FINDING VALUE, MAKING POSITIVE CHANGES AND BREAKING THROUGH BARRIERS
Kim Morgan, Managing Director of Barefoot Coaching Ltd was recently interviewed by The What Now Blog, sharing what it is that led her into the world of coaching, how coaching can benefit us all and some really top tips for valuing yourself, your life and your career.
Hi Kim. Please could you begin by giving us a little insight into your career to date and what it is that you do now?
For the past 20 years I have been the owner and Managing Director of Barefoot Coaching. I launched the company when the concept of coaching was in its infancy and have seen the whole world of coaching and personal development grow into the huge and exciting industry it is today. We offer University Accredited Coach Training programmes, one to one coaching and a whole range of personal development events and courses. I have a monthly column in Psychologies magazine and am currently writing my second coaching book. We produce a lovely range of coaching cards for everyone to be able to use coaching in their daily lives – at work or with their families.
What was it that drew you towards the world of coaching and to set up your own business in this area?
I had been working as a therapist and a specialist trainer in confidence and assertiveness before I set up Barefoot Coaching so the world of personal development was not new to me.
I was drawn to coaching because it brought together all the very best concepts from the worlds of therapy, sports coaching, personal development, management and business development in an individual 1:1 offering. Having coaching doesn’t assume that anything about you or your life is “broken” and needs fixing. On the contrary, it’s a positive intervention to help you get the best out of your life, work and relationships.
As soon as I knew about it, I had a feeling that coaching was going to be big. I wanted to train coaches and bring into that, some of the valuable lessons from my own training in therapy. I also knew that I wanted to offer an accredited course. In 2001 I launched our first Postgraduate Certificate in Business and Personal Coaching. I think I had about 5 people on the first course and most of them were my friends! Now we run courses throughout the year in London and the East Midlands and have thousands of students who have completed the course with us.
What is it that you love most about the work you do and what motivates you on a daily basis?
Honestly, if this doesn’t sound too cheesy, training people to be able to coach others, thinking about how many people we have trained and in turn, how many people they have helped all around the world.
I also love seeing the growth and development of our students into successful business owners too. Some of our alumni have done Ted talks, written books, become successful bloggers or developed a reputation for a specific coaching niche. It excites me to have “grown” all these amazing coaching entrepreneurs.
How can coaching help people in their everyday lives whether in the workplace or at home?
Coaching can help in any of the following ways:
- Navigating your way through life stages or transitions: changing jobs, having a baby, redundancy, getting married, retirement, starting a business, ending a relationship, planning a new career
- Searching for fulfilment: planning for the life or career of your dreams, identifying your values and what you really want from life, finding your purpose
- Managing yourself and being the best you can be in terms of: health, fitness, work, relationships, behaviours
- Preparing for: a job interview, a special event, public speaking, a particular challenge
- Providing a confidential sounding board: someone to listen to you, challenge and support you to achieve your goals in life and give you a sense of perspective.
When it comes to your career what’s the one piece of advice you wish you could go back and give your younger self?
That’s a great question but it’s hard to choose just one piece of advice as I think I made so many ‘mistakes’ along the way! If I had to have just one it would be:
Value yourself and what you are offering. That means:
- Deciding on your fee structure and sticking to it
- Resisting the impulse to over-deliver (giving away your time)
- Believing that what you are doing is making a difference
- Not discounting your skills and recognising all of the time, energy, training and investment you have put in to being able to do what you do.
For anyone reading who has a passion for helping others and is interested in the world of coaching could you advise how you train to become a coach?
Well, when I launched my coach training course in 2001, it was one of the only courses available, but now there are so many that it can feel like a minefield for someone looking for the “right” course. I would always advise choosing an accredited course, asking lots of questions and ensuring you attend an open day or taster sessions before signing up.
Work wellbeing and work-life balance are important topics here on The What Now Blog so I’m intrigued to know if you have any tips for keeping balance in your life and if it’s something that you believe can be achieved?
This question made me smile because I confess to working a lot! For a long time I felt bad because I didn’t have the “work-life balance” I thought I was meant to have. Then one day someone asked me a great question, which changed my perception of my life and work: “Does your work nourish you?” It certainly does. I live and breathe my business and I am passionate about it.
My motto for my life could be the old saying “find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life".
I realise that for most entrepreneurs, the idea of work-life balance is different. My family and friends are involved in the business in a number of ways. My daughter works alongside me in the business, which is a source of great pleasure for me. I have the freedom to take time out whenever I want to. It’s a different kind of work-life balance and it works for me. I think everyone has their own unique requirements for their blend of work-life balance and we should think about what an ideal blend is for us, before feeling too guilty that we haven’t done early morning yoga or taken up a new hobby recently.
When it comes to looking after your own wellbeing how do you like to unwind after a busy day and make sure you feel refreshed and refocused for the rest of your week?
Guilty secret: Unwinding at the end of a busy day usually means some easy watching tv shows with a glass of red wine in hand. Oh how I wish I had said 15 mins of mindfulness practice but I thought I would tell it like it is!
Thank you to Kim for sharing her wealth of knowledge and experience here on the blog today. Personally I've always been interested in the world of coaching and it's been great to learn a little more and have time to think about what it can do to help us. Not only that but with the beautiful selection of coaching cards that Kim has put together we can all bring a little of that daily coaching and positivity into our lives.