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Coach In The Spotlight - I-Lan Hamilton

I-Lan Hamilton 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 I-Lan’s story:-

It was while taking a career break to start a family that I had the chance to take time to reflect on what it was I really wanted to do with my life.

My background was in PR and Marketing Communications for large technology and IT corporations but I knew I didn’t want to go back to the corporate world.

I wanted to work for myself and be ready to do something that I was great at once my youngest started school. Being self employed would allow me the creativity and freedom to work around my family life.

As I was brainstorming ideas and discussing possibilities, a number of family members and friends suggested I should look into life coaching and that I would be a great life coach.

I knew nothing about this so one morning I was intrigued and compelled enough to find out more and typed ‘life coaching’ into my Google search engine. From there I came across The Coaching Academy’s free introduction to life coaching weekend and immediately registered to attend the next available course.

The free introduction to life coaching weekend was a significant turning point in my life.

While being coached by a stranger I saw for myself the power of coaching: how it could highlight and change perspectives, and empower the individual to recognise strengths and identify and achieve their goals. I realised that if this could have such a profound impact on me, it would on others too.

I quickly signed up to do my Personal Performance Coaching Diploma. As I started on my own personal development and training journey I began to understand the value and power of the coaching methodology and I believed that this really should be accessible to everyone.

I found the flexibility of The Coaching Academy training programmes very useful when trying to fit it in and around my young family and busy life. I knew that I had to be self-disciplined and focused in order to complete the diplomas but I loved what I was doing and how I was growing as an individual so, for me, this was not a problem.

What was most rewarding was being able to share my learning and discoveries with those around me, particularly with my children. I believe I have become a better parent with my own raised awareness and self-belief. I can already see the benefits in my children as a result of my conscious ability as a parent to empower them through my new appreciation of listening and asking effective questions.

A key learning point for me was that coaching was not about giving advice but about listening and being present for that person. In doing so, you are able to provide a clear non-judgmental space for the client to really discover the answers that lie within. This enables the individual to take control of their own lives, goals and destiny. Becoming aware of how we listen to others was particularly enlightening and, through training and practise, a skill that can be fine tuned and harnessed.

After qualifying with a distinction in my Personal Performance Coaching Diploma, I made the clear decision that I wanted to work with young people and therefore decided to do the Youth Impact Coaching Course as my second Diploma.

The idea of working with young people excited me because of my belief in our youth. I wanted to give them the opportunity early on to discover their inherent greatness so that they can lead and inspire others.

As soon as I made this decision I found that other doors opened and opportunities presented themselves to me. I started doing voluntary coaching for youth organisations in schools and was then asked to become a freelance trainer for Youth at Risk, a charity organisation that delivers life-changing coaching programmes in schools and communities.

This really propelled me forward and I realised this journey was as much about my own personal development as it was about creating a career to become an outstanding and effective Life Coach and Trainer!

I developed and set up my business website and started to create opportunities that would allow me to gain more experience and work within my field. I then qualified with Distinction for my Youth Impact Diploma last summer and am now the Coach for Gloucester City for a programme called Coach in Every UK City – part of a national evaluation of life coaching in schools running until July 2012.

In October 2011, I was Lead Coach at the UK Youth Leadership Summit residential. In addition, I have developed and am currently piloting a series of seven themed Personal Development Workshops in two local primary schools.

I have most recently been given the opportunity to join the Youth Coaching Academy and become one of their trainers, delivering One Day Essential Youth & Life Coaching Skills Course in schools across the UK.

I once heard a saying, “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” This is so true. I love helping people and seeing the possibility in others. Being part of the process to support someone to discover their potential and achieve their goals is extremely rewarding. In many cases witnessing a client create something that they did not think or see was possible for them before, is truly magical.

Moving forward, I want to continue to develop myself and reach as many people as possible to share the tools that will empower and support them to achieve what they want in their lives. I see myself working predominantly as a trainer inspiring young people and the adults who support them.

For me, coaching really is a lifestyle.

My top tips for anyone thinking about a career in coaching is to find out what you are really passionate about – when you know this, get out there and take action! Do what you love doing and opportunities will come.

A lot of my work is voluntary but I would not be where I am now, with the experiences I have had and the exciting possibilities ahead, if I did not take action.

Finally, I would say never stop believing in yourself – you can make a difference!

6 Responses to "Coach In The Spotlight – I-Lan Hamilton"

1 | lesley stopford

January 25th, 2012 at 7:29 pm


Hi I-Lan,
I want to pick up that phone and congratulate you in person. I have been there on part of your journey and it is wonderful to see how far you have come and the roles you now have created for yourself. It is truly inspiring! Well done you and hope to speak again soon.
Best wishes, Lesley

2 | Paul Grace

January 25th, 2012 at 8:23 pm


Great story. I especially like the way you found what you really wanted to do as a profession. I can relate to that experience very well.

3 | Joanne Hollis

January 27th, 2012 at 9:20 pm


How fantastic to read your journey….you have made me smile and totally agree that once you have the secret of happiness in both your personal and professional life….you will never work another day in your life. I’m too starting that journey and its amazing im so lucky to have the opportunity to achieve something im so passionate about, helping others to identify their own strengths embrace this and move on with their life….yes we are sooooo lucky to work in the coaching field. Please continue to share your experience as you have inspired me and no doubt others. Thank you x

4 | Joanna Will

January 30th, 2012 at 1:03 pm


Simply. . . . “Inspiring” . . . Thank you for sharing :0)

5 | I-Lan Hamilton

January 30th, 2012 at 7:34 pm


Thank you to all of you for taking your time to provide your feedback. I really appreciate your good wishes and kind words and am very happy that my story has inspired you.

“The nectar of life is sweet only when shared with others.” ~ Adam Mickiewicz

6 | Helen Crisp

February 1st, 2012 at 3:31 pm


An inspiring story, thanks and well done on achieving your Goals!

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