About Jim Earley


Before I talk about me, let me tell you about the folks who hire me.  Let me tell you about you.

Most are talented mavericks.  They are bright, successful, hard working and responsible.  Most are leaders in some capacity.  All are honest and good.  Many own their businesses.  In spite of their success, most feel like outsiders or imposters.

They (you) are my people.  I find them (you) amazing.


I’m a connector.  I connect people to their dreams, goals, actions and insights.  I connect them to solutions, other people, resources and options.  I hope to connect you to the future you want.

I started my full-time coaching practice in January of 1991.  That decision was the culmination of a year’s soul-searching for an answer to the question “What is my life’s work?”  For the next 10 years, I identified myself as “Jim Earley, Performance Coach.” Then, in November of 2000, I sensed it was time for a new professional identity and created Trailblazer Coaching.

Let’s talk about the word “Trailblazer.” I wanted a name that would fit me, and would also fit my clients. I wanted a name that spoke more about creating a direction in life than finding one.

I wanted a name that hinted at the important choices we sometimes face in life that would be the context of mine and my client’s coaching relationship.

Trail blazing marker.

A trail blazing marker.

When I considered the name Trailblazer Coaching, I realized it fit. To “blaze” a trail is to mark it in a way that makes it easier for others to follow.  That implies going first.  I had certainly blazed some trails in my life, including one for the business/personal coaching industry in Minnesota, so the name fit me. I also knew that nearly every person who had hired me had faced the need to do something they had never done before. Every coaching client faces a trail needing blazing.

In July of 2001, I realized my life was great, better than ever. Yet there were a couple of areas of life where I was dissatisfied. I realized that in those areas, I had been consistent in how I’d approached them over the years and that what I had was as good as I could expect to have.

If I wanted something more, I would need to live differently. I’d need to blaze some new trails.

Out of that, the tag line for my business card was born:
When you realize the road you are on won’t get you where you want to go.

I imagine that, if you’re reading this, you are facing a situation in your life where you realize the road you’re on, the way you’ve been doing things, won’t get you where you want to go. You’ve come to the right place.


Jim Earley

Jim Earley

2008: Awarded the Gaston Award for Distinguished Service by the Minnesota Coaches Association.

Education: MA, Industrial Relations/Human Resources, University of Minnesota, 1983
BA, cum laude, Journalism, University of Minnesota, 1978

Coaching Training: Academy of Coaching Excellence, Coach University, The Arbinger Institute

Non-Traditional Education: Below are some of the insights about motivation and abilities relevant to my choice of coaching as a career and my ability to do it well.

Professional Organizations: Founding member of the Minnesota Coaches Association as well as former President and board member; International Coach Federation; University of Minnesota, Industrial Relations Center, Alumni Association (former President and board member); and the American Society of Training and Development (former board member).

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