What it’s like working with a coach

coaching for business owners

Are you wondering if working with a coach might help? You might feel stuck, need new ideas, a different perspective, new tools but want to know more about coaching before you approach one.

Working with a coach can be transformative – but it’s hard to decide to go ahead if you don’t know what it involves. I can share my own experience of working with a coach. About 20 years ago, I was working in and running Papadeli in Bristol with my husband Simon. I had been to the US on an entrepreneurial/ business growth training course at Babson College, sponsored by the UK government and was offered business coaching when I returned. I knew nothing about coaching. I was busy with Papadeli and 2 very small sons. I didn’t really have time to look into coaching and find a coach, let along give up the time to actually meet with one regularly. I dismissed the idea at first, but something kept on telling me I needed to look into it.

The US course had really opened my eyes to the potential and possibilities of business and personal development and I’d found it all so inspiring that I kept on coming back to the idea of working with a coach. I wasn’t entirely clear about how a coach might help, or where exactly I needed help, but I sort of couldn’t shake the idea. I had got to the stage in business where I felt we were doing the same stuff and expecting different results. Something needed to change.

I finally decided to find a coach

I didn’t want to work with a counsellor

What I wasn’t keen on was seeing a counsellor. Not because I don’t see the value in counselling, I certainly do.  I wanted business focused advice and was very keen to look at strategic planning and different ways of working. I had little time on my hands to just talk.  I needed focus and clarity around direction and decision making.

So I contacted a coach

Finally I bit the bullet and contacted one. At our fist meeting, just talking out loud about my ideas and plans, challenges and frustrations, with a non judgmental person sitting there, asking open questions that got me really thinking, opened up so many possibilities and made me feel immediately lighter and more optimistic. She kept it very business focused and of course some aspects of my values and beliefs came out as she asked about obstacles to business success and what might be getting in the way of me doing certain things.

Coaching brought support and challenge

Having a coach that supported my ideas, challenged me on any negative beliefs and held me accountable to any action I committed to change my attitude to work and life pretty quickly. Things I’d been putting off because of lack of time, fear, lack of confidence, whatever, started to get done. Ideas I’d had started to be researched. Any obstacles I’d allowed to get in the way and become an excuse for inactivity, were challenged and I put a plan together to address them. Having someone holding me accountable, celebrating my wins, helping me really put plans together and breaking them down into clear actions made the difference between staying the same and really moving forward. Coaching really did help me feel better about so many things and feel a lot clearer about what I wanted and how to motivate those around me.

Being clear about what you want

Initially a sceptic, any misgivings I had about working with a coach soon disappeared and I realised that if anyone is serious about making things happen, be it creating a balanced life, a successful business, being happy at work, achieving one’s potential, they’re many times more likely to make it happen when working with a good coach. Days and months speed by and I realise how vital it is to be clear about what you want to achieve, so that you don’t look back and regret or wonder ‘what if’.

And then…

I realised that I was not playing to my strengths working in the deli at Papadeli. Yes, I was managing it, but my strengths are more strategic and creative. I realised that this frustration along with working with my husband was not what I wanted. I loved business, people, communication and personal development. I had worked in marketing and media before and felt I could really help with clarity of communication as well as business insights. So I trained as an Executive coach at Bristol Business School / Human Technics and set up as a business and executive coach. It’s not been an easy path to choose as being a self employed coach has many challenges, but I’m still here fifteen years later, absolutely loving working with all sorts of people and organisations of all sizes and types and helping other coaches with their business too.

Find a coach

I can’t recommend it enough. I still work with my own coaches and still get so much out of it. Find a coach that you trust and get to work 🙂

You can read some testimonials from people I’ve coached here.

If you’ve got any questions about coaching, email me or phone 07785 996917.