Change needs support

I love supporting others in life growth, change, goal clarification, decision-making and transitions. Here is a brief story from Breeze Potts related to our work together:

I am a counselor. I haven’t always been a counselor. At one point in my life, I was a college dropout with no clear direction or plan. This is when I met Jim.

I am a counselor in part because of Jim’s encouragement and investment in my life. He helped me uncover who I am and discover where I was headed. This included walking alongside me and helping me discover my gifts, passions and work style…Jim’s dedication to helping me become more “fully myself” nurtured me to be able to more honestly evaluate who I have been and who I am becoming…

Jim’s support, friendship and leadership have been a significant part of my self-discovery process.  I know I am not the only one who has been impacted by his leadership. I continue to discover new things about myself but it is no longer terrifying. I am grateful for new insight and for Jim’s encouragement to open myself up to exploration and possibility…

This is one of the things I love most about being a counselor. I get to invite others into a similar place and process. I am now a counselor and an advocate for self-discovery.

Breeze Potts, Bellingham, WA

If you are ready to take action and make changes, or to risk exploring the possibilities, I’m ready to help. The details: 1) We can arrange face to face meetings in the greater Puget Sound area (I live in Bellingham and meet monthly with people in the Seattle area), and 2) I can, and have, done Skype and/or phone meetings with people across the country and internationally. Let’s connect!


Best Books For Business

How JobShift Helped me Survive

In 1996 my family faced multiple—nearly overwhelming—crises that included me leaving a long-term stable job in a ministry setting. No big deal, just the loss of job, church, friends, and a deep-rooted support system.

One challenge involved helping family members make it through each new day. Another was the added pressure of an employment search. Oh, and because of the depth of our stress, I committed to not moving. I feared moving for work might become a final tipping point. I hoped that somehow holding place would provide a bit of hope that everything hadn’t been lost, a possible place to build from going forward.

Rare was the day I had energy and excitement about the search process.

Here is the link for the rest of my story:

Summer calls

While it is easy and common to think of summer as time off it can be dangerous. We all need down time, a break and time to re-charge. But we need to be careful to not miss opportunities. Summer can be a great time for reflection and refocusing. Summer can be a great time for new starts and directional shifts. Let’s connect and explore the possibility of this summer is as a time of opportunity. Currently I am scheduling June and July meetings (primarily in the Seattle /Bellingham area of anywhere via phone/skype).



Time for change

Spring is a great time for new starts. Many wait for this season as a time of change and opportunity. It may be the perfectopportunity to make personal changes. As a life coach I an help you with life clarification, goal setting and transitions. Don’t get stuck thinking about change, get busy making things happen. And, I’d like to help. Let’s connect and take those first steps soon.

Memories, an anniversary, a look forward and some thanks

Some day, in the next week or so, will mark the anniversary of my first trip to Bellingham.

In June of 1973 I drove my ’62 Bug north from my home in Oregon. I got off “5” at Lakeway and headed east to be a camp counselor at Firwood on Lake Whatcom.

In “73 Bellingham was much smaller, gas hit the unbelievable price of thirty-nine nine, we hung out at Herfy’s on weekends, listened to 8 tracks in our cars, the Oakland A’s ruled baseball, the Viet Nam War was nearing an end and Nixon’s presidency was in a free-fall.

Connie and I were married in 1974 and we spent the summers of  ’76, ’77, ’78 and ’79 in Bellingham, finally moving to here full-time in October of ’79. Within a few years we had two sons, Michael and Kyle. I did work stints at the Firs, Birchwood Presbyterian and the INN.  All three were unique, but each provided me with opportunities to build deep relationships and while going forward in life and faith. Connie has been at Bethany Christian Services for almost twenty years.

We became active in schools while the boys were growing up and I was involved in a variety of community activities including prevention of child abuse and caring for those need of community support. We now have four grandkids and enjoy the sense sharing life with our extended family.

Situations and relationships have shifted over the years. It is tough to think of the past forty years and the family members and friends who are no longer with us.

It’s now almost two years since I started Jim Schmotzer and Associates. My hope was to build upon my experiences and relationships in helping individuals and organizations.

Starting a business has been a challenge. It has involved hard work, things I am not skilled at and some things I don’t like doing. But it is worth it. I have been able to work closely with a number of individuals helping them with decisions and direction as they go forward in life. I have worked with organizations helping them to make progress in areas I’m passionate about, including internships, program development, leadership support and organizational transitions.

My goal is to go forward being a support to people and organizations in times of critical decisions and dynamic progress. I’ve been fortunate that many have supported me along the way. Old and new friends have helped make this new adventure a great adventure. Thanks to all who have helped me get this far and look forward to what is ahead.







Is it decision making time? I’d like to help.

When I began to consider pursuing professional ministry, seminary and potentially ordination, Jim was naturally the first person I turned to for guidance. After serving with and being taught by him for several years as a college student, I knew his wisdom and experience would be indispensable to me. He has not only helped me to determine the next steps in discerning my path and opened my eyes to new opportunities, but has encouraged me by pointing out strengths I didn’t know I had and reminding me that leadership comes in a variety of forms. He is unrivaled in his ability to guide and support individuals from all walks of life; I have hardly heard of anyone walking away from a chat with Jim over coffee without a renewed sense of their own worth and direction.


     Jenni Herold, Bellingham, WA

Helping with decision making, goal clarification and transitions are things I greatly enjoy. Please contact me if you are at a point of significant life choices. Making the best decision is always worth the extra time and effort.

Help for decision making

Decisions often have long range impact and/or implications. Making the best decision can be difficult. Making the wrong decision can be painful. Here are comments from Sarah Spitzer related to how I helped her with making a critical decision:

“Several months ago, I found myself at a crossroads with two paths that would take my life in very different directions. I only had a couple of days to decide and was feeling stressed and unsure of what I should do. Contacting Jim was one of the best things I could have done. His sincere heart for serving, thought provoking questions, keen ear, and wisdom helped give me clarity to make a confident decision. He assisted me in determining what was preventing me from making a decision. I was and continue to be grateful for Jim’s gift of counsel.”

      Sarah Spitzer, Brussels (Belgium) American School, ESL/French Teacher

Please contact me if you are facing a significant decision or transition. Thorough working together we can help you move forward toward a best hoped for future.

Now is always a good time…

A good time for decision making, life clarification and direction setting. My hope is to help individuals work a process that brings clarity and progress toward understanding and living their best life. Following is Caity Kepler’s story of how we have worked together over the years.

As my mentor, Jim has the inherent ability to ask the exact right questions I have needed to hear in the moment. He has the wisdom to see what should be dealt with immediately and what should be reflected on for longer periods of time. After having a mentoring conversation with Jim, I am always amazed at how he was able to bring clarity and thought to details I hadn’t even realized I needed to think through. Plus he always continues to show genuine encouragement and interest as I’ve taken steps to improve my life and work towards my goals. And somehow knowing Jim is in my corner always makes those steps just a little bit easier to attempt.

     Caity Kepler, Grad student, Bellingham, WA

Please contact me now and we can schedule a Life Coaching or Leadership Mentoring appointment for April.