Live into your possibility.
As a coach, writer, and speaker, I equip the creative community to move beyond inspiration into action—a journey that began with taking action to reimagine my own path after a life-changing personal transformation.
What’s on the other side of transformation? When a life-changing event happens, we often respond by imagining the worst possible outcome. Rarely do we see the possibilities. I had an opportunity to live out the answer to this question in January 2017 when my marriage to my business partner ended. Initially it felt like my life was falling apart, but then I chose to see it as an opportunity to reimagine what I wanted for my life and career. That exploration drew me back to my roots as a social worker, and I chose to combine my love for the creative community with my ambition to help others take action.
Prior to launching my coaching practice, I cofounded The Great Discontent, a publication of in-depth interviews with artists, makers, and risk-takers. As Editor in Chief of the magazine I spoke with more than 250 notable creators for the web, print, and audio, including Cheryl Strayed, Debbie Millman, Reggie Watts, Tavi Gevinson, Leon Bridges, and Krista Tippett.
My practice is enriched by insights gleaned from intimate conversations with hundreds of subjects via The Great Discontent as well as formal coaching training through Coach U and my roots as a social worker. I previously earned a Bachelor of Social Work from Wayne State University in Detroit and spent a decade working with runaway and homeless youth and families in my home state of Michigan.
In addition to coaching, I speak and write about vulnerability, empathy, connection, and the multitude of themes that dot the creative landscape, like self-doubt, how to build a sustainable career, burnout, managing uncertainty and risk, prioritizing opportunities, transition, and the search for fulfillment.
In 2017, I was recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in Brooklyn culture by Brooklyn Magazine, and I had the honor to serve as Chair of the 2017 AIGA Design Conference. In 2018, I was included in Graphic Design USA’s People to Watch list and spoke on the main stage at HOW Design Live about my mission to help others abandon the hustle and embrace the great contentment.
Outside of coaching and speaking, I share my knowledge and experience with the creative community via Asking Not Asking, my bimonthly coaching column for Working Not Working Magazine, and by volunteering as a mentor for NEW INC, the first museum-led incubator for ideas.
select press & interviews
Tina Essmaker’s Great Contentment | Print Mag
Getting Work to Work Ep 245 | Podcast Interview
Overshare by Working Not Working | Podcast Interview
The Process | Podcast Interview
Make Nice | Written Interview
The 100 Day Podcast | Podcast Interview
Let It Out | Podcast Interview
Creative Pep Talk | Podcast Interview
2018 GDUSA People to Watch | Magazine Feature
Around NYC | Interview Series
Brooklyn 100 Influencer | Magazine Feature