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Life Coach to CEO - Interview with our CEO, Bev James

The Coaching Academy Blog

Posted: March 2024

To mark International Women’s Day, we sat down with The Coaching Academy CEO, Bev James, to share her inspirational career and how she went from Coaching Academy student to the CEO of The Coaching Academy! Read on to learn more about her own coaching journey…

How did you discover life coaching and The Coaching Academy?

The Coaching Academy stood out as the pioneer coaching school in the UK with an exceptional reputation, making the decision to enrol with them was an easy one.  Obviously at that time I didn’t realise I would end up becoming CEO, going on to own and grow the company to become fully established as one of the most prestigious coach training companies!

After you qualified, what did you do with your coaching qualification / what type of coaching business did you set up?

With a background in running small businesses, I naturally gravitated towards business and entrepreneurship coaching as my primary focus. Additionally, I found great satisfaction in confidence coaching, witnessing individuals undergo transformative journeys towards achieving their personal aspirations. 

What were some of the highlights and successes of your time as a coach?

One poignant moment was coaching a bride who feared she would break down while reciting her vows due to overwhelming nervousness. Witnessing her confidently speak on her wedding day filled me with immense pride and joy. Another memorable experience was having a coaching conversation with my cousin, facing cancer surgery, to set a goal of cycling from Bristol to London within a year post-surgery, which he accomplished, raising funds for Cancer Research. These instances underscore the profound impact life coaching can have in both personal and professional spheres.

How did you become a Coaching Academy trainer, and then what led you to become CEO of The Coaching Academy?

Initially, I aspired to become a Coaching Academy trainer after being deeply impressed by their world-class instructors. Volunteering to assist during courses helped me gain invaluable experience, eventually leading to an opportunity to join the esteemed training team. As fate would have it, the opportunity to acquire The Coaching Academy arose, this really was a dream come true to combine my business experience with my passion for personal development and coaching. 

How did running The Coaching Academy lead to setting up your successful Talent & Literary Agency, Bev James Management?

After a number of years running and growing The Coaching Academy, and having gone through the process of writing a Sunday Times Best Seller myself (Do it! Or Ditch It), Bev James Management and Literary Agency emerged organically from my multifaceted career journey as a businessperson, coach, mentor, and literature enthusiast. Working with experts to amplify their message for positive change is a joy and a privilege.  The agency works with purpose-driven people who want to make a positive & lasting difference to the lives of others - being part of someone’s literary legacy and enabling them to further their reach and impact is incredibly exciting and rewarding. 

Do you have any advice for our students, recent graduates and community?

  • For current students: Fully immerse yourself in your coaching studies, allocating dedicated time in your schedule. However, don't be too hard on yourself if life intervenes; remember, our coaching courses are designed to work flexibly around your needs, and you can pause and resume your studies if needed.
  • For recent graduates: Capitalise on the low-cost nature of starting a coaching business. Focus on creating a compelling brand identity tailored to your target market. Leverage social media platforms effectively to enhance visibility and outreach. Stay attuned to media opportunities relevant to your coaching niche. Proactively reach out to local media outlets and online publications offering your expertise for interviews or commentary.  Local exposure can significantly boost your business credibility and visibility. Consider showcasing media coverage on your website to further establish credibility and attract potential clients. 

To all our community I would say having coached and worked with inspirational clients such as Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) for over a decade, whose fitness odyssey began humbly with only a handful of attendees at his bootcamps, evolving into a global phenomenon motivating countless individuals through his PE with Joe sessions during lockdown and reaching millions through his books, Instagram, YouTube, and fitness app.  

One notable trait shared by Joe and other achievers is their unwavering commitment to giving their all. Consistency emerges as a vital element—dedicate yourself daily to actions that propel you toward realising your goals and aspirations!

What is your vision for The Coaching Academy in the coming years? 

As CEO of The Coaching Academy, it is my unwavering vision to continue our legacy as pioneers in the coaching industry.  We are committed to fostering a culture of excellent, innovation, and empowerment, where each coach we train comes the catalyst for positive change in our world.

Our mission is clear: to equip individuals with the tools, skills and mindset to unlock their full potential, both professionally and personally. By nurturing a commit of passionate and dedicated coaches, we aim to make a profound and lasting impact, one coach at a time.

Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible. Inspire transformative growth, and champion the values of integrity, empathy and authenticity in the life coaching industry. Through our collective efforts, we will create a brighter, more resilient future, where every individual has the opportunity to thrive and contribute meaningfully to our global coaching and personal development community.  We want our students and graduates to join us on this journey as we strive to make a positive difference in the lives of others and leave a legacy of empowerment and transformation for generations to come. 

As a literary enthusiast and avid reader, which books by inspirational women would you recommend for our readers?

  • The Heat of the Moment: Life and Death Decision-Making from a Firefighter - Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton
  • Born Fighter - Ruqsana Begum
  • Do What You Love, Love What You Do: The Empowering Secrets to Turn Your Passion into Profit - Holly Tucker

Finally, today marks International Women's Day and you are definitely an inspirational woman - why today is important and can you share any wise words for women who would like to make an impact?

International Women's Day holds profound significance for me, resonating with the remarkable strides women have made in achieving equality and recognition throughout history. It serves as a poignant reminder of the not-so-distant past when women were denied fundamental rights, unable to possess their own bank accounts or even cast their votes. This day symbolises our collective journey towards empowerment, illustrating that the shackles of inequality can be shattered through unity and perseverance. It stands as a testament to our resilience and determination, reminding us that this is our era, where we have the power to break free from any chains that constrain our progress.   

Together, we can continue to pave the way for a future where every woman is afforded the dignity, respect, and opportunities she deserves.

Thank you so much Bev for sharing your coaching journey and such wonderful insights with us on International Women’s Day!  

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