Beckie’s foray into the world of enterprise was prompted by two factors: her positive experience of the life coaching she received when she was at a low ebb, and the flexibility she needed to work whilst bring up her three children.
“A few years ago, my husband’s work commitments meant that we had to relocate twice in one year” she explains. “It was a difficult time for me, and I decided to explore Life Coaching as a way of dealing constructively with the situation.”
The coaching she received not only had a profoundly positive effect on her outlook, but also convinced her that she’d found her career niche.
“It was a fantastic moment, suddenly realising what I wanted to do with my working life,” she says, “and so, fortified by my newly-found confidence and energy, I studied hard to gain a Diploma in Personal Coaching with the Coaching Academy.”
Shortly after graduating, Beckie set up her own company, Be Confident Coaching, and started to use her expertise and experience to help her clients.
“Things went well, and I really enjoyed the work,” she explains, “but I found it challenging to juggle family life with building my client base. I sensed that I needed to start marketing myself more effectively...and that’s what led me to the Enterprising Women (EW) community.”
Beckie had understood the value of networking and joined EW with a view to attending events to develop her network. However, the demands of family life meant that getting to events wasn’t always easy. It was then that she discovered EW’s mentoring scheme.
“It seemed perfect for my situation,” she enthuses. “Although I was limited in terms of getting out and networking, I was bursting with energy and enthusiasm for my company. I really wanted to speak to someone who had been there and done it. I needed insights into the commercial aspect of building a business to complement my coaching expertise. And so I applied for a mentor.”
The Enterprising Women team put Beckie in touch with Caroline Lloyd-Evans, a highly experienced coach and counsellor.
“I was thrilled to get Caroline as my mentor” says Beckie. “We arranged to meet up and found that we got on really well. We spent the first mentoring session exploring the situation I was in, and identifying the kind of support I’d need.”
Caroline could see that Beckie was a talented coach, but felt that she was not being proactive enough in communicating the benefits of her service.
“She immediately inspired me to be more self-promotional,” says Beckie. “Her advice was highly practical, easy to grasp, and very effective. For example, she convinced me to carry my business cards wherever I went. It’s such a simple thing, but it hadn’t occurred to me that business opportunities can present themselves anywhere.”
“Caroline also made me see the importance of defining the terms of my business to my clients and potential clients. At the early stages, it’s often not clear what’s chargeable, and what’s not. I learned that it’s critical to be disciplined on this point: a business without paying customers is not a business!”
With Caroline’s support, Beckie has rebranded Be Confident Coaching, continually improved her website, and expanded the scope of her service by becoming a qualified hypnotherapist.
“I have also become involved with an exciting project called ‘How to Drug-proof your Kids’ explains Beckie. “It is an education, prevention and intervention programme developed by the national charity Care for the Family, and it involves working proactively with parents and carers. It’s really rewarding, as well as being a great way to gain experience and get myself known in the community.”
Beckie and Caroline met up regularly for mentoring sessions after their first contact.
“Caroline’s support has been, invaluable,” says Beckie. “It’s reassuring to know that there’s someone there if you need them – especially someone who is already a proven expert in your own field. It’s great being able to discuss your ideas with someone you trust. With help from Caroline, I’ve developed the commercial skills to do my coaching talents justice. Which means that I can help more people to realise their own potential!”