Celebrating achievements is a common practice for a coach and within business.   We are all familiar with the positive impact of effective recognition at work and the power of a simple ‘well done’.   Well, taking a leaf out of my own coaching book I’m making 2016 a year of celebration and an acknowledgment of 10 years of achievement.

When I started Life Coaching and Business Coaching in Edinburgh nearly 15 years ago coaching was still relatively new, and conversations were often based on educating and convincing people in the value of coaching.  Back then, gaining a coaching client and getting a business to even speak to me, felt like a huge achievement.

However, 10+ years on and the coaching world has gained credibility and momentum.  You just have to look within business to find that internal coaching is common place, the use of external business coaches and coaching supervisors is assumed as good business practice and coaching communication cultures are the latest business aspiration.  Discussing coaching at work and person-centred learning no longer raises eye-brows.  Before debates were around the difference between coaching and counselling, whereas today they relate to coaching and mentoring.

I’d like to say that over the past 10-15 years that I’ve been in business, that it’s all been plain-sailing.  I’ve probably experienced some of my life’s’ highs and lows almost simultaneously, during this time. The birth of my daughter in 2007 coincided with a fear of how my business would survive this new internal competition.  A move to the East Lothian countryside and the birth of my son in 2010 brought about a realisation that parenting two children and nurturing a business, were an almost impossible combination.  In 2012, I finally got married to my partner of (now) 19 nears and I soon understood that my identity had gradually evolved into mum, wife, and someone who occasionally worked.

Sometimes you don’t know how far you’ve travelled until something makes you stop and test your current reality.  My reality check came about when I won a contract with Investors in People in 2014 and getting back into the world of work I was aware of what I didn’t know anymore.  My personal confidence had never been lower compounded by the constant challenge of almost non-existent childcare, being solely responsible for my businesses’ survival and the quest to reclaim my identity back to coach, trainer and business woman.

Coaching and personal development aren’t just something I do for a living, but are something I believe and whole heartedly trust.  They are my north star that always guide me back home.  During my darkest moments of personal doubt, it has been coaching that has pulled me out of the hole and the tools of intention, inner belief and collaborative support that a coach can offer which have steered my ultimate direction.

My celebration captures both the highs and the lows, the doubt and the conviction, the loss and the achievement.  Looking back at where I was and where I am now, I know that myself and my business have grown and that there is more growth still to come.

Traditionally, my coaching took place in a work environment whereas today I offer a wider positive psychological experience; with most of my coaching taking place outside, walking and even cycling!  My training used to be reflect what was in trend whereas today it captures not only the needs of the group but the importance to the company and its stakeholders.  When I began life coaching nearly 15 years ago and then formed Kapow Coaching 5 years later, I called myself a coach.  Today I am proud to say that I still wear my coaching badge with pride but probably with more pride and even deeper conviction.

So I hope you will raise a glass with me as I salute the past and more importantly look towards the next 10 years and the dawn of an emerging future for me, Kate, and Kapow Coaching.