In late 2012, I decide to take a break from my previous career but wasn't quite sure where I wanted to end up. After a few months of just enjoying freedom from the 9 - 5 (or the 7:30 - 6 in my case) I needed to make some decisions.

In late 2012, I decide to take a break from my previous career but wasn't quite sure where I wanted to end up.  After a few months of just enjoying freedom from the 9-5 (or the 7:30 – 6 in my case) I needed to make some decisions.  I explored a few different options along with attending the 2-day weekend certificate course.  That weekend I experienced the immense value of the coaching process and saw how it could add a new approach to the work I had done previously.  After a few weeks I decided to apply for both the Personal Performance Diploma and the Small Business Diploma programs.

What were your original thoughts for applying the coaching?

It took me a few weeks to figure this out, but I eventually had that light bulb moment of how to use my previous decade of corporate experience and combine this with coaching.  I decided I wanted to be a coach for the start-up journey.

What was your profession before becoming a coach?

I spent 10 years working in financial services, specialising in business management and development.  I worked with smaller business units (within a larger corporate setting) to define strategy, set milestones, and stay on track to be successful in achieving these goals.

What did you find most interesting to learn?

I really enjoyed learning about values and beliefs.  So rarely do we take a moment to consider where our own beliefs stem from and how they may hold us back from achieving our goals.  Through this process I was able to let go of a lot of things I've held on to during the years, and I love helping my clients to do the same.

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

The feedback forms from clients were the most rewarding part of the journey.  Reading about the positive impact that I was able to have on their lives and their businesses filled me with both joy and pride.

Which bits did you enjoy the most?

I really enjoyed the client sessions the most, particularly when they would tell me of the progress or insights they had made since our last sessions.

How did the qualification slot in with your current life?

I was very determined to finish the qualification as quickly as possible so that I could build out my coaching business.  As I had already left my previous job, I could focus all of my time and attention on to the training so I moved through the modules in 6 months.  I started working with clients straight away as was able to complete all of my qualification sessions in a very short timeframe.

What else did you have to consider whilst qualifying?

During the qualification process, I also had to build a business.  I moved into an area when I knew few people so have been working on creating a new network of contacts, getting my name out there, and working on the other bits of business like logo design, website development, and marketing.  These things can take longer than one anticipates!

Where are you now? How are you using your coaching skills?

My business has been going for just about 6 months now and I am currently working with a few entrepreneurs on a 3 month business coaching programme.  Over the coming months I will continue to make contact with new prospects and build out a name for myself.

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

My business provides start-up support to socially-minded entrepreneurs and small businesses.  There is the practical process of coaching around early stage business development and planning, but also tackling the often unspoken perceptions (or misperceptions) of their capabilities as a business owner and manager.  I chose this target market because I wanted to use my previous experience of business development and strategic planning but move away from the corporate sector.  Instead I want to work with those who are really passionate about helping others.  By helping them be successful in their business ventures, they will be able to have a greater positive impact on the beneficiaries of their products and services.

What is the best thing that could happen to your coaching business in the next 2 years?

There are two things – firstly that the business becomes sustainable and allows me to continue to devote 100% of working time and energy to it, and, secondly, that people start to come to me directly through word-of-mouth referrals.

What is your favorite coaching question?

If you knew that you couldn't fail, what would that allow you to do differently?

What do you enjoy most about being a coach?

I enjoy that there is a tangible outcome at the end of every session and watching my clients make huge progress towards achieving the goals they set for themselves.  When business doesn't move as quickly as I would like it to and I start to have my own doubts, hearing “thank you” reminds me of why I'm doing this and makes all of the effort worthwhile.

Top tips

People who are looking at coaching?

Remember that coaching doesn't necessarily need to be a completely new career path for you.  There are ways to combine the skills with the experience you've built over the years.  The journey is also one of self-discovery – you will learn A LOT about yourself during your training!

Those coaches currently in training?

You may not have the luxury of time like I did, so try to make as much progress as possible in the time that you do have.  Little and often is a great way to approach the training.  There is a lot to get through so set a goal for when you'd like to complete it all by and work backwards from there.

Coaches that are about to qualify?

You're almost there!  If you have fears about your assessments, speak to your mentors at The Coaching Academy or work with your own coach to break down some of the barriers that you're setting for yourself.

If you're confident about your assessments, then just get them done!  You'll feel a huge sense of accomplishment (and relief) once you've done so.

People that are in a similar situation to yourself?

Starting a business is hard work.  If it wasn't, more people would be doing it!  Be patient with yourself and surround yourself with support – from friends, other business owners, mentors, and paid support (when you can).  Defining a niche early on will make the process easier – you will know exactly who you are here to serve, why and how you want to help them, and where to find them. 

Start your own coaching journey today - book your space on our free 2-day life coaching course.



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