At the end of 2015, I closed my first business to have my son. After six months of maternity leave, I felt lost and directionless. Full-time mothering wasn’t something I could do, I needed to use my brain for something more than learning how to activate nuts and brew kombucha.
In August 2016, attended a Kerwin Rae course called Nail It & Scale It (NISI), coming away with loads of inspiration for the type of business I could create. One piece of advice that’s turned out to be invaluable was to do the CliftonStrenths Profile assessment offered by Gallup. I bought the book at the airport on the way home, by the time I landed I was amazed at how much confidence I had.
I was like a new person. Gone was the dark postnatal anger. In its place was hope and enthusiasm for what I could build. Attending NISI led me to realise my potential as a coach, particularly because the CliftonStengths results planted the seed for that possibility. These strengths lead me to commence what will be a never-ending journey for personal excellence.
I started offering business coaching almost straight away. I specialised in taking people from employment to self-employment. The journey I had taken only a few years before.
Since then, I’ve had several iterations of business. I wanted to be something more than a business coach, I yearned to help people on a deeper level. Studying NLP, Time Line Therapy® and Hypnotherapy was the answer.
As a student, you must resolve your deeply held negative beliefs and for me, it helped with my low confidence. Because I’d been through the challenging process of change and knew how difficult yet how valuable the growth journey was, I incorporated emotional health coaching into my service suite. I wanted to help my clients discover personal excellence too.
After gaining my EQ-i 2.0 emotional intelligence certification, I realised it was the missing link to what I offer. As an Emotional Intelligence Leadership Coach today, I now have depth and breadth to offer a complete service that serves to find blind spots (opportunities for growth and development) and strengthens them with bespoke resources.
This isn’t the end of the road for me. It’s the culmination of my strengths, my education and what I love, but because I know what my strengths are, my journey to personal excellence will be limitless.
Here are my strengths and how they directly benefit my clients:
The future fascinates me. It’s as if it were projected on the wall, I see in detail what the future might hold. This detailed picture keeps pulling me forward into tomorrow. I often say, “Wouldn’t it be great if…”
Others look to me to help them envision the future they’re capable of. When the opportunity arises to pick my client’s brains for what they really, deeply, fantastically hope for, I am in my element. My ability to strategise a realistic long-term vision and demonstrate how possible it is, fuels my client’s confidence. They know I can see what they can’t see, they know I will create the plan well before they need it.
I am also a massive fan of future technologies. It’s why the discussion of the fourth industrial revolution is fascinating to me. The fact that we’re now living in the age of combined physical, digital and biological worlds makes me excited for how to find ways to maintain our humanness.
I love, love, loooovvveeee to learn! I am drawn to the process of learning more than the topic itself. I am energised by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. The thrill of the first few facts, the initial efforts to put into practice what I’ve learned and the growing confidence of skills mastered is what motivates me to keep learning.
I do need to watch myself though. It’s important that I caution taking on too much. An example of this is the Shiny Object-itis experience of signing up to a property education course and not having the time-capacity to go through with its implementation or the right motivation to want to.
It’s a massive advantage to my clients because it’s enabled me to be a generalist about a lot of topics. I know a little about a lot and a lot about a few niche topics like emotional intelligence. Yet, this love of learning has made it motivationally challenging to specialise in emotional intelligence because, while it’s a broad topic, my radar will keep sweeping the horizon for more. Including topics like transformational leadership, the fourth industrial revolution and collective consciousness into my offering helps to keep me learning without getting antsy for something new.
The strength in strategic thinking enables me to sort through the quagmire of possibilities to find the best options or route to take. I’m told this is a skill that cannot be taught, it feels like a distinct way of thinking, a particular perspective on the way I see the world. I see patterns where others see complexity.
Clients come to me when they’re stuck, when they need to make sense of something, or when they’re about to make a big decision and want to be sure they aren’t missing something.
I can play out multiple scenarios quickly. And, while I’m often ahead of everyone in my ability to see the outcome, I need to allow time for others to catch up. If I don’t, it can seem like I’m jumping to conclusions. It can also mean that while my intuitive sense guides me to the right answer, I have to be careful not to get tripped up by what is actually ignorance and arrogance. I am constantly asking the question, “what am I missing?”
I am impatient for action. I always want to know, “when can we start?” I know that analysis has its uses and that discussion often yields valuable insights but deep down I know that only action creates outcomes. Once a decision is made I unable to not act.
In the way I view it, action and thinking are not mutually exclusive. I just want to get going and do the thinking along the way. Action to me is the best device for learning. I make a decision, take action, look at the results, make a new decision and so the cycle continues.
This is great in my work because clients always come with questions and leave with a shitload of actions they can take. And they know, because of my Futuristic strengths, that I’m ten steps ahead guiding them to realise the vision we’ve designed.
Taking something average to just-above-average is not appealing to me. It takes a great deal of effort and to be honest, it’s not very rewarding. Why do this when I can take something average and transform it into something better than what you imagine is possible? Now that’s rewarding.
When my clients come to me with all of their limiting beliefs and stories of why and how they can’t do something I am inspired to prove them wrong, they absolutely can and do with my support.
I get a glimpse of untutored excellence and like a pearl, I want to make it shine. I see strengths where beliefs have you feeling the opposite. I nurture these strengths, refine them, and stretch the possibilities from impossible to I’m-possible. It’s thrilling.
And like all strengths, I need to be careful because this strength means I have very high optimism and will seek to maximise every opportunity. I’m not going to sit back and bemoan misfortune or weaknesses. I have to be mindful that some people thrive on excuses so I’ll frustrate them because I can see sunshine in a shitstorm.
This is one of the reasons I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. I have a great deal of respect for people but absolutely no respect for their problems, especially if they’re doing nothing to change their circumstances. I want to work with people who want to strive for personal excellence, who understand that I can maximise their potential when they’re willing to get out of their own way.
What Are Your Strengths?
If you’re not sure what you want to do or just want greater awareness on the things you should be focusing on, I encourage you to do the CliftonStengths assessment. I’m not being paid to promote them, I’ve actually got no investment in their product at all. I just know it’s a fantastic tool for personal and professional development.
As it is quoted in the book:
You cannot be anything you want to be
but you can be a lot more of who you already are.
And that version of you is pretty bloody magnificent!