Paul’s Story

My Situation (before coaching)

I had a senior role as Head of Pricing in the AA Insurance organisation. I was good at my job but, besides the salary, I didn’t enjoy what I was doing.

I had an excellent appraisal last year but it didn’t motivate or inspire me. I was regularly being head hunted for other roles, but always felt that these jobs would do nothing to alleviate my dissatisfaction with my situation. I felt I was at a cross-road in my life.

The Challenges I Faced (at that time)

I was dissatisfied with my life and work. I didn’t have time for the things I really enjoyed. My work took up most of my time – it was the main priority but gave me little satisfaction. I was beginning to realise that I was on a career path that I had not wanted nor was ever aware of having consciously chosen it.

In a vague way, at the back of my mind, I had an aspiration to make my living from something I really enjoyed doing like music.

Why or How Did I Think Coaching Would Help Me?

I had previously thought about doing something with my interest in music but the financial risks seemed too high. I knew I didn’t want to stay in the AA.

I had no previous experience of being coached and had few expectations. Following the first conversation with Francis, I realised that I wanted to understand my own unique skills and strengths. I also wanted to evaluate the options open to me and develop a plan for change.

What Actually Happened and How Did This Help?

My first coaching session with Francis was transformational. Something that had seemed vague and unclear, like a dream, snapped into focus in that first session.

We talked about times in my life when I had a clear sense of purpose or a “buzz”. I talked about my family, my interests and musical events I had organised. I remembered times when I felt completely alive – “ a 100% right”. Francis drew this together and suddenly it was clear: making music was a road on which I had already made a lot of progress. I did have other options. It was enormously helpful.

Over the following weeks I wrote out my personal mission statement, my decision criteria and prepared a budget. Reality set-in as I realised how much we would need to earn to survive. I talked it through with my wife and decided to launch out and set-up my own business.

What Were the Results?

Francis helped me to clarify my goals, set objectives and put together a plan to set-up my own business, working with a partner.

We then identified our potential first clients and began to explore what type of work we could win. Francis helped me to identify people to call, qualify the opportunity, plan the projects and forecast what revenue we could achieve.

At this point, I was offered a more highly paid job in the insurance industry. I didn’t hesitate. I turned it down because I knew what I really wanted now.

What Was Francis Like to Work With?

“Francis was great to work with, as he had an uncanny way of translating what I said so as to get to the heart of what I really meant or felt.

“Being coached was not an easy process by any means but something in Francis’ persistance and manner always kept me aware that here was someone who really wanted to help me move forward.

“Francis was clearly passionate about enabling me achieve my goals, and seemed to celebrate each of my breakthrough’s as much as if it had been his own.”

What happened next?



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