Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Oh what a feeling! - I have a great boss

I'm walking on air! I've taken the decision to tell my granddaddy boss(that's my boss' boss' boss) about my training course. I know there are people that would think I was mad to break some of my cover and that work may throw a spanner in the works but Hubby and I talked it over and ultimately at some point I'll have to declare that I have a second job. Hubby suggested that Granddaddy boss might be supportive. He's a very busy man so I had to book half an hour in his calendar and wait.

I think I was more nervous than when he originally interviewed me for the job i currently hold. But I had taken some time at my desk before hand to consider and structure my thoughts.

I told him all about my own personal disappointment over not been able to do the coaching training through work and how I was going to fund the course myself.

He said some very supportive stuff, confirmed that he had no issues but would check out the form filling side with personnel. He also approached them to see if they would help fund my learning. I didn't think so and I don't think he did either but I appreciated that he gave it a try.

I think he was actually relieved as he may have thought I was building up to telling him I wanted to leave.

He did get an agreement from personnel that if I needed some practice coachees that I could do that in works time - how fab a boss is that.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Fantastic feedback

Best Man Friend emailed me today. I opened the email with eager anticipation. Could he possibly have worked on all the feelings I gave him and produced a logo already?

No! I guess it was a bit much to think it would be possible to do in less than 24 hours. We haven't even had a chat about it yet.

But what I did get was much better. A fabulous glowing email about my blog. Comments about how well written it is, what fantastic subject matter and how alive it is.

Its fantastic feedback - I'm honoured that he has taken the time to read it from start to end and has said he will comment retrospectively. What a friend!

Monday, 28 June 2010

How do I get a corporate image?

I have started to think about my business image, my values, my logo and my website.

Best Man Friend has agreed to have a go at designing my logo. I want it to represent hope, new starts, new life, new dreams. It has to incorporate professionalism - mental and physical well-being too. Everything that Green Shoots should be.

Am I asking too much?

I've told Best Man Friend all this - its just now a case of seeing what he can come up with.

Friday, 25 June 2010

I want to help my friend

Best School Friend replied to my please to meet her for lunch today - She's busy! and doesn't really feel like doing lunch at the moment. What the hell am I supposed to do. With one sentence in an email she has made me feel worthless and helpless.

I feel worthless that the friendship means so little to her. Has she considered that I don't just meet her to talk about her woes. That I may actually have some stuff to share with her. Let's face it, I've seen her once since the beginning of April when she was very upset about splitting up her her now Ex-boyfriend - that's over two months ago.

Since then I've been on holiday, had a wild camp in the snow, started a career change, commenced this Blog - all stuff I'd love to share with her.

And I feel helpless that I know she needs help and support but I can't get close enough to her to even begin to understand what support I could offer.

On a plus note, I got a cheque for £100 in the post today. It arrives once every 5 years from a little endowment policy that Mum took out for me. Thank you Mum I'll add it to the fund.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Decisions decisions

I'm so thrilled. Someone at work has ordered a box of my truffles.

As money making schemes go, its not going to make me rich. I marketed my truffles as gift boxes of 8 truffles. One batch of truffles is approx 45 truffles, so by the time I've bought all the ingredients, gift boxes etc, I'll break even. Then there's the couple of hours needed to make them.

I really I needed to sell about 10 boxes. Oh well I'll just get fat and become a bloater eating them!!

Barefoot coaching have replied to my email and answered some of my questions. It seems the deeper I dig the more confusing the decision making process becomes.

I may end up tossing a coin!

How does everyone else reach decisions?

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Backing Young Britain - Mentoring

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I've signed up for a scheme at work. Its a government backed scheme called Backing Young Britain - Mentoring. Mentoring wasn't something I am inspired to get into, but I'd not ruled it out, the skill sets are similar to coaching AND work are covering my time to do it. What have I got to loose?

So I got a free day out of the office, away from my desk and attending the day's training.  I felt really inspired as a result.  The scheme is to help 18-24 year-olds get work.  Some of these young adults have little or no confidence, lost all motivation etc. etc.  There are currently over 7,000 waiting to be matched to mentors.  I can't wait to get started with mine.

An yes, before you ask, I do have some doubts.  What if I get the one that's not interested, or is abusive or argumentative.  - I'll just have to call it a challenge.

Took the bank to task again.  They'd not properly sorted out the problem they'd caused.  They've very kindly paid me another £50 in compensation.  I'll add that to my course fund.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Trust and Intergrity

What a productive day today!

I started to think about my business values. Amongst the most important to me are Trust and Integrity.

I got home from work today to two phone calls. Alana from New-U responding to my email and answering some of the final questions. No sooner had I put the phone down, than Heidi who has her own coaching business called me. She's been trained by New-U coaching. Alana put me in touch were her.

She absolutely believes in their training methods and she's swayed me towards thinking that it may be a more balanced approach than what Barefoot are offering - though I most say New-U have lost a couple of brownie points for not telling me that she has previously run their training courses for them. Also it seems that full ICF accreditation may be more costly than I first understood.

Also had a good on-line chat with Special Friend. She too has had a productive day and made some disparately needed telephone calls. I really find that chatting to her spurs me on. We've agreed to meet on line again next week and have set some goals. Mine is about speaking to Best Man Friend about designing logos.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Healthy body, healthy mind

I ran into an old colleague at the gym today.  I didn't know she'd been off sick but apparently she's had a nervous breakdown.  This isn't some normally jittery person, this is a naturally strong very capable individual.  It just goes to show what pressures we are all under in the modern lifestyle we're all leading.  Its one of the reasons i believe so strongly in coaching.  If we can all equip ourselves with some of the basic tools we need we'll all be a lot stronger.

I'm very pleased to say that she's well and truly back on the road to recovery and was at the gym because she, like me believes that a healthy mind can stem from a healthy body.  I've always found that by leaving work and heading straight to the gym or my Body Pump exercise class, I can gather all my frustrations on the way and dump them at the gym.  There's a little pile of crap in one corner - just behind one of the treadmills that used to belong to me.

I go home shattered, but with a free mind.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Starting to make money

The bank holiday weekend is over and I now have to get down to serious business. All the excuses I had about needing to sort out the garden and spend quality time with Hubby - have all been given the time they deserve.

So today - I stopped procrastinating and settled down to the job of working out exactly what I still need to know about my two potential training course providers - and I've emailed a list of questions to the two companies concerned. Now I can sit and relax! Wrong! Now I need to raise some money.

I've started by selling an old mobile phone. That's raised £60. My latest venture is to see if I can sell some home-made chocolate truffles at work as father's day gifts. Its unlikely to make much, but every little helps.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

I can do anything

I've really enjoyed the bank holiday weekend. Aside from the fact that my garden, drive and patio are so much more weed free, we had a fabulous bike ride along an old railway track through a beautiful valley.

12 years ago, at the tender age of 28 (oops that's given it away), I couldn't ride a bike at all. I never learnt as a kid. As I progressed through my teenage years, I became embarrassed about it going to great lengths to cover it up, preferring to stay in whilst my mates played - rather than be discovered.

Then one day I decided to crack it. At 28 enough was enough! Please try and picture the scene if you can. This long-legged very wobbly 28 year old peddling with Hubby desperately running alongside, holding the handle bars. He wasn't allowed to hold the back of the seat. I know that trick - its the one where he would let go and as soon as I realise would likely land in a heap. At 5'7" I know exactly how far I have to fall!

But! I cracked it! Its just one example that I can look back on and know that I have the courage and determination I need to overcome the obstacles in my way. If I can do that, I can do anything can't I?

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Three little questions

"If you don't know where you are going,
you'll end up someplace else."
Yogi Berra

New-U coaching have passed on the details of one of their trained life coaches success stories so that I can ring her.  And once again I find myself procrastinating.

Its quite simple really.  All I have to do is sit down, write out a few questions.  After asking three questions the conversation will probably just flow.

My second task is to come up with, and email my final questions to both of the two coaching companies.  Its all very simple to do really, so I'll set myself a goal to have it completed in 5 days.  That still gives me plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Believing in Myself

Had an hour with a girl at work today. When I first saw her speak to a group I found her story inspirational. It was her resolve, her never give up attitude that I wanted to tap into when I asked to meet with her.

It was good of her to see me but that's the sort of person she is. She has a part time job and a part time business. Time is a very important commodity. What i wasn't expecting was the reality check she gave me. It was things like making sure that my course has a strong business element, but also checking out some of the competition. See what I'm actually up against now. Are they getting clients. I've been so focussed on sorting out the training that I've never really considered whether or not there is a market for my skills.

Have I been Nieve?

Her second piece of advice was about making sure I had belief. Truly believing in myself and my values and really being focussed on specific goals.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Offering a helping hand.

I went to see Best Friend today.  She's been down lately.  I've sent a couple of texts and emails and had no reply.  I finally sent her a message through facebook.  She finally replied.  If it hadn't been for that I'd have sworn she was ignoring me.

Bare in mind that she works in the same building as me - I've not seen her since the start of May.

Clearly she's got her own problems.  These have been largely caused by her ex-husband but now she has an ex-boyfriend too.  Work is busy at the moment for her as well.  But this is Best Friend and I'm not sure that those are good enough excuses for cancelling lunch with me twice and not even mailing to let me know or contacting me in 3-4 weeks.

It hurts and my paranoia kicks in.

But these days I handle this sort of thing differently.  I revert to my NLP knowledge and accept that she's using a different map of the world than I am and has different priorities.  So my paranoia turns to concern about her mental health and that maybe she's heading for another bout of depression.  I'd like to reach out a hand and help but its hard to do when she won't let me in.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Asking the Universe - Part II

I've tried to do most of my posts in chronological order, with the exceptions of the ones entitled looking back.

This tends to mean I'm about 1 - 1 1/2 weeks behind what's actually going on. It helps me to get a better understanding and perspective on my own thoughts. I keep a journal which is written with my thoughts at the time. By the time I write them up for this blog some of the emotions have dissipated a little, others remain as strong as ever.

However this blog post is an extra one. One I've posted especially as a result of a comment I was left on Thursday to the post entitled  Asking the Universe. This post was a light-hearted introduction to a technique that an awful lot of people believe in. I'll leave you to decide wether or not it works for you. But! That single comment has intrigued me more than any other left on my blog.

It was left anonymously, but I suspect that this was done for my protection - not the author. I strongly felt that the author knew something about me and the company I work for. If I'm right, then let me know in some way who you are. If you still want to remain anonymous then so be it - I will respect your wish.

Friday, 11 June 2010

I don't believe it!!!!!!!

Last week at work I took Special friends advice. "Ask the universe for the £3,000 I need for my course. So I did.

And what happened??

Well, a bag of money hasn't exactly fallen from the sky and landed in front of me, however I am beginning to work on a few strategies to make in roads into my financial target.

For instance, my bank has made a mess of a standing order and paid £50 in compensation. Thank you bank. It also appears that my old mobile phone is worth £60 so I am going to sell that.

Only another £2890 to go.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Asking the Universe

"Dear Universe,

My friend says you can help with a problems that I have. Please could you provide me with the money I need (£3,000) to pay for my coaching course. I will need this money by the end of June."

Special friend suggested I gave asking the universe a go. In order for it to work I have to have total faith in the Universe to help me.

So I went into my local country park, to my favourite little bench in the sun and I tried it.

I've done my bit Universe. Please can you now do yours.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Coaching Academy

I am having to put a little pressure on myself to meet my target of researching my short list of coaching courses by the end of the week. So today I rang the Coaching Academy to find out a little bit about their pricing structure.  What a contrast to Barefoot Coaching.  Whilst on the phone I could picture this rather plastic Barbie Doll type secretary.  (Barefoot had been answered by a very warm and friendly senior executive).

The Coaching Academy prices are a touch on the high side too, but apparently if you attend their free 2 day course then you can get some discounts but only if you sign there and then on the day.

I'm still keen to attend their free course.  Any learning has to be positive I think!.  Its a chance to get a free qualification and meet some like minded people.  But I've been a little bit put off by their full courses which sound more like seminars with 50-60 attending.

You can't deny that they have a good reputation - a large number of practising life coaches have been trained by them.  What I can't work out is whether this is because of their persuasive sales techniques on their free course or whether they are in fact very good at what they do - I'll let you decide.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

One small step in the right direction

I've had a bit of a disappointing day in terms of course research progress.

The one thing I did manage to do was reply to Barefoot Coaching's invite to go and visit them. It stopped me procrastinating about whether or not I ought to go and was as simple as re-arranging a hair appointment.

I can deal with the questions of how I get there nearer the time.

Its one small step in the right direction.

Visit Barefoot Coaching here.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Barefoot coaching

What do you do when you hate work?

I have first day back blues - well to be honest they're probably ten years rolled into one blues. My holiday was great, exactly what it should have been. A combination of long walks in high places, wild camping in the snow and time spent chilling in coffee shops with friends. In stark contrast, my desk felt like a prison. The vertical blinds in the window were just like prison bars.

A far cry from the freedom of waking up on a mountain in the snow. From my window (the one where the blinds have to stay shut when the sun is out so that people can see their computer screens) I could just glimpse the glorious sunshine outside.

So at lunchtime, I grabbed my notebook, my mobile phone, and found myself a nice little bench in the sunshine next to the pond. And then I made one of those phone calls I'd been procrastinating over. I've been researching some coaching courses over the internet and so just dialled the first phone number from my short list of about ten.

Kim, who answered the phone was fantastic. She understood the difficulty of my situation, where I am concerned that at some point life coaching will become regulated and assured me that as long as a choose a quality course I should be ok. The offer both post and under grad courses in life coaching. I'd not even considered a degree - i'd assumed this would involve full time employment. She was very supportive and the under grad was affordable in terms of money and time. I still need to understand how customers might view the qualification but that's the next step. She also offered me the option to go a long ant attend a day's training with them. I'm going to grab the opportunity with both hands.

I'm really motivated and excited about the phone conversation and now can't wait to call some of the others.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Sunshine in the rain

At the end of my holiday I had a touch of the blues. I was sat in my favourite spot in all the world (well one of them). It was the bay window of holiday cottage that we often use. It had just finished raining and the sun had come out. The whole world had a new sparkliness to it. I'm sad because it may be the last time I sit in that window. We may now have access to the cottage again. I may never sit in that window - watching the world go by - again.

At the same time I'm happy too. Just as the sun comes out smiling after the tears of the rain. We've had a great week. We've tested the boundaries of friendship and survived. In fact we've strengthened it with shared and interesting experiences. We're going out for a nice meal tonight and I'm looking forward to reliving the week.

Tomorrow we go home. And whilst I'm sad to leave, I'm happy about that too. I'm going home with lots of wonderful memories. But there's also a well known saying (well at least in our house) :-

"Home is where the dog is"

He no longer comes to the lakes, he no longer has the energy to do the walks we do. And I can't wait to see him.

Home is also where I can sit in the garden and write, with Hubby working away and he doesn't mind that he's getting the hard work.

Home is where we have a pair of magpies nesting in our tree.

Home is where there is a garden full of weeds and a sink full of washing up - but do you know what? I don't care because home is a great place to be.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Practising Coaching Skills

I already have some coaching skills, from an introductory coaching course my employers ran through CECO and a chap called Neil Espin. What I need to do is start incorporating them into my everyday life.  I believe that becoming a coach should be self absorbing. I need to eat, sleep, breath coaching.

Special Friend and I were chatting whilst on holiday. We're both at a similar stage in terms of new starts, new businesses etc. We started to talk about our new hopes, dreams and aspirations. I felt myself slip into coaching mode. I started to listen more carefully, stop offering advice and encouraged Special Friend to look at what her blocks were.

I don't know whether she noticed the change in me or not. But I don't want to be making conscious changes, I want to live and breathe "coach".

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

What truly special experiences have you had?

I enjoy excitement.

The anticipation of Christmas is always fantastic, going on holiday is always exciting and requires a count down of gettups (those are the days where you actually have to get up and go to work so excludes weekends). Yet all these things are perfectly normal occurrences.

Camping on a mountain got me thinking. I'd class it as one of those really truly special life experiences. How many truly special life experiences have I had so far in my life?

I have enough fingers to count them on.

  • Taking a hot air balloon over the Valley of the Kings in Egypt at Dawn!
  • Wild Camping for the first time at Dale Head Tarn with really good friends and waking up above the snow line.
  • Walking with Wolves
  • Climbing all of the three peaks
  • Opening birthday presents on a mountain
  • Climbing all the Wainwrights before I was 40 and winning a bet in the process (thanks Best Man Friend)
  • Taking part in a rally driving experience day

This doesn't really seem enough for a 40 year old!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Happy Anniversary

Today is my 14th Wedding anniversary. I've checked and the traditional gift is ivory. So here you go Hubby. Your very own elephant - enjoy!!

Love you loads and thanks for your support.