Jeff Gosling’s ActionCOACH business gives him a purposeful career and allows him to spend quality time with his sons
Jeff Gosling was 46 years old when he realised that now was the time to find a more fulfilling and purposeful career. He’d been working for other people for over a decade and he was ready to go it alone…but maybe not completely alone.
“As I mulled over the idea of becoming a business owner, I established that I didn’t have any fabulous ideas for a new business, but I did think I could possibly take a strategic role in sales and marketing across several businesses,” Jeff explains.
“A good friend of mine had bought a care franchise and that piqued my interest in what franchises out there might suit me. After all my research, I got down to a shortlist of B2B opportunities I thought would suit my strengths.”
UK’s best b2b franchise for 2018
Unsurprisingly, one of those franchises on Jeff’s shortlist was ActionCOACH, the UK’s Best B2B franchise for 2018. He contacted their UK support team and was invited to attend their Business Excellence Forum and Awards later that month.
“Meeting other franchise partners, employed coaches and clients at this huge business conference was what cemented the decision for me,” Jeff says. “I got this overwhelming feeling of teamwork and abundance - sharing of best practice and giving back to the community.
“Several of my family are teachers and doctors and they give so much back, so helping others is a core value for all of us. I recommend to anyone thinking of buying a franchise to read ActionCOACH’s 14 Points of Culture and consider if that’s the type of team you’d like to work with.
“ActionCOACH was a higher investment than some of the others on my shortlist, but I could see why. When you considered the intellectual property built up within the network, books and videos, systems and resources, it would take you decades to build a business coaching service on your own to be even half as effective as ActionCOACH.
“It was a simple commercial decision and one I made happily having experienced the culture.”
Ready to get going
Before Jeff launched his franchise, he completed a week of pre-training, a week at ActionCOACH Uni and Stepup Week at Action’s exclusive client generation centre.
“By November 2017, I was ready to get going,” he says. “The training had been hands-on and practical, it was focused on getting you up and running.
“Step-up Week then gave us the opportunity to get our website live, become comfortable on the phone and speak to ActionCOACH’s sales experts about turning enquiries into meetings and then into paying clients. It gave me the sense that there is an infinite amount to learn, which is why the follow-up support is so important.
“There are ongoing regular MasterCLASSes for me to tap into, and experienced franchise partners share both business development and coaching advice.
“I’m a people person and I really like being part of a wider network who are so willing to give back. There is an enjoyable shared focus on constant learning and personal development via great knowledge and resources. This is considered working ‘on your business’, as it immediately translates into greater value to clients and improves your own business.
“My first clients came through networking and my existing circle of influence. In fact, most of my clients in this first year of business have come from gathering people together and building communities for referral, whether online with LinkedIn or in-person by running seminars with Action’s UK-wide strategic partners, such as NatWest.
“My aim was to bring in one new client a month and retain those clients. I found as I grew my community of business owners, partners and influencers that networking continues to pay out - it may take a bit longer using this approach, but it has long-term benefits.
“I now have 11 one-to-one clients and an ActionCLUB of group coaching clients. My role is like having 20 projects on the go at once, including my own business; those projects I enjoyed so much back in my old work life.
“When I meet a business owner for the first time, they typically have little idea of how to take control of their business and, therefore, their work-life balance. Every month, I enjoy seeing how my clients take steps forward with quick wins, knowing they have so many more to follow.”
Ideal work-life balance
ActionCOACH encourages its franchise partners to take the 3,500 strategies and tactics guaranteed to make their clients’ businesses successful to develop their own businesses too. Jeff has been able to bring his learnings home to create his own ideal work-life balance.
“Whilst I’m happy to work hard and expect longer hours as you build a business, I was used to interrupting family time to take calls late into the evening or staying away from home on work trips with my old job - working when I should be spending time with my two sons is a thing of the past,” he says.
“I’ve been able to take time back for me to spend with the family out on walks in the countryside, playing football, supporting QPR or planning our next holiday. It’s great to have something to work towards. Our next trip is three weeks travelling along the West Coast of the US and there’s no stress, as I still have the ability to coach my clients via online video conferencing.
“I was pleased to grow my income to over £20K per month in my first year and so one of my goals for my second year in business is to consistently achieve that month in, month out. On top of that, I’ve recently started to build my own team of marketing, admin and business development part-timers as I move into phase two of building a business.
“ActionCOACH has also helped open my eyes to bringing the message of business ownership much earlier in people’s lives.
“The ActionCOACH Foundation aims to fill the gap where academia fails to educate young people about the opportunities and avoidable pitfalls of business ownership. I can help people like my sons by going into colleges and explaining all this, to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.”