Julie Parker and I set up our businesses in 2002 when coaching was still a relatively new thing in Australia. Without knowing it, we lived just a few suburbs away from one another and we shared a similar values based approach to our work.
It wasn’t until ten years later that we finally met. Julie is one of those people you like immediately – she’s warm and generous and gentle as well as having a great head for business.
I had the pleasure of working with Julie last year when she started sowing the seeds for her fabulous new business, The Beautiful You Coaching Academy. If you (or someone you know) is interested in becoming a coach, this is the course I would recommend.
Can you tell us a little bit about your business?
The Beautiful You Coaching Academy truly feels like my big life dream in action. I have been a life and business coach for 12 years and have always absolutely loved it. The transformations that people go through are inspiring in what they allow them to feel, create and change, and I feel so privileged to be a very small part of that happening.
After my coaching business really began to become successful I started to attract a lot of coaches who wanted guidance in how they could establish their own successful practice or boost the one they already had. I loved working with them but it started to become unmanageable with a very long wait list, which is when I realised that maybe I should start to train people in the way I was enjoying working. It seemed really crazy to begin with but I went for it and now feel so blessed it is all happening.
We have one flagship training which is the Beautiful You Life Coaching Course. It’s a five month highly supportive and intensive training that supports people to become a very heart centred life coach and gives them the tools required to build a successful and thriving life coaching practice as well.
What do you love about your working for yourself?
I love the freedom and independence it gives me. I truly am the mistress of my own diary and if I want to have a highly active and busy day with clients, meetings, or speaking engagements I can, and that means I can also spend the day in my yoga pants with a cat on my lap blogging and reading if I would prefer to! I never had that level of freedom or creative expression when I worked for someone else and I truly can’t imagine ever giving it up. It is addictive for sure!
What does a typical day look like for you?
There truly is no typical day which I love. One day may involve one on one coaching which I still do a small amount of, writing a blog post and managing my social media. Another may see me focused on the Academy training course and trainees both online and with our group coaching calls. And on another I may have a speaking engagement during the day and go to a networking event in the evening.
Mixed in with all of that is my own time doing things I love like gardening, yoga, walking, and seeking out Melbourne’s best coffee, as well as much loved time with my husband, stepdaughter and our two rescue cats.
What’s one thing you would do differently if you had your time over?
I would start a newsletter list much earlier than I did. I blogged and coached for many years without one, receiving all of my clients from word of mouth and social media. It seemed to flow quite well, but I now truly understand the power of an active and well nurtured email list and how it can support your business. In saying that, I believe we all journey in the way we are supposed to, including the things we feel we ‘miss’ or ‘should’ have done and so clearly there is something in that for me which has meant I wasn’t supposed to have one until later in my business life.
Who are your role models?
For loving kindness and treating others with absolute dignity and compassion – my Mother. For her poetic use of language and sheer beauty – Maya Angelou. For her groundedness and creative spirit – Clare Bowditch. And for her sheer entrepreneurial power – Oprah Winfrey.
What’s been the best thing you’ve done to grow your business?
Give my absolute all to every client I’ve worked with, being fully present with them and focused on their dreams, desires and goals. I truly feel in my heart and mind that this level of service and focus has seen my greatest referral source be those who I have already worked with or are currently working with. And that has helped my business grow beautifully and I already feel the same thing happening with the first round of graduates who are about to become Beautiful You Life Coaches.
Where do you go for inspiration?
My garden. The beach. My friends. Within.
How do you maintain a sense of balance while running your business?
I’m truly not sure there really is such a thing as full balance when you are an entrepreneur. I probably like to think of myself as fiendishly ‘off-kilter’ most of the time where one thing may be humming and working well, but something else needing my love and attention. I used to think this was a bad thing but in fact I’ve come to terms with it just being the way I am and how I manage my life and business. It works for me and certainly never makes things dull!
How did coaching help you?
Coaching with Kate was amazing and I feel really proud of myself for reaching out to be coached as a coach by such a great coach (!) at a time when I really needed it. In truth, by the time I set up some sessions with Kate I was feeling more than a bit overwhelmed with a large client load, and not really knowing if this crazy idea I had for a coaching academy did in fact have any merit.
Kate in her incredibly soulful and gentle way helped me peel back the layers of what I really wanted to do and it soon became apparent that the coaching academy was a long held dream that had simply been bubbling away in the form of one on one work with coaches. From there, Kate helped me formulate my thoughts and ideas into what became, and still is, a mammoth project. I could not have started the Academy without her support, encouragement and expert coaching.
What are you looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to the very first Beautiful You Life Coaches graduating and I’m loving hearing how they already have paying clients and are feeling confident and loving life as a coach. The fact we have more courses coming up later in the year makes me feel so excited too. Personally I am also looking forward to going to New York later in the year to the Emerging Women conference to see luminaries like Danielle La Porte, Arianna Huffington, Maya Angelou and Brene Brown. I’m not a fan of long haul travel but it’s going to be so worth it!
What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone wanting to go into their own startup?
Do what you love. I truly believe that if you love to do something – play with makeup, paint, mend bikes, cook, help people – you can make a living from it. Do only what you love and that way you will always be passionate, engaged and loving life. The business and money will flow from there.