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Chris Cooper - Coach in the Spotlight - My Journey into Coaching


I made the decision at the start of 2016 that I wanted to change my career. Specifically, I realised that I no longer wanted to work for somebody else. Having left my previous job as Operations Director for a sports company, I started working for a friendís company as a project manager on a freelance basis. I soon liked the freedom and creativity that came from my freelance work.

It was important for me to find a business idea that would allow me to have a sustainable self-employed career, and having researched various options I became very interested in becoming a Life Coach. This was something I had been interested in for a number of years. Doing a job which positively changed the lives of people was a major motivational factor for me, and coaching would enable me to do this.

Having done some online research into how to train as a Life Coach, I found The Coaching Academy and booked myself on to the free 2-day event in Leeds. Before attending, I was 95% sure I wanted to become a coach and by the end of the course I was 99.9% sure! I ended up booking myself on to the Diploma in Personal Performance Coaching before the end of the week.

The diploma was really diverse and I found all areas very interesting. I enjoyed all the learning, personal development and self-realisation that came as part of working towards becoming a coach. Learning how to use the GROW model with clients was really rewarding. I found it exhilarating to see clients make personal breakthroughs and learn things about themselves that they’d never been conscious of before. This was what made me really sure that I had made the right decision to become a coach. Of all the learning, I enjoyed attending the Accelerator Days the most. Never before have I felt so much energy in a training environment. I found everyone genuinely engaged in the learning from the start of each day right through the end.

I managed to slot my studying in between my freelance work and completed my diploma within 9 months. From the start, I was 100% focused on making coaching my full-time job, so I was determined to finish everything before the end of 2016, which I did. I also set myself the goal of passing with Distinction, and I’m really proud to say that I managed to do this as well.
At the moment, I am busy setting up my own coaching business, Life Complete. I managed to pick up my first two paying clients before I started doing any marketing, which was really encouraging. There is a lot of work involved in setting up a business on your own, but the learning in this area as part of the diploma has been invaluable. I have also been actively engaged with my local Coaching Circle and have stayed in touch with people I met while studying. This has really helped. The support I have had from other coaches in a similar position as me has also been great.

My favourite coaching question is probably, ‘what would be happening now in life if everything was as you wanted it to be?’ This allows clients to really open up their minds to what they want from life, and how great they will feel when they have achieved their goals. Then it’s my job to help them work out what they need to do to get there!

The things I enjoy most about coaching are helping people realise their potential and having my own business – I can’t imagine working for somebody else again having come this far!!

My biggest tip for people who are thinking about becoming a coach is to enroll on one of The Coaching Academy’s Free 2-Day events.

You will get a great taster of how the learning works and what it’s like to become a coach, as well as learning from people who started their own coaching journey in the same position as you – attending one of these free events. Even if you decide coaching is not for you, you will learn new skills that you can apply elsewhere in your life and career.

For people currently in training, my best piece of advice is to use the skills you are learning to plan and be really organised. This way you will stay on top of everything you need to do, and complete your diploma within a timescale that is right for you. Also, don’t be afraid of your first few coaching sessions. You will make mistakes, everybody does. The important thing is the learning that you can take from the experience and how you apply this next time. This is the best way to keep improving.

For coaches about to qualify, it is important to think ahead what you want to do next, specifically how you want to use your diploma when you qualify. Spend plenty of time researching various niches before you decide what’s right for you, and always be open to the help available to you from The Coaching Academy and other sources.

For people in a similar position of setting up their own coaching business, staying focused is the most important piece of advice I can give. There are so many ways you can spend your time without really being productive, so being clear about what you want to achieve and how to get there is essential. Try working with another coach in a similar position to you and support each other as you’re both setting up your businesses. Also, think very carefully about your marketing and consider what you want to achieve before you undertake any activity. This way you’ll be utilising your time, efforts (and money) in the right way.

If Chris' 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 on 0208 996 4830 or email: Jamil@the-coaching-academy.com.

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