David Cook, Scotland, United Kingdom
Five Mountain Coaching
Up Level Your Game of Business of Life, Shifting to the Next Level with Vison & Impact!
With over 20 years of management experience in the business sectors of retail, financial services, hospitality, security and not-for-profit organizations, I have been coaching since 2008, helping people to grow and achieve their big goals and dreams. Another coaching passion of mine is golf psychology, and I am going to prioritize this going forward in 2024!
What is your niche (coaching focus) and how did you choose it?
Over the years, my niche has evolved into helping executives and CEOs who are good at what they do but have stagnated and are unsure what the next level looks like. I didn’t necessarily choose this niche, but I found the majority of my clients on LinkedIn, which is where business-oriented people congregate. With over 20 years of management experience, I could talk with them on the same level—there was a synergy there. Although I have a lot of experience over various business sectors, I did find Transformation Academy’s Business and Entrepreneurship Coaching a great source of knowledge and activities while working with this client group.
Who is your ideal client?
My ideal clients are Executives and CEOs who are successful to a level, but bored and spiritually and emotionally stagnated. I help them set ambitious goals that actually excite and inspire them.
In a nutshell, I help executives and CEOs set and achieve the impossible and help them have the time of their life doing it!
What inspired you to become a life coach?
I had been in management for around 18 years and became increasingly interested in developing my staff through guidance and training. I then discovered Coachville back in 2001 and became hooked on the power of coaching. Combining this with my studies in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), coaching became a passion.
How long have you been coaching?
I guess I have been coaching for a lot longer than I really know or since coaching became a “thing.” I made a conscious decision to start coaching professionally back in 2008. I remember reading How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie back in the early 80s and how that changed my management style and interest in developing myself and others. I went through a terrible period around the end of the 80s, with family bereavement and divorce, but a regional sales manager gave me a copy of Tony Robbins’ book Unlimited Power, and I have to say that book saved and changed my life immeasurably and lead me to where I am today—happy and contented and having fun helping others.
How did you get your first client?
My first clients where through word of mouth and at times were pro bono, just to gain experience and try out new approaches. From 2008, the majority of clients have come from posting and interacting on LinkedIn and Facebook pages. I don’t have a lot of clients at once, perhaps four or five, as I also carry out career coaching for a charity, helping long-term unemployed people back into work. This gives me the balance I enjoy and the freedom to pick and choose how busy or otherwise I want to be. My core value is fun! If I am not enjoying what I am doing, I go and find something else.
How has your coaching journey changed your life?
Coaching and being a coach has completely changed my life since the dark days of the late 80s. I wake up every day with a purpose to go out and make a difference, however big or small that is. People comment on why I am so positive and happy and are lost for words when they ask me how I am. My response is always, “Fantastically well, thank you!”
What is the most challenging part of being a life coach?
I think the most challenging part of being a life coach is the business of being a life coach. The marketing, finding clients, bookkeeping and administration. There are many excellent coaches out there, but without clients you are not a coach. For myself, I have also found it difficult at times to find clients, but then I am fortunate that I am never looking for that many. A few years ago, my coach invited me onto his coaching Mastermind group where we spent several sessions on the “business” of coaching, which was really beneficial. I also know that Transformation Academy has a course that covers this as well.
What is the most fulfilling part of being a life coach?
The moment a client achieves their goal or has a breakthrough is so rewarding. When they are thanking me, I always reply by stating that I only gave them the support and guidance to get there, but they are ones who have made their dreams come true!
What has been your most inspirational coaching moment, with a client?
My most inspirational coaching moment with a client was back in 2016. I began coaching a client who had big dreams of wanting to work as a life coach full time, travel and write a book! At the time, he worked in a bar part-time, was a part-time coach and lived in California. After working with the client for seven months, he was a full-time coach, he had moved to Australia and has written the first draft of his book, which was published the following year and is available on Amazon. I have had many coaching successes but this ranks as my most memorable. In fact, the following year he became my coach!
What is your favorite coaching activity or exercise to do with clients?
My favorite coaching activities and exercises to do with a client are at the beginning of our coaching relationship where we explore their values and beliefs. This often leads to some “aha” moments where they see how they have been holding themselves back from achieving their dreams. I use exercises from many of the Transformation Academy courses I have completed, as I find these give an ideal structure to lead the client through the process. I also rely heavily on my NLP skills and demonstrate to clients how they learn and their best modality for doing so.
What has been the most effective strategy for finding clients and/or growing your business?
As mentioned previously, LinkedIn is where my ideal clients congregate. Through regular posting and sharing of ideas and interesting articles, as well as participating in some interesting groups, I can reach out to people I feel would be a good fit for my coaching programs. I always carry out a triage call for 10 minutes or so to see if we would be a good fit, and, if we are, we book a Strategy Session to explore their dreams and big goals before we discuss becoming a client.
What advice would you give YOURSELF back when you first dreamed of becoming a coach?
Just get out there at start coaching! There is nothing to fear, and that is how you gain experience to make you a better coach in the future!
What is the impact you want to make in this world?
I set out every day to make a difference. As long as I can do that then I know I will leave this world a better place than I found it!
Is there anything else you would like to share with Transformation Coaching Magazine readers?
I am a lifelong learner. There is always something new to find and try. That is why I still study courses with Transformation Academy, and I have a few lined up still to do. Some people may say you have been coaching for a long time, but my philosophy is if I discover even one thing or skill that I can add to my repertoire then it has been a worthwhile exercise.