Who am I, and what sort of coach do I want to be?
That has been the most puzzling question I have asked myself throughout my coaching journey…
For eighteen years I worked within education, my last professional position was managing the autism department within my local College, getting to this point of my life had been a hard but a rewarding slog. About two months before I left my career behind me, I took a long hard look at what I really wanted to do with my professional and personal life.
Don’t get me wrong I was happily married with two wonderful grown-up children…nevertheless, I was looking for something but I was not sure what ‘it’ was.
Backstory: Throughout my life, I have had many challenges which have been a big part of making me who I am today, yet I have also had many achievements too. When I left school, I trained to be a chef and worked in the field for over ten years, but left that industry to start a family. When my son was five, I switched to a career in education, which was the other passion. I gained many qualifications as I progressed, my proudest moment was obtaining my BA Hons degree and qualifying as a teacher…
When my mum’s life was sadly cut short March 2016, it made me think about what I REALLY wanted in life. After some time, and with the support of my wonderful husband I decided to become a coach, I was not really sure what I was going to do when I became a coach, I just knew that’s what I wanted to be. I never thought about making a lot of money, I just wanted to make a difference to people’s lives.
After researching various coaching courses, I decided to go with Animas. At the time I was not sure what drew me to Animas, but I just followed my gut instinct and signed up. The first training weekend was very scary for me, I had never travelled to London on my own before, let alone staying away from home…
“The first person I met at Animas was Robert Stephenson – after his introduction on the first day of training, I knew that I had selected the right coaching school. Robert said all the things that I was looking for and I felt his enthusiasm, passion and belief in what he was teaching”.
In January, I decided to start my own Business, Career and Life coaching business, as well as specialising in Coaching and Mentoring adults on the Autism Spectrum. I passed the Animas Coaching diploma in June 2017, which gave me the credibility business was asking for. The hardest decision for me in this whole process was deciding what area I wanted to call my ‘niche’.
Automatically people thought it would be coaching people with autism, even though this is my passion it would never give me an income. Most of the clients with autism I coach often do not have a job to start with so I usually do this service for free or minimal cost.
Fortunately for me, my husband owns his own engineering company and asked me to coach the office staff. This has proven to be an asset to his company and enabled me to explore many different models of coaching. Coaching for the business also helped me to define what sort of coach I wanted to be, as well as gaining the confidence needed to coach directors which is an area I had never done before.
The next part of my coaching journey is to build up my clientele, I have been successful in gaining clients through emailing targeted companies, as well as attending business networking functions. Since I became serious about building my business I soon realised that nothing is ever going to happen unless I make it happen myself.
When I attend business functions, I put the fear of rejection to one side, listen to prospect clients and when the time is right, I talk with conviction on how I have helped other business similar to theirs in overcoming barriers in the same areas as they have difficulty. People often say they connect with me and then my service and that is why they asked me to coach them. I have always been a firm believer in listening too and not talking to people, and I would say this has been my biggest asset, not only in gaining clients but within my coaching.
I am a firm believer in if you are open and looking then you will find it… whatever ‘It’ is, GO and find YOURS.
If you would like us to help tell your story or you would like to share your coaching niche, philosophy or agenda in the form of a blog, like this one – contact Jay to express your interest: firstname.lastname@example.org