Marissa Q. Paine (download bio)
Hello there, and thanks so much for stopping by. I’m Marissa Q. Paine, proud Principal and CEO of Painefree Coaching & Consulting. It’s my privilege to share a little about me and my journey towards Team Painefree. Of course, if you’re really interested in the story, you should download my e-book, Confessions of an Unfullfilled Workaholic: How Coaching Helped Me Crush My Fears & Create the Life I Always Wanted, but here’s a little snapshot so you better understand the spirit behind our firm’s values and our approach.
I started Painefree in 2012 as a vehicle for living out my life’s purpose which is to inspire and support other leaders in realizing their full potential. By that time, I had accomplished all of the career goals I’d set for myself and found that working for one person in one organization with one limited mission was truly suffocating my own potential.
I wanted to do what I did best: help as many people, teams and organizations as I could to confront their roadblocks, crystalize the paths for conquering them and catapulting their success. I longed to be connected to an organization that was doing this work in a way that was aligned with my values and staffed by a team of really smart, vested people, and when I couldn’t find it, I built it. And the rest as they say, is herstory!
But before I go painting the perfect picture of euphoric career bliss, you should know that it took me twenty-seven jobs in twenty years to reach this point (yes, you read that right). My purpose revealed itself over the course of a successful twenty-year career in both corporate, higher education and nonprofit environments.
I started out as an aspiring journalist and newsroom intern at a fast-paced, daily newspaper; then a series of unexpected life events knocked me off my education track and plopped me into corporate America as the world’s most-driven executive assistant. Hungry for more responsibility, I worked hard to advance to a coordinator position in human resources and public affairs and after nine years, I finished that bachelor’s degree and secured a fast-tracked public relations account manager position in a fancy advertising firm.
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for me to discover that billing ninety hours a week for the shareholder’s bottom line was NOT the way I wanted to spend the rest of my life. So, I went back to school, got a master’s degree in social work administration, and started up the career ladder again—this time in the nonprofit sector.
I started my nonprofit career as a fundraising generalist for the American Heart Association. I then used my public relations experience and passion for youth as community relations manager for St. Louis City CASA. I developed grassroots programs to help eliminate health disparities and led a federally funded program providing training, technical assistance, and grants to more than 70 small, youth-serving organizations in the Greater St. Louis region. My final roles were as chief nonprofit executive and as a student of good leadership, I put my heart and soul into that work.
I was a natural born change agent, specializing in start-ups and “start-overs.” Nothing made me more excited than transforming an organization in shambles (this is still true today 🙂 The problem was—like all good super heroes—once my mission was complete, I was ready for the next challenge. I was a fixer, so staying in one place to maintain the status quo was not stimulating for me. I longed to use my gifts and talents to make an even bigger splash in the world, so when the opportunity came for me to spread my wings as an entrepreneur, it was a no-brainer!
By then, my purpose was clear. I am uniquely gifted at grasping others’ visions and creating a workable plan for bringing that vision to life, even if—no, especially if—they’ve struggled in the past to get it done. That’s why they call me the “Chief Problem Solver.” If you really want to see me shine, give me an individual or organizational challenge and 6-18 months to turn it around. Business and organization transformations are my specialty!
Of course, its not just me anymore. Painefree has grown tremendously since those early days of formation at my kitchen table and our clients benefit greatly from that growth. I’m honored to have such a dynamic team of passionate, skilled and experienced consultants to support our clients. Our firm is a little different than other consultancies. Yes, we coach, advise and train, but our real value lies in the long-term partnerships we establish when leaders are ready to forego the status quo to truly transform their results. We roll up our sleeves and help with implementation or whatever’s necessary to ensure success.