Case Study

Natalie Wells

Why did you decide to have coaching?

I've used coaches in the past, and I always make a significant step forward when I work with a coach.

Life's so busy these days, either family or work life, that there is a tendency to think, oh, I'll get round to me at the end. However, by using a coach, then you're putting yourself first.

For me, it's the accountability; there's no putting anything off. There's a next session, and I want to move forward as a business owner. It's taking that positive action with the support of someone else.

When I started coaching with Sharon, my business was five years old, and only me in it as a solopreneur.

I had just had my biggest year in 25 years of recruiting. I realised the business opportunity was there, but I couldn't replicate the year I'd just had.

That was a choice.

Natalie Wells

Yes, I could if I needed to, but it would have meant that other priorities in my life got pushed out, which was not what I wanted. That's just not me. I like balance across all areas.

And yet, once you've tasted that level of results, you want more. The business professional side of me wanted more.

I thought, there's got to be a smarter way of doing this. That's when I started coaching because I didn't feel I could do this on my own and still have the full life I wanted.

It was more about learning to let go, whereas I wanted to keep doing everything myself. I thought that only I could do it; no one could do it as well as me.

Yet I had a to-do list as long as your arm, and there were projects there for weeks and months that weren't getting a look in.

I thought that was just stupid because even if someone didn't do it quite as well as me, I would at least be moving forward rather than having things stagnating on a to-do list and a missed opportunity.

Our sessions evolved organically but did lead us down the path of me learning how to engage other services. Because currently, I don't want to employ people in my business directly.

I preferred a virtual team, so we were exploring how I could use virtual services to expand my bandwidth.

How did you feel when you started coaching?

I think the best phrase to describe it is "comfortably uncomfortable". I worked with Sharon and identified the edge of my comfort zone. Then it was a question: How do I step out of that?

I learned most that the stories we tell ourselves often aren't true.

When you work independently and are in your head most of the time, you haven't got anyone calling you out when you're living your life based on all these thoughts, and none of it's a fact.

We wrestled with some of those challenges, which wasn't always easy. We did stray into areas like my relationship with my father.

Having talked it through, I took a lot of comfort in that I have been proactive in that relationship, and I'm now quite comfortable where we're at; That gave me closure on the personal side.

On the business side again, taking that leap, I'd say it's still a work in progress. I now have a VA who's part-time. Then I have a person resourcing whose services are full-time in my business.

It's a journey, and I've had early successes with both.

It feels like it was the right decision. What's interesting on the VA side, Sharon taught me to be fluid with the lines between personal and business life.

This VA, one minute she could be market mapping, the next minute she's booking my flights for my summer holiday. Last week she sorted out a window cleaner. Again, it is those chores anyone could do, but it just gives me more time back.

Because I think sometimes, we forget the lines are blurred these days, aren't they? Yet it is important to think about supporting ourselves in all aspects of our life.

What do you like best about coaching, and what do you think were your biggest insights and learning throughout the process?

When you work independently, apart from your commitments to clients, there's no one there keeping you accountable.

For me, using a coach is having someone hold up that mirror. They don't tell you what to do, and they don't have the answers, but it's their skill; Sharon's questioning style worked for me.

I find that quite reassuring, so it's the mirror. It's being kept accountable. Someone who's calling you out when you're just spinning yourself a yarn.

I think when you want something different, don't always expect to be able to do it easily on your own; that's why I find coaching so valuable.

It supports you to move forward by taking positive steps forward in a timely fashion. Again, it's coming back to that accountability.

I think with any coach I've worked with; I can pinpoint where I've made quite a step change in my life. Generally speaking, working life because I am quite reflective on the personal side of things, but it's easy to get overwhelmed on the business side when you're trying to grow everything at once.

I think the more seasoned business owners you come across; one common thread is they've had coaching along the way. It just makes sense.

What results and changes were you able to achieve, and how did the coaching help?

Rather than putting things off, it was about taking positive action to build the virtual team I was looking for, and I had a quick, early win.

I had a role come in when I was visiting another client, and I immediately put the resourcer on it. They produced eight options, and I pushed five of those through to the VA, who then booked my diary for the next 24 hours.

By the close of play that day, I had a short list go over to my key client, who interviewed two and offered one.

I worked out that the recruitment process took me no more than four or five hours, and it was a five-figure recruitment fee, so it was the positive sign that I was looking for.

Coaching is empowering.

It's like an inflated balloon. Once a balloon has been inflated and deflates, it never returns to its original shape; you have grown.

I think it just whets your appetite you're ready for the next leg of your journey, armed with new learning and a different mindset.

What would you say to someone who might be considering having coaching with Sharon?

Don't hesitate. If you're a business owner, coaching is not a luxury. It's a priority. It's a sensible, prudent action to take, and the results will pay dividends.

There are a lot of business coaches out there that don't stray near the personal stuff, yet the two are more interlinked than I think people realise.

Equally, many life coaches out there wouldn't know the first thing about how to advise or coach you on the business side.

I think the fact that Sharon's got that blend of the two is quite special.

Sharon is very well-trained, well-read, and takes the role seriously. I have used an array of coaches, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Sharon.