The Coaching Academy Blog

Meet Coach In The Spotlight - Andrew Miller

Posted 2803 Days Ago in: Coach Spotlight, In The Spotlight, Success Stories


As I progressed higher within the organisation for which I previously worked, I realised that I was more interested in people than in businesses and processes. I had not heard of coaching at this stage, but when a colleague mentioned it to me, I realised that I had been coaching people naturally all along.

What brought you to coaching?

As I progressed higher within the organisation for which I previously worked, I realised that I was more interested in people than in businesses and processes. As I rose higher in the firm I became more responsible for leading teams and motivating them and I became a natural person that people would turn to if they had any sort of issue. I had not heard of coaching at this stage, but when a colleague mentioned it to me, I realised that I had been coaching people naturally all along. Furthermore, I enjoyed this much more than my day job and, consequently, I investigated the concept further.

What were your original thoughts for applying the coaching?

My initial plans were two-fold. In the short term, it was to improve my skills on a day to day level with my team. In the medium to long term I wanted to move into a permanent coaching role within my company. Working for myself, at that stage, was not a consideration.

What was your profession before becoming a coach?

I was an insolvency practitioner for KPMG. When a company went into Adminstration, it was my job to take over that company, trade it and look for a buyer. As well as giving me a great expanse of business experience, the key to success was to work with the exisiting management, engage with them and use their knowledge to keep things going. I would challenge their ideas and thoughts, but utilise their expertise as much as possible. In many ways, a short step to coaching.

What did you find most interesting to learn?

The critical thing to know is that everyone's perception, of any situation, is limited. Anything you can do to help them shift that perception and increase awareness will help somebody move forward along their chosen path.

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

Meeting like-minded people at the accelerator days. It was at these events that I met other people who were as dissatisifed with their day jobs and were prepared to take the big step to self-employment. Their actions gave me the courage and the motivation to do the same.

Which bits did you enjoy the most?

The programme encourages you to work with other coaches and to support each other. This has led a mutual support network and lifelong friendships. I still regularly meet with a group of Coaching Academy alumni and we have been there for each other through qualifying and in business.

How did the qualification slot in with your current life?

The educational element was fitted in at weekends and evenings, as I was working full time. However, the position that I held made it easy to find people that were willing to be coached and so training and day job were nicely aligned.

What else did you have to consider whilst qualifying?

I was about two thirds of the way through my first diploma when I made the decision to leave my employment and set up on my own. Qualifying then became a critical part of my future plans. I had to think carefully about how important the grade I achieved was, as compared to ensuring I had some form of qualification when I stepped out on my own.

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

I am a business coach. I'm self employed and currently work under two brands. One is around my specific niche (of which more, later) and, in addition, I have recently joined forces with another business coach and together we help established SMEs develop and grow.

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

My specific niche is Turnaround Coaching – working with directors of SMEs that are struggling, failing or failed. This is an area where the emotional stresses and pressures of being in business are at their highest, yet support is totally lacking. If they can maintain focus and confidence, they will either be able to rescue their business or, if that is not possible, get back up on their feet quickly and start again. I believe that I am the only person in the UK with the combined experience of coaching and insolvency so, whilst it is a market that will take some time to develop, I am well placed to make it happen. I self-published on Amazon my first book at the end of 2012 on the subject: “Hope Won't Pay the Wages”. It is designed to help directors themselves; raise awareness of the issue in general; and can be used by other coaches and business advisors should they have a client in trouble.

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

My intention is to set up a national network of coaching, mentoring and counselling support for directors in difficulty. The book has opened many doors for me and I have recently been talking to government and various national bodies about getting this moving. The benefits of what I'm proposing help the economy in general, as well as raising the profile of coaching in the business community. The best thing that could happen to me is that I get the proper funding support needed to make it a reality.

What is your favourite coaching question?

Where is it that you're trying to get to?

What do you enjoy most about being a coach?

The context in which coaching takes place is irrelevant. At the end of the day, you are helping people. And that feels good.

What are your top tips for:

People who are looking at coaching?

Coaching is a mindset which can be applied in almost any situation. Coaching is not just for people looking to set up a coaching practice, but can be used by anyone that is looking to know more about people and help them get what they want. This includes, but is by no means limited to: managers; salesmen; policemen; parents; couples; or even just friends.

Those coaches currently in training?

Focus on understanding the skills that you are being taught and experiment with the different techniques. Not only will the written elements become easier, it gives you a good grounding to go in any direction that you choose.

Coaches that are about to qualify?

Celebrate, obviously, but be clear about where you want to get to in life. Don't be afraid to try out different things in order to get there, but be aware that not everything works first time. Making mistakes is, in fact, to be actively encouraged, as long as you learn from them.

People that are in a similar situation to yourself?

Anyone running their own coaching practice has to develop their own identity, which is not the same as having a niche. Everyone is unique, therefore there are some things that only you can do. Once you've discovered that, then you can stand out and attract the type of clients that are right for you.

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



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