On Wednesday, I flew to Brisbane, from my home in Melbourne to surprise a client, Kym McCabe, for the launch of the first, in a series of four, children’s books that she’s authored.
On Tuesday eve, she sent me the following email:
Dear Caz, thank you so much for bringing structure into my world. Without it, I would still be floundering around making up excuses. Thank you for sharing your business savvy with me – I believe it is your certainty of these kinds of matters that I draw upon and find solace in. Thank you for believing in me and encouraging me – and for understanding me even if our thought processes are the polar opposite.
Thank you for wanting to be there for me. For showing up and getting on with it and finding a way to make shit happen. I value this kind of relationship with you – probably because it is has a heavy bias to being all about me. But really, it is the one thing that was missing. Someone believing in me and my dreams and dedicating their time and energy to supporting me while I find the way. I’m looking forward to the next step of the journey and working out how to make it work!
Kym and I have known each other for 18 years. It’s a beautiful friendship that I cherish deeply. It is through working with Kym that I was able to appreciate the value I give my clients, well before I was even a qualified coach. It’s rare to work so well with someone you’ve known for a long time. You’re a part of their story and it’s easy to not value the coach/ client boundaries and yet Kym and I have found a way to compartmentalise our friendship. We clarify when we speak if I am Friend-Cazzie or Coach-Cazzie. In this way, we’ve been able to serve each others’ needs and ensure our friendship withstands the tests of a working relationship.
I began working with Kym in May 2015, quite by chance. I was visiting with my then 5-month-old son while on maternity leave. It was during that visit that she told me she’d written a book. In fact, she’d made a book. A beautiful fabric book, hand sewn and crafted with ingenuity, spirit, colour, rhythmic fun and playful story. It is truly a piece of art. I was in awe and asked what she was going to do with it. My business mind automatically began to whirl out of its baby-brain slumber. ‘How, dear lady, are you going to make this into a business?’ I wondered.
It was then that she ‘confessed’ quite sheepishly that she wanted to get it published into a hardback book to accompany her sensory meditation classes for children. I noted first and foremost that she held no confidence in her ability to be a published author. And yet, nothing about her indicated to me that she couldn’t do it. And so I asked her to show me what she’d accomplished thus far. This was a big ask. I unknowingly asked my friend to bare her soul. She was showing me something she’d not showed anyone.
It’s a fear I’ve seen many times in other clients since then, but that first time remains etched in my memory as significant because it was the moment she made the decision to trust me professionally. Even though we’d been friends for years, this was another level I’d not been privy to. Kym didn’t have firsthand experience with my work so she had no way to contextualise the way my business mind works; she’d never seen me in action, nor heard me speak about administration, project management or business. A client’s decision to trust me is one I have never taken lightly because my clients divulge deeply personal information, and yet, for Kym it was something else. This was a leap of faith for her; it was the moment she decided to let someone in on her dream, to help her to realise her deepest ambition.
Kym showed me the book on her computer and immediately began to tell me everything that was wrong with it. All I could see was everything that was good and everything that had the potential for improvement. My creative business mind clicked into gear. As Kym talked I began to think about her, about the way she prefers to work.
Kym is the epitome of creativity and hands-on with everything she does. What makes her heart sing is the physical act of play with fabric, with paint, with colour and design and yet, when I looked at her and the computer screen and listened to all that was wrong, I could see the missing link: she couldn’t touch her project. And so began our coaching journey. “Print it out, put it up on the wall, see it, interact with the pages, make notes, add colour, and see how the problems solve themselves,” I recommended.
Over the next 14 months, Kym and I went on a beautiful roller coaster of trials and tribulations as I began to train as a coach and master NLP practitioner and created the Transition into Business program (now superseded with EQL Coaching). She was, from the very beginning, my willing ‘guinea pig’ client on whom I trialled everything and sought immediate constructive feedback.
Kym’s journey of results coaching with me, that is, what her experiences were, are not my story to tell but I will say this, the surprise of flying to Brisbane for her book launch was a simple gift of gratitude, not nearly as grandiose as she deserves for all she has done to help me. To this day, my success is a testimony to her because she’s been there every step of the way.
This is what Kym has provided to me as her own testimony.
I’ve been working with Caron Margarete (Caz) as my coach for around 8 months now and what a valuable asset she is to my start up enterprise!
You see, I’m a highly creative individual, and often work in ‘inspiration mode’ where I follow my guidance as I undertake the task at hand. This (like all things) is a positive and a negative. It’s great for implementing new ideas and making things, but not so great for the future insight and forward planning – which is where Caz comes in. She brings the balance.
Caz has the ability to blend our two different styles of working- structure & free flow – to bring out the best in my results.
For example – I hit a road block in the production of my children’s book. Caz offered the solution that I needed to print it out so I could physically hold it (yes, I’m highly tactile too) and actually see/smell/touch the finished product. This simple and obvious suggestion produced significant results!
The quirkiest thing I find by having Caz as my coach is that her words resonate in my head long after our conversations. I have many arguments with her up there in my head about why or why not doing something her way is acceptable for me. (Stubborn much?) What I do find is that after I get over the
mental chit chat and get down to the task at hand, true magic ensues.
I might be grumbling that I have a ‘stupid checklist’ to create and once it’s done, I have a large piece of the entrepreneurial puzzle in place. I find that working in her way saves me so much time as things are set up at the outset so my foundations are sound. My normal modus operandi is to trust it will be revealed and discovered as I go through. Not a bad trait to have inherently, but for planning and working towards specific goals, I’m going to wander off track and find shiny things. I can’t help it.
And Caz uses that knowledge to her advantage. She knows how I play. She pays close attention to my words. She picks up clues and insights and really tunes into me. She wants for me what I want for myself – to be the best version of me that I can be and she knows how to coax and steer me towards where I say I want to go.
And don’t get me started on her toolbar of tricks! She has a superb collection for your complete benefit. These could be resources, software knowledge, her networks and her NLP knowledge and experience. My whole well being is looked after under her guidance. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you’re wanting clarity on your personal brand, your purpose, your future, your unique offerings to this world, Caron Margarete is your coach. She’s got it all. She knows when to push and when to retreat. I’m incredibly grateful she is my extra brains ready to fill in the gaps and keep me moving forward. All with a smile in her voice, sincerity in her heart and sharpness in her mind.
Blessed be my lovelies,