In part 2 of this series, I shared the story of how I got into Coaching. A question I get asked time and time again by clients and prospective clients.
This third and final part covers the last 10 years or so since I launched my first Coaching business. The reality is that it hasn’t been entirely straightforward.
My First Business
My first Coaching business was called The Life Consultancy. The concept was a holistic practise with life coaches, nutritionists, Alexander technique practitioners, colourists and so on. It never really took off!
I did, however, go into partnership with a local gym. They were running a weight loss programme with a personal trainer and a nutritionist and wanted me on board as the mindset Coach.
It was a great programme and we got some really amazing results with our clients.
One of my proudest achievements as a Coach was helping a 21 stone woman lose 9 stone and keep it off. It transpired that her weight was a shield having been abused as a teenager. The story came out when we were working together using NLP. She hadn’t told another soul in over a decade.
Just sharing it with another person and discovering that she wouldn’t be judged for it – in fact, the total opposite – was the start of her road to recovery. Let alone the amazing power of NLP timeline work.
When that programme came to an end I didn’t want all that learning and all those positive results to come to nought.
So I decided to launch an online weight loss company called Thinking Thin.
I worked incredibly hard on that business and produced some really great content.
However, I soon realised that the online world wasn’t for me. I couldn’t bear talking to the ether and often not getting anything back! It also transpired that weight loss was a rather competitive arena when it came to Google and SEO!
It was around that time that a friend and colleague asked me if I would consider becoming a co-director of her business – The Wellbeing Project. The business had been focussed on physical wellbeing due to her background and she now wanted to move into mental wellbeing and resilience due to rapidly increasing demand.
I spent two years in that business and we created some amazing content and programmes. However, most of the work was training not Coaching and it reaffirmed to me that my core passion was one to one Coaching and I was missing it madly.
Meantime my elderly mother became very ill and I found I was being pulled in too many directions. Whilst my business partner was hugely understanding I just couldn’t handle the pressure of being a 50% shareholder of a business and a carer for my mother. Mum ultimately came first.
The Caring Years
Caring for Mum was incredibly hard. I’ve always known I wasn’t cut out to be a nurse but dealing with dementia and severe depression in my Mum who had always been my rock was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
I knew I needed something else to focus on which was home-based during this time. So I decided to undertake my Coaching accreditation with the Association for Coaching.
It was quite a challenging process but I’m so glad I did it. Only a small percentage of Coaches are accredited by a professional association as well as being certified. Knowing that I was one of them really boosted my confidence and somehow gave me the validation I needed to go back into the Corporate world as an Executive Coach.
Thus it was time for a re-brand and a new website – another ideal activity when I had little time or mental energy for being client-facing.
The Coaching Project Ltd.
The Coaching Project was launched in 2013.
7 years after going solo I was finally really happy with my brand and brand positioning.
I was back in business where I belonged. I was doing predominantly one to one Coaching which was my passion and I was seeing great results.
5 years down the track I have never felt happier or more fulfilled in my life.
I love what I do. It doesn’t feel like work and it’s never a chore.
My Coachees are all amazing human beings who never fail to thrill and surprise me with their levels of self-awareness, their desire to learn and grow and their, at times, quite incredible transformations.
The fact is that when I first experienced coaching a client one-to-one over a decade ago I thought to myself:
“This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
And it still is. How lucky am I!?