2013 proved to be both an interesting and a challenging year for me.
The last few years I have been on an upward spiral having personally transformed myself.
I have gone from someone with no true confidence, self-worth or direction, and a full-time employed person who enjoyed partying, to the owner of my own youth coaching business: Find Your Spark! And I'm also en route to becoming Masters qualified in Coaching Psychology.
I am no longer a wild, ‘crazy’ party girl (unless it’s my birthday!) and am now much more sensible and driven to empower others in my ‘old’ age.
This has meant there have been some seismic changes to my life which have on the whole been for the better and 2013 has seen a large majority of them.
Successes of 2013:
2013 was year 2 of my business, Find Your Spark and by the end of the year I had culminated 7 clients (new and pre-existing) and was coaching 20 young people from October onwards which was my highest number to date.
This was within schools and in charity organisations such as the Prince’s Trust delivering career coaching, life development coaching and speeches.
The Prince’s Trust is my biggest, regular client to date and I was kindly told by them that they did not want to lose me hence they have kept booking me to come back.
Hearing this was a highlight of my year as I could clearly see it was making a tangible difference to the lives of young people.
Personally I achieved success through selling my property (which was both a success and a failure but more of that later) and moving in with my lovely boyfriend to North London, which helped strengthen our relationship further.
It also allowed for us to go into ‘business’ together and set up a public mindfulness meditation eight week programme in Highgate, North London, which has been a huge success. Meditation has become a part of my life in 2013 and I do so twice a day every day for 20 minutes, which has helped calm me down in times of stress and has given me heightened mental clarity.
The move meant that I took a brave leap of faith and left Fight for Peace, a charity at which I had been working at part time self-employed for two years in order to ‘go it alone’ and market myself through Find your Spark.
This was a brave move on my part as at the time I only had one guaranteed client who had to cut my hours due to budgets. I did however make it work, so much so my earnings doubled from the start of the year! Sometimes taking risks pays off!
A lot of my business success can be credited to my wonderful mentor, Claire Boyles (Success Matters) who I started working with at the start of the year. This was through her listening to me speak at the Professional Speaking Association.
She helped rebrand me so that I now have professional business cards, leaflets and more exciting of all a fantastic website, which has been a goal of mine for years now. I am so pleased and grateful that 2013 was the year that launching my website was accomplished and will be eternally grateful to Claire for that J
Later in the year I was booked by The Challenge Network to train their young people on how to coach, as well as by a school in Highbury to deliver a group coaching programme starting in January.
Both of these ventures were brand new programmes for me to deliver as well as putting the foundations in place for setting up my own private coaching practice at the start of 2014 (see leaflet, very exciting!)
Academically, 2013 was a big year and I was pleased to receive a distinction in my Postgrad Certificate in Coaching Psychology which motivated me to continue onto Masters level. I am really enjoying this and look forward to writing my dissertation in 2014.
Rather than failures, I prefer to call it feedback as one can always learn from their ‘failures’ in order to pick themselves up again and improve.
One of the most challenging things I had to deal with last year and I am sure a lot of you can empathise with this, is selling my house, which was made all the more complicated due to it being joint ownership and having awful solicitors.
I spent two months just living on the edge not knowing when I was going to move or what was going to happen next. I did not deal with this well and although one may not term this as an actual failure in the literal sense, it was an eye opening experience for me and something I can learn from although it is not something I want to go through again in a hurry!
Moral of the story:
So the moral of my 2013 story is that I achieved a great deal of success but often after overcoming challenges that seemed tough work at the time! The outcome meant that I have learnt a lot and have started off my 2014 a little wiser with greater insight, and in the best place I have even been physically and emotionally. I think 2014 is going to have its challenges, especially with the careful juggling of both my career and finishing my Masters qualification. Last year gave me a headstart on how to deal with these competing pressures, learning how important it is to take some time off and to socialise. With all this learning and feedback, 2014 promises to be even better and therefore with even more success to speak about in next year’s guest blog for Success Matters! ;)
Happy 2014 – may it be your best year yet! J
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Michelle Pritchard is an experienced and qualified youth coach, specialising in working with young people who are "at risk" of dropping out of education, or engaging in addictive activities.
If you know of anyone who would benefit from Michelle's expertise, you can contact her via the following routes: firstname.lastname@example.org www.findyoursparkcoaching.co.uk Facebook: Find Your Spark Twitter: LifeYouthCoach