WOMAN IN BUSINESS: Tackling challenges

Confucius said: “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” This has been my experience since training as a life coach and setting up Straightforward Coaching.

This has been my experience since training as a life coach and setting up Straightforward Coaching. Yet, 10 years in, 2011-12 was worryingly quiet. I was doing all the “right” things, but business was noticeably thinner on the ground than it had been. I ran special offers, but take-up was slow. My business was facing its biggest threat yet.So, I started paying closer attention – to options, to my strengths, to my clients, to other coaches and to my networks, and I drew some interesting conclusions. Amongst others, I recognised that, in becoming Worthing manager of the Mumpreneurs Networking Club, I had a large group of potential clients who were keen to support my business if they could. I noticed a trend of small business owners cutting back on personal spending, but being prepared to invest in their businesses. I revisited my skills and wondered whether my English teaching background could be made to fit this puzzle. I was reminded by a client of how beneficial it had been when I helped to edit some website copy she had written. And I was adamant I wouldn’t leave coaching – a profession that I love. And so it was that I came to dip my toes in the water of helping small business owners through the process of writing their own website copy. With the aid of some willing Mumpreneur guinea pigs, I discovered the perfect mix of coaching and writing – for helping with their websites, for my own career satisfaction, to plug a gap in the market and to give Straightforward Coaching a brand new product to offer. I dived in. And business – I’m pleased to say – is blossoming again. If your business is facing similar challenges, try paying really close attention to what’s going on around you. Listen to what your customers and networks are saying, feel into the mood of the moment, assess your skills and strengths, be clear on the things you won’t compromise, then be prepared to shake things up a bit. And do come and share your experiences over at www.facebook.com/womaninbusiness or tweet me, at twitter.com/coachbythecoast