Transitioning from a Job to Your Own Coaching Business (with Dr Clare Allen)
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Benay: [00:00:00] Welcome to Coach Pep Talk, the podcast for professional, life, and business coaches to pick up new skills, ideas, and inspiration for your coaching business. With our candid interviews with talented experts from all over the world.
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Benay: [00:00:47] This week we have Dr. Clare Allen on the show who got her first CEO role in her 20s and since then she’s held the top job at several of Australia’s most successful for purpose organizations. Now even though Clare is known for her astute business acumen, meaning she takes organizations from millions in debt to millions in profit while she is the head honcho. She is a leader who leads with body mind and spirit synergies. And now she is showing other leaders how to do the same. And I know there are so many things I could talk about with Claire that I was so excited to get her on the show and at least start this first dialogue with Clare talking about how she’s managing a CEO role for a leading organization in Australia while also transitioning into her coaching business. Because I know plenty of my listeners have ambitions to transition from their job in to their own coaching business too. So let’s hear what Dr. Clare Allen has to say.
Benay: [00:01:58] Hello And welcome. I’m very excited today to introduce Dr. Clare Allen. We’ve known each other for about the past 18 months and have had the opportunity to do some cool work together. Clare is in a really fascinating position because she is currently the CEO of Visibility Guide Dogs WA and Tasmania in Australia and she is also on the side launching her own coaching business, drclareallen.com. And what I am very excited to talk to Claire about today and share with my audience is how Clare has managed to do everything and manage all of that work in one go and to give those of you who are in a similar position some tips and ideas to go forward with that. So welcome Dr. Clare Alan.
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:02:51] Thanks Benay, It’s A pleasure to be here.
Benay: [00:02:53] Thanks So much for being here. So let’s get straight into it because we’re trying to keep this show to about 20 minutes. And I know that you’ve got so many fabulous nuggets for all the listeners out there. I just, let’s just get straight into it. I mean here you are managing this humongous CEO role while at the same time launching your own business. What does your week look like?
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:03:17] It’s pretty busy and pretty organized and I find that if I’ve got a good plan for the week, so on a Monday morning, for example I put down my top 10 priorities. And as long as I achieve those then I’m really happy. And I also have really good work life harmony, so I remember a CEO saying once you know if I make three really good decisions in the day and I’ve done my job. If that decision is before three o’clock or four o’clock great if it’s at 9:00 o’clock at night. Great. You just go with the flow but you focus on the big picture items and not the little things so I don’t sweat the small stuff at all.
Benay: [00:03:58] Okay so let’s, I would like to, if you’re if you’re okay with it, I’d love to explore that top 10 priorities list a little bit further. That’s something that I also do although I don’t always have 10. With that split, how much is it for your business? How much is for your job?
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:04:18] OKAY Well I believe in taking, I mean obviously my main job that pays my salary and so my CEO gig takes my big priority. So I actually you know before I go into work I spend at least an hour on my business each day so that’s my business on the side. So I would have about two decisions that I would make on that day, but I want to take a step back first Benay. Because one thing is, I’ve got to be really clear about what I want, I’m the same in my CEO role’s so I’m the same in my business. So I’m clear about what I want and what I want to achieve. So the tasks that I actually put into play are actually quite simple. So I work on a quick win strategy and as long as I do something each day then I’m really comfortable with that.
Benay: [00:05:03] Okay. Could you give us an example of maybe something you’ve done today or this week that that will provide a tangible thing for the audience to grasp onto about this quick win strategy.
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:05:17] Yeah well look this week is a bit different because we’re launching one of our products next week. So It’s been about reviewing all of the processes within there. So what I’ve done is I’ve got up this morning and I basically went through all of that, made sure I checked all the editing and that was ready to go. So that’s my priority. So you got to learn, one thing I learnt in assessments and a long time ago in assessment centers where you go to refine your skills and you get multiple tasks is what’s a priority and what’s not a priority. If it was a typical morning, then obviously I’ve got to do my blogs so I’m got to do my posts. I’m now really good because what I do is I schedule all my posts on a Sunday so they’re all done for the week. I don’t have to think about them, but idea Generation of blogs or responding to people, that I do first thing in the morning. That’s in my drclareallen.com business and in my work business when I get in, it’s just meeting after meeting after meeting. That would be my day.
Benay: [00:06:17] Okay Okay. So let’s see. And when you’re when you’re talking about that top 10 priorities list, let’s just go back to that for a minute, you said you had about two for your business and then the other eight are for your job.
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:06:35] Yeah That’s right.
Benay: [00:06:37] That’s Right. Okay.
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:06:38] And as long as I get through those by the end of the day then I’m happy. I can go for a walk or I can you know basically spend some time with the family or I can go to the gym or I can do something for myself. So I don’t put the pressure on myself but I used to put on a long time ago, which was trying to eat the elephant all at once.
Benay: [00:06:58] Yeah That’s a tricky one. Yeah. Yeah. So let’s say for sticking with the priorities I just really want to understand this for myself too. So the top 10 priorities that’s something that you do for the whole week or you do that for each day?
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:07:14] Each day. I mean I do my weekly priorities but I also each day will say what are the top things I need to deal with for today. And I get through them. I mean I was it is all the little small things that need to be done. But I’m also a great delegator. It’s one of my key skills at work, I can delegate heaps of things and even in my you know sort of my drclareallen.com business I can actually delegate those things I’m not good at. I’m not going to spend hours trying to work on the website, not spend hours working on things I’m not good at. I’d rather pay for that; my time is valuable.
Benay: [00:07:52] Yeah that’s actually a great segue way into something else I did want to talk to you about, is when you know you’re just starting out you’re starting your or you’re starting your coaching business on the side. How do you decide what to delegate? How do you decide what your budget can be? Any tips for people who are scratching their head about that for their business and while they’re transitioning right now.
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:08:16] Yeah Well what I did is much I’ve done all the way through my entire life, is my working career is I invested 10 percent of my income back into my personal development or into my growth and surmising my business which I started you know a couple of years ago as that. So I put, I take from my salary and I put in that 10 cent investment, no more no less. So that goes into that until it actually starts generating the cash that needs to generate into the business. And you know when it comes to courses or study I’m doing the doctor of metaphysics at the moment. So on top of that I’m actually built, so there’s that, I call it the horizons. So you’ve got horizon one which is right now, these are the things I have to do in my business. Horizon two is contingent so it might be a year ahead and horizon three might be three years ahead. I’ll always do a little bit that’s futuristic. So the metaphysics, one day I want to be a spiritual teacher so I’ll do that on my side and I’ll make sure I knock off one unit a week.
Benay: [00:09:21] Okay. And then you so as far as your spending goes then you break down that 10 percent to cross those three horizons?
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:09:31] Yes Yes. And I might only spend, you know, for example, the majority will go into horizon one which is 80 percent and then you’ll actually go, “Well I’m actually going to look at 10 percent in the other two areas.” So you’re constantly always thinking about the future. Now I do that in my companies and I want to say I have taken companies from two sites to 11 sites across Western Australia, from 2000 clients to 12000 clients. I Use the same system in every single business that I go in. I have rules of thumb, and these rules of thumb have worked for me every single time. A rule of thumb would be surplus the turnover, how much you going to invest in your business, where you actually think you can create efficiencies. Those sorts of things. Where your partners are the people you want to work with who can really support that level of growth.
Benay: [00:10:25] OK, and so I guess you use all of those things in your drclareallen.com business as well as your CEO.
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:10:32] Yeah yeah yeah yeah.
Benay: [00:10:34] okay. So let’s say I would like to…I Know a little bit of your journey. I’d love to hear your comments about how long it takes to get a coaching business up and running and what’s really involved, kind of you know, you see all these gurus out there that say you can be an overnight success and there’s so much marketing and sales happening out there to help people grow their business. What have you found to be the truth That’s sitting behind all that?
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:11:03] Yeah. My firm belief is that you need to be a thought leader and you need a magnetic personal brand. And once you develop that level of credibility then your coaching business will grow exponentially. So you don’t you can’t go out there and hang out a shingle and think everybody’s going to come to you even if you’ve got credibility. And even if you do display vulnerability you have to be able to be someone that is noticed. I always used to say when I worked in rural communities, unless your business was on Main Street you go broke. It’s the bit of the same as running your coaching business, unless you’re out there, unless you’re blogging, unless you’re actually at women’s forums, unless you are contributing, then you’re really not going to get the traction that you need to get. So for me that’s really important. Then the magnetic brand actually niches you. So if you just say I’m a coach of this, but you don’t specialize, what’s going to start happening is that you just get all of that all over the place. Once you start to specialize, once you’re a thought leader, once your brand statements are strong, then people will just flock to you and start coming to you know. So that’s I find I’m turning people away. And I’ll tell you why I’m turning people away, is because I want to do it all online. I’m not going to have time to be a CEO and to write a coaching business so that’s why I am developing the online coaching and looking at being a virtual coach simply because I don’t have time for all those one on one meetings. So that’s why I had to make that choice. Well actually I’ll be changing my job but I’ll be spending so much time, so you have to work out what works for you as well and where your energy is best suited.
Benay: [00:12:56] Yeah I’m a big believer in that. So what…Can You explore other types of products that you’re focusing on in your business, I guess to give you the lifestyle that you’re looking for?
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:13:07] Yep well I developed the Build Up Masterclass, which is basically helping people to be an attractive proposition in the career market. To propel their career, to get promotional opportunities. I chose that because, first off it’s a really easy one for me to help people to be able to land the job of their dreams or get a promotion or to position themselves for the great brand for success. So it’s an intensive program but I know I’ll get results with that. And I think that if you’re focusing on results then that’s going to escalate. So there’s three levels to that. The first level is you jump on and you do the online program and you get a number of things. The second level is that you basically can be part of the webinars, on the third levels you get three coaching sessions with me and a psychometric test and I’m accredited in psychometric testing and I do a CV review and give you really sound advice. Now I chose that one because that was easy to get getting to build and keep focusing on. The second project is the Trigger Stones, which is information right now so we got the Trigger Stones developed. And so what I will do is I will look at that in a number of different areas, one, a call for coaches across the world and train them up to actually run spiritual leadership programmes using the trigger stones, so that can be a coaching program in itself. But first off I want to start with the one product and get the one product to work and then I build up from there.
Benay: [00:14:44] So People are probably listening and maybe they’re in the very beginning of their journey or they’re just thinking about transitioning and they’re like oh my gosh she’s got it all figured out. Could you maybe take a couple of steps back for those people who are kind of like thinking oh my gosh I can’t ever do this. Where do you start?
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:15:04] Yeah. Look I think I mean somebody like you is fantastic because what you do is you get people to really think about their niche and to really think about developing products for the market. And I say products for the market, not products based on what they really want to do or love to do. And I may sound harsh but I’ve worked with a number of business owners and entrepreneurs that basically start off the thing they love doing the most and they don’t make any sales. They get disillusioned and jump out of the market. If you if you work with something that is trendy, something that people are going to come to you with. Then you can then basically build into to all the stuff you love which is the Trigger Stones stuff for me. So I start with what I know I can do that I can build business in and I haven’t even launched and I’ve got referrals coming through the door.
Benay: [00:15:58] that’s For the Build Up Masterclass? Which actually will land the job of your dreams. Okay. So that was what people were just naturally attracted to you for. Is that what you’re saying like for that?
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:16:09] Well that’s the thing is people say well what do you look for when you’re interviewing, how did you fast track your career in your early 20s to get into a CEO role? To be honest, I think that just all seems to me to be easy. The more I started talking to people the more I realized they needed it. So do some exploration about their needs and then I actually found that the thing that I didn’t really want to do, I’m actually really now passionate about it. Does that make sense?
Benay: [00:16:40] And what does that thing that you didn’t really want to do?
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:16:42] I didn’t really want to do career coaching and then I suddenly realized that well, actually, I am passionate about this and I can do this really well. So now I’m fully engaged in it. So you kind of have to say well, and if you’re the sort of person that flips their thinking and says yeah I can do this and I do believe in this, because I’m a bit like you Benay, I can’t do anything unless I believe in it, unless it resonates on a deep and spiritual level, unless it makes a difference. You know when I’m getting an e-mail from a young woman that says basically thank you so much, vie Listened to what you said. I’ve Now put myself in head office. I’ve got a pay rise and I feel like I’m now positioned for a management role and she’s only 23. that’s at the lower level, that’s like wow okay that’s really inspiring and then get something from someone else and says I wanted to go for that senior executive role. I was in a manager role. I didn’t because I didn’t think I could and I did it because you told me to. You gave no skills and I’ve just got a 30 percent pay rise and I got the role.
Benay: [00:17:49] You Got to wake up feeling amazing when you get emails like that.
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:17:53] Okay This is working but I didn’t know if it would. I just knew there was demand and I knew I had to kind of explore that and work out… So you got to be able to experiment and you got to be able to say Okay somebody doesn’t like me or doesn’t like you know my tweets or doesnt like my posts doesn’t matter. You just got get a quite a thick skin and ride it through because the ones that love you will absolutely love you when the ones that don’t, Maybe they’re just not ready for you.
Benay: [00:18:26] They need to find somebody else, it’s Okay. The worlds a big place when you’re online. Well, Clare what I love hearing about what you’re saying is how you said you kind of almost ignored the obvious choice for you because it was so easy for you. I have seen that pattern so many times with coaches also. I think it’s really common out there. So when people are out there you know you get those of you are thinking of transitioning and something that seems like it’s too easy that might be a good indicator. You need to look deeper.
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:18:57] I Think so. I think so because you think oh people are not going to want to know about that and then you find that they do they’re really keen to know.
Benay: [00:19:05] Yeah. And yeah. And you just can just talk about it like for three days straight about and it’s super second nature. That’s really excellent. So I did want to keep this short so we can have just little snippets for people looking for help in the transitioning space for this episode. Claire thank you so much for being on today. But if somebody wants to find out more about your work and what you’re doing or maybe get into that Masterclass or get a copy of the Trigger Stones, which I have and they’re just awesome. How can they find you?
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:19:42] Thank you Benay. It’s basically www.drclareallen.com.
Benay: [00:19:49] Excellent and I’ll include that URL at the end of the show notes here too. Okay Clare that was short and sweet and absolutely perfect. Thank you so much for being on today.
Dr. Clare Allen: [00:20:01] Thank You Benay. Thank you.
Benay: Ok, bye bye