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21 Jul, 2011

Coach In The Spotlight – Gill Woon

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coach Spotlight|Continuous Professional Development|In The Spotlight|Life Coaching Articles|Personal Success|Success Stories

Coach In The Spotlight - Gill Woon


I qualified as a coach with The Coaching Academy back in 2005 after a career in teaching and training. I have always been intrigued by how people learn and how it is that some find the process enjoyable and fulfilling while others (like my son, who is dyslexic) appear to struggle, so my niche area almost ‘chose itself’, and I now always describe myself as a ‘learning coach’. Since that time I have worked with people of all ages from six to sixty on different aspects of learning from exam skills, reading and spelling, to confidence-building (often the key to effective learning).

So far so good – I had achieved my goals of becoming a coach, and in deciding on my niche and setting up my practice, but I felt there was still more to be done. Since childhood I had wanted to write a book, but my efforts had never got much beyond the drawing board before. As part of my practice, I help people discover the joys of effective and expressive writing. So why didn’t I put my money where my mouth was, and finish the book I was always promising myself I would write? It was important that the book, while expressing my own beliefs and personality, could also be used as a tool by my clients and others to help them achieve their goals and discover what inspired them personally.

The spur to make me finally sit down and begin writing the book was a study I had read of entrepreneurs’ common traits and life experience. It led me to wonder whether inspired and inspiring individuals also shared a set of common traits and experiences, and spurred me on to set out on my own research, finding and interviewing my eleven individuals. As I had suspected, they did indeed have a lot in common, and I was able to distil valuable lessons from their experience which I believed would be of interest to anyone seeking to follow their example and achieve their own cherished goals, whatever those might be. It reinforced my passionate belief that anyone is able to become and remain inspired, and that it is not a mystical state of mind which is the province of some ‘inspired elite’ who have nothing in common with everyday human beings.

Somehow, that belief in the importance of the book’s message enabled me to keep going   – I needed every ounce of willpower I possessed just to keep myself motivated to write it. Family commitments, work and good old procrastination got in the way meaning that it took about four years to write! I was sometimes tempted to set it aside but it kept bugging me – I could never quite let it go. When, at last, I had a long enough manuscript, I showed it to an editor, who suggested some changes – but also told me that that it wasn’t a complete disaster.

The next step was to get up enough courage to approach a publisher. The skills and techniques I’d learnt as a coach, plus attendance on an NLP course, aiming to qualify as Practitioner to enhance my coaching practice, gave me the motivation I needed to go ahead with this last step.  After promising colleagues on the course that I would do this scary thing, I had to do it! So I circulated the book to a couple of major publishers. Both rejected it. I was getting ready to self-publish – but then, in September, at a launch by a friend and fellow-coach, I saw the details of her own publisher there. With trepidation, I approached them – and they accepted my book! As they say, the rest is history!

So now, I’ve achieved another long-held goal – to get a book published. The book, ‘Inspiration: A User’s Guide’, is aimed at readers who want to get, and stay, inspired to achieve their cherished ambitions. It distils the advice of eleven inspired and inspiring individuals from all fields and backgrounds (some of them household names) and includes many practical hints and tips plus my own reflections on learning and inspiration from my perspective as a coach, working mainly with people with learning disabilities like dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADD/ADHD.  I am very proud to be able to call myself a PUBLISHED AUTHOR! If anyone out there is thinking of writing a book, or has one written, and would like some friendly advice, don’t hesitate to contact me.  You can do this through the LinkedIn Coaching Academy group.

I think the main lesson from all this, if there is one and you are still reading, is, if you have a good idea, DON’T GIVE UP! Or – really define your goals, plan for them, and don’t let anything put you off achieving them. Persistence overcomes procrastination.

7 Responses to "Coach In The Spotlight – Gill Woon"

1 | Karen Hope

July 21st, 2011 at 10:44 pm


Hi Gill – I have a somewhat similar background to yourself and found your article inspiring – so will definitely enjoy your book! Congratulations to you and thank you for sharing.

You may be interested in Carol Dweck’s book ‘Mindsets: a new psychology of success’ – I have been working with six year olds up to adults of all ages, on developing a ‘Growth Mindset’ with regard to their intelligence and learning motivation – that is, understanding that intelligence is not fixed, and that it can be grown through application, effort and resilience. Inspirational stories play an important part in underlining this message and reinforcing the belief and I am very curious to see how your stories about being inspired can support this further.

Wishing you every success.

2 | Anita Mattu

July 23rd, 2011 at 2:47 pm


Hi Gill, I enjoyed reading your article and found it interesting. Being a Youth Dyslexia Coach and also Dyslexic myself, I will be reading your book. Thank you.
Anita Mattu

4 | Warren

July 23rd, 2011 at 6:02 pm


Congrats on the book! I will have to check out your book.

5 | Elisa Ferriggi

July 27th, 2011 at 12:59 pm


Great article Gill, thanks! I will definitely be in touch as I want to write a book too!

Elisa x

6 | Elisa Ferriggi

July 27th, 2011 at 1:06 pm


Great article Gill, thanks! I will definitely be in touch because I want to write a book too!

Elisa x

7 | Dr Sue Jones

August 1st, 2011 at 9:08 am


Hi Gill
having worked together on the NLP Practitioner course I was really interested to see how you have developed ideas you were discussing then. The book seems very practical and helpful to those facing these situations who want clear, substantive support – well done Gill
Sue Jones

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