I did my first intake weekend on the 10-12 December 2014. I initially joined The Coaching Institute to learn how to ask the questions that led people to think about how they think as an ongoing desire to learn and to help others to change the way they thought which I had been blogging about for about a year. It took me a good day and a half to settle into the course, part of my feeling was that I was hearing a lot of things that I had already done in the last 5 years, and the other part is that I am a very quiet introvert, expressing emotions in terms of wow, great and amazing is not part of being me. The training did help to expand my thinking on the possibilities. It finally came together for me on the last day, watching some-one being coached.
When I did my initial coaching I was working as a seamstress at the infantry training school in Singleton. I have always enjoyed my work at the base. I had a great boss, very opinionated and yet never judgemental. In my five years at the base she pushed me every day to be the best version of me, usually by disagreeing with whatever political or social view I expressed that day so that I learnt to be very sure about what was important to me. Although I loved the work we had many very quiet days. I took that opportunity to read and study but it was starting to bore me. I had an hour commute both ways which I filled listening to cd’s from TCI, Anthony Robbins “Unleash the Power Within” Eckhart Tolle “The Power of Now” and many other inspirational recordings. I had made a commitment before the intake weekend to continue working at the base until after Anzac Day as that is the busiest time of the year for us.
After my intake weekend I commenced my Triad’s as soon as was possible given that it was Christmas and many people were away. I had a slow start in other areas as my work started at 7.30am so I was not able to join BNI or other networking places. The few people I had asked to submit their name to the coaching pool said yes initially and then only one did months later. I figured that the only way I would be able to get clients would be to run a series of free seminars. I chose to base my seminar on the “Five Success Principles of a Great Mindset. I did my first seminar in the February and have so far done four seminars and each time at least one person has shown up. I did get one pro bono customer from my 2nd seminar which was great as he gave me an excellent endorsement.
My company name is “Being Your Thoughts” I have used this name for a while, even before starting at the Coaching Institute as I have been writing a blog now for almost two years under that name, and I have also written a book “Life Is Not Always Easy but it Can Be Exhilarating” which is available at Amazon, Kobi, Barnes and Noble to name a few e-book places. The book outlines the six years prior to signing up at the institute, from unemployed, sick, single and living with my dad to full-time work, great health, married and a member of Toastmasters.
My last day of full-time work was the 1st of May. As part of the process of making coaching my business I joined up to the 90 day challenge. I also attended BNI. The first one I attended was very rigid and very corporate and although I went twice I was not a fit for it. I also went to the Hunter Women’s Business Lunch which was great and someone there suggested a BNI at Thornton which I attended. It was so much better and I was prepared to join and I was feeling really good about ticking all the boxes, doing all the steps that would lead to success.
That day I had just returned from the BNI breakfast when I received a phone call from the Nursing Home were my dad was to say that he was getting worse after his stroke the previous Thursday. The next 30 hours were spent at the nursing home before he passed away on Wednesday 25th May.
Everything stopped; my ability to think, to concentrate or to care. Part of my sorrow was that I would never hear him say he was proud of me. I was in a dark place, a lot of past wounds coming to haunt me and I was not sure that I would be able to start up again, get the momentum back that I had been experiencing only a couple of weeks earlier.
On Tuesday June 9th I helped my daughter move house, and felt some of the new me returning. That night I attended Toastmasters and a guest was seated beside me so that I could show her the ropes. She asked me what I did and I said “I am a life coach” She replied “I need one of those” so I booked a coffee chat with her for the Thursday, on which day she signed up and became my first paying client. It was like the heavens had opened. On the Wednesday I received a phone call from a contact I had made at BNI 3 weeks earlier to book a meeting to discuss my doing some work for Mai- Wel, working with unemployed people to build their self-esteem and self-worth, which is an absolute passion of mine. I had that meeting today and it looks all set to start sometime in August.
Over the last few months I have come to realise that I have no interest at all in corporate work. I thought I wanted to run big seminars Tony Robbins style and yet now I realise that my passion is more intimate. As my lovely current coach Emma said, I want to conquer the world, ten people at a time. Small workshops are great. I love the energy of them and my aspiration for that is to go from short half-day seminars to full weekends and then on to full week- long retreats that encompass meditation and creative activities such as drawing, writing, sewing and gardening.
On the FOCS weekend we are taught the first 5 steps. I had to adjust mine a little to fit into the time I had available and yet it is about doing the steps; all of them, consistently, starting as soon as possible that I attribute my success to. I had simple business cards made up and everything else I have put together at home on my computer and have printed out at Office Works. I did not wait till everything was perfect, like I am meeting someone tomorrow to see about logo and branding.
I would also like to acknowledge my triad coach Frazer Yendall, he was very good at laying it on the line for me. I would also like to acknowledge Trish Keeley my accountability buddy from the 90 day challenge who is great at keeping me on track to do the formal study. A big part of my success is that I have been a member of Toastmasters for the last 5 yrs, and have been on the executive with them for the last four. I have held a few posts including being President. My ability to speak in front of a group, to be comfortable answering any question with only seconds to think about it and the confidence gained from my years with them has helped enormously in choosing the seminar route to build my coaching business.