So there I was - fed up and frustrated with work and heading towards fifty.

I was that person stuck in a rut, uninspired, de-motivated (Senior Manager in the NHS having gone through yet another major restructure) and knowing I wanted to do something different but not sure what it was. All I did know was that I wanted to work with people and make a difference.

I was working on my PC that night when one of those annoying Google ads popped up. This one was offering a free coaching weekend with an outfit I’d never heard of, called The Coaching Academy. I was bored, had nothing much planned and thought: 'Well why not? Might as well give it a whirl'. 

Who knew? 

I decided to approach the weekend wearing two hats, one for my personal development and the other to see if it was something I might want to pursue professionally. I came away from the weekend energised, revitalised and revived with a crystal-clear idea of what I wanted to do - and the rest, as they say, is history! Or not, as the case might be. If only it was that straightforward. 

I had the same insecurities, anxieties and fears that many of my clients have when making any kind of transformation. I procrastinated about completing my qualification, fearing of both failure and success, so there’s not much room for manoeuvre there then. It went something like this: as long as I wasn't qualified I wasn't in business, so I couldn't fail/succeed. I allowed my fears, self doubt and my inner saboteur to get in my way. Procrastination was becoming my comfort zone while at the same time sapping my confidence and energy. Sound familiar to anyone?

Finally, I decided to practise what I preach, got myself a professional coach and started setting goals for myself and, most importantly, taking actions; however small. With the help of my coach, I got back on track with my course work, got my professional qualification, set up my business and now I am doing what I love. I am acutely aware of the uncertainty and anxiety experienced in making such a big change, as well as the huge excitement of following your dreams and taking on new challenges. 

Now I specialise in career and personal development coaching; predominately working with clients who are looking for more meaning in their work or life. I coach over the phone and Skype. My first few paying clients came via referrals from friends and now my clients come from people, who’ve heard me speak at events or referrals from people in my wider networks.

So, what can I say about my journey with The Coaching Academy? Well, as a trainer myself, it can be hard to please when it comes to training. However, I was blown away by the quality of the training and the brilliance of the trainers on the weekend and on the Accelerator days. The breadth and quality of the training was first rate. 

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Coaching Academy, so much that I now work as a volunteer mentor for The Academy. The mentoring programme is a great addition to the Diploma qualification process and is there to be supportive, helpful and encouraging. 

There’s so much I have learnt and continue to learn both personally and professionally. 

Some of the lessons I have learned throughout my journey are:

1. You can have the best laid plans and goals but if you don't address your inner barriers, doubts and fears they are unlikely to happen. As my first coach often used to say, ‘It’s 80% inner work and 20% outer work.’

2. Self-sabotage runs deep, sometimes much deeper than what we think of our aims and intentions. Coaching is more than a process; it requires a generosity of heart.

3. For change to happen our desire has to be greater than our fear - or to flip it, only when we are fed up enough we’ll do something about it.

4. Perfectionism is just plain unhelpful. ‘Done is better than perfect’ - Sheryl Sandberg.

5. Get your own coach, get challenged and be brave. Coaching is more than a process, it comes from the heart so have fun and enjoy!

If George’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 on 0208 996 4830 or email:

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