We recently got the chance to catch up with Life Coach of the Year 2016 - David Hare for a quick Q&A for this weeks 'Coach in the Spotlight. We hope you enjoy...
David Congratulations on winning the award! How did it feel when you found out you had won?
Thank you! I felt very relieved that I had kept my bow-tie on (just in case…) for the photo with Bev! Gobsmacked to win such a prestigious award at the first attempt. Humbled and thrilled to enjoy a ‘podium moment.’ I felt that, as Bev said on the night, “I did good.” And very grateful – to TCA, to all my clients and to the mentors and teachers who have stretched and supported me in my coaching adventure since 2005.
What inspired you to apply for an award?
I used to write award entries for corporate clients in my previous career (PR) and thought it was about time I ‘tooted my own horn’ for a change. Also seeing the happy faces of last year’s winners on your website and thinking, “I’d like some of that.”
How has Coaching benefited your life?
It has made me look at the world very differently – for example I’m now more likely to see positive potential in everyone I meet and to see solutions instead of problems in challenging situations. It has taken away my own excuses for underperformance (such as procrastination and fear). For example, without knowing how to coach myself I would never have finished writing the book that has changed my life. Also it’s a real thrill when a client starts to coach themselves, using the language and mindset tools I have taught them. I also think coaching has also made me a better father, though you would need to check that with my kids!
What was the turning point for you to decide that Coaching was something you wanted to pursue as a career?
A mid-life crisis in 2005! I had just lost a well-paid, high-status, globe-trotting job as PR director for a multinational logistics company. One minute I was on a private jet on the way to a board meeting and three months later I was scrapping around for bits of freelance work. I was wondering what to do next and was frittering away my severance package when I stumbled across coaching on the internet and then had a free coaching session with an incredibly wise and intuitive lady called Elizabeth. She identified within 20 minutes that I had two clashing Values causing my career indecision – Freedom and Belonging.
What was it that inspired you to specialise in your chosen niche?
My only niche is that I coach anyone “with an open mind, a seeking heart and the determination to ‘do the work’ between sessions.” This is inspired by my faith in Nichiren Buddhism which teaches that only profound personal transformations will transform the spirit of our troubled age. In terms of ‘marketing’ niches, to begin with I mostly coached people from my own professional background – PR, media and logistics. Then during the recession, I had a lot of start-up business owners coming to me, as well as Customer Services professionals.
What have been your biggest learning curves about turning Coaching into a business?
Realising that ‘selling’ is not a dirty word! That you have to keep asking until you get a ‘yes’ – one of my big corporate coaching assignments took two years of pestering before it was in the bag! Knowing that you are good and that there is always work for good people. Differentiate yourself – people will pay a premium for added value. Finally, if you put yourself out of business as fast as possible with each new client, they will recommend you to others.
What have been the highlights of your Coaching Journey?
Winning Life Coach of the Year is right up there, of course! Embracing social media to build a platform of fans that was big enough and engaged enough for Penguin Random House to publish my personal development book, The Buddha in me, the Buddha in You – a handbook for happiness. Then seeing the book climb the Amazon charts and sit alongside titles by the likes of Deepak Chopra and the Dalai Lama in Waterstones and Foyles. Breaking into the USA coaching market last year (thank you Skype). But the biggest highlight is always that excited flutter you get in your belly when someone is having a long-awaited lightbulb moment and they realise that the ‘impossible’ is achievable after all... You can’t put a price on that… Also seeing someone become the person they need to become to achieve their goals, because who you become will always be more important than what you have.
What advice would you give to Coaches who will be nominating themselves for an award next year?
I’m a Coach, I don’t give advice. But when I train people to write award entries, I sum up my top tip in one line: “Show them you’re a hero.” In other words, don’t treat an award entry as an exam or audit, find an angle or story that makes you stand out and back it up with evidence, including financial success and great testimonials from people who love you. And you’d expect a coach to say this, but ‘begin with the end in mind’ and ‘visualise your podium moment’. Finally, use the very searching questions in the award entry as a chance to reflect on your business. Then even if you don’t win an award, you will still learn from the experience and that makes you a winner in your own right.
What are you hoping to do next?
Bask in the glory for a little but longer and make the most of this win to grow my coaching business even more in 2017. I would also love to become more of an ‘ambassador’ for The Coaching Academy and be involved in training coaches, because what you are doing for individuals and society is incredibly valuable.
If David's words have inspired you and you feel that Coaching could be a potential full or part time opportunity for you, or if you would just like to know a little more about what Coaching is and how it can benefit you and the lives of others, please contact our specialist course advisor Jamil by calling us on 0208 996 4830 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
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