I Always Knew There Must Have Been Something More | The Coaching Institute

I Always Knew There Must Have Been Something More

For several years I had been looking at websites and researching life coaching.  I had no idea why I was drawn to the idea.  I put in a request to my employer for support to do the study and, although there was an agreement to do so it never came to fruition.  In January 2013 the organisation implemented a 6 month leadership program and at the very first session I had a light bulb moment and when I left the training room I told my peers that I had decided to quit my job and pursue life coaching.   I left the position in May 2013 and in August 2013 I did my Foundations of Coaching Success training at TCI. I was nervous and excited at the same time and was like a knowledge junkie for the month prior and the months that followed.

Since my early 20’s I have worked in senior management roles.  I completed a Bachelor of Business in Finance when I was 23.  I was the first female in Australia to be registered as a licensed finance broker when I was 25 and I set up my own finance broking business in Queen Street Melbourne that same year.  After a few years went into partnership with another person and we established a small merchant banking business providing leasing, factoring, business loans and margin lending which I developed from bare roots.  I became bored when there was nothing left to learn and moved on in early 1987, luckily I was out before the share market crash.

I tried many new things, learning and growing all the time until love brought me back to north east Victoria in the early 90’s.  I discovered that the only well-paying jobs around here were within Government entities.  I soon found a role as a finance manager.  Not being challenged enough I spent the next two and a half years completing a Graduate Certificate in Professional Accounting which immediately gave me options.  My work in State Government, with my new qualification, took me all over the State and into new and exciting roles.

In 2009 I was working at Murrindindi Shire when the bushfires hit the region.  It was a very emotional and busy time at work.  In the same year I lost everything, my husband, my home and my brother.  It was a tough time.  I moved to Euroa, where I knew nobody and threw myself into work.  The bushfire recovery took its toll on everyone and I think I drowned myself in work to fill all the voids in my life.  I was working 6 and 7 days a week.  Until, yes it was inevitable, I became ill and lost control of my life.  Until the day I had the light bulb moment I mentioned earlier.

I have always loved my work and have found the need for change whenever I stop learning.  I just got lost for a little while.

My current life successes are definitely as a result of what I have learned since I joined TCI.  I learned to tap into my past experiences to discover I had many gifts and talents – each of us have within us the resources we need.  I developed a comprehensive business plan which I monitor and review at the end of each month and have structured my life so that I have time to learn, to develop new tools and ideas, to promote what I do and to actually do some work that is providing me with enough to support me through my growth – if you fail to plan you plan to fail.  When doing the business plan I actually developed a business planning tool that I am now implementing for a local government entity and I have included a lot of the coaching skills in that model focussing on empowering and trusting people.  I have a 6 month contract as a result of that work which more than supports my weekly needs and this was as a result of giving it as a gift to the CEO – when you give you will receive.

Earlier in the year I attempted to rent a premises from where I would run my business and provide workshops.  The local real estate entity would not rent the premises to me and his reason was “we already have one training institute in this town that is struggling and we don’t want anyone going into competition”.  I laughed and said ‘it’s ok, I will manage to find a way”.  And I did.  I now rent space on an hourly basis in a place that is much better and I have the support of the owner who is a gestalt therapist.  She has been so supportive and is so impressed she is now talking about forming a partnership to deliver workshops together.  

Also through the business planning process I realised that I don’t have skills in technology and marketing and that I can’t do everything.  I didn’t want to wait until I knew how so I found some great people who are providing me with help at the most minimal of cost.  These people have also helped me network as up until May last year I really didn’t know anyone in this area.

I also took advice about getting a coach.  I engaged Kim Helman and it was the icing on the cake.  She helped me realise that I was on the right track and that I had what I needed and I realised that the butterflies in my tummy were ‘taking action butterflies’ of excitement and anticipation.  I learned that I was so good at fighting for what I wanted in the past but have now turned that around to being in a position to manage what I want without difficulty.

During my journey I have also discovered that if I read or learn something I immediately ask ‘how can I use this?’  I have developed a knowledge based category management system so that I can draw on this when I am thinking about a new product or workshop idea. Over the next 12 months I have set goals in my business plan that are focussed on growing my business and investigating new ideas while still allowing time to learn, grow and enjoy what life has to offer.

I recently ran my first workshop.  Eight people were in attendance.  Each and every one of them wanted to do a follow up workshop on the same topic.  Their suggestion, not mine.  They all booked for the coming workshops, two became paying clients and I also sold two CD’s.  To me this really meant that what I did would work and that I could build upon it.

I have always been passionate about helping others succeed and I always knew there must have been something more that I didn’t know about that would help me do this better.  I found this through TCI, I have used what I have learned by applying it to my own life and now I know how to do it for others as well.  The absolute joy of seeing the change in others (and in myself) is worth more to me than anything I have ever done.

Jennifer Lewis
- ICG Credentialed Master Practitioner of Coaching
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