James Novello is a professional life and resilience instructor, and a former paramedic firefighter from the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD).
He has worked with SFFD for many years, responded to more than 25,000 emergencies, and earned countless special certificates during his tenure. While working with SFFD, James never had any doubt in his mind that being a paramedic firefighter was his real challenge and would be his career until retirement age.
However, after several notable, work-time injuries, James came to the conclusion that he would not be able to finish his career as a full-time first responder তার his injuries were so extensive and debilitating. He could not move as fast and easily as once. And the pain was getting worse.
While in light duties and fulfilling the role of a peer support in the department, James Novello had an epiphany about his career path: he had all the skills and experience needed to be a life and resilient coach and he loved to help when needed. After considering it for some time and discussing the matter with friends and loved ones, he decided to pursue it as a profession and since then he has not looked back. James Novello lives with his family in the Excelsior district of San Francisco, California.
What do you currently do in your company?
I am a life and resilient coach. I advise clients on how to deal with any illness, injury, or mental and emotional problems they may have. This can take the form of helping them talk through physical training, diet planning, career counseling or personal issues.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
I suffered several injuries while on the job, and as a result, I was assigned to light jobs in the San Francisco Fire Department. One of the things I’ve done in my light duty is working as a peer support counselor. In that role, I not only participated in some very enlightening and informative workshops and seminars, I also worked as a mentor and counselor for some of my fellow paramedic first responders. It was this experience that made me the path to life and resilience coaching.
What defines the way you do business?
Mindfulness is a big part of my business approach. At its core, mindfulness is the habit of accepting thoughts and feelings that occur instead of trying to change the way the mind reacts. I find it an incredibly useful tool for me and my clients.
What can you share in being productive?
I think concentrating on both short-term and long-term goals is the single biggest key to productivity. In today’s world it’s hard not to be distracted by news, gossip, games or other distractions — literally a whole billion dollar industry has been set up to confuse as many people as possible for as long as possible (e.g. Internet algorithms). In addition, it is easier for people to get stuck in their own head by over-analyzing personal situations. It’s a great challenge to get rid of all this clutter and focus on the really important ones, but I believe it’s the only way to get something really valuable.
Say a long-term goal in your career.
It’s easy. I just want to use my skills and experience to help as many people as possible go through the rough patches in their lives.
What would you say to your little self?
I would tell my younger relatives to enjoy your body in a stable and top position. You never know when an injury may be born that compromises your ability to move freely and without pain. I would say to be grateful and to value the family more than money. Choosing a career is easy for the body but intellectually challenging is something I have learned to nurture and give to anyone.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned through your career?
Don’t delay in improving your life. Once you’ve figured out what you want, start working on implementing it now. I’m talking primarily about career goals, but this advice also applies to personal achievement and all kinds of positive change. I have found this method of thinking wonderful for many of my clients, especially those who are suffering from trauma and distress. It helps them to work through whatever problems they may encounter. In fact, I’ll add my own testimonials. During the most difficult period of my life, it was taking the bull by the horns and actually taking steps to implement my goals that helped me get out of my own predicament. However, no matter what you feel strongly about, start working on it right away – even if it only takes small steps. Over time, accomplishing those small steps will add real and meaningful progress toward your ultimate goal.
What advice would you give to others who are aspiring to be successful in your case?
When it comes to life and resilience coaching, it’s best to listen to your clients. They will tell you everything you need to know to help them, be it through conversation, subtext or sometimes even body language — but you have to accept it. I can’t underscore how important both hearing and logical reasoning are to succeed in this profession.
What are some of your favorite things outside of work?
Initially, I like to hang out and spend quality time with my family. I make sure to schedule regular trips with them, as I believe this is a great way to maintain happiness in your life. Low-impact sports are also one of the main activities I use to maintain my health.
What are some of the most influential books you’ve ever read?
I’ll give you two titles. First, The strength of a positive team By John Gordon. That book outlines the importance of having a positive mindset in the workplace and shows how teams with a positive attitude increase success rates. Second, I recommend Dopamine race By Dr. Anna Lembeck. This is a technically oblique book, as it breaks down several studies and clearly explains the relationship of our activities with the body’s path to dopamine reward. Dr. Lamb gives details of scientific research in neuroscience that ultimately proves why some activities actually yield happiness where some unhealthy activities do not.