The Coaching Academy Blog

Coach In The Spotlight - Zahra Shah

Posted 2938 Days Ago in: Coach Spotlight, In The Spotlight, Success Stories


My coaching niche is health and well being. I chose it because as a result of my experience at the Coaching Academy’s Certificate in Coaching – 2 day event. I went on to set myself goals around my health and well being and as a result I lost 8 stone and became a personal trainer.

What brought you to coaching?

I have always had a ‘calling’ to help people. In the summer of 2008 I began exploring courses that would enable me to do this effectively and with a qualification. I looked at counselling courses and then finally came across coaching as way of increasing my skills so I could ‘help’ others achieve their goals.

What were your original thoughts for applying the coaching?

My initial thoughts were to apply coaching to my existing skills as a change communications professional and also use it for general personal development.

What was your profession before becoming a coach?

I have worked in internal communications for 10 years – promoting and implementing change programmes to staff in the public sector

What did you find most interesting to learn?

I loved exploring values and beliefs. It was a fascinating learning experience as both a coach in the making and in relation to my own values and beliefs.

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

The most rewarding thing was putting into practise my skills with clients and witnessing the amazing effects of the power of coaching and how it can help clients reach their goal and move towards the success they want.

Which bits did you enjoy the most?

I liked the social interaction at the accelerator days, developing new tools, working with new people, sharing stories and being coached by my peers.

How did the qualification slot in with your current life?

I worked on the qualification during evenings and weekends. I was able to use my lunch hours to coach clients and I was able to complete the all module course work and attend the accelerator days in about 6 months.

What else did you have to consider whilst qualifying?

I was also learning to drive and finalising my personal trainer qualifications and had a full time job! So I had to become even better at time management!

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

I am now coaching and personal training clients, in all the areas of health and well being - from increasing fitness to managing weight loss. I am also using my coaching skills in my role as a communicator, coaching clients in change environments.

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

My coaching niche is health and well being. I chose it because as a result of my experience at the Coaching Academy’s Certificate in Coaching – 2 day event. I went on to set myself goals around my health and well being and as a result I lost 8 stone and became a personal trainer. I believe successful change in lifestyle, wellbeing, health and weight loss is a combination of having a:

  • healthy body

  • healthy mind

  • and healthy heart

My lifestyle change inspired me to identify my true niche.

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

For my business to grow both online and offline and for more people to know how coaching can really have a positive and long lasting effect on health, well being and weight loss.

What is your favorite coaching question?

When a client says, I really have no ideas or options left… I like to use the following question. What if you did know what to do? What would you do?

What do you enjoy most about being a coach?

I think coaching is process where people really find out who they are! For me being part of this journey and seeing clients develop, grow and learn to trust in their own self and what they can really achieve, is truly special.

What are your top tips for:


People who are looking at coaching?

Be coached yourself; experience what coaching is in the first instance. You cannot understand the power of coaching unless you yourself have been coached! Check out if coaching is for you by attending a coaching taster course like the 2 day certificate.

Those coaches currently in training?

Coach as many non coaches as possible, because this will be the reality of what working life as a coach is like. Remember to value your free sessions by reiterating their worth to pro bono clients but make sure you give value in both time and effort.

Coaches that are about to qualify?

Remember the assessors are there to help you and give you the feedback you need.. to improve. Take on board the feedback after each assessment and incorporate those into your next assessment. This is valuable information to improving yourself between assessments. Prepare you and your client for your assessment and choose a client you have coached before, don’t make your first coaching session with a new client your assessment.

People that are in a similar situation to yourself?

Learn who your audience are and target them with what they want – not what you think they want! Remember you are the expert in your niche – make your clients come to you- become the ‘must have’ coach that everyone ones to work with. However, whilst niches are important don’t be afraid to grow and stretch as coach yourself and take on clients who want to be coached on any subject matter. If they are coming to you to be coached then they want you, regardless of your niche.

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


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