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17 Dec, 2010

My life has changed totally and I now know how to rise to unwelcome challenges by Susie Briscoe

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coaching Articles|Life Coaching Articles

My life has changed totally and I now know how to rise to unwelcome challenges by Susie Briscoe

My life has changed totally and I’m hoping that by sharing this it may inspire others to dig down inside themselves to discover their abilities as well as capabilities… and potentiate themselves to the success they truly deserve…

When I married in 1970, I retired from being an Account Executive in a London Advertising Agency in order to devote my time and energies to my marriage as I recognised that with both my husband and me having demanding jobs (he was a Partner in a medium sized Stock broking company) could prove a problem to harmonious living.   Some 26 years further down the line he became surplus to requirements within the City as well as other business concerns re a property company, we lost just about everything, and it was suddenly apparent that I needed to earn some money.

I tried several things, including mlm companies – the one thing I knew for sure was that I’d happily made myself unemployable in the usual way of thinking.   I’d done lots of charity work over the years and had set up a small charity, with a friend, which focused on the importance education plays in life, and determined to help educate aids orphans and other necessitous children around the world.   We’d just returned from a fact finding trip to Chennai, India looking at Community Colleges there and was on the wrong time clock.   At 2am I was wide awake and so ended up looking at BBC2 Open University purely for white noise/mental chewing gum whilst I had a mug of tea… cats on lap etc.   I suddenly realised that I’d been transfixed by 4 x 1 hour programmes delivered by a chartered psychologist on how she was helping individuals and groups and for the first time in my life had that pang of wishing I’d travelled a similar career path.   I shared this thought with my daughter who very sweetly said well go for it mummy!   (Bless!!)   I then pointed out that if I started training right away I’d probably be dead before I qualified let alone get to the level I wanted to attain… and thought no more of the conversation.

A couple of days later she emailed me a link to a site which I purely followed out of courtesy to her having taken the time to send it… and discovered coaching.    The college had an open day coming up in London, and I booked myself on it and as a result signed immediately on to their course – which in fact changed my life considerably.

I graduated and set up my business quietly, continuing to then qualify as a mentor and a supervisor in the coming years, and found a new respect for my father who was a solo business man who grew his business to enable us to live a very comfortable life.   It certainly wasn’t as easy as I’d envisioned and, sadly, clients were not falling over themselves to come for my services.

My GP offered me an opportunity of working with her patients within her surgery, and as luck would have it when I reported this good fortune to the college it tied in very nicely with a seminar they were hosting in London on Health and Wellness;  they had sent out a mail shot to various PR’s, media:  newspapers and magazines and a journalist for the Daily Telegraph wanted to interview coaches working in the health sector.   I was one of only a handful that they knew to call upon at that time, which led to me having a small write up by Barbara Lantin for the Daily Telegraph.   This led to another journalist, Kate Shapland, doing a follow up on me in her column within the Saturday supplement of the Daily Telegraph and got my name out there sufficiently to be then interviewed some months later by Psychologies Magazine.

What became apparent to me is that all we had been through (good, bad and awful) had actually helped in getting me to a deeper understanding of life in the round… and that stood me in good stead for working with every type of person, whether the chairman of a company or someone wanting to become a solo-preneur.   There is a real benefit to living to what others may politely describe as maturity, as the years give a depth to one’s character which is simply not available to one as a younger person – I think its called experience.

As well as coaching clients, mentoring trainee coaches, and supervising qualified coaches, I was becoming more familiar with other ways of earning and started studying people from around the world; I developed a different mindset relating to working… namely working smarter and also the concept of multiple streams of income, and many women, especially those working in the States particularly, coined the phrase:  Multiple Streams of Income Queen, which I’m sure will resonate with many of my colleagues.

As a result I’ve attended workshops, seminars, and conferences in the US as well as UK and Ireland as well as webinars and teleseminars hosted by people all around the world – all continuing to develop me as a person and provide ongoing learning.    Whilst this process started developing me into an entrepreneur, I still feel that I’m on a learning curve here, but playing catch up fast!   I began watching and following various entrepreneurs, and learnt the benefit of modelling – not plagiarising – what they are doing.   When younger I didn’t appreciate the importance of life long learning and yet now grab all the education and development programmes I can realistically attend or follow in order to continually develop myself and keep at the cutting edge of developments within the areas of my own business interests.

At about this time I discovered the importance of networking in a more precise manner, and how this also can help in building your presence on the web.   I find that there are particular benefits of becoming involved with women only sites, as we tend to understand each other in a more subtle and collaborative way and this is when I discovered various networking sites and became involved as a member, attending events wherever and whenever possible.   This enables me to develop real relationships, which over a period of time result in business opportunities opening up in a way that otherwise wouldn’t be available to me… meeting in a format / vehicle hitherto unknown to me and the generations of women my senior.   It makes life very much more exciting and brings the internet alive in a very positive way.

I was introduced to an American college, and followed this through to bring their courses over to the UK, and as well as contributing to the course training also give ongoing mentoring and supervision to their students.   This in turn has led to more collaboration across the pond, one of which is becoming a Trustee of an American non-profit, ‘Coaching the Global Village’;  we aim to introduce coaching techniques to developing areas around the world in order to empower the poorer people of the world.

Soon after this I was contacted by Nightingale Conant – a world famous US Personal and Business Development Training company established in 1960 and recruited to free lance as a member of their global team of coach and mentors… an exciting experience from which I’ve ‘met’ and worked with really interesting clients from as far afield as New Zealand & Australia to Scandinavia and Europe.

The biggest challenge I found when starting out in my business was finding clients and promoting myself.   My background as an advertising executive and the 30+ years of working on increasingly senior roles within various charities (ranging from standing with collection tins outside railway stations at 6am, chairing prestigious events at the Grand Hall Olympia to being a Trustee of two national UK charities as well as two international ones) have stood me in good stead in maintaining my various skill sets and kept me current with technological advances thereby enabling me to more simply move into the computer age and the benefits brought to business as a result … for example becoming aware and signing up to be a member of networking sites.   I think that being able to tune into these websites to get a feel of what other business women are experiencing is very helpful, and prevents solo-preneurs’ like myself from being isolated…

I still have huge ideas and plans to grow my business, and recognise that anything is possible – particularly when I’m able to harness the synergy and encouragement of my colleagues on this site and recognise that age is just a number which in reality means nothing.   It’s all about the energy and enthusiasm that one brings to the task in hand.

Did I expect to be working and running my own business at this stage of my life – (grandmother aged 62) ?  Absolutely not!  Am I enjoying the challenges and feeling able and confident to build on my life experience?  You bet!!!

7 Responses to "My life has changed totally and I now know how to rise to unwelcome challenges by Susie Briscoe"

1 | Wendy Ager

December 17th, 2010 at 8:28 pm


Hi Susie,

What a wonderful and inspiring read. I find myself more often than not saying, stranger things have happened…. and someone will have gone through similar challenges and embraced change in the way that you have shown here.

I’m now following you on Twitter – I’m WendyAnnAger, and welcome you to social networking! I highly recommend co-working and regularly attend Surrey Jelly. There is now a UK Jelly website you can easily find.

Kind regards,

Wendy Ager

2 | Frances Barrone

December 18th, 2010 at 9:57 am


Susie a great peice of work in describing your path. I can relate very much to it.

I believe that all doctors surgeries would benefit from having a Lifecoach/Lifeskills Consultant (like me) as part of an integrated holisitic team. I am lucky in so far as I get the chance to do a form coaching and mentoring through Intensive Community Engagement and OU student wellness and study mentoring. I now find this is leading me down the Social Entreprise Mentoring and Coaching path now as well. A phrase I like to say lately with thanks for your article is “We are what we share, and we are what we do!!”

Frances Barrone
Certified Lifeskills Consultant

3 | Kali

December 18th, 2010 at 6:48 pm


It is encouraging to read you. I am in the process of undertaking this course, as you did. But, the idea of going solo, as I never done it in the past is scary! Further, with the credit cruch it seems really difficult to obtain a loan to finance my course. Do you have any ideas? However, you did it. Well done to you.


4 | Peter Bennett

December 19th, 2010 at 11:43 am


Great post Susie,

I agree totally with you about the value of maturity, although some people can be immature in their old age because they have never learnt from life.

I am a chiropractor and I have always recruited more mature people as receptionists. Younger people can be great but they usually can’t handle the more difficult issues that people bring in with them – a death in the family for example.

5 | Moji

December 20th, 2010 at 2:39 pm


A very encouraging and inspiring read Susie, thank you. I have registered for the course, I am yet to go through it’s contents due to my busy work scedule. I am apprehensive about getting clients, but the first step is getting started I suppose. I aso take on board the importance of networking, something I need to improve upon.

6 | David Finney

December 22nd, 2010 at 12:49 pm


What a great story and how inspiring you will be to many others at different lifestages.

7 | Andy Mudzviti

December 31st, 2010 at 3:09 am


You have illustrated through you own personal testimony that anything is possible at any age ,if you switch on the right button of a strong desire, becoming clear of what you want to achieve, grabbing the opportunities that come your way, and staying focused and dreaming very big. You are an inspiring star Susie. Your example is worth modelling. God bless you.

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