For nearly ten years I worked as a researcher in Universities. I loved researching, but missed human connection and the pleasure that comes with helping others. When I was in Thailand in 2011, I started up a travel blog called 'Little Bartlett Walks the Earth'. This later morphed into my personal blog 'Whisperings of the Mind'. Since then I have shared my personal journey through writing: from fear to love, from pain to healing, and from addiction to recovery. Early in 2014 I kept finding myself pouring over other blogs, wondering what these writers did for a living, it was then that I came across The Coaching Institute (TCI) and was enrolled several months later.
I attended my Foundations of Coaching Success (FOCS) training in August 2014 and remember feeling a mixture of excitement, anticipation, fear, and determination. I have always been an advocate for modelling those we admire. At the training I loved Joe Pane's message and so I listened intently to what he had to say. I made the decision there and then that I would succeed.
I realised at the training how much of a perfectionist I had been my whole life and how it had prevented me from taking action. I would gather research in the hope that one day I’d have enough information for me to be ‘ready’. I simply wasn’t backing myself and believing I could succeed. I believe doing the opposite of this - saying ‘Yes’ and then working out how, has contributed to my success.
I left FOCS and immediately started my business 'Tess Bartlett Holistic Coaching' on a part time basis. I emailed all my friends and family and announced on Facebook what I was doing. I set up my website and began offering pro bono coaching to anyone who wanted it and in just over a year I have done around 150 hours. I secured my first paying client after three months and then came the fear that I would never get another. I have learned that when I continue to put energy into coaching, and focus on connecting with others, that people sign up to my services.
One thing which I have found particularly challenging is offline networking as I am naturally quite introverted. In the past I would overcome my social anxiety by using alcohol as a social lubricant. Now I no longer drink and have to just turn up and do it! When I focus my attention on others, making them the most important person in the room, what I’m doing doesn’t matter. I go to events with the aim of connecting with one or two people with no added expectations or attachment. I have also found events that work for me with attendees I can connect with and, ultimately, do business with. These are conscious creatives and business owners focused on creating a better world.
Another thing that has contributed to my ongoing success and growth has been my attitude to fear. I have continually felt the fear … and done it anyway. I have accepted fear as being present in my life, but I no longer let it hold me back from being the successful coach, speaker, and writer that I am. I channel my fear into an energy that will assist me in any given situation.
One thing in particular that I feared for a long time was running workshops, as I didn’t think I was good enough. After working with a coach I realised I had everything I needed it was simply about making the decision to do it – and then putting in the action. In the last year I have run six workshops in Melbourne (focusing on freedom from fear, manifesting, self-compassion, and mindfulness) and last month spoke at 'Evolve Yoga Festival'. For years (and I mean years) I had a dream to run workshops in prisons (I have an MA in Criminology and am currently doing a PhD on incarcerated fathers) and had put off starting. It wasn’t until I started coaching that I began taking action and am currently working with an NGO to bring mindfulness programs to incarcerated fathers.
Today, I use all of the wonderful coaching tools I have learned at TCI to bring about profound transformation in my clients and continue to get amazing, and life-changing, results. In the next year I plan to focus on running workshops, keynote speaking, and creating an online course for women looking to put themselves first, find purpose, and bring about peace, freedom, and serenity in their (often busy) lives.