Dawn's life coaching gets a lift
What makes a good life coach? Is it a selfless determination to help others, a deep understanding of the mind and the struggles we face as humans, or is it a caring nature and a real dose of empathy?
For Dawn Dewar, all those attributes have been swept up together to sculpt her into the popular local life coach and therapist she is today. She settled down to tell Bionic all about securing clients, the future of remote working, and her fabulous new home office.
Mind on motivation
“I guess the biggest motivation for starting my own company was the number of years I spent studying to get here!” says Dawn when asked what spurred her on to start up her own business.
After working full time in retail management by day and squirrelling away to study for her degree by night, all her hard work finally paid off when she graduated, securing a BSc with honours in Psychology.
With the skills she needed to start a worthwhile career in therapy now in place, Dawn started searching for positions that would allow her to put her talents to good use.
“I have always aspired to become a counsellor and help people through the struggles in their lives. So, I spent six years studying at university whilst holding down a full-time job to enable me to do this,” she said.
Rising up with remote working
But even after all that grafting-balancing work with studying- it still wasn’t plain sailing after graduating for Dawn, who resides in a quiet town on the outskirts of Leicester.
“The biggest problem I faced when setting up initially was the pandemic itself. I decided to launch my business two weeks before it hit the UK, as I was planning to build it up slowly and work on the days off from my full-time job.”
She carried on “The first lockdown was enforced and then I was furloughed, and I kind of thought that was going to be that for a while. This was obviously in March, but by May I decided to look into how I could work remotely.”
Dawn decided to sit down and seriously consider how she could still help others without meeting them in person. During her research, she discovered that other therapists and counsellors were heading down the remote route too, offering phone or video calls to clients instead.
People all over the country were struggling more than ever with all the uncertainty and instead of seeing a drop in the number of clients seeking mental health advice, it was quite the opposite- the demand for therapists skyrocketed.
And one legacy of the lockdowns has been that the remote option has now become a common alternative in many sectors. While we’re still not completely out of the woods with the pandemic, many may feel safer meeting remotely and it will be a great option moving forward, particularly for busy commuters and anyone bogged down by their daily commitments.
Dawn now accepts face-to-face clients but has found that keeping that remote option available is useful.
“When I first set up, I offered remote appointments as my main service, and I haven't looked back. It was obvious quite quickly that my business would take off, so I left the security of my full-time job and became self-employed. During my first week, I had four clients but by my second month I was regularly speaking to 20 clients a week!”
Dawn offers in-depth sessions and helps tackle problems with stress, anxiety, work, or personal problems and is a pro at using CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), mindfulness and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) to aid the understanding of the issues we’re faced within daily life.
Nipping those niggling worries in the bud
Even though Dawn’s business has really taken off and she is helping out a steady stream of clients, she still finds herself with worries that will be familiar to most small business owners.
“As a business owner I suppose my main worry is that I won't get clients and this will result in a low income, but I think this is probably a worry for anyone who is self-employed.” she ponders.
So, apart from setting up a successful small business during a stressful worldwide pandemic, what has Dawn’s biggest achievement been?
“One of the biggest business achievements was my husband building my professional office in our garden and decorating and furnishing it ready for when I was eventually allowed to see face-to-face clients. It felt like a huge achievement.”
Bionic asked Dawn if anything had made the everyday running of her business easier and she cited technology as a key factor in boosting her clientele.
“If it hadn't been for technology my business would probably be only just getting off the ground now. But being able to use WhatsApp and Zoom for meetings and just general phone calls was where I grew my business from. It also gave me the freedom to work with clients from quite literally anywhere not just locally.”
She continued “I’m based in the East Midlands but have had clients from Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Devon, Cornwall, London and even New York. Technology in business - as far as I am concerned - is crucial.”
Some perfectly professional advice
Does Dawn have any specific must-haves for client communication?
“The main apps I use are WhatsApp and Zoom for video appointments and QuickBooks to keep track of my income and outgoings. Square is great too, it connects to my card reader to enable me to take card payments now I've begun to see clients face to face in my office.” Dawn tells us.
She also offered some sparkling advice for others wishing to set up on their own and chase their own dreams.
She enthused “I think the main piece of advice I would give to anyone starting their own business would be to go for it! If you're sure of your skillset and have confidence there's no reason your dreams can't become reality.”
So, there you have it, tailored small business advice from a qualified and highly thought of life coach! To check out Dawn’s life coach and therapist website and see what kinds of services she offers.
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