So it amazes me that Mariposa Coaching is now 2 years old.
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 17 years to a wider audience. Having used cognitive behavioural approaches, amongst other psychological models, to facilitate rehabilitation groupwork programmes with 1;1 coaching for clients with complex needs, I wished to set up my own private business. I also aimed to deliver workshops in beautiful wellbeing centres and the business sector. If I put all my working experience together I worked out that I have now delivered approximately 1600 groupwork/workshop sessions. However setting up your own business is still a really daunting process no matter your experience and it feels over the year that I have had a steep learning curve in some areas.
In 2015 it all 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 first 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. The Hive still provide free support for those in North Somerset. I set up my website, facebook, twitter, linkedin pretty quickly and my husband helped with the design. In the second year I feel I have learned a great deal and have improved my ability to recognise how to be a bit more consistent with my branding. Thanks to Lidia from Visuable, www.visuable.co.uk who gave me advice through her Facebook group #52weeksvisuable I learnt how to use instagram to be more effective in my message using more purple! Becky Barnes, www.beckybarnesstyle.com, an amazing style coach, also helped me to realise colour can really help with your brand.
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. I also had support from Rachel at Yanley Court and ran my workshops there in my first year and Julianna at The Family Practice. I am still delivering coaching for companies out of The Practice Rooms in Westbury upon Trym. I am now offering workshops from my practice in Flax Bourton as last year had extra rooms built and my place is on the inner zone bus route only 5 miles from Bristol Centre.
Starting from scratch is a daunting experience and there are moments in the second year of business when I felt uncertain and I could not have continued to grow without the support of other small businesses and friends - you know who you are and thank you! Over the last year I have been welcomed to coffee or an advice session/network meeting by Ladies Who Latte (Bakersmiths, North Bristol, East Bristol, Weston-super Mare, Chipping Sodbury), Breakfast Networking, Mums4Work, Sarah Cook with her fabulous Come Network with Me, Nicky from Purpleminds, Owen Morgan and all the wonderful World Health Heroes, Sarah Hughes, Amy Morse (blogging & general awesomeness) Anne-Marie from Rose Holistic, Kate from Lotus Foot Health & Reflexology, Linda Sims with wonderful nutrition advice, Claire from Scarlet Lotus who asked me to be part of her article on how to be assertive ...the list goes on.
Highlights of the year have included going to an amazing company to run worklife balance and stress management workshops as part of their wellbeing agenda. It has been great to have my coachee's turn their coaching sessions with me into their Performance Development Plans at work. A big thank you to those companies who have booked my services. I am still working on my Go Green Bristol Action Plan to be an ethical business and linking with Julia Thompson Jewellery, www.juliathompson.co.uk, a fairtrade designer maker in silver and gold to offer a discount service to coachees and groupwork participants. I really appreaciated all the wonderful breakfast talks at Triodos Bank and to be part of Healthy City Week. I really enjoyed training I attended in this 2nd year of Mariposa. It included a 'Master Class in - Cross Culture Communication in Medicine with David Mumford' and 'Developing Others in the Application of coaching psychology, enhancing performance, development and wellbeing' by Adams Psychology Services.
It has been fantastic to give workshop tasters at The World health heroes retreat days. The World Health Heroes have been totally amazing, worth a look at www.worldhealthheroesuk.com. Other events including being a regular at The Art of Wellbeing Backwell House, taking part in Healthy City Week for the second year running and this summer offering a workshop in creating harmonious relationships at Arnos Vale along with a Mariposa Coaching stand.
It's been really amazing to be asked recently to put on a 'How to write and run an interactive dynamic workshop'. I am running my regular stress management, time management, influencing skills and assertiveness workshops. The healthy relationships skills workshop has worked well as a stand alone as well as together with my parenting skills workshop to form a whole day workshop.
Thanks to all those who have used the service of Mariposa Coaching through the second year of business life and have supported the business.
I feel that the focus for the next year will be #diversity - ensuring that I am inclusive to all and I have also been asked for a workshop in this area. S o watch this space!