So I went out last night to celebrate the fact that my coaching business, Mariposa Coaching, is now a year old. Thanks to all those who came out or sent congratulations. We had a great time!
I was reflecting on how it all started and how far I have come but also how far I still have to go. My vision was to take my experience from working in the public sector for the last 16 years to a wider audience. Having used cognitive behavioural approaches, amongst other psychological models, to facilitate rehabilitation programmes and 1;1 coaching for clients with complex needs I wished to expand and set up my own business. I wanted to make cognitive behavioural coaching available to all. I also aimed to deliver workshops in beautiful wellbeing centres and the business sector.
It started in an unexpected way when I attended a workshop with Penna Consulting, and learned about how to transition from public to private. I was not even aware at the time that I wanted to start my own business. This changed when a wonderful forensic psychologist who I see for supervision mentioned Stephen Palmer and the Centre for Coaching, London. As soon as I contacted them I realised that my skills were transferrable and that cognitive behavioural coaching was for me. I completed my Certificate in Stress Management and Performance Coaching, accredited by Middlesex University and approved by the British Psychological Society. This was a total highlight of my year enhancing skills in stress management, problem focused counselling, coaching and training and performance coaching. I can't recommend the Centre enough.
Brave in Bristol offer a free setting up your business workshop which was invaluable. The Hive, North Somerset Enterprise Agency, Weston-super-mare provided a free marketing course, financial advice and social media training. This is all free if you live in North Somerset. I set up my website, facebook, twitter, linkedin pretty quickly I guess and my husband helped with the design but it still feels like I am still learning how to market, how to connect with people.
As soon as I stepped inside Yanley Court, Long Ashton I was welcomed by the manager Rachel to run workshops there and we had a brilliant meeting over a pot of coffee..by the time I was finished I was buzzing and it was not just the coffee. Then I met Julianna from the Family Practice, Glos Road, Bristol and another pot of coffee later I set up running workshops from there too..and so it went on. Yanley Court, The Family Practice, Bristol Health Hub and The Practice Rooms have all been really supportive. I remember meeting the manager of The Practice Rooms and he was holding this cushion and I said I liked it so he gave it to me. 'Go and sit in the room, let the universe know you are here' he advised me as I was feeling a little nervous that day (it's a good sign to get nervous before a workshop/performance). So I did and I had a really great workshop.
Shortly after Kris from Bristol Health Hub offered me a talk space as part of Healthy City Week in Bristol and I facilitated a short workshop on sustainable wellbeing. Then I was invited onto BCFM radio and took part in a session on work life balance which included Jemima from Positive Living. One of the difficulties in being on the radio is that you can't see the audience and I like to interact..I would highly recommend it but I don't think I breathed the whole way through!
Starting from scratch is a daunting experience and I could not have done it without the support of other small businesses and friends - you know who you are and thank you! Over the year I have been welcomed to coffee and further support and advice by BNI, 4N Networking, Alison from Bristol Brilliance, Neil from Positively Mindful, Nicole from Purpleminds, BBCG, Aspiring Business Women, Kate from Lotus Foot Health & Reflexology, Clare Russell from Metalife, Kris from Bristol Health Hub..the list goes on.
Highlights of the year have included going to Altran Uk and Rolls Royce to run worklife balance and stress management workshops as part of their wellbeing agenda. The engineers were really enthusiastic and the closing experiment was really fun to run. Achieving associate status with The Association for Coaching also figured as a pretty high point. Further training with Adams Psychology Services in Using Coaching to Develop Classroom Practice opened up more avenues for my growing business. I was asked to write an article on time management for Henpicked which helped me to learn blogging skills. I have really enjoyed giving a sustainable wellbeing talk at Picnic Coffee Shop in Bath and running stress management, time management and assertiveness workshops. I am currently writing a new healthy relationships workshop which will form a part of my Creating healthy relationships interactive talk at Hamilton House Wellbeing Festival on 30 April.
The greatest joy from my private coaching so far seeing the changes that clients make with my support and gaining positive feedback. Here is a snapshot of some of the feedback I have received which sum up why I do this work!
'I have struggled with anger and stress and the way I deal with conflict my whole life. I tried everything! Hypnotherapy, CBT, counselling but Sarah has taught me how to cope and deal with conflict. I thought I would never get to this point! I feel confident in and out of work. My relationships have improved. I now can be positively assertive. I feel confident that whatever happens I will be alright and will cope.' (private client)
'The course was amazing!! It was wonderful in every way - you were so sensitive to what we all needed, and two hours were better spent than some all day courses I have done for work.'
We have just had Sarah Clark from Mariposa coaching into work this morning to give a talk on work life balance and stress management. She was extremely informative, knowledgeable and fun! I would thoroughly recommend Sarah for all your personal and professional coaching needs be it individual or for your team. I hope we are able to have her return in the future. Thank you Sarah! (Zoe Bowlt Adv Consultant from Altran UK)
Thanks for reading! Get in touch if you think 1;1 coaching or a workshop could be helpful to you or your business.
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