Time to take action
Simon Ellson’s work took him from start-ups all the way to large corporations. In total, he has started five businesses and worked so many hours, he would even take his laptop on family holidays.
“My businesses were successful but the pay-off was a shocking work-life balance – my wife, Viv, had the patience of a saint. My friend Rob Pickering introduced me to ActionCOACH about nine years ago when he was looking to join the franchise. He had disappeared off to Las Vegas for initial training and when he came back he was raving about this business coaching franchise, telling me I needed to join too. But I was busy managing IT equipment sales for Symantec in Northern Europe.
“In 2013, I did give ActionCOACH a call to find out more but I was too distracted with a new business, Nexus, to take it any further. Nexus did really well, the digital pop-up spaces gave us the reputation of being consumer engagement experts and I was asked to advise for other companies on retail engagement. That’s when I started my consultancy, Intrapreneur.”
Finally making the move
Simon continued to work with the same drive and commitment for these five years and then decided to take action, for his family and lifestyle.
“I had a very challenging start to 2018, with personal loss and a close family member being ill. So, I decided to do something different, just for me, that would benefit my family and my community. I contacted ActionCOACH again.
“I went to ActionCOACH University in May and launched the business in June. That initial training week is followed immediately by Step-Up Week, where you learn hands-on how to start up the business, find prospective clients and convert those prospects into paying clients.”
“The training was excellent. We were lucky to have an experienced franchise partner, Andrew Kureishy, leading the training with his pragmatic, down-to-earth style. I walked out of there on Friday evening and by Monday night, I had my first seminar booked with 14 attendees in a local rugby club! The bar was open, as you would expect in a venue like that, and I signed my first one-to-one weekly coaching client.”
Born to coach
“Almost immediately, I felt like I was born to coach and I can honestly say it’s the best thing work-wise I’ve ever done in in my life. It brought out a philanthropic streak in me – it’s the most rewarding work you can do. Even though it’s handsomely paid, for me, it’s about helping clients get rid of those problems I regularly saw as a manager and business owner.”
Simon immediately employed a marketing assistant, Tiffany. He had a target of 10 clients by Christmas, so they had just six months to reach this goal.
“Tiffany was instrumental in growing the business. Her efforts got bums on seats in seminars. I’m out coaching 3 days a week and I can rely on her to get on with online advertising and other activities. Her role is a crucial investment in my opinion – it’s someone to take the strain at the start of the pipeline of new clients, while you’re trying to get them over the line to become paying clients.
“If you’d have told me 10 years ago I would buy a franchise, I would have told you to stop being ridiculous! But the ongoing support, advice, and resources are categorically the best support of any business I’ve come across. Plus, all the franchise partners and employee coaches are great – they embody ActionCOACH’s culture of abundance.”
Taking a step up
“Before I reached my 6-month deadline, I’d got 12 one-to-one clients and six group coaching clients. So, when I was introduced to ActionCOACH’s new exclusive territory Firm Builder licence, it seemed like a logical step. This licence gives me a dedicated area of operation with a minimum 10,000 businesses to work with. My original business plan, which included just Tiffany and I, has changed dramatically. I’ve committed to a new vision to support over 500 local businesses to grow over the next five years. We had our first employee coach, Tina, in training just before Christmas. She now runs our group coaching, ActionCLUB, so I can focus on one-to-one coaching.
“By the end of 2019, I plan to recruit an extra five employee coaches, three business development managers, three marketeers, and three administrators, bringing the team to 14. Every coach will have 20 clients, with a mixture of one-to-one and group coaching clients, so that we’ll directly help 100 business owners per year. That will create a client income of at least £500,000 but my ultimate goal is to have three territories and 15 employee coaches.
“What is fantastic is that I’m achieving all this but working less hours than ever before. I’m earning a respectable income and spending more time with my family. I don’t work on the weekends, don’t look at emails in the evenings and don’t need to get my laptop out on holidays. My sons are in their twenties and Viv and I have a one-year-old granddaughter who we can spoil. I even cook Sunday lunches which I haven’t done since before we got married nearly 30 years ago!
“I also have more time to give back. I offer local business owners a free walk-in surgery for three hours every Friday morning and I’m working towards a regular business advice show on a local radio station. It’s important to me that people have a community business coach they can rely on.”
If you’re looking for a more fulfilling career, a better work-life balance and you’re the kind of person who:
- Loves learning and developing yourself;
- Has enjoyed success in your career or sport; and
- Is willing to invest if they see substantial returns can be made…