I’m eyeing off the golf club in the corner and eager to get outside and have a few practice swings. Two years ago I could never imagine myself playing golf, let alone having a free lesson with a professional golfer. That’s what the business of coaching brings to your life. It’s always full of wonderful surprises.
I attended my FOCS training in January 2014, filled with excitement, anticipation and absolutely no idea what to expect.
Before coming to TCI I had a successful career as a piano teacher. I loved teaching, with the dream of one day writing a book for teenage students, and I also knew there was a lot more I could bring to the world.
My official reason for getting into coaching would have been to change the lives of others, but secretly I was there to fix myself. By the time I found TCI, I was wading through a major life upheaval that had me dealing with depression, panic attacks, and searching for a way to reclaim my identity. Given the option of a disability pension, I chose instead to take responsibility for my life, and in a thousand lifetimes I couldn’t have chosen a better place to be, or a better bunch of people to be with than here at TCI.
In those early months as I built my life and my coaching muscle, my mantra was keep turning up, lighten up, feel the fear and do it anyway.
My first few triad coaching session were so bad, my listener asked if I’d actually read any of the course material! I kept turning up, and as I write this paragraph I’ve had a thankyou text from one client, and conducted an emergency coaching session with another.
In the beginning I spent a lot of time information gathering, agonising over finding a niche, and feeling the need to sell myself to potential clients. Then I lightened up with myself, explored opportunities as they came, and soon the niche and the clients found me. My first paying client was someone I met briefly at a volunteering event. I asked a few questions about her business, and two days later she contacted me to sign up for six sessions.
My greatest fear was speaking in front of a group of people and it became the instigator for my first paid workshop. I decided how many people I wanted at the workshop, how much I wanted to earn, and before I could back out, sent out emails to contacts in the music industry. I had my first booking within a minute, and the workshop was fully booked in the first day. The topic? ‘Bringing your best performance to the stage’!
I offered free community workshops at our local library, and soon they were contacting me for more. It turns out many presenters have a habit of not showing up on the day. I became known as someone who could be relied upon, I was getting great feedback, and before long these turned into paid workshops.
Like a musician who plays requests, I presented on whatever I was asked for and wherever I saw a need, and pretty soon I noticed a common thread. My coaching and workshops all revolve around finding innovative ways of expanding our minds to fit a 21st Century life, and out of this my business ‘Mind Innovations’ was born.
My teaching role has gradually morphed into a coaching practice and I’m only a few weeks off launching a coaching course for teenage musicians. I have several speaking gigs lined up over the next 12 months, and a few more projects in the pipeline around fear and focus.
Which brings me back to that golf club.
Several months ago I workshopped with a ladies golf group as they prepared for a match play tournament. After chasing clowns off the golf course and stepping into their circle of excellence, (fellow coaches will know what I’m talking about!) they returned with their best result ever.
Recently they took me to lunch to celebrate, and I saw the true ripple effect of coaching. Their professional golf coach told me how she was using my techniques with other clients, and I heard stories from the team of how their new fear busting skills moved beyond the golf course and into their lives.
That’s the truly wonderful surprise of coaching. Each tiny step you take in your business, and every small shift with your clients, becomes an ever increasing wave that touches all of life. Thankyou Sharon Pearson, Joe Pane and all the wonderful team at TCI for setting that wave in motion!