We caught up with the radiant Jo Emerson, winner of Executive Coach of the Year at the 2019 International Coaching Awards to get a glimpse into the life of an award-winning coach. Tagging along to a university festival gave us a chance to see Jo in action on stage and sit down for a coffee and insightful coaching stories.

Jo Emerson is a qualified coach and NLP Practitioner who specialised in confidence and human behaviour. Her focus in the corporate sector encourages a culture of coaching through vulnerability and truth-telling. This creates high performing teams who trust one another enough to take risks, innovate and act as interdependent parts of a living-whole.

 Emanating confidence and optimism, Jo shared her story with a cheerful smile – ‘It’s like falling in love. When I found coaching, I knew this was the job I was meant to do.’

We talked about her early coaching years, getting started with organisations, the Emerson method developed to coach teams and Jo even shared her seemingly miraculous story of how she got to enrol with The Coaching Academy.

Jo started her coaching journey 7 years ago when she discovered this industry and immediately felt that this is the job she was called to do. Having trained as an NLP Practitioner, Jo started her career as a confidence coach and 2 years in she started working with corporations, developing as an Executive Coach.

Discussing if her life would be the same now in a different career, Jo can’t even picture life without coaching.

No. Because I think I was made for this job! Gosh, it's like an existential question, but, I don't think I could have been as successful in any other job. Coaching... I say that in the video you watched earlier on you know when I discovered coaching it was like falling in love!

Oh right, yeah, this is what I was supposed to do! I watched Tony Robbins working online and I thought - of course, of course, that's what I should be doing! I showed my friends this video of him and said - look at this, he gets paid to do this - and they said – yeah, you’re like that, you should definitely do that.

And because I've been out of the corporate sector for a while at that point, having babies and just running a small business, I wasn't really aware of coaching particularly. It was a new thing to me. I was aware of counselling and was aware of mentorship and I suppose I was aware of sports coaching but I wasn't aware of coaching and mindset training and exec coaching, it just hasn’t been a part of my experience.

And so yeah, I wouldn't be here now if I hadn't watched that video, if that Coaching Academy ad hadn't popped up, if I haven't gone on those free two days. And the story, maybe we'll come on to this, but the story of how the money dropped into my life to be able to pay for training was miraculous.

I feel really strongly that this is what I am supposed to be doing, in the same way, that when I met my husband I knew that he was my soul mate. Having not believed in soul mates. I met him and  I was like, of course, it's you and it's the same feeling with coaching. I’m really lucky. “

Watch the video below to hear more about the role that coaching plays in Jo’s life, how her different parts of her business fit together, why she coaches teams and a breakdown of the Emerson model!

Building a successful coaching business can be a challenge, especially when you’re a mother of three and you have several responsibilities. Needing time to work, to study, spending time on and in her business, the biggest challenge was finding balance in her life.

“I think the biggest challenge has been balancing. Balancing a career that is getting more and more successful with three small children, actually. That’s probably been the biggest challenge. Because I say this every single time wherever I go,  even to my corporate clients – I’m a mother first and I'll always be a mother first.

And so there have been times when I’ve wanted to go off, I’ve been asked to go to Paris and do some work. So I was a single mum for six years raising my three kids and I was fostering a teenager at the time as well, and training as a coach and setting up the business. And I had these opportunities to go off and do stuff and I couldn't go because I couldn't leave my children, because who was I going to leave them with.

And actually, that has been one of my biggest challenges. I feel that the success has come because I followed my nose and I’ve done the next right thing and the next right thing and then ideas come in I thought yeah, let’s give that a go.

And so I've kept going and kept going and try to kind of add new things to my business each year. But I suppose the biggest challenge has been my time and feeling, I never wanna feel that my children aren’t getting enough of me or my clients aren’t getting enough of me. “

Watch the video below to hear Jo talk about prioritising her balance and wellbeing to make sure she can show up as a great mom for her children and a fantastic coach for the teams she works with, and all the tactics she’s implemented to accomplish this.

Having fully immersed herself in her coaching business, Jo remembers her days starting as a coach and she provided a handful of tips for new coaches to guide them in building a successful business.

“On the business side, first thing you've got to do is niche. And when you find a niche, niche down even more because that's how the world works these days.

(…) People don't go on to Google or YouTube and search coach.  They will search confidence coach or leadership coach or abuse recovery coach or scientific coach, you know. They will be searching for something very specific and you have to meet that need in people.

So I was encouraged to find a niche and it terrified me cause I thought – no, I wanna coach the whole world thank you.

I'm so glad I listened to that advice and niched into confidence because it has meant that people know what they're going to get from me. It also meant that I can very much specialise and build my confidence in my niche as a confidence coach so you need to find your lane and stay in your lane, definitely.

The second thing I've always done is invest in marketing. And it’s really important. I took out a loan for my website because I knew it had to be really good and I’m so glad I’ve done that.

(…)  I was paying someone to help me with my marketing, to help get my book ready for publishing, with my online course, help me with some social media stuff. And whenever you can invest in your marketing, invest. It’s so important.

So have brand colours, have an identity, have a font that you use, get some decent photos taken,  have a little video. Even if you make a website yourself send it to someone,e pay them, I don't know whatever you can afford to just kind of tweak it and make it look amazing, because that has been a game-changer for me.

And also I think one of the greatest bits of advice that I was given was actually from Bev James. She looked at my first website, she gave me a free little look at it and called me. She was on her way somewhere, she said - I love the website, it's really exciting, it looks great but how are you going to capture people?

She said you need to give people something free in exchange for their email address. So I wrote a free ebook, it's still up there."

Watch the full video to hear more tips from Jo about getting in the mindset of a small business owner and how she evolved on that journey as well, get a glimpse into what’s next for this fantastic Executive Coach, plus hear the fantastic story of how Jo got the funding for the training she was meant to do.

Jo story reminds us that once you find your passion, you should go for it and have faith that it will work out.

A woman full of positive energy, Jo starts her day with gratitude and jumps into her roles as a Confidence Coach, Executive Coach, a mother, a wife and so much more, with radiating joy. She’s a leader for her family, a leader for teams and a wonderful leader for all aspiring Coaches.

And let us know – how did you come across your passion? Do you feel like you are doing the work you are meant to be doing?

And if you would like to find out more about coaching and how it can change your life, just like it changed Jo’s and many other’s journeys in life, start by joining us for a free live training. Choose available dates here.




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