ActionCOACH franchisee Lucy Cameron has gone from 720 hours a year commuting, to a walk down the garden path
Lucy explains: “In 2010 my kids were 2, 5 and 7. I felt our relationship getting increasingly distant as the au pair seemed more like a mother figure and a friend to my children than me.
“I was finding the commute to and from work each day very tiring and finding the energy to enjoy the weekends and go on family trips was getting more and more difficult. At work, I felt the palpable disdain if I asked for time off to watch my children in school assemblies, carol services or attend parents’ evenings - so I just missed them rather than ask.
“Something had to change. I’d never considered running my own business before, but the more I looked in to franchising, the more boxes it ticked. So I launched my ActionCOACH business in February 2012, immediately saving me 720 hours a year on commuting time alone.”
Winning as a working mum
Lucy set three clear goals to create a true work-life balance:
1. Have breakfast and dinner with her children.
2. Keep Fridays clear, so she could go to school assemblies.
3. Grow her business to earn the same as her corporate career by the end of year 1.
“Mondays is admin and marketing,” she says. “I coach Tuesdays to Thursdays, finishing work by 5.30pm so I can have dinner with the family. I coach from a large office at home, which means I’m here when the kids come home from school.
“I keep Fridays free so I can catch up with friends, take the dogs for a walk and do the household chores, which leaves weekends free for family time. Finding time for school events is simple, school holidays are less restricted and my coaching schedule makes it easy to have weekends away. We have now bought a wooden lodge in Norfolk where we go to switch off completely.”
Having found a good work-life balance, Lucy is focused on helping other business owners find that balance too. She has won three Best Client Results awards since 2013 and one of the companies she coaches went on to win a highly contested industry award.
“In total, I have worked with over 70 businesses and coached over 130 people in the last six years,” Lucy says.
“My client income grew from £59,000 in 2014 to over £157,000 in 2017. I achieved this by following ActionCOACH’s system, the advice of other franchise partners and only meeting with business owners who were serious about investing in growing their business.
“My sales conversion efforts were recognised by ActionCOACH’s UK support team and I spoke at the 2018 franchise conference to share my successful strategies.”
Choosing the lifestyle route
“In the future, I’ll be looking at bringing on board an employee business coach, ideally another working mum, as that will create more role models.
“I am also building a team of freelance trainers - also mums - so I can provide additional services to businesses around leadership and development. Once I have set this up, the beauty of my business is that this won’t affect my current work-life balance.”