Meet Jo Wheatley, an entrepreneur who founded an accredited coaching training business.
In this week’s episode, Anna speaks to Jo Wheatley on balancing the demands of family life. Learn more about her inspiring story and how it’s possible to create a successful business while prioritising your loved ones.
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
The Outsiders Business Academy – A self-paced course for you to work through in your own time, to learn – and implement – the foundations of building a profitable business that lets you escape the 9 to 5. onestepoutside.com/course
Accredited coaching training
Okay, hello, everybody. And welcome back to this month’s interview and I’m here with Jo Wheatley. And Jo, why don’t you take it away and tell us right away? What were you doing in your previous corporate life? And what are you doing today?
Thanks, Anna. It’s great to be here with you. So my background was in HR, I worked my way up from HR assistant all the way up to HR director and I worked across the private, the public and the third sector. And after the birth of my first child, I Well, I brought a coach into my organization, I’d had some coaching, I was like, wow, this is a job, I’m gonna go in training, this is all my favorite bits of HR, I didn’t want to be doing disciplinaries and grievances and job evaluations, if I was away from the children, and so I trained to be a coach and I just decided partway through the training, this is what I’m supposed to do. And I ended up CO founding my coaching business in good company in 2011. So I thought, I’ll just leave and I’ll become an HR consultant. But actually, when Zoe Hawkins and I sat down, and we’d known each other, since we started studying for our masters, she’d also trained to be a coach, our careers are kind of married each other’s in different organizations. And when we sat down, we, we decided, actually, this was our love coaching. And so we created our business.
Fantastic, and my head is already spinning a little bit because I have a cold. So I feel like I’m not quite thinking as I usually do. But also because there are lots of interesting angles to that, I’d love to take it off in different directions. I guess starting with the HR piece, you know, I’m working increasingly with HR and some of my b2b work, but it’s a bit of a black box for me. And as you said, I think to some people, unfortunately, you do tend to get involved when something has gone wrong. And so maybe you get a bit of a bad rap. And it’s not sort of as as positive and experience, I guess, either for the employee or for you. How did you find that time? You know, was it something that you dropped off at university? You know, how did you land HR? And what was that? Like for you?
I didn’t know that HR existed like most people, I think, at that time. So I did a law degree, mostly because I loved Ally McBeal, which was a popular program, you know, back when back at that time for me, and also, I was quite academic, I was quite a liberal in that sense. And so it was kind of law or medicine that I was being kind of signposted to, I don’t like needles. So that was not an option. I was interested in psychology and my dad didn’t say to me don’t do psychology. But he’s a bit more like math, you know, Maths and English. And psychology was still quite a new topic, then I’m making myself sound really old. I’m not I’m early 40s. So it kind of like put me off. So I did law, I didn’t love it. So I did some work experience. And I also realized at that time, that the one to one work, which is what I really enjoy doing, well, you know, I enjoy the thought of at that time, was probably only like, 10% of the of the role. And what I was interested in was family law. And then I was like, Well, I haven’t had my own family. So I don’t know, this isn’t quite lining up for me. And I really didn’t enjoy the topics that we were doing. And so I got scooped up in the milk round, essentially. And I went into it recruitment, first of all, and I did really well at it, they had to rewrite the recruitment structure because I was earning too much money in their eyes in commission. Probably wasn’t really legal Was it when I think back but whilst I was there, I knew it was wasn’t something that I was in love with. I wasn’t in love with it recruitment, I could do it because it’s relationship based. But it just, it wasn’t values aligned for me. But I saw the HR person and I thought, Oh, my goodness, that’s where I can use my people skills. It’s also where I can use my analytical my legal brain. This seems like a good role. And so I then moved home. And I live in Devon, I moved back to Devon and I, that’s when I got a HR assistant role on a temp basis. And the rest is kind of history. I sort of moved every sort of two years I could see. You know, I wasn’t going to progress, you know, because people weren’t moving whereas I was quite keen to contribute and grow and develop and I really loved working in the charity sector so I work for young people’s, an organization supporting young people I worked for the probation service. I worked for Debenhams, yo wet and retail, I worked for telewest which was you know, with like TV in its like Netflix, I suppose back in the day kind of a thing. So I worked in a whole, you know, range of organizations. And I always say I didn’t really plan to have my own business. But then I’m like, but I did choose business studies as an A level. I think the thing for me though, is nobody in my family, as far as I’m aware has ever had their own business. So for me to do that, it was it’s a very new thing. But I’ve co founded a business. So, you know, that that has given we’ve given each other the confidence to start a business to grow a business and, you know, do the things that we’ve done along the way.
And you’re right, we’re so affected by our parents, aren’t we? Because I think if you’ve had academic kind of corporate parents, and they’ve done well, you know, that’s the kind of path and as you said, law and medicine tend to be traditionally those sort of academic, high performance kind of roles to go into. And interestingly, you said, when you left, the natural thing to fall into is doing consulting in what you were doing. And I did that I kind of because I didn’t know what I wanted. I landed in digital marketing consultancy, doing similar things I’ve been doing. And in fact, I even recommend, or at least support clients through that, because it’s a great transition out of working and a full time job, you can take those skills and experiences package them up. And tada, yeah, quite an easy way to transition. But I suppose I’m curious, how has your definition of success evolved from law medicine, through to, and in fact, a bit of business sprinkled in there a bit of recruitment, maybe HR consultants, you know, and become, as you said, a co founder, become an entrepreneur.
I think it evolves over time. For me, it’s not I don’t have a static idea of what success is. So you know, my dad had worked in the same place his whole life. And my mum stayed at home, and looked after us until we went to secondary school, and then went back into a part time role. And I think actually, she never really did what she wanted to do with her career. And I think that I just sort of took I could, I felt that, and I think in a way, that was an influence on me to, to, to drive forward. There’s no other girls in my family. So I’m the only girl in the family, the first person to go to university, lots of bows, you know, stereotypical things, I suppose. So initially, I’m like, Well, I want to earn 30,000 pounds by the time I’m 30, that success for me. And then obviously, when I became a mum, that’s a huge identity shift. You know, and so for me, success is, you know, my success in my business is totally related to my success. And how well I’m performing, if you like, in the role of mom, boss’s wife, and daughter and friend, and, you know, all those other roles that I have in my life. So one doesn’t stand out? Well, yeah, one does, the role of mom does stand out more than any other. So in fact, at the start of the pandemic, I, we’d bought my team, and we were going to take the children out of school for five months. And we were going to take them around Europe, because we’ve taken them to different places in the world, but we just wanted to do this trip while they were still at SEC at primary school. And obviously, we couldn’t go the time we were due to go into March. And you know, I remember my dad saying, you know, what do you think about them, like closing down, you know, Dad, they’re not going to shut down, you know, here, obviously, that is what happened. And so we didn’t get to go. So but for me that, you know, success is about living my life in alignment with my values, and one of my values is adventure. So I love treading new ground, I love doing things for the first time, I love I’m very driven to show my children new experiences and expose them to new experiences, to help to grow their confidence and just recognize how small this world is and how precious this world is that we live in. So that for me is what I would continually come back to is living my life in alignment with my values.
I love that. And you mentioned that getting out of your comfort zone and adventure. And I love that. And again, I did a lot of that as well as I left. And I think as a mother I’ve sort of retreated a little bit into my comfort zone as things become a bit trickier. And I know it’s a bit different, I suppose but I love that you’re choosing to inspire your kids with that. How when was it you founded in good company
in 2011? On Valentine’s Day,
how romantic interesting choice I think I found in my my digital marketing. I started in February, but I missed Valentine’s Day by a few days. Unfortunately, I think that would have been too much. But that’s a while ago now. So that’s incredible. So I suppose how has that process evolved for you as well, but how have you got out of your comfort zone and and developed your confidence through what I imagined would be a few ups and downs. Obviously there was COVID, which could have had implications but but even before that,
yeah, and it’s definitely been squiggly. So when we started the business, I had one young child so He then got pregnant. We found out she was pregnant just after we had formed the business. So then it was mostly me in the first year and then And she kind of came back in. So we’ve had five children have had miscarriage, you know, we’ve had lots of different other things that you experience in life during that time. And we have had peaks and troughs. So we were, we found ourselves with a pretty large corporate contract, which we really enjoyed the work. And I remember my husband at the time saying, you know, like, this could change at any time, you really need to sort of be, you know, looking at the new business. But that wasn’t our passion, our passion was to be coaching. And we were just loving what we were doing. We were doing one to one coaching was a leadership development program, we had run a number of cohorts, and then they wanted us to do other levels within the organization. But of course, that did naturally come to an end. And so then we were like, well, we hadn’t actually worked on the business. Enough, we had been working in the business. And that was a big lesson for us. And I don’t think we really figured out how to run a successful coaching business until about the time of COVID. So we did a big house renovation, and my husband, work project manage that he was also retraining. So he was having a third child. They’re just wasn’t I one of my other values is safety and security. And I just wanted to know that I wanted to feel that I had more money coming in and going out. And so even though I did have enough body money to do, I didn’t feel that way. And so I took an in house role as head of people development, and it was all coaching based, and I loved it. And I made a great contribution there, I really expanded my network. And so I did that for about two and a half years, as well as continuing to coach around the edges as well. And then and so we experimented with some things. So we’re still in the business, but also just experimenting with some other bits. And then I finished there in December 2019. So I was coming back into the business, but I was going to be traveling and doing the work didn’t get to do the travel, which actually from a business perspective, was a huge blessing. Because what we then did is we were going to transfer some of our coaching training online. But COVID Obviously accelerated that. So we rebranded, which was a massive thing to do across all of our content, we updated all of the content, we started using a new learning management software for our clients, which they love. But obviously that was, it’s a huge endeavor changed our accounting change. I mean, we changed so much stuff, or at least updated it. And I think I returned with a new found confidence. And so we also probably had more confidence, we had greater networks. And we just haven’t really looked back from there. And we’ve, you know, we wrote, we did the book, we’ve done the pug, we’re doing the podcast, we’ve got our YouTube channel, we’ve expanded our range of offerings, our credit, you know, the accreditation side of things created our own new stuff, lots and lots of things, where we’ve really backed ourselves in a way that so what have I had to overcome? Fear of visibility, you know, so he, I remember when we recorded our first live on Facebook. Now we recorded our first video that we’re going to upload and so so he said to me, right, I’m gonna upload it and post it. And I was like, Oh, hang on, wait a minute. And she was like, what? And I was like, Oh, I don’t know. And then I was like, oh, no, I’m supporting my clients all the time to step outside of their comfort zone. And I really felt like they were all kind of stood behind me supporting me at that point in time. So that right, what do I need in order to be able to let this go and be comfortable or comfortable enough with it? So I just said, so can you just add something with it that says, Hey, everyone, we’ve put together this video for you based on x, y, and Zed. If you’d like to see us do other things, please drop us a message like something along those lines. And that was enough for me to let go of that. And then you kind of just get used to it over time like to produce things in a non attached way. And so often we’d had conversations behind the scenes, obviously chatting, coaching stuff, and sometimes I’d be like, Oh, if only we’d recorded that. Of course now we can do it the other way. And people will suggest to us things they want us to cover. And then we just have a quick conversation, like a few bullet points is never scripted, just so we’ve got an idea of different bits we might cover. And off we go. So yeah, visibility is a big one that I’ve had to overcome. It’s the main one really. That’s the only thing I think that really gets in the way the rest of it and kind of figure out. Yeah,
no it’s a tricky one. But I mean, I imagine over sort of a decade or more, as you say something that initially seems quite tricky. For me too. When I first started when I started doing videos, it was excruciating. And I recorded and recorded until they were so horrible that it just gave up entirely and then I tried live and say, Well, it’s an evolution, isn’t it? But I think it’s reassuring for people to hear that everybody has struggled and most of us at least don’t Find it completely natural, necessarily, in particular, to talk about yourself and put yourself out there and so on. But I think having a co founder perhaps helped you and also obviously, really believing in, in what you had.
But what I haven’t mentioned is obviously that bit where I went stepped back into an in house role. And, you know, that was a challenging time for us as co founders. So we had conversations during that time around, do we fold the business too, so we take the business on, do you know, when she changed the name, like loads of different things, and, you know, no relationship is perfect, as we know, but what we think that we are able to do is we’re able to hold the tension in our relationship. And what we believe is interesting is that, let’s say if I had an idea or wanted to approach a particular project in one way, and so he obviously isn’t, is another individual that they might want to approach in a different way. And then we discussed those things. And even if what we end up doing is not better than either of the individual ones, I think often it is better, because we probably will connect with a wider group of people, because there’s a bit of both of those approaches in what we do, that we think we trust, it’s like any relationship. If something is really important to us as an individual, then we’ll, we’ll argue the case for it. And other times, we just have, we just let it go, you know. And so one of the other things actually we’ve had to overcome is looping in our conversations. So you know, for years, we would loop we wouldn’t make the decision, we would talk about it round and around and around. And we wouldn’t actually just just take the steps. And I think what we have is like we’re one of us has an anxiety about doing something the other is ready to step forward. So we’re happy to take that, that role on where it’s needed in the business. And I think if I was in business on my own, some things I might have done quicker, but there’s a lot of things I probably would have done slower. So yeah, there’s, I don’t want people to think, Oh, well, it’s just easy, isn’t it, if you’ve got somebody else, it is wonderful, because we get to celebrate things. And we don’t totally understand what has been involved in creating the successes for our clients within our business. And my husband’s really, really supportive, and he celebrates these things to me as well. And he knows a lot about, you know, I talk to him a lot about what I’m doing in my business, but he doesn’t co own it. So it is different. And it’s wonderful having that and those times when you know you’re in the troughs, or so on. It’s nice to have somebody there to understand that as well. And, and wants to kind of plot, you know, what do we do next? Where do we want to go with this?
I think as you said, a lot of people do think they sort of wish for co founder thinking it’ll be easier. And I have to say not to be too cynical and negative. But nine times out of 10. I hear negative stories about the co founder of pizza. So I think you’ve been lucky, sensible, obviously, you met when you were young, and you’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs personally and professionally. And you’ve obviously worked through those tricky times. So as you said, it’s not necessarily sort of the the easy route. But it’s amazing that you do have each other there. I suppose you’ve mentioned a little bit your different offerings. Can you map out a little bit? What does your business model so you’ve been coaching yourself, you have an accreditation coach training, tell us about what that looks like?
Yeah, so the main bit of our business is we are a globally accredited coaching training organization. So we train people in everything from beginner three to advanced level in coaching qualification. So from an ILM perspective, which represents the qualification bit, we have level three, level five and level seven, level seven is that master’s level. And they’re also accredited by the emcc. And also the ICF. The International Coach Federation, emcc is European mentoring and coaching Council. We also have our emotions coaching practitioner training, which is kh CPD, which is also accredited. And we also will be releasing in the new year some bite size, access to learning because we know that not everybody has 5000 pounds to be able to spend on a coaching course, but might really want some of those things to be part of it, or we have a lot of coaches that might have trained with other providers didn’t know that we existed and then they actually this, they want to do stuff with us and they might have identified some gaps in in what they’ve done. We also have a membership, which is for coaches that want to develop their businesses. And that’s a paid membership. So anybody can join that aspiring coaches through to coaches that have been trained for a long time or undergoing training. And then yes, I coach I coach in my own right, so my own right. I’m an executive coach and I specialize in working with CEOs or those on a CEO pathway, who are looking for that alignment between the strategy that they’re planning in the business and for their lives, but Also with their emotional experience, because you can do very well, but also feel very empty or disconnected. And so helping them to, to figure that out. So we talk through everything from, you know, their business strategies to their relationship with their son to, you know, their marriage, all sorts of different things. And I love, I really, really love that work. It’s such a privilege, I really enjoy, you know, the one to one, as well as enjoying the great work that I do with with the training as well, it’s, you know, it’s really rewarding to have those two parts. And when I think back to 2015, which is when we started training coaches in his eye, who were we to think that we could train coaches, and I kind of looked back on myself only seven years ago, feels like a very long time ago. But just think, wow, where does she get that confidence from? Where did they get that confidence to do it, and I honestly can stand here, I’m so proud of what we’ve created. It’s all about quality. It’s all about focused on the experience of the learner. And I think that’s partly where we have been so successful. And then the podcast is free for people to access the coaching crowd podcast. So there’s an episode out every Monday, and we have all sorts of different coaching topics, and people can nominate what they want us to talk about. And that also, we have our coaching call our Facebook group, which again, is a free community, for coaches, there’s about 3000 people in there, just coming in and asking questions, you know, just to find your people in life, that people that are caring, they’re compassionate, they’re courageous, and they really want to support other people. I think when I was in, you know, my in house roles, I always in some way felt that I was fighting again, again, not fighting, but I wasn’t with loads of people that thought or felt the same way. So I always had great feedback from, you know, the employees and from obviously, from senior people, because I got promoted, but for me, there was just something missing. You know, like, emotions weren’t really welcome from anybody, you know, really. And I think that’s part of our human experience. And so to, you know, to put that to one side for me was just, you know, that’s, that’s potential, I think that’s miss. So it’s great to see where organizations are going now from a mental health perspective, and a well being perspective. And just looking at those wider aspects. So I’m enjoying that. And when I think about my children entering the workplace, or maybe they’ll have their own businesses, thinking about what is the legacy that we want to create, it’s a really important part of that careers, conversation.
And it’s exciting to see organizations evolved, because I mean, I left that world in 2013, at least officially my job. And part of that for me and others who leave corporate work. It’s not that I hated my job in any way. But there was certain aspects of negativity towards that kind of setup. And I do think that the conversations that are happening now about diversity, things like quiet, quitting, great resignation, now, the career cushioning is the latest thing. All these things, I think, are important conversations to have around well being and flexibility and so on. So yes, hopefully, organizations are sort of waking up to that and evolving to Well, it’s
interesting, because you know, a big driver for me setting up the business or leaving my role was my husband worked away at the time. So he worked away 50% of the time, I had my first child, we knew we wanted to have a second child if we were able to, and I didn’t want to have to have the conversation about is it okay, if I leave early to go and collect my child from the nursery or knowing they probably would be ill quite often, and I just didn’t want to have that dynamic. Because back then, I mean, and I worked, I worked for a good organization, but I just didn’t want, I didn’t want that relationship, I wanted to have the freedom because I, you know, always work above and beyond in whatever I’m doing. So I trust myself in that way. So I didn’t want to have that relationship. And I often say to my husband, you know, I just don’t think people should employ people unless they trust them to, you know, to be able to manage their their own work. But he comes from a military background. So for him as he’s transitioned into the corporate world, he just has very low expectations, you know, and I’m probably at the other end of the spectrum, where I have very high expectations. And so, you know, it’s, I think it’s helps him to, to have some of the conversations that he perhaps wouldn’t think that he could have. So we are influenced, as you said earlier, obviously, by our upbringing by the environments that that we’ve been in as well. So yeah, hopeful for the future.
Yeah, but low expectations, in what sense? Because that pivot is interesting from military. I speak to professional sports people as well who are having to go into the corporate world. So I’m a military, what was his sort of mindset going into corporate which is like,
well, you know, when you think about asking for 10 times only working you know, he thinks Absolutely not, I cannot do that I won’t be thought of in the same way and If it came to a salary negotiation, you know, no, I can’t do that. Because, you know, that’s, that’s what it says there. And I can’t do that. Or I don’t know if he if he leaves these early for a meeting, he that he thinks that’s part of that’s his time that he donates to work. And he doesn’t you know that there isn’t that kind of toil thing, even though, you know, the contract would say this is very, very duty bound. So,
again, hierarchy and rule. Yeah,
I think it’s just a different dynamic. Because, yeah, it’s great. It’s nice to go above and beyond if you enjoy your role, and you know, and you’re getting things from it, but I think it’s just seeing that the equal relationship between employee and employer and just supporting them to have a voice and just be able to, yeah, to contribute highly, you know, to the organization, but it’s coming. Yeah. So that, yeah, the minute you know, his military experience has definitely created some beliefs about that relationship that he, you know, and I think, you know, the organization he works in, it’s a global organization. So he transitioned. Initially, he was self employed, doing overseas work, and then he, he did business development, and then he retrained in health and safety, and the training there, and he’s in his second role, he’s doing really, really well. And he’s dyslexic. So, you know, he’s had some challenges along the way, again, related to beliefs about self, you know, related to that. And so it’s been amazing to, we’ve always supported each other in our careers, you know, in different ways, at different times. And it’s brilliant to see that he’s found a role that he’s great at, he gets good feedback from and it’s totally different environment. And so, our children have seen lots of have had lots of different influences, you know, academic, entrepreneurial, more practical, he actually had his own business as well, at one point, he tried that out. Actually doing kids parties, I mean, how different is that, but he was very passionate about from his experiences at school, when he was dyslexic, you know, that one size doesn’t fit all and being able to engage that he did for a school qualification. And so he was using, he was using that. And I know he’s very passionate from a management point of view about how to support people with diverse needs in your team. So yeah,
bringing those values and also the transferable skills from military, I think there’s some really interesting ways of bringing that through. You mentioned that a term time workI. So I’m really curious about this. Because, for me, and for many people, you notice the freedom of flexibility, the autonomy of working for yourself, that really gives us that work life integration, as I’d call it, and say, Your founding a pretty big successful company, you’ve got a co founder, how do you balance that? ambition and drive and the responsibility of being a co founder, with having your children with school with with everything else with the adventure and so on? Yeah.
Yeah, it’s something that is under constant review, in my mind. And, like, what success is for me, I think it constantly evolves. So I have definitely, you know, I have worked evenings throughout the years. I actually, you know, I would naturally start work in the evening and work through to the early hours, like, I’m not, I’m not part of the 5am club. Yeah, that definitely would be would be the way that I would do it. And we’ve been able to manage that at different times, because my husband would, you know, he look after the kids do the bedtime routine, and I will be working that evening, which is fine. But actually, my, it’s almost as my children have got older, it’s almost become more challenging. And as they’ve, you know, have different needs. I’m at the point now, where actually, I’m not going to work evenings anymore. So we’ve built into the plan that even with our evening training, that we won’t be facilitating the trainers in the evenings. So we still want to enable those people that evening training works well for to be able to access our training, but it won’t, it won’t be us it will be a team of trainers that can deliver it in the way that we would. And yeah, attempt I’m only working so we’ve done that over the last couple of years. So bear in mind that still probably nine years where we have worked in different ways through the holidays. So sometimes, you know taking it all off sometimes taking some of it off. And we’ve just kind of learned as we’ve gone along around what works for us. So I love now that it for me, it’s much clearer, I don’t work term time. So I don’t need to rely on anybody else to look after the children. I get to spend that time with them. We get to have adventures in those timeframes. What was the issue before? Well, it’s mindset. So we were talking earlier when we are saying that, you know, I used to tell myself the story that Mike clients that I coached on a monthly basis. I couldn’t not coach them, then in August, because then I wouldn’t be fulfilling, you know, it’s harder to even to say, isn’t it, I will have six sessions over eight months. And actually, when I made the decision, and I tested it out, nobody cared. And in better than that, they respected me for holding those boundaries. And that’s what’s made it so easy to hold those boundaries is I actually feel proud that I have put those boundaries in place. And I feel that I’m honoring, you know, the children as much as I am honoring my own time. So I’m proud of that. But I can’t sit here and say that I started a business and held those things, because also in the early days, you’ve got to find the business. You know, and when you get the business, actually clients will say to you, oh, yeah, we want you to do that. But we need you to do it now. So do you take the work? Or do you not take the work, you know, do you make it happen, and so he and I are quite, will tend to kind of make things work, you know, one way or another. But what I’m going to be doing next year is experimenting with moving down to four days a week. But I was saying that last week, I took a day off on the Friday because we had our first cohort on our emotions coaching Practitioner program. And what I’ve learned before when we’ve done things is actually it’s quite exhausting. You know, you’re on this big high, it’s going well, feedbacks great. And then the next day or that evening, you’re absolutely wiped out. So I thought, right, don’t book anything, which was great. And then I missed, I’m wanting to do some stuff for work. But what I want to do is to be able to have a lie in if I want to, or go back to bed after I’ve dropped the kids to school, if I’m that exhausted. And if I want to read some of a coaching book, I can or if I want to write part of a proposal I can or if I want to write down some ideas for new training, I can, or I might just go and buy birthday presents for my son because that’s something that I want to give time to. So for me, it’s about not having to be somewhere at a particular time. That for me is the protection of time, and I might choose to work to do some work. But what I suppose for me the work that I do, the business is what I love. So it’s not something that I I never dread getting up on a Monday morning, I don’t have any of that. I’m excited because I look at my diary, and I plan my diary so that mostly, there’s not too much stuff in it. I also work only plot stuff in during school hours. So with the emotions coaching Practitioner program, we did 915 until 245 on the four days, and that is so that people, you know, whoever they are, that might have responsibilities that mean that they’re not gonna get there, they don’t have to kind of put themselves out in that way. So and we listen to what our learners and our clients want or need, we are seeing an uptick in people wanting in person facilitation again, which is a challenge because we’ve moved everything online, which means that all that travel time, so I used to travel seven hour round trip pretty much on a fortnightly basis to do three, three sessions of coaching is absolutely bonkers, really, when actually, we could be sat here. So not creating that carbon footprint, and also not having that, you know, not not missing the children’s bedtime or to get in there justice, as that’s happening. And so I think that is we have done the occasional piece of in person because I think community is important. But it’s not something that we will commit to on a regular basis.
Yeah. And again, I think hopefully the culture has shifted there, the expectation isn’t quite there in many areas. And I think there’ll be perhaps more hybrids and flexibility and so on. But I agree I I sort of have a hunger Finn person to get out and about after many years of working even pre COVID sort of by myself at home, but at the same time, the the travel implication, the cost, the time and so on is a bit of a hindrance there. It’s interesting that you say you know, I always warn people of yes, you love your work, but that doesn’t mean that you should be doing it all the time. But you mentioned several times it’s the choice right? Because I think for me, I work three days a week, but other kids are at nursery those three days all year round, so I don’t yet have the term time but I’m very curious about this model because next year I’ll have a daughter at school so it’s definitely something I’d like to consider. I met a client a few weeks ago who did every other she did a she called it a nine day fortnight so every other Friday was off yeah, it worked really well because if every Friday is off you can easily fill it up with regular appointments and things but actually every other week people at work barely notice you’re gone she said and at the same time it’s literally completely free for her so you can do errands to have a massage you can catch up on work but it’s open to you and I think that’s what’s really powerful I remember years ago I pre Christmas was booking in clients right up until the end and I thought I’ve got to support them and deliver every single one of them cancelled at the last second because they don’t want to have calls at Christmas either right so yeah, for me too. I’m really glad to hear that for you i role model for for myself for my clients who are trying to set those boundaries to for my kids hopefully as well. So they As you say, at the beginning, it can be challenging. You’re you both you love, you have that energy and desire to work more. But also you do need to if you have a client who’s just something, it’s hard to say no at the beginning, but it’s again, it’s inspiring to hear the possibilities, the term time, the possible four days a week, and as you say, the having that respect and that boundary being understood and, and upheld.
And I think what we’re, the phase that we’re in at the moment is about learning how to be CEOs. So yeah, our business has got to a stage where, you know, we always used to say, like, well, we don’t have business premises. So do we even really have a business? Like, if we just decided we weren’t going to do anything anymore? We could just stop. But now the business is it has moved beyond that. And so as we’re taking on, you know, employees and and broader freelancers, we’ve got to learn to how can we be good in this role? And what does that mean for us? How do we navigate this. And so because we’ve always done everything, so we’ve designed and facilitated, we’ve done everything, everything you can think of. And the phase that we’re in now is we can’t continue to create the quality and depth of what we do and facilitate all of the suite of things that we do. And, you know, that’s a whole kind of psychological process to go through. You know, trusting yourself trusting others. So yeah, that’s, that’s a work in progress. And so that’s where the continual challenge and excitement is like, well, what could we create next? Have we created our best thing yet? Or is that still to come? What what does this look like? And when we created the podcast, like the kids were involved in choosing the music, and for them to see like the podcast, go to number one, the book go to number one, like those are my those are like moments that they will remember. And I think they will, I’m hoping that they will be anchor points for them, as well, as well as our clients. Because we’re not that many steps ahead of our, the people that come on our training, not everybody wants to be a freelance coach, there’s amazing managers and leaders that like I just want to be a better manager and leader and amazing. Yeah, great, we’ll support you to do that. But for those that are freelancing, we aren’t that far ahead. So what we want to do is, when we started in business, we’d see people that were successful, and we’re like, you’d never get the information. Nobody would share anything. So yeah, it’s guesswork. And that’s not our approach, we believe the world is a better place, the more highly qualified ethical coaches or people with coaching skills that there are. So we want to pass on what we have learned not to say do this, but just say, Hey, this is how we went about it. And here’s how you if you want to, here’s how you could do that, and break it down so that it becomes easier. And that is our passion, or though it’s not what we set out to do. We can’t feel that we have a responsibility to support the coaches that are that are coming behind us to help them up. Because you think when I think back to the organizations that trusted us to come in early on in our career, and I think that’s amazing that they trusted us to do that. And I’m so grateful for all of those experiences. So how can we help so we love to recommend other people, you know, that we trust and believe in and we appreciate it when, obviously when other people feel that way about the services we offer as well.
Yeah, I love that not being too far ahead, as you said, because it can feel so intimidating if people are sort of 10 years ahead and you just think there’s no way I can ever get to that kind of following and being inspired by other successes and not threatened. So Joe, where can we find you and hear more about the wonderful things that you’re doing?
Well, I’m on LinkedIn as Joe Wheatley if you search Joe Wheatley in good company, you’ll find me. Our business website is i g company.co.uk. And you can find information about all of our courses there if you’re interested to qualify as a coach or do CPD I mentioned earlier the kitchen crowd Facebook, the coaching crowd podcast. We have an Instagram my Instagrams rubbish, I set it up and haven’t really done much with it. And I should say that is that’s a work in progress. But there is a coaching crowd. One there as well. I think they’re the main places really We also actually have a quiz. So it’s like a five minute quiz. If if you’re a bit bamboozled with Where do you even start, if you want to train to be a coach, what level would be right for me? Then you can take our quiz, which is my coaching course.com. And that will, based on your answers, it will suggest which level is right for you. And then if you want to have a chat with either myself or our training coordinator, they will make time just to talk to you about your specific situation if there’s anything more that you want to find out. So, yeah, we’re very accessible. I want to help as many people as possible. And, you know, I’ve done my version of a career pivot. It wasn’t planned, but I really love it and I’m grateful for all the opportunities that I’ve had along the way and Anna, you know, your own experience and what you’ve created. So we were talking about earlier, I just love speaking to other people that have created you know, I believe we can design our lives. And I believe that we can find a way to achieve the life that we design or at least I find it helpful to live my life in that way with that belief.
Oh my goodness 100% That’s a beautiful place to leave it at that. That’s my entire ethos and mantra. So I love that and as you say, not giving prescriptions for doing it particular way but having an open and it is choices and it will evolve and that that’s also the adventure I suppose. So. Joe, thank you so much. Such a pleasure to have you on massive congratulations to your success so far. And here’s to this new phase of elevating and to that see role and whatever other exciting things still to come. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you say
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The Outsiders Business Academy
A self-paced course for you to work through in your own time, to learn – and implement – the foundations of building a profitable business that lets you escape the 9 to 5.