Special thanks to our passionate coach, Adrian Wales for sharing his remarkable coaching journey this week. 3 years down the road and it was so worth it for Adrian – qualified with Distinctions in both Personal Performance Coaching and Small Business Diplomas and has done around 400 coaching sessions with his clients. It is the wonder of coaching that Adrian found and truly loved - for him, coaching was the journey, rather than the destination and he still learns every day and continues to invest in his own personal development.

We hope you find Adrian’s top tips for building a successful coaching business useful.

What was your profession before becoming a coach?

In October 2015, following a long and enjoyable career in senior project management, I was looking for a new challenge, preferably in the area of coaching and mentoring, as that had always been my key reason for wanting to be in leadership. A couple of different professionals I respected recommended I attend the CA two-day Introduction to Coaching Course. I found an event in Manchester and went along. Within 10 minutes (yes, 10 minutes!) I knew I’d found the vocation I’d been looking for, I was simply blown away as I knew this was exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my career. I signed up within a few days for two Diplomas, one in Personal Performance Coaching and the other in Small Business Coaching, as I’d worked with small businesses for over 20 years and felt a tremendous empathy for the challenges in that area. 

What was the most rewarding part of your training/journey?

I was a little nervous to begin with as it had been a long time since I studied but I absolutely loved the mix of workbooks, webinars, DVDs and especially the Accelerator Days, where I found the quality of training outstanding and met and formed links with some wonderful people, some of whom I now count as good friends. I took some sound advice and began to build my business, along with my partner, straightaway, rather than wait to qualify. This was a real challenge, networking, marketing, reading business books, following up contacts and studying as well. But 3 years down the road it was so worth it! I qualified with Distinctions in both Diplomas but, forgive the cliché, it was definitely the journey, rather than the destination, that I found most beneficial.

Where are you now? What is your coaching niche and why did you choose it?

I’m now steadily building a coaching and training business which is gaining credibility in a crowded marketplace. I continue to invest in my own development, I have my own coach and still regularly attend CPD days with The Coaching Academy. I was mindful of a respected coach who told me that a niche is not somewhere you go to, but a place you come from. For that reason, I look for people like me, people who feel their work is vocational, people who want to take responsibility for their own growth and development and, most of all, people who are fun and don’t take themselves too seriously! My clients include a copy writer, a restaurant owner, a professional speaker and a removals business owner. The beauty of being a coach is that their specific trade is far less important than who they are as a person and what they want from their life and business, which is where I come in!

What are your top tips for building a successful coaching business

My absolute top tip for coaches who are wanting to run their own business is simply keep going! Building a business is tough, there’s no escaping that fact, and coaching is a service that many people don’t know that they need. But I’ve found that being the person you say you are, taking a genuine interest in other people and building relationships, one person at a time, rather than mass marketing, really help build your reputation, which is massive in building a successful coaching practice.

For me, qualifying as a coach marks the beginning of your coaching journey. They always say you only truly learn to drive once you pass your test and I think coaching is a little similar to that. I’ve done around 400 coaching sessions in the past three years but I’m still learning from every single one. That’s the wonder of coaching and that’s why I often say that even if I’d never made a penny from this fabulous vocation it would still have been so worth it!


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