When the student is ready the teacher appears. Someone said this a while ago (depending on what you read on the internet!), yet it has always struck a chord with me. To me, it means that when you need help and start opening your mind to the possibility that someone can help then you’ll find the right person who can help you! If you get my meaning.
I’ve been given some feedback in my career and business that has honestly knocked my confidence, quite a bit. These have been some of my absolute favourites…
“You are too nice to be good at business, get yourself a job” “You lack self-control” “You’re not very strong when you’re being interviewed” “You’re very easily distracted, like the dog in Up when he sees a squirrel” “You always leave things to the last minute, so I’m going to put you on a time management course” “You’re probably not good at selling”
I’m sure each of these pieces of ‘’feedback” came from a place of kindness, however each of these “gifts” took a little bit of my confidence and I’ve lived with them as pieces of baggage for quite a while.
My first coaching experience
When the entire resourcing team was put under consultation in my corporate job there was this job in the structure which looked amazing, like my dream role. I was informed that the new roles were going to be advertised and we would have to apply and be interviewed for them. I was more than a little bit worried… I was not good at being interviewed, or so I’d been told!! So I spoke to my husband and we decided that I should get some ‘professional help’ I went out and looked for a career coach who could help me with my interviewing technique and one was recommended to me by a friend.
My career coach was a Clifton Strengths Coach, the first thing she did was get me to complete a questionnaire so we discover my strengths (which are Individualisation, Communication, WOO – Winning Others Over, Positivity and Activator). We completed some exercises around these and this massively increased my confidence. She made me realise that I had the right strengths and these were perfect for this new role.
When I was given the new job (without an interview in the end… we were all mapped into the new roles) I had a manager who allowed me to get on and do what I needed to do and I focused on my strengths. I won the hiring managers over, sorted out their problems and kept them informed, asked for feedback and made the process much easier. I loved that job… (in the beginning, but that’s probably a story for another day).
The biggest learning to come from my first trip into the world of coaching was that you should focus on your strengths, polish them, turn them into super strengths and mitigate your weaknesses… outsource the stuff you don’t like to do to a team member who likes to do it, get an app to help, devise some kind of automation to minimise these deficiencies, there are loads of ways to do this.
Starting the business
A couple of years later I found myself in the wrong role in the wrong company, I left, without a job and took the opportunity to start my own business (something I had always dreamt of doing). Of course, I attempted to do it on my own and I ended up doing the wrong thing for me, running the business the wrong way, taking on too much low-paid work and ended up with anxiety and in counselling.
I then gave myself a bit of a talking to, had a couple of interviews for a J.O.B. which really made me realise that I want to make my business a success. So I adopted a Mentor and in the same week I was referred to an AWESOME Business Psychologist – Wendy Kendall who specialises in supporting the acceleration of Psychology Practices. I joined Wendy’s programme and was introduced to a fabulous Mastermind Group of kind, open and generous Business Psychologists. This quickly gave me the boost to expand my business, realise my value and follow my dream. Because of this help I’m doing really well. I’ve also recently been accepted into an awesome community of Entrepreneurs and have a Coach (who described herself as my best friend and worst enemy – eek!) who is helping me focus on my business goals.
I recognise throughout this that all the massive leaps in my career my business have been due to me employing awesome coaches to support, guide, push and challenge me.
Lessons I’ve learned
These are the lessons I’ve learnt, to save you from making my mistakes:
1. When you are struggling, ask for help from an independent outsider (not family/friends – someone who is completely impartial)
2. ALL sports people have coaches and we don’t think that is a ridiculous extravagance… how can an athlete get to the top of their game without this?
3. You need to choose a coach to suit you… people enjoy different styles and I personally need someone who I respect, admire and I’m going to be a touch fearful of disappointing. I need that cheerleader, a person to challenge me, keep me accountable and show me I can do absolutely anything I set my mind to!
4. If you can dream it, you can totally do it!!
I’m almost astounded how far I have come since seeking help with my business in terms of my mindset and the clients I’m getting to work with. What I’m achieving in my life and business is exciting, I’m truly living my values and it is all down to actively seeking the support of some awesome coaches!!
Why I Created my Coaching Programme
In my Coaching practice, I work with individuals who are stuck, not knowing where to go next and use my 6 stage Coaching process to help them figure out what they want to do with their career and work with them to plan a route to get there. I’m not one of these people who tries to convince the world that they’re perfect and have all their sh*t together, I’m a human with strengths and weaknesses, just like you and I absolutely love seeing my clients realising their goals.
When I first started working with Wendy she asked me one question… what has been the thing that you are most proud of doing in your career, I didn’t hesitate to say that I loved creating opportunities and helping newly-qualified Business Psychologists with their first step on the career ladder. Throughout my career, I’ve recruited a bunch of them. I wondered if my 6-step Career Coaching process would work with this group of people. So, I tailored it to a new audience, asked a bunch of potential customers if they would value the support and the feedback was very positive!