23 Nov, 2011
Coach In The Spotlight – Annie Ashdown
Annie Ashdown qualified through The Coaching Academy programme and has enthusiastically agreed to share her coaching experience, so we have put her in the Coaching Hot Seat. Here is Annie’s story:-
What brought me to coaching?
I was running one of Noel Edmond’s 22 companies and started to hear a little about coaching, then when he employed someone for a project, who I found out happened to have trained as a coach in USA, I made it my business to find out more. In late 90’s it was barely known in UK.
I was at a crossroads and wanted to change professions, so it was of great interest to me. She recommended a coach and I booked 3 months of sessions by phone and wow it really changed things profoundly for me. I would escape from the stress of work once a week and sit outside on a bench at the back of Tesco eagerly dialling her number for my session.
What were my original thoughts for applying?
I wanted to learn the amazing tools and techniques I received when I was being coached, so I could offer them to others.
What was your profession before?
My background is Film and TV, working both in front of the cameras and behind them. For the previous 5 years before the coaching training I was running a company for Noel Edmonds called ‘Broadcast Talent’.
What did I find most interesting to learn?
I loved all of the training, and I found it especially helpful to learn about myself and my shortcomings. The more I can improve myself, the more I can help others.
I came away so inspired and motivated to get started. It was amazing to suddenly have skills to help others, and the tools to change my own behaviour. The training gave me such heightened awareness, which I feel is the pre requisite to change. I loved having a mentor afterwards from the training, which is something I am interested in doing to help newly trained coaches.
I had just been made redundant with no redundancy and I didn’t have the confidence in those days to take it further legally. I was depressed and I hit a major rock bottom personally and professionally, however it was a turning point for me as I called The Coaching Academy and made a decision to go for it in a few days time. I was so broke I put it on my credit card.
My life turned around from that day. When I returned from the training my despair and hopelessness had left and I had a new sense of life breathing through my veins which made me bounce around with excitement, joy, inspiration, and gratitude. From that day my life completely changed. I started with no clients and no money but bags of determination and passion.
Where are you now? How are you using your skills?
10 years on I now am Founder of The Self Confidence Centre in Harley Street, London.
I have appeared as resident coach in 12 episodes of Kyles Academy with Jeremy Kyle and as resident coach on Bump and Grind on Sky 1.My client lists includes a host of celebrity clients in UK and USA and I am in talks for my own show in NYC. My debut book ‘Doormat Nor Diva Be’ was released on Sept 19 2011.
I deliver and design workshops for individuals and corporate clients. My corporate clients include Google, Orange, Nokia, Vertu, AMEX, Business Link, DWP, Job Centre Plus, Chelsea Football Club.
I contribute to the press frequently and work with broadcasters to develop coaching programmes in UK and USA. I was one of the Judge’s on Britain’s Next Top Coach 2009. I am invited to give motivational talks at conferences, festivals, events and for organisations.
In 2010 I put together a team of 50 coaches to help professionals and executives get off JSA and back to work. Never before had DWP employed qualified coaches, so this was revolutionary. We had great success. I sold it on the premise that whatever people had on their CV and however talented and skilled they were, if they didn’t have confidence, it’s likely nothing would change. I know hugely talented people out of work and broke. Inner confidence is key.
What is your niche and why?
Confidence is my niche because:
1) I never had any and struggled for years
2) It has to be addressed first and foremost in order to achieve anything in life.
I was pretty successful in the past, but I could have been 10 times more successful, had I had more confidence and self belief. Why do we all try to fit in, when we are all born to stand out?
The reason I excel in helping others to raise confidence and self esteem is because I have been there. After all, how can we genuinely help others if we haven been there ourselves?
What is the best thing that could happen to you and your business in the next 2 years?
The best thing that could happen to me in my business in the next 2 years is to have my own chat style show helping others raise confidence and self esteem and for the business to become global.
What is your favourite coaching question?
“Are you willing to go to any lengths to make changes?”
What do you love about coaching?
I love it when I see the tangible difference in clients after being coached.
- I want to encourage anyone considering training to go and train at The Coaching Academy, it’s definitely the best investment you could make. Do not procrastinate. Time waits for no one. It will change your life.
- For anyone about to qualify, I salute you for taking this step to train, go and strut your stuff. Know you are the best, feel it, sense it, believe it and inspire everyone else to be the same. Be the change you want to see in others.
- For anyone in the same position as me, keep raising your bar, don’t let anyone’s words or actions knock you off balance. When things get greater than they are now, stay grounded, stay humble and remember why you trained as a coach in the first place. Don’t allow ego to creep in. Coaching is service from the soul. Walk your talk, remember the new selling paradigm is ‘attraction, not promotion’.