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19 Nov, 2008

Christine McClean – Success Stories

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coaching Articles|Success Stories

Christine McCleanWhen I saw PS On line today asking for success stories I just had to write.

My company is one year old today! It’s our birthday!

Two years ago I got a bank loan and invested in the Personal Performance Coaching Diploma with The Coaching Academy. I was working in the NHS, a nurse by trade but had not been a ‘bedside’ nurse for years, yet still introduced myself as a nurse/midwife to everyone I met.

The first two days of the Personal Performance Coaching Diploma I met some amazing fellow trainees and we set up a trainee coaching circle.

I had always wanted to run my own business, spread my wings and do what I loved doing every day and get paid really well for it.

I learned from the first two days that I had to start thinking about myself and my abilities differently, that it was an ‘inside’ job and I had been putting blocks in my own way for years..

With the expert help of my fellow Coaching Academy trainees (thanks Ann, Andrea and Kath) I moved through stages such as

What were my skills?

Would anyone be interested in them?

Would anyone pay me for them?

What was I telling myself about why I couldn’t do it?

What were other people saying about my skills and how did this affect me?

Could I reconcile myself to  ‘give up’ the feeling of being a nurse and what would that mean for me?

I went through fears and worries gained more and more skills then one day got out of bed and said ‘today I am a training and development consultant, specialising in leadership development, NLP and coaching’ …sounds a mouthful but honestly I did!!

Then got my suit on (never had one before!) went out of the front door and got my first contact, who asked me to put in a tender (had no idea what one of these was, so acted ‘as if’ and when I got home e mailed all my friends and colleagues to ask!) the tender was for a huge piece of work and with a little help from my friends..I won it!

I can’t tell you how everything snowballed after that, all my work in this first year has come via word of mouth and meeting and networking with new people. I have been asked to speak at a national conference in November to over 500 people, and have my first book almost ready in draft.

I now run basic NLP courses, run fear coaching sessions for people who are new into business or wanting to set up on their own,  develop coaching programmes for leaders and managers for large organisations, write for a leading nursing journal and design team building and leadership development programmes for the NHS…. and love every darn minute of every day!

It’s not like working at all, and I have learned, the more you love your job and have that passion… the more you attract people who want your skills and knowledge.

I have big ideas for the future and am moving more into a niche market.. and the best bit of it is….

I know I can do it…

now that’s got to be worth a million of anyone’s money! and it’s something I honestly never thought I could do!

What a journey… and it’s just the beginning.

Christine McClean

CMC Consulting, specialising in coaching, NLP, training and development, service improvement and re-design for public, private and voluntary sector organisations.

12 Responses to "Christine McClean – Success Stories"

1 | Martin Haworth

November 20th, 2008 at 12:37 pm


Well done Christine!

I think it’s a real challenge many of us have to ‘know’ when we have become a coach.

So, it’s perhaps worth recollecting that coaches, trainers, consultants, whoever all come in different shapes and sizes, so by being who we are, right now, is a far more realsiistic we to be with ourselves.

Excellent post!


Martin Haworth

2 | Fiona Harvie

November 20th, 2008 at 1:44 pm


Well done – stories like that really help those of us still in the training side of our coaching journey.

You have worked hard and obviously really deserve your success.

The transformation in your mental attitude that morning that enabled you to re-invent yourself was obviously a pivotal moment.

I would be really interested in how you achived that – leaving behind limiting beliefs and negativity to get where you are oday.

3 | Debbie Robinson

November 24th, 2008 at 2:17 pm


What a fantastic story. Many congratulations on your success and in finding your true vocation in life. I have been going through the soul searching and doubts that you have listed and your commitment and success has inspire me to keep keeping on!
Thank you!

4 | Vivienne Leach

November 24th, 2008 at 2:55 pm


You’ve achieved all this, and in your first year? Well done, Christine, you are a real star!

I have been self-employed since 2001 and I am still evolving – skills trainer, business adviser/consultant and motivational coach!

I picked up the fact that you submitted a “Tender for work” and with a little help you won it! Subsequently your work has arisen through “word of mouth” and networking – notice everyone, no money spent on advertising!

I live and operate in S Wales, everyone keeps telling me to get a website, but so far I havent needed one! I have a great network of support in the business support arena, yet the way work is going in Wales, freelancers are having to engage more and more through the Tender route (doesnt feel that tender!) with those in the Public Sector (and Private Sector) to secure contracts!

Now, you can look at this in a good way and a challenging way: Good way, bid for larger pieces of work that will be for a longer period – challenge, competing with larger providers so you really have to think about how you will provide the best value – challenge, once you secure a larger piece of work then you need a network of contacts (Associates) to support you, help you deliver it.

Reality you have to have that network in place before you write the tender! Is that where your network has helped you Christine? To help you gain the larger contracts or is that your next step? I am interested.

I am embarking on a free “Sell to Wales” How to Tender” Workshop on Thursday so that I demystify the process, of which I keep on submitting a range of Tenders (starting with an Expression of Interest) to secure more work in Wales and beyond. In particular I aim to coach teams to become the best they can be! As they succeed so do I!

The economic downturn is having a devastating impact on people’s motivation and morale and so they need “up beat” people like us coaches, Christine, to keep the wheels of business well oiled with the people that matter!

We’re all on a journey and I wish you every success as you continue with yours! Wish me success to secure more team-coaching!



Vivienne Leach
Business Consultant and Motivational Coach
“Vitality – for life and learning”
S Wales

5 | Wendy

November 24th, 2008 at 8:50 pm


Hi Christine, this is an amazing story, did you spend a number of years doing various courses before the personal coaching one, i.e are you an NLP master or was it just the personal coaching course that got you on your way?


6 | Martha Simpson

November 25th, 2008 at 9:43 am



Thank you for taking the time to share your year. I’m really glad I read about it at the start of my day – and now feel completely motivated.

I too am almost one year in business and have loved every (almost!) minute of it. Today I have a meeting about re-branding, and this afternoon I’m having champagne & canapes with a seriously influential group of women.

Thank you for reminding all of us – it can be done and what a joy it is to be doing what you love and getting well rewarded for it.

Best wishes for year 2,


Martha Simpson MSc, BSc, fcipd, MAC
Martha Simpson Coaching
Invest in youself – you’re worth it!

7 | Sara M

November 25th, 2008 at 5:29 pm


Hi Christine,

Happy Birthday! Congratulations on achieving so much. I am in a slightly different position having started coaching in a very limited way several years ago and then moving 220 miles north to Scotland about 9 months ago!! Am trying to restart as I get to know people and the area and have a new roof put on my lovely cottage in the country and your article is a great reminder of why I wanted to get into coaching in the first place.
Thanks also to the other posters who are also sharing an inspiring (and necessary!) message.

Kind regards to all
Sara M

8 | Sophie Van de venne

November 26th, 2008 at 10:30 pm


Hi Christine,

I’m now completing my NLP Masters and really would like to start my own business very soon. It is good to read your story because it gives me hope. How do you position yourself in this competitive market? Everybody wants to become a coach nowadays:)


9 | Maria Hanlon

November 28th, 2008 at 11:48 am


Fantasic achievement! I had planned to do something similar & am (very slowly) doing the Coaching Diploma & have done a certificate in NLP, however I have been delayed by one of the worst years of my life (can’t say I will be sorry to see this one finish!)…your story has really made me think about what I need to do in the forthcoming (hopefully more prosperous) new year. Thank you!


10 | Hester Robinson

December 3rd, 2008 at 5:28 pm


HAi Christine, well done, you have achieved so well. We were together that first training weekend and we had such a lot of fun. I have qualified as well now and about to set up my business, specialising in post adoption coaching. I have retired from social work and we are moving house early next year. I have just joined a very supportive coaching group. You have inspired me yet again, hope to speak soon, thanks and enjoy,

11 | Christine Mclean

December 3rd, 2008 at 7:42 pm


Dear all
wow! thank you for all your wonderful comments. It is so motivating to hear your feedback and I am really glad that my story helped you along in your journeys.

I will try to answer your comments in this email, and I am really happy for you to email me directly if you would like, on

Wendy you asked if i had done NLP and yes I have, I am doing masters next year and finished my NLP practitioner, time line therapy and hypnosis practitioner this week. NLP really has helped to ‘cement’ in those behaviour changes needed to re-invent myself and ‘eek’ out those nasty limiting beliefs, that hold us all back to one extent or another. I love NLP and it helps so much in coaching and in personal development, it is truely amazing

Vivienne good luck with the team coaching, you are right people do need the support now more than ever, in terms of tendering for larger pieces of work my networking has been pivotal in this, not only knowing where the tenders are, but in also having contacts who have contacts, if you see what I mean… one of the things I actively do as part of my daily work is to set time aside to network, one week this could be sending e mails just to say hello to old contacts, one week maybe going to a meeting with the local Chamber of Commerce, although for these I always try to make sure what kind of businesses are going to these event,so I can prep my ‘elevator speech’ to suit! I have tons of people I now call friends through starting to network..
I get all my business through networks, one person sees you and likes you and tells another…that kind of thing… they are buying you so i always follow up with a ‘chatty’ email and or a coffee date as that’s my style.
I choose my associates carefully and ensure they have similar values and outlook to me and now have a group of fabulous women, with different backgrounds who work with and for me on various projects.

Maria, keep focussed on your goal, write it down (I guess you know all this and its always good to hear it to refresh) put a date on it and every day do one thing towards it; even if it seems small it will take you on the path and every journey starts with one step. Martin Luther King said ‘take the first step in faith’ often when we have hard times we emerge from the ‘poop’ like a butterfly spreading its wings…my wish is that flight for you this next year, let it be the the wish you have for yourself that carries you to where you want to beXX

Sophie positioning in the market is an interesting one…do you know I am not sure??!! I follow my instinct and talk about my passion for coaching to everyone I meet and focus on abdunance and ..well.. thats it really!! not so very technical..mmm.. If I think about who I market to, I do it through networks as i said, and I am working on my niche… although I guess you could say that it is within large organisations undergoing change/mergers etc.
I think that for you how to position yourself will come to you as you work through what it is you really want to do and what difference you want to make and with whom.. good luck

Sharon thank you very much for you lovely comments
Martin – good call! knowing yourself is the most powerful way of helping your clients. Being authentic in terms of who you are and ‘getting out of your own way’ is a core skill in developing trust with clients and potential clients and more importantly trust in yourself and your abilities.
Fiona I think the pivotal point is the decision to act, decide where you want to be and who you want to be and go for it. NLP and coaching helped me so much in this and yes…I had to be gently ‘pushed’ over the edge to allow me to realise I could fly.. and a great coach will help you to do that..
Debbie – thanyou for your lovely comments too, i appreciate it very much
Sara – wow! sounds fabulous, go for it and send me a photo of your cottage it sounds amazing! enjoy life with love and vigour and love and vigour will come right back to you
Hester!!! HA!!! my lovely mate! do you still have my phone number? e mail me and lets catch up very soon, I bet you are an amazing post adpotion coach.. with your bubbly sense of humour who could resist?

good luck to all of you and keep in touch if you would like..I love meeting new friends with the same outlook on life

warmest wishes
Christine XX

12 | Lesley Stopford

March 13th, 2009 at 10:27 pm


It is really, really inspiring to read this. I’m still training and just at this moment am feeling particularly overwhelmed by the reality of having no income and what I perceive are big hurdles to overcome and have been listening to too many of the “wrong” voices, i.e. all the doom and gloom mongers who tell me about the competition (I know!!!!! ) and how “it takes about 5 years to get a business going”, and how am I going to earn money “in the meantime”. I really needed to hear from the positive people who I know are out there, who’ve done it, who believed in themselves as I did when I signed up in September. I want to get that fire back and reading and aligning myself to this is just what I needed – thank you Christine and thank you to everyone else for sharing your journeys and struggles in these encouraging posts.

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