2020, what a year for us all. Personally, I have started not only a new business but also a new career! All in the midst of a pandemic aged 51. Despite the difficulties that this year has sprung upon us, I feel so fortunate to have had the time to reflect on the ups and downs of my life so far and where I have got to today.
Having sold my business in January 2019, it took me a fair few months to get over the emotions of debating about and then actually going through with the sale of my business. This was extremely difficult as my first business was almost like my own child, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I worked for some other agents for a while, and whilst I now realise, I didn’t want to work for anyone else It provided me lots of experience of how to (and how not to) run a business. All this experience can now be put to use during my coaching sessions to help others develop and grow their businesses.
After several months and not a single regret of selling my first business, I wanted to help other people, with my business and property experience coaching was the new journey for me.
Coaching has been a dream I have had for several years. My own coach trained with Barefoot Coaching so when I had to decided who to do my course with, there was no real choice. I did look around a little bit, but I knew that Barefoot was right for me! Then, COVID-19 hit.
COVID-19 started getting serious in January 2020. Barefoot were not able to give any indication of if their courses would be online, but I waited to hear from them, rather than attend a different course and thank goodness I did. Their way of teaching us to be great coaches was outstanding.
Whilst waiting for the course to go online, I set about launching my new business. Developing a business takes time and careful planning. I firstly needed to come up with a name and having had one successful fruit it seemed to me that another fruit was the route forward. Both of these names have stories behind them, but I will save that for another time!
I also started networking again. I had always done networking for my previous business, which I gave up a few years prior to selling my business. This is something I do regret. Not only is a great way to gain business but the support is truly amazing. Despite the fact I had been missing from the networking scene for a while, I was met this year with open arms. Unfortunately, the networking did, and still does, take place on Zoom but it is absolutely something I will do until I retire. In fact, reflecting upon it now I have done more 121’s this year than ever before and it’s allowed me to save a huge amount of travel time! At the point of setting up my business, I decided whatever my new business was, networking was a real part of it.
So, for the first time ever in mid-March, I started networking on this thing called Zoom! My fear of IT and new things completely grabbed me by the throat and to say I was terrified was an understatement. I panicked for days, I was scared of not being able to appear professional and look stupid. I reflect back on this and now feel fortunate to have gone through this experience as it will really help me relate to clients suffering with some kind of fear or anxiety. The smallest things can be so huge and out of control, but I hope to use this experience to empathise with clients when they have fears about something and we can work on together. Nine months later, and even after COVID-19, Zoom is here to stay and has given me so many new ideas for how to run my business.
Working online has allowed me to do my wonderful, yet sometimes intense, coaching course meeting lifelong friends, engaging in lots of networking, overcoming the fear of learning new skills (especially IT) and most importantly learning how to conduct really effective coaching sessions with my clients. Conducting coaching sessions online allows my clients to feel comfortable in their own surroundings, meaning they are more open and honest about what is troubling them. There is no stress of travel, delays or a busy office environment so it has been so much easier to address issues, set goals or talk about concerns to someone who isn’t involved in their business every day.
So, that was the effect COVID-19 had on my business, and honestly, I am grateful for the new outlook it has provided me for my business. I really had to come face to face with my fear of trying new things. I began getting flustered about learning all these new coaching tools that didn’t suit me, but I have now realise that I can come and go with them… but actually learning new things is also quite fun! At the moment I am focusing on how I show up to a coaching session and ‘dance in the moment’. You never know what a client is going to say, so learning new ways of managing a situation feels wonderful as you can be free to deal with the unexpected!
2020 brought me the time to be able to walk for 5 miles a day with my husband and learn more about him than ever before. I have appreciated nature without the distraction of my phone and learnt so much about topics we would never normally discuss. My daughter gained a distinction in her masters and I launched my new business in a career I absolutely love. Whatever 2021 brings, my husband said whatever you do next – enjoy it. And boy did we get that right.
I hope that 2021 will be the year of collaboration. Within estate agency competition is writhe as everyone is after the same properties and clients. Coaching has exposed me to a different world where everyone is supportive and cheering you on after each success. I have already started talking about working with other individual coaches, as well as providing consultancy work for estate agents. There is so much legislation within estate agency nowadays so it’s no wonder they get a bad name. I want to help estate agents provide excellent service to their clients so they can feel successful and enjoy the work they are doing.
Overall, my goal for 2021 is to help others flourish so they can be the best version of their self in both their business and personal life!
The photo is of a hare I see regularly on my walks, he is looking very proud of himself with his Christmas ribbon. I feel very proud of myself for remaining positive in 2020 and appreciating the small things that we usually take for granted.
Happy New Year to you all.