The Coaching Academy Blog

Coach In The Spotlight - Debbie Brown

Posted 2992 Days Ago in: Coach Spotlight, In The Spotlight, Success Stories


I’ve always known that I wanted my own business, the only problem…..deciding what my product or service should be?

I’ve always known that I wanted my own business, the only problem…..deciding what my product or service should be? The one thing I was certain of was that whatever the service or product it would have to be something I was truly passionate about.

I had been working within change management for a few years when I was first exposed to coaching in May 2011. My previous work had led me to specialise in a methodology called Lean Systems Thinking, which is a business technique that puts the customer at the heart, and encourages its users to understand the bigger picture. As an approach it was a breath of fresh air compared to other change approaches I was aware of.

It was the impact of the people I worked alongside that gave me the greatest reward – I became an advocate of thinking about problems and situations differently - keen to not only change the way people work but also the way they think about work. Keen to develop my skills I attended a two day Certificate in Coaching course run by The Coaching Academy in May 2012. You could say I attended the course with a healthy scepticism – it was supposed to be just another string to my bow, but by the end of day one is was already clear that it could be so much more than that. My second passion was born!

The similarities and complimentary qualities of my two passions were striking: both require looking at the holistic picture; both require gaining knowledge about the current reality before generating ideas, options and solutions; and ultimately both move individuals and/or teams from where they are now to where they need to be to improve performance.

And yet in neither discipline are the solutions or ideas my own – they are those of the people I work with, whether that be an individual undergoing personal performance coaching, or a team of people using lean systems thinking to change the way they work.

Nothing is more empowering for my clients, or for me. So my two passions aligned – and the business concept was born! Only one problem – qualification! Easy, right? My first accelerator day was ‘Value & Beliefs’ – wow what an intense and enthralling day! It provided an insight of what was to come, when during the full Values elicitation exercise, credibility, success and qualification came through strongly as my driving values.

Aha – now I knew why I had become slightly obsessed with achieving a distinction grade within six months! I loved the practical case studies – I found it a brilliant way to make mistakes and learn from them. This isn’t a course where you turn up, listen and leave with your certificate of attendance; this is a course that tests, challenges and truly increases your competency levels and skills. A complete testament to the profession. I was amazed by the difference I visually saw in my clients over a six week coaching course.

My biggest challenge came when one of my clients had a goal that completely challenged and contradicted my lean systems thinking background – I let the GROW methodology take it’s course, trusted it, and do you know what - it worked. It was a gremlin of my own that could have got in the way, but it didn’t. My tip for coaching academy students is to keep up with your learning development records. I got behind with mine, and began to resent them, rather than treat them as the learning and development aids they are supposed to be.

Secondly, make the most of the content on the student website – there are some fantastic downloads on numerous topics. I finished my diploma in January 2012 (within six months), and received my final mark in February 2012……..(distinction, phew)! I’d already handed my notice in, and was ready to start my new business in late February 2012. The business model was three days lean systems thinking consultancy and two days performance coaching for individuals.

Was it successful? Yes, but unfortunately the model changed dramatically and I’ve ended up doing five days a week consultancy. I do weave in my coaching skills as much as I can but it’s not the same. I got a wake up call a couple of months ago, when during a facilitated workshop one of my colleagues declared that they’d always wanted to be a patisserie chef (he is a invoicing clerk currently) – my stomach flipped, my heart warmed, and I thought ‘I would love to coach this guy’! So that is why I have promised myself to revert back to the original goal. So my new year’s resolutions are set:

    • Market my coaching business to build a client base, enough to fill two days

    • Complete my Corporate & Executive diploma

    • Move house

I quote this on my website ‘to improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often’ – and I believe it more than ever!

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


coach in the spotlight coaching academy corporate and executive coaching market client base business ppd bev james passion personal performance GROW coaching academy students.


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