It’s like this.
We were career high-flyers, Kate and I, steadily progressing in the recruitment industry, at the very highest level. Building our reps, gaining recognition.
But, you know, we slowly began to realise that we represented something of a façade. We weren’t actually making a difference to people’s lives, we were simply shifting product for unseen, unknown shareholders.
The people we were helping in their careers weren’t really people to our employers. They were little more than product. Just fees.
We both admired the thinking of Simon Sinek, who espouses a life that’s built around a why and a who in your business life, not just a what or a how.
But we were simply servicing someone else’s what and how.
What did we do? We placed people, we onboarded, we offboarded, and stuff.
How did we do it? By applying proprietary software, products and processes to our charges. Espousing small differences that made our employers seem different, maybe even better.
But we had no real sense of why we were doing it. Or who, we were doing it for, or with.
Sure, on a good day we saw joy as our ‘products’ saw their careers progress — better prospects, more money, corporate recognition. But all of it was deeply unsatisfying to us.
Their joy was typically short lived.
Ours too, because tomorrow was just another day, another target, another fee to earn.
The Dog’s bollocks.
Our days as young, single, fun-seeking dreamers — where we’d cross the road from our bijou shared flat in Lewisham (It was Greenwich. Ed.) to the local off licence to purchase yet another bottle of “The Dog’s Bollocks” red wine (multi-buys, we figured made us look lush and we’ve never been THAT) was becoming merely a memory.
Indeed, we both found ourselves caught in two difficult traps now, work and marriages that were more challenging than an SAS: Who Dares Wins audition.
We needed out.
We both needed to find our why, and so ten years ago first Rebecca took the leap by setting up a business that has become Complement Coaching whilst Kate had already left the recruitment industry to work for nearly a decade in the media before teaming up again.
So, why? And why you?
Coaching and helping entrepreneurs build their businesses is much more than a process.
It’s a vocation.
It might sound like a cliché, but people, not clients, were the stimulus in our lives. Real people and their real challenges. It’s the people we work with that satisfy both our why we what we do and who we do it with.
Entrepreneurs especially. Many, but by no means all of them, in the recruitment sector.
Entrepreneurs that wanted to be part of our ‘tribe’ and to create their own tribes.
It’s an odd word tribe. It means, literally, a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.
Shared purpose. Common goals. Real attachment. These are today’s guy-ropes in successful businesses. They’re the roots of our why.
But they’re elusive, diaphanous and, well, a bit squidgy. Hard to pin down without giving them serious, considered thought.
To create a successful tribal mentality in a business means helping the tribal leader understand what they stand for. Who they attract. Who they are attracted to. Why they are stuck. Why their business is starting to lose its lustre, its direction, its joy.
But by understanding, and we mean really connecting deeply, on a personal level, with their dreams and aspirations, coaching them sensitively, but firmly, we’ve found real motivation and a sense of purpose in our working lives.
Another cliché, but it’s meant we can really make a difference.
And we are.
You see, personal business coaching, rolling our sleeves up and helping the people we work with to create a vision of what’s possible in their business has changed not only their lives, but ours too.
And that’s why our why and their whys are much more closely aligned with, and underpin, their who’s, their what’s and their hows.
It’s, as Simon Sinek would say, a Golden Circle.
And it’s mint.
Footnote: It’s tough telling your own story effectively. Egos too often get in the way. And, as they say, Cobblers’ children are seldom the best shod. That’s why we teamed up with award winning business consultant and founder of the world’s first marketing blog-writing company, Mark Gorman of Planet Blog.
He’s helped us identify the truth in our offer. To articulate ur why and our who in a way that makes us comfortable. We see a long and collaborative relationship ahead.