stepping Into Transition, 2007

Twenty years ago, I was an unhappy young attorney living in Westchester County, near New York City. I was immersed in a world of billable hours, and was subject to the judgments of partners who couldn't understand why you would leave the office before 7p.m. I wanted a life, and was not happy. I was always drawn to creative pursuits, music, acting, writing, ideas, but I fell into the life of a career as an attorney, because I thought it was something I had to do. After all, I was raised to want to be a professional for the security, the prestige, a solid career. But it was not a good fit and I knew it. One holiday season, my wife, Elise came home excited. She also was a creative person, an art major when we met in college, who was working at a large accounting firm in print production. She had drawn a home made greeting card for 2 co-workers who were dating. He was Jewish, and she was Catholic. She drew a design of half a Star of David combining with Half a Christmas Tree, half gold and half green forming one perfect geometric shape.

I had never seen a design like this, and yet I knew that it would make a great holiday card that would appeal to many of the people we knew who were in interfaith families and relationships. Driven by the dissatisfaction with my legal career and inspiration from this idea, I went on with my wife to create the company, MixedBlessing, an interfaith and multicultural greeting card company. It became a calling to spread the idea of "celebrating diversity" while creating a business that could support us. This one idea changed my life, and with its success gave me the courage to take more chances.

Shortly after the business started taking off, we moved out of New York to Raleigh, NC to create a new lifestyle and to raise our family. I began composing and performing music on piano which had always been a passion. I created my first CD, Dinner Notes, a Smooth Blend of Jazz and Rock in 2000 and Emergence, A Meditative Journey Through the Seasons in 2007.

I encouraged the creative talents of my family. My oldest son Jordan now 18, a gifted guitarist and songwriter studied guitar from age 7 was accepted into the prestigious Berkeley School of Music. Jordan just released his debut EP, "Unpredictable" to positive reviews, and is busy writng and performing his inspiring, soul fused music to a growing legion of fans, Jordan Okrend Music.  Earlier this year, my wife Elise, a gifted pastel artist opened a studio in downtown Raleigh to exhibit her work, At her studio every First Friday of each month has become a celebration of beauty, diversity and peace. Those are the themes that we were drawn to with MixedBlessing and those are the themes that inspire us as we carry on with our current and future projects.

Seven years ago, I became certified as a Life and Business Coach and started Stepping Stones Coaching to help others live and work from their unique talents while overcoming limiting beliefs that may hold them back. Part of my calling was to help and empower others, and it was taking these chances, hearing the call that led me to my current career as a coach. It truly has been a remarkable life journey for me, and I know that this journey can be just as fulfilling and remarkable for you.

Tuning Into Your Callings

I believe that everyone can tune into their callings. It may not be what you think it is. It may not necessarily be grand or sweeping, or coming from an epiphany. It can come from developing the ability to hear the still voice inside that can come subtly from intuition, inclination or just interest. Then you must take action to verify whether you are on the right track.

So, if you have the urge to learn something, take that class. Make that phone call. volunteer or start writing that short story, whatever it is, take that step.

After taking that step, notice how you feel.

Does your energy expand?
Does it contract?
Do you feel better?
Do you feel worse?
Do you feel healthy or do you feel sicker?
Do you feel happier or more miserable?

Then if you notice the green lights, keep going, step by step. It is the accumulation of those steps which honor who you are that will change your life.

As a professional coach, my clients actively move towards their callings. The account-ability structure of the coaching relationship makes taking action fun, inspired with real world tangible results. I invite you to contact me to see how my Coaching Process can connect you to your callings to Achieve a Life filled with Fulfillment, Meaning and Success. 


Explore what coaching can do for you. E-mail or call 919-621-1578

to schedule a 30 minute coaching session.

Phil Okrend of Stepping Stones Coaching, is a Certified Life and Business Coach located in Raleigh, NC with clients throughout the U.S.