Cliodhna O’Dea, our accomplished coach shares how she was inspired to turn her passion for personal development into a fulfilling coaching career. Cliodhna discovered coaching after meeting an inspiring graduate of The Coaching Academy and has since transformed her life. We hope you enjoy…

What inspired you to enrol with The Coaching Academy?

Psychology and Personal Development have always been huge passions of mine. In late 2015, as part of my role at work I participated in a leadership development programme, the Programme Director was truly inspiring so after the course I asked a little bit more about her background over coffee. I learned that she was a graduate of The Coaching Academy and had moved into leadership development after her diploma. She encouraged me to attend the Free 2-Day event and I decided to enrol a week later! 

What was/is your profession before becoming a coach?

My background is in Advertising and Media but being in a more caring position always appealed to me, so The Coaching Academy’s Personal Performance Diploma was the perfect launch pad for that.

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

By far the most rewarding part of the journey was the inspiring people I met. I made great contacts and friend, many of which I’m still in touch with over two years on. It is so inspiring to meet people from all different backgrounds being drawn to coaching. The trainee coaches I have met have been a great support to me in setting up my business, offering helpful hint and tips based on their own experience. It is wonderful to build that camaraderie and support through the face to face Accelerator Days but also online through Skype or FaceTime.

How did you fit coach training into your busy life?

Planning was key. I fitted my coach training in by dedicating at least two evenings a week to practise coaching sessions as well as paperwork and one weekend morning - which was usually Saturday. The structure meant that I didn’t feel stretched and that enabled me to prioritise all the different elements of my life without feeling overwhelmed. Having said that, the fact that the Coaching Academy’s programme is highly flexible in terms of timings meant I was in control of my own schedule, something I really value. During the course of my training I moved home from London to Dublin, Ireland which was no trouble at all given the distance learning component of the Diploma.

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

It’s a very exciting time for me at the moment. In April, I started my own Wellness Business - Mahu Health. The vision of the company is to empower women to live their best lives both at work and outside work on their terms. Through my coaching sessions, I saw a theme emerging in that women were usually drawn to me and the topics in which I coached them were largely either Career or Health related. I now coach clients one to one on all manner of Health & Wellbeing topics and am currently finalising the details for my first Wellness Retreat this November. Mahu Health’s Restore Retreat will be hosted in the idyllic Tipperary countryside, this will be the first time I am offering my coaching clients an opportunity to engage with my brand in person and meet a community of other like-minded women. I’m partnering with a fantastic yoga instructor and two Nutritionist/ Pharmacists to create a special space for a wide range of activities including Coaching Workshops, Digital Detox Workshops, Yoga, Nutrition, Meditation, Country Walks and importantly space to relax. The event will be an intimate one and takes place in early November 2018. Mahu Health -Restore attendees will leave armed with a tool kit for the Winter months ahead. I’m truly passionate about both the Future of Work and Health and this month have started an MSc in Organizational Psychology to further my expertise in this space. It’s a busy but very exciting time!

What are your top tips for:

People who are looking to become qualified as a professional coach?

Those currently in training with TCA?

Coaches, that are about to qualify?

My advice would be similar for all three and that is to plan your schedule well to avoid overwhelm and fall in love with what you are doing. As corny as it sounds, having a passion for the coaching area you are studying will shine through to your clients and those assessing your paperwork.

Whether you are studying the Personal Performance Diploma, Small Business Coaching Diploma or Corporate & Executive Diploma if you love what you are study it will be infectious and you are far more likely to be a success at something if you truly believe in it!


Take your first step towards a rewarding & fulfilling career with our Free Foundation in Life Coaching Course


Cliodhna O’Dea is a professional coach passionate about empowering busy women through Coaching & Wellness Retreats at Mahu Health & Wellness. This November, she's excited to launch Mahu Health Restore. You can catch up with Cliodhna with her special programme here @mahuhealth



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