I had given up working in an office three years previously and was living a calm and unpressurised lifestyle with my husband working in country estate management. But I had been looking around for the next challenge. I had recently fallen in love with yoga but the retreats on offer seemed a bit expensive and a bit too Vegan.
The thought to train as a life coach came from out of the blue one January morning when I was standing at my bedroom mirror getting ready for the day. My second thought was, “why didn’t I think of that before”. After all, I had been recommending life coaching to people ever since I first experienced it in 2003. My third thought was, “what will people think of me!”.
At certain times in my life, I would have walked away at that point, too worried about what others may think. I would imagine them sneering ‘who does she think she is to be a life coach, what on earth does she know about anything’!
But that inner feeling of ‘rightness’ was strong enough to override those insecurities. After a bit of research, I ended up at an Animas discovery day. I was so inspired by the presentation and the people I met, I knew I had found the right course for me.
I commenced my training without much thought about where it was going to lead me. I had no expectation at the start and the thought of even getting practice clients seemed a bit unreal to me. This was the attitude with which I went into my first weekend training in July 2016. It felt like a very different kind of approach for me to sit back and just allow everything to unfold. But it also felt like a relief to really turn my back on expectations, targets and promotions.
Despite having a fairly solid business background, I have never had any desire to start my own business. I had always been contented working for other people and there had never been anything I felt passionate enough about to want to make that whole life commitment and tackle all the mundane, nitty gritty, day-to-day details that it involves.
However, at some point in working with my own Animas coach, I had a realisation that if I wanted to do something useful with these skills, it would mean starting my own business.
“This thought excited me and scared me at the same time. Making a business out of ‘me’, what would that mean? At that point, I made a commitment to myself that if I was going to do this, I was going to do it MY WAY”.
So that has become my focus. Without realising it, I had developed my own business strategy. And with no one to answer to, there’s no one to tell me what is right and what is wrong! My strategy is simply this:
Do what feels right
This little strategy seems to go against all logic. Where are the growth targets? What about monitoring the competition, finding my niche and self-promotion? Well as far as I’m concerned, I can’t be bothered with all of that.
Removing expectations has meant that rather than following a path of logic, I have allowed things to unfold. By doing what feels right means that I am finding direction and keeping motivated.
At times, I have been presented with something that logically seems like a good idea. But something inside has not felt right, so I have turned away from it. Instead I’ve allowed myself to be drawn towards positive and inspiring people and even when I can’t visualise any outcome, I’ve just gone with it.
The challenge in working with this strategy is keeping connected with that inner sense of ‘rightness’ to override any insecurities.
I work with two coaches who help me with this. One is my Animas coach and the other is my business coach. They have both been like a guiding light towards my inner knowing.
As part of my business coaching, I discovered the work of Simon Sinek, which really spoke to my heart. He says, “If you communicate your beliefs, you will attract people who believe what you believe’. This is effectively what I am doing to attract clients.
Even though my coaching business is barely off the ground, I already consider it a success. I have learned that what I love about coaching is the powerful connection that I make with my coaches and my clients. I believe that this is where the real magic of coaching happens.
With my business coach, I am creating a programme which has come direct from my heart and based around something for which I have a great passion. That is how to recognise our value and create a life of fulfilment.
I am excited to have this opportunity to work with something that Iove and if I continue to follow my own strategy then I believe it will grow into the business that I love.