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14 Mar, 2012

Coach In The Spotlight – Sue MacGillivray

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coach Spotlight

Coach in the Spotlight Sue MacGillivray

“It doesn’t matter where you are coming from. All that matters is where you are going”. Brian Tracy

Hi there, my name’s Sue MacGillivray and I am a Life Coach in private practice in Glasgow’s Southside. I love Life Coaching! It is a truly wonderful career to have. My clients inspire me and their journeys and successes are phenomenal.

I trained in 2006 with The Coaching Academy. They have invited me to share my story. I hope it’s of interest to you. As Brian Tracy says above- all that matters is where we are going. I would like to share where I am going with you too.

So where do I start with my story? Professionally, my career comprises of a number of managerial roles within blue chip companies, primarily training, coaching and managing teams of lovely customer focused people. It consisted of a number of job, company and location changes and a redundancy. The latter gave me a real opportunity of having time and making the most of time too.

I had always been aware of the importance of self-belief. I saw this all around me. People who had strong self-belief allowed and encouraged themselves to do things that those with lower self-belief couldn’t quite yet manage. I wanted to explore this.

I obtained a psychology qualification and a counselling one too from two local colleges. I volunteered as a mentor to long-term unemployed young adults in Glasgow. I undertook a Positive Parenting Course and image and body confidence training. I was on a roll! It was great fun, great learning and a great amount of hard work. I really wanted to ensure I understood the impact of self-esteem.

I attended The Coaching Academy’s two day Certificate Course in Edinburgh. I was hooked. The enthusiasm and passion of everyone there was infectious. I had found an environment I wanted to be part of and which would cement my self-esteem research. I enrolled on the Diploma in Personal Performance Coaching without hesitation.

Just after that, I was given the opportunity to work as a Team Manager with a dynamic company within the corporate sector. This promised to be different and it was. The people were wonderful. Change management was top priority. Goal setting, coaching and people focus were all of paramount importance.

I completed my Diploma whilst working full-time, raising a family on my own and caring for my parents and grandmother. I was getting to be an expert in time-management and it was showing me the importance of work/life balance. I have used these times as great learning and sharing.

It was time now for me to focus on what I loved best- working with people and supporting them be the best they can be. I decided to spend my future fulfilling this vision. It was the springboard to setting up my own Life Coaching business.

Whilst I was doing this- you never quite discover beforehand how challenging it is to set up your own business! – I worked for both a local college and University providing student support in the form of confidence building and other areas of professional assistance. I still do this work. It blends well with coaching and the rewards are high.

I am still knocked out by what I learned throughout my Coaching Academy training and I share this with my clients regularly:

“The most important opinion a person will ever hold is the one that they hold about themselves”.

So, my coaching ‘niche’ is confidence building and raising self-esteem: working with clients to help them feel the best they can about themselves. From this, much is possible- how exciting!

My Coaching Story for where I am going follows. I include some of my top tips too for those training to be a coach and considering a coaching career path. Perhaps you can relate to it. I hope it is of interest and value.

Motivation is vital. Knowing what motivates me keeps me at it- day on day. Clients want motivational coaches too.

You It’s down to your thoughts, your goals and your actions. It’s about you and what you want to achieve. You’re the one who has to do it. You need to work on believing in yourself if you are not quite there yet.

Clients are everything. Without them I have no business. I look to share my expertise and support people to be the best they can be. Be inspired by your clients and inspire them too. Focus on their needs and respect everyone for their individuality.

Optimistic outlook Thinking and being positive. Having others embrace your energy and outlook is crucial.

Attitude A positive mental one is key. I try to remember this all the time.

Confidence I have confidence to believe in myself and build my business further. With confidence comes excitement for the future. This is relevant to everyone.

Humour Being able to laugh when things don’t quite go to plan, enjoying the learning and having fun in the process gets me through the tougher times.

Inspirational people and clients I am constantly inspired by the determination, effort and results of people I meet. That will always be part of my future.

Networking I see it is an important and interesting way to tell others about coaching and hear what everyone is doing. It is very inspirational to me too.

Goals Setting goals and working to these personally is vital for me. Where would coaching be without goals and goal scoring?

Social media I am aware of its impact and learning to embrace it. I’m getting there. Slowly.

TV I’m hoping something will come of the work I have done with a TV production company- again, exciting! Twitter must be an important ‘T’ too. That’s my next focus.

On and on Keeping focused and driven forms part of my plan. Know your goals and work to them.

Radio I’ve enjoyed my interview on BBC Radio Scotland and my work with College of Glasgow media students. I am keen to do more radio work in the future.

Youth work is important to me. I hope to further my work with youth initiatives and young people’s charities in the coming year.

So, that’s my story- past, present and future. I wish you well with yours.

5 Responses to "Coach In The Spotlight – Sue MacGillivray"

1 | Debbie

March 14th, 2012 at 11:42 am


Thank you for sharing your story – for those of us at the begining of our coaching journey it is really good to read an inspirational story that encourages us to go forward and achieve the goals we have set

2 | Sue MacGillivray

March 15th, 2012 at 9:13 am


Thank you Debbie
I wish you all the very best on your coaching journey. It is a really exciting one!

3 | Jo

March 16th, 2012 at 9:46 am


Hi Sue
I am planning to return to work having taken some time out to look after my children aged 6,4 and 3. My passion has always been coaching having worked as an hr manager and being a chartered occ psych. I would love some advice as to how you have gone about getting clients and building up your business if you have a spare minute!
Many thanks

4 | Sue MacGillivray

March 16th, 2012 at 4:00 pm


Hi Jo
I love Life Coaching and talk about it all the time. People are generally very interested and often want to find out more. That’s a great start- share your passion and enthusiasm everywhere you go. You are your life coaching business and you are your Unique Selling Point.
I have found having a good website a great way for people to contact me. Many people ‘google’ Life Coaching/ Life Coach and so that’s a tip too.
Networking is good – just being yourself and interested in what others are doing I have found is much more beneficial in gaining clients rather than proactive marketing or advertising. Join groups or go along to events that are of interest to you.
I leave buisness cards in places I think people may find coaching of interest or benefit.
In time, word of mouth recommendations gains new clients.
I hope this gives a few starting points.
Please let me know if I can help in any other way.
I wish you every success

5 | Khaled

April 7th, 2012 at 2:37 pm


Hi Sue,

Thank you for sharing ideas from your great career, it is evident that many people would love for you to be their coach.

My cousin talked to me about this subject this year and that he went into a coaching academy while in England, to learn how to be a life coach for others. He now does that in parallel to his other job, and may in time make it more of a full time. I was very interested in listening to the effect and impact he had left in people and I thought what a fulfilling career to feel like you are helping others everyday and participating in changing their lives. I feel like I could learn how to be a life coach with starting skills I have of being able to read others effectively and having a knack for comforting people by nature. I don’t know how to start though. My current job assignment is in Egypt, and am not sure there are good coaching courses here. So, first, do you have a recommendation for any good coaching schools in Egypt? And second, are there any effective online courses you think would help get me started?

Sorry for the long message, it would be great to hear back from you if you get the chance.

Thank you,

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