Finding Life Coaching after battling depression

Three years after becoming a coach, Alyson Hawkins has two businesses, earns more than she ever did and works around her family life

Alyson Hawkins
Alyson HawkinsExecutive and leadership coach

At 22, Alyson Hawkins was a professional horse rider and trainer with plans to compete at the Olympics. Then she fell hard—for a real estate agent who showed her a property in Tamworth, and left behind her riding school to uproot her life for love.

“Looking back, that’s when I started to go downhill and get depressed,” Alyson says. “Everything I knew was completely gone.”

There were also new beginnings: Alyson married the real estate agent, Bryson, and a year later their son Thomas was born.  Establishing herself in a new town, the young mum suffered anxiety and “I was not in a good place. My husband and I weren’t getting along and I was struggling to find a way out.”

She “stumbled” across a coach, and three months later “my whole life went from being so shitty to beautiful and amazing. It was like everything went from black and white to colour. I thought, ‘Wow this is important, and I want to give this to people'.”

Alyson found TCI online and signed up for a Sydney training with Matt Lavars. As with her husband, it was pretty much love at first sight: “I realised I could become a coach and I would have everything I needed in one place.”

Three years after signing on at Level I, Alyson just joined Masters' Academy and runs two flourishing coaching businesses around Thomas’ school schedule and riding—she’s competing again and has hopes of representing Australia.

“I look at my life now and there’s nothing I want for,” she says. “I live my ideal day every day. And my family would not be together if I had not joined TCI.”

“The amount I’ve learned about business at TCI is just insane. I didn’t expect the content, there is so much. On a personal level the community I experience at TCI is the strongest I’ve ever had. The relationships you have with the mentors … they genuinely care, nobody is ever just a number.”

Alyson Hawkins
Alyson HawkinsExecutive and leadership coach

Was there one moment you realised TCI was for you or was it gradual?

On the first day [of training] I was like, ‘This is where I want to start’ but tt took me to the last day to sign up to level I, because I had trust issues—Matt was so polished that I thought, ‘Are they real?’ There was a lot of doubting myself too. Then at FOCS six weeks later I joined to Level II then jumped to Pro Coach.

What challenged and surprised you most?

Having to do the work on me first. Sometimes growth is a painful experience and there’s been a lot of times over the last three years where I have thought about quitting because who I needed to become was hard. It was hard to show up, to be mature and responsible, to be accountable. I would do all the work and think this is awesome then things would go to shit. Sometimes you think it would be so much easier to play a really small game now and that lasts a day.

Alyson Hawkins

So TCI has given you much more than the teachings?

Part of my story is we’ve been pregnant twice since our son was born and have not got either of those babies with us. When I lost our first baby 18 months ago, I wasn’t sure how I would continue going on. I rang Matt [Lavars] and he said, “I’m always here” so I had the TCI family help me through that, which is why I’m very passionate about it.

These things happen to good people and we focus forward or we let it consume us. So I’m very grateful I now have the tools to live a very fulfilled life, regardless of what the world holds.

Where are you now with your coaching journey?

I have my businesses Ignite Your Life and Ignite Your Business, two niches because I can’t decide which I want more. I started off in the personal development space thinking I would help women like me and somehow ended up in business. I work with about half a dozen businesses. I still only work part time hours and I earned more last year than I think I’ve earned before when I was on a wage.

What does a typical day look like?

My business works around my life, not the other way around. I get up 4.30 and do a couple of hours before Tommy gets up, send him off to school, see clients, ride my horses. I just hired an assistant who’s in five hours a week, we’re in the process of doing online programs. I want to get to the stage where I can let someone else run it for me.

Your biggest milestone?

My relationship. The fact that we’re still together is massive. It is amazing having a relationship where we are pretty open and honest with each other, we trust each other, he’s my best mate. And creating this lifestyle for me and my family is also amazing.

“I don’t now where I would be now if it wasn't for having done this work at TCI. My husband is starting to do the work now himself, he sat in on Ultimate You for a little while. We're closing the gap of how to communicate with each other and sometimes we get it right, sometimes we get it wrong, but we're in it together now and it's awesome.”

Alyson Hawkins
Alyson HawkinsExecutive and leadership coach

Most successful marketing strategy?

Word of mouth, what I thought was going to be my biggest disadvantage has actually been my biggest advantage. Rural NSW, right place right time, businesses talk to each other and I really don’t have to do much marketing.

What are you loving most about your coaching journey?

I love seeing people and hearing where they are. It’s awesome that I have a great lifestyle but knowing that you are helping people create incredible worlds is so rewarding.

What do you know about yourself that you didn’t before TCI?

Yeah, you’d need a whole day! I know I am so ridiculously capable of anything I put my mind to. I know I really struggle when it comes to structure and accountability and I think the biggest thing is I actually really know who I am, all my quirky bits. The best thing is I really appreciate and like me just the way I am.

Alyson Hawkins on horse

Advice for other TCI coaches?

Do your 90 day goals and weekly top fives. Forgive yourself often for not getting it right and embrace that this is your journey and do not under any circumstances compare yourself to anybody else. And just keep going, you’ll get there.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

On a beach in Hawaii! I don’t know and that excites me a bit. Possibly not much different, just more established, my husband will be retired, I’ll be doing exactly what I’m doing now. It’s just going to be better, more financially secure.

What would you say to someone thinking about joining TCI?

Don't think about it. Just do it.

Alyson is "the crazy horse lady on her street" who can talk underwater with a mouthful of marbles and is the human equivalent of a "bouncing puppy dog". Her secret talent? "I am a really good singer/songwriter and guitarist—at the Tamworth Country Music Festival I'm booked out every year." Her life motto is 'just have fun', she loves being outdoors and "I’m just a redneck country girl without the redneck."

Alyson Hawkins
Alyson HawkinsLeadership and executive coach