Up until a couple of months ago, I was really struggling with my new Business Solutions company. I’d set it up in October 2015 with the aim of helping other women with the administrative and operational aspects of business.
However, despite doing everything ‘by the book’ and working my tail off networking, I just wasn’t making the progress I wanted. I felt extremely disheartened about making the business successful. I wasn’t enjoying the lack of progress and effort needed, it just wasn’t flowing. The worry and obsession I had was also affecting my personal time. I felt like I was chasing a ball that kept rolling away just as I was about to pick it up. I was at a low point.
Then I met Becky. We were both attending a Women in Business networking event in the late summer. We started talking and connected immediately. I told her I was struggling with my new company and felt I’d lost direction. From that initial meeting, Becky spent time with me and helped me to look at what I was doing from a new perspective. What did I really want to do? What was I passionate about? It was a bit of a lightbulb moment.
You see, I’m the daughter of an alcoholic father. I know, first-hand, what it’s like to live in a family affected and traumatised by alcoholism. I remember how embarrassed I was when my dad acted drunk in front of my friends, the many disappointments; I know the excuses I made and the way I changed my behaviour to cover for him. I also know it’s possible to get through that turbulence and uncertainty, and come out the other side.
Becky helped me realise this was where I should be focusing my talents, time and resources. There are plenty of people who can help with business procedures but I am uniquely positioned to pass on some important information, knowledge, and experience. I can inform teachers, youth leaders, and other interested groups of the signs to look out for and what they can do to support a child who is going through a similar situation. I can share my experience with others so that we can all learn from it. Becky helped me realise that this is my motivating passion.
With Becky’s assistance, I had a complete overhaul of my company. Becky helped me to set some tangible, achievable goals which really helped me stay focused. She even helped me with my personal image! I changed my social media pages, too, to reflect my new approach.
Throughout this whole process, Becky was on hand to give encouragement and support. She doesn’t give advice, she asks the right questions and helps you find the answers yourself. And she’s fun and easy to be with too.
In the past few months, I’ve done five speaking engagements for organisations such as The Samaritans and Bournemouth University; and I have a scheduled talk for social work students at Bournemouth University in February. I’m also fully qualified in Neuro Linguistic Programming and Emotional Freedom Techniques, so I now offer one-to-one sessions to people who are dealing with the impact of someone else’s drinking in their lives.
I feel I’ve really found my niche. Becky threw me that ball and I finally caught it! I couldn’t have done it without her.
My company, Blu Lake, provides coaching and development for individuals and teams who are seeking clarity and focus during times of big transition in life or work. I help people come to terms with change, to see it as something positive, and to embrace the opportunities that change can bring.
When I first met Jo, she wasn’t getting any sense of satisfaction or achievement from her new business. She was forcing herself into a role that didn’t make the best use of her talents and skills and therefore wasn’t motivating her as it should. I helped her to look at what she really wanted to do with her life and then work out the steps to make it happen.
I worked on a four-step programme with Jo:
Establishing Jo’s core values
The first thing I do with anyone who is feeling a lack of fulfilment in any area of their life is to help them reconnect to their core values. Our core values are what motivate us and drive our decision-making – even if we don’t always realise it. It was clear that Jo’s experience of living in a family affected by alcoholism and her desire to help others in a similar situation was a powerful force within her.
Defining and clarifying the desired outcome is the most important, and often, the hardest stage in the process of change. To do this, Jo needed to:
define her outcome in positive, motivational language
clarify changes needed to move towards this outcome
recognise success at different stages so she could keep track of her progress
reiterate why she wanted these outcomes
establish what resources she had and any additional ones she needed
Reframing Limiting Beliefs
The biggest obstacle to achievement is a lack of confidence and self-belief - ‘limiting beliefs’. I explored with Jo all her ‘limiting beliefs’ then used a reframing technique with her to replace them with helpful, positive ones.
Timeline and scenario planning
Jo was now in the right frame of mind to put a plan of action together. We used a simple but very effective system. Jo placed a post-it note for each step on a timeline, repositioning them until she was happy. Part of my role as coach was to pose questions such as, ‘What if that step doesn’t go ahead as planned?’; ‘What support do you need with that?’ This enabled Jo to prepare for any eventualities and helped her stay motivated and positive.
I’m very proud of what Jo has achieved. When she secured her first speaking engagement, I don’t know which one of us was the more excited! Jo’s really moving forward with her business and she knows I’m there if she needs some support. She says she couldn’t have done it without me but it is a two-way process. The people I work with have to really want to make changes. I can ask the questions: they are the ones who have to want to find the answers. I threw the ball but it was Jo who picked it up and ran with it.