Desi Jagger's Blog

My P&G Story #3: How I got my first client

I never planned to work as a freelance coach. In September 2015, I left P&G and went on sabbatical with the plan of becoming a full time trainer in another big company when I return. But during this 3-month break something unexpected happened… and it changed the course of my career.

Whilst on sabbatical, I banned myself from talking and even thinking about my passion for training and developing people. The temptation oozed out of every coffee cup I shared with friends, every meal my grandma prepared, every street encounter with acquaintances:

 

“What are you going to do next? Have you got a job lined up?”

 

Everyone had an opinion, a comment about the fact that I didn’t have a job to go back to. It was as if they carried part of the responsibility for my choice. Some were jealous, some were excited for me and others couldn’t hide the terror in their eyes. It was really difficult at first – I felt like I owed them an explanation. After being asked the same question twenty times, I had developed a routine and this predictability took the edge off.

 

But the loudest voice of all wasn’t that of my biggest critics, it was my own. That voice would hover above me, waiting for a quiet moment to rain down its fears and orders:

“You should at least make a plan. Why don’t you read a book on training design? You forgot to contact that capability manager, you’re probably missing missing out on a job opportunity right now…”

It was a constant internal battle but with some discipline I eventually I switched off from work. I felt light as a feather. I could talk about leaving P&G without feeling guilty or worrying about the future.

 

And that’s when it happened – my first client found me.

I connected with a Canadian woman who had heard my story and wanted some advice. I listened to her dilemma and asked a few questions. At the end of the conversation, she said: “I would like to hire you as my coach. How much do you charge?”

What?! Where did this come from? I had decided to focus on training and to possibly explore coaching at a later stage. I wasn’t ready, I didn’t have a website and I had no clue what price to charge. I panicked and told her that I’m happy to have another chat with her (for free, of course). Perhaps sensing my self-doubt, she didn’t come back. The following week, during a similar conversation, a man from Bahrain asked me to be his coach. Opportunity was knocking on my door, again. This time I opened the door and let it in.

 

I wasn’t searching for my first client. I was simply ready to be found.

  

Get unstuck by preparing to be found. Pick an hour, a day or a month to clear your heart and mind from the hot topics in your life.

Need help to switch off? Coaching is a great way to de-clutter your mind and give yourself permission to let go. Take the first step now by booking your free consultation.

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Photo credit: Gerlos