Taking a slice of the action

James Vincent has been a key member of the UK support team at ActionCOACH since 2014, leading the way on high-performance coaching as their UK Performance Director. When ActionCOACH’s new Firm Builder model was released in late 2018, he immediately invested in the exclusive territory for Sheffield, with no intention of leaving his existing position in the support team. How could he possibly manage all that?

“At first glance, it may sound like a huge challenge to keep what appears to be more than a full-time job and make a success of my own franchise territory – a large territory with over 10,000 businesses as potential clients. But then you step back and consider how it could be achieved when you don’t actually label your job as work. When you love what you do, work becomes fun and you’re happy to get out of bed each morning and prepare for a productive day. Pair that with the opportunity to put in a management team into the new ActionCOACH exclusive territory Firm Builder franchise and it becomes clear how I (and others) can juggle the two quite easily and still have a great work-life balance.”

Why everyone needs a world-class coach

James has been a high-performance coach for nearly two decades, having started in sports coaching at a very high level. He has researched the subject with the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE), worked with world-class coaches and presented insights to the European Coaching Conference.

“I love coaching and the notion of helping people. A large part of my role at ActionCOACH has been to coach the coaches, our franchise partners. By helping them, there is a domino effect – as they help their clients, businesses improve and so do the lives of their staff, families and communities. This vision of abundance is one of the 14 Points of Culture at ActionCOACH and it’s one I strongly commit to. Through coaching, I’m living my purpose so this doesn’t feel like work, it’s more like a hobby.

“Most people don’t know what coaching really is. Whether it’s for sport or business, you can’t coach yourself and without a world-class coach, you’ll never fulfil your potential. We all fight a losing battle, seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. In one scenario or another, we get blinded by ego and need that external influence to hold a mirror up. A coach does that and helps you to find a way forward.

High Standards

Of course, James has been coached and mentored by some of the best in the field of high-performance coaching. Once mentored by Sir Patrick Duffy, former President of ICCE, they became friends and when he retired, James decided to move on to new pastures.

“I found ActionCOACH on LinkedIn, clicked to follow them and, before long, got a call from Julie Wagstaff, their Franchise Recruitment Director. She thought I might want to invest in a franchise but, at that time, I wanted to help their coaches. You see, ActionCOACH already had, and continues to add to, their world-class toolkit of over 3,500 business growth strategies and tactics – for coaches and their clients to tap into. I wanted to ensure, on top of all that, ActionCOACH business coaches are also considered world-class for their coaching. So, when I joined the UK franchise support team, we built a structure of master coaches to support our franchise partners. I’m pleased to say we now have a Net Promoter Score showing our clients rate our service higher than Apple customers rate an i-phone!”

New firm builder model

“Ever heard the phrase ‘What got you here, won’t get you there’? Marshall Goldsmith’s book and the several times he’s presented at ActionCOACH events inspired our UK Co-Founder, Ian Christelow, to rethink our franchise model. We had passed the milestone of 200 franchise partners and Ian was concerned that we wouldn’t be able to offer the same level of support to the 400-strong network we were heading towards in less than two years. So, when the new Firm Builder model took shape, I knew I had to invest.

“I’m in the enviable position to see the odds are stacked in my favour as a new Firm Builder Partner. ActionCOACH trains you to understand how to grow a business – your own and your clients’ businesses – so I’ve learnt that during my time with the support team. I’m also right at the heart of the support given to ensure all of our coaches are world-class. Why wouldn’t I invest in a franchise too? Whilst I’m still here developing the coaches and the brand, it synergises with what I could achieve myself in my territory – all backed by a solid infrastructure of support, a team of incredible people and a strong vision.”

Achieving a work-life balance

James launched his ActionCOACH business on 1st November with both a General Manager and Business Development Manager in place. He took a day to set up the office with them and by day 8, his BDM, Alistair, had signed their first client.

“Within 6 months, we’ll have an additional employee business coach to help another 15-20 clients. Our long-term goal is to transform businesses in Sheffield, connecting with those 10,000 business owners in some way. Success for me looks like a passive income with my team eager to get to work each morning because they enjoy it so much – Richard Branson personally taught me to think that way.

“How do I fit it all in and still get home for 5.30pm to enjoy the evening with my family? If you really want to achieve something, you’ll make time. I’m a family man and I love bringing joy into people’s lives. I think people respond best when they have something to challenge them. I’m married to Ceri and we have three children – three-year-old twins Emilie and Elliot and Olivia who has just turned one. We spend time every day completing little challenges and activities. Some people fear change but I think facing challenges helps us to change and grow, whether we’re three years old or 43.”

Next steps

ActionCOACH is ranked in the UK’s Top 5 franchises for 2019 by Elite Franchise; is the UK’s Best B2B franchise; and is one of only 4 franchises to achieve 5-star franchisee satisfaction status six times.

If you have the ability to inspire and you’re the kind of person who:

  1. Loves learning and developing yourself;
  2. Has enjoyed success in your career or sport; and
  3. Is willing to invest if they see substantial returns can be made…

Then find out more by clicking the link below

Find out more by watching the 6-minute overview video here