Gayle Tong - Business as a Coach

In this interview Gayle Tong of Enrichment Coaching tells us about her journey from the corporate world into small business as a coach. She also covers confidence and courage and the strange times we live in.
Published: 15-05-2020

Guest Profile: Gayle Tong
Enrichment Coaching: Clarity & Courage Coaching for Confidence.
Tel: 07947 754680
Location: Chichester, UK




Welcome to the Small Business heroes podcast where small business owners tell their story so we can learn from their experience. My name is Tony Radford. I hope you enjoyed this episode. Hi everybody. Today's guest is Gail Tong from enrichment coaching that enrichment Hi, Gail, thanks so much for coming on to the Small Business heroes podcast. How are things with you? At the moment?


Yeah, good. Thanks for having me. And, yeah, but Okay, so it's such weird times, isn't it? And I think nobody could have predicted that we would be in this situation or for so long, I guess. So. Yeah, things things are okay, though. I'm certainly not as busy as I was. But I've got some stuff going on. That's keeping me ticking over which is nice.


Yeah. Excellent. Okay. Well, thank you for that and talking of being busy. Can you tell us about yourself?


Sure, yeah, say enrichment coaching was born last July. And I focus on clarity and courage coaching for confidence, which is quite a bold statement. But what I do is I work one to one with small businesses or senior business leaders in corporates who want to sort of get clarity on their way forward, they're a little bit stuck maybe in their comfort zone or in a rut and don't know how to get out of it. So help them to get a bit of clarity to move forward. And then we focus on courage because courage is the thing that helps you to take action on that way forward. And then the final thing is we watch your confidence grows. So that's how it works. And that's how it's been working with people. So, so yeah, so that's kind of what I've been doing for the last. I suppose it's about 10 months now. It's gone so quickly,


right? Are you enjoying it?


Yeah, I love it. There's no going back is there once you work for yourself, you come out of a corner business, there's no there's no turning back. And I, I spent 12 years at St the same business where I was really lucky that I had looked after the learning and development function. So coaching had always been part of my remit if you like, but not formally. And and as time went on, and I'd been exposed to loads of stuff, I had loads of great opportunities, lots of learning, and I love learning as well. That sounds really stupid being I love the process of learning, not necessarily the outcome, but the process of learning. And, yeah, so coaching was something that I loved because I knew it was transformational. I could see how people fell in love with or they had that lightbulb moment that made them go, oh my god. And, and so I think that I then went off and got qualified as a coach, which brought me to it to where I am now.


Excellent. I was wondering if you could could tell us how do you actually help people build their coffee How'd you What? What's the actual process for that for encouraging them into being more courageous? all that sort of thing?


Yeah, it's interesting, isn't it? Because confidence is what I find is a lot of people come to me and they'll say, I just wish I was a bit more confident, or I just wish I had a bit more confidence to do that. And often, I start with a question that says, Well, what does your confidence looks like look like? Because what my version of confidence is, will be very different to your version and to somebody else's. So we'd always start with understanding Well, what their overall goal is, so what do they want to achieve through having more confidence? But actually, what does that look like? And in some cases, it it's around managing being a critic, so the voice in your head that might tell you that you can't or shouldn't or you know, you'd be rubbish at that 260 second sales pitch, find me somebody that actually loves doing those. And you know, we'll get it right every time to someone who might be going into a meeting and his doesn't have the confidence because they're intimidating characters in the room. So we'll always start with understanding what does that confidence look like to you? Because it doesn't always mean that you're the person that sits carrying in the in the side of the room. I mean, I might come across as being quite confident. But there are times where actually I'm just absolutely not.


Right. For me personally, I've done loads of presentations and worked in many different environments. For me, my confidence is really based on knowing what I'm talking about. I think if I if I really know what I'm talking about, I really understand the problem that we're dealing with that is, for me a secure foundation to get up and do pretty much anything and it's it's something that's really vital for people because fear can absolutely NACA people basically


Yeah. And absolutely and, and they'll be different situations say, similar to what you've just said one of my clients who said, Oh, you know, I feel that I'm you know what, I'm, I'm still nervous. I'm quite confident standing up in front of a roomful of people and my challenge to her would be okay, so what can you take From that, where you feel really confident into situation where you don't, because I might challenge you to say, but actually, that's your comfort zone because you found your comfort zone and you know where you're really good. And knowledge sometimes is a big big blocker to confidence and knowledge gap Can you know, really, if you haven't got where you feel you have a knowledge gap, that can be a real blocker to confidence.


One of the ways I actually built my confidence was when the pubs were open. And in those glorious days in the past, I started doing open mic and pubs with sort of singing and playing guitar. Wow, I remember the day. Yeah, well, the first time I got up I remember I remember going completely blank and beginning the song and then I noticed I was suddenly finishing the song or two songs. And yeah, I was pretty shaken but gradually got it got to be really, really good fun, you know, just being exposed. It's, it was a really good thing for me personally. So I'm not saying you should recommend that to your class, but


But you say that but you draw confidence from that, don't you? Because it's about how you feel. It's about how you you know, you're getting confidence back from the audience. And I think in a learning and development environment, that's where I got that from because you getting that feedback from people that kind of builds. And one of my favourite sayings is, you know, confidence is like a muscle and the more we more we work on that muscle, the stronger it becomes.


Yeah, that's great. Confidence is like a muscle. That's excellent. Talking about confidence and courage. I was wondering if you could tell us one of your biggest business challenges that you faced and overcame?


Yeah, so I think the biggest challenge probably in the beginning was around building a network. So I'd got a reasonable sized network in in my learning and development, corporate career if you like, and suddenly I realised that Oh, actually, I'm now out here as a as a coach. And and first of all, I needed to find what kind of coach I am because that's the first thing people ask you and you say, I'm a coach. So for me it was about right. How do I now build up a new network where people know me as Gail from enrichment coaching. So, I think, well, the absolute way that I overcame that was through networking. So I just went to pretty much any and every local networking event that was going, you know, in those days when we were allowed out, and, and built my confidence that way, and then started to talk about who I was and what I did. And it was I think I underestimated how long that that would take. I don't know what I did. Because I think when you go into business, nobody really took you think, Oh, you know, I knew there was a lot of stuff to do. Don't get me wrong, but I think you underestimate how long things can take. Yeah, so it probably probably took me a good maybe six months to kind of figure out who is influential on this network and seen locally, who do I need to connect with and how am I going to do that? And that that was kind of the basis that I that I kind of took when I was going to always go to networking with a goal which Sounds really silly. But, you know, who do I know who's going? How am I going to get in front of those people? And actually, what am I going to say when I when I get there? So I think that was probably aside from all the personal stuff around learning about running a business. That was probably the biggest thing was was getting myself known for the wrong reasons, right. Some networking organisations allow people to give talks as well don't know, which is pretty good. Yeah. And I, interestingly, I've got a couple of days lined up thinking, Oh, you know, I'd built built relationships and then suddenly, people would start to learn a bit more what I could do. And I had a couple and I did one with a local college, which was quite good, and kind of got me back into that kind of presenting space again, and then I've got another one lined up with a local networking group, but it happened just as we went into lockdown. And and so that didn't go ahead. And actually the guy did say to me, you can do it online. The only thing are actually I Word and now I probably would have said yes, but I just thought, if that goes wrong, because I'm not prepared, and it's quite a big group, I felt like I was at the start of my people getting to know me a bit better. I didn't want it to all go horribly wrong, and then just then remember me for that. So actually, you probably could say, I should probably have taken a bit of my own advice and stepped out of my comfort zone and done that one, but I didn't, I chickened out,


talking about sort of the many things that you have to do in business. What is one of the things that you wish someone had told you when you started?


It has to be about all the different hats you wear as a business owner. So I knew that there were a lot of hats, but I don't I don't think I quite realised how many and actually coaching is is a reasonably small part of what I do, probably because it's probably the easiest bit. So I think around, you know, the social media, and the, you know, finding a decent accountant. And I think you know, think all of these things that come with running a business, all the letters that you get from the tax office. When you set up a limited company, understanding all of phase it was it was definitely all the different hats that you have to wear. I think again, I probably underestimated.


So what's the next step for your business?


Wow, that's a really interesting question at the moment, isn't it because I think I think I'd say for me, I'm still working on building my profile. So I'm still working on people understanding who I am. I've done quite a bit of work on my brand whilst we've been in lockdown to kind of get under the skin of it and to really understand what it is and how I articulate that and so yes, so I think the next step is to keep building my profile keep working on my network do obviously networking online, and I'm starting to move this was a longer term plan anyway, but I was still running workshops. So started to move those online. part of a bigger plan that isn't how much that's gonna cost isn't going to pay my mortgage, but it was part of a bigger plan and I'm I'm literally just Keeping going and that's how I'm going to get them. I'm quite self motivated. So I'm keeping pushing forward. But equally, I'm not putting too much pressure on myself. Because at the moment, you know, you could just get so hung up on what will and won't happen. Yeah, control the controllables is also another favourite saying of mine,


right? That's what I'm trying to do at the moment. Control the controllables. that's a that's a great one. I went through a branding period last year with my products, practice my practice business calm. And it's a really intense and very kind of useful exercise to go through. It really is, I mean, you know about building that, you know, breaking everything down to your core, offering your branding, promise, all these kinds of things. Makes you kind of think and it had an impact on the kinds of messages I want to give to people because they need to connect with your market, right? Absolutely. Yeah. Is that is that what you find for yourself?


Yeah, definitely. And I think


I think I've been able to Move away a little bit from the corporate feeling of coaching. And I'm quite an actions focus coach. So if you work with me, there's no fluff involved. So I'm not the kind of person that will say to you. So you know, if you give yourself permission to do this, what does it I'm more of a, what you're going to do when you're going to do it, how you're going to do it kind of coach and I know I'm not the right kind of coach for everybody. So when I describe my business, I use a lot of words around kind of, you know, you'll get this, you'll get that but you will only get that if you take the action. But I'm quite because I've had the, I suppose one of the things about lockdown is that it's given us a bit more time to think so because I've been able to really reflect on the work that I've done. It's helped me to really get to the heart of what enrichment kitchen is all about. Right?


Great. Okay, so, if someone gave you 500 pounds to spend on marketing, would you spend it?


This is a really great question. And I think


I actually think that what I'd probably do is I'd probably spend A little bit of advice. So one of the things that I found I've struggled with is or I feel I've struggled with is my content across and I focus mainly on Instagram and LinkedIn. I do a little bit. I've got a presence on all of them. But I'm finding that most of my clients are on LinkedIn and Instagram. And I quite often feel like oh, I'm not sure my contents quite there. And but people always say to know, your contents grey, and you're like, oh, okay, well, I'm not sure. So I think I'd probably spend the 500 pounds on getting advice because I don't know what I don't know.


Got it. That's very good. Okay. Do you have a business mentor or support group consultant?


Yeah, so Well, a couple of things. I guess. I've been working with a business mentor as part of a group as part of like a community to get to the heart of my brand. And that's been really beneficial. And I've really loved which we've already mentioned, I've really loved doing that. I've also got a great group of people around me where I share ideas know or get honest feedback. So whilst I don't have a permanent coach right at this moment, and there are lots of benefits of having lots of coaches around me, so I'm part of a networking group where we coach each other and we, you know, we work together. So I'm getting that as well, but the business mentor piece or the business mentoring piece, and has really challenged my thinking in a really great way for me, and which I've thoroughly enjoyed.


Excellent. Can you give us one actionable sales tip


Janae the say at the sales things really interesting before I answer that, because I in my corporate life, I wrote sales programmes for training. And when it came to me actually doing it, it was a bit like, oh, how do I actually do this now? But I think for me, and I wouldn't say it's a direct sales tip, but I would say it's around networking and building relationships. So I firmly believe that networking is not actually about SEO. It's about building those that this kind of know like and trust relationship with your network. And that if you work on building those relationships, naturally the sales will come. So I think my tip would be to, and networking is where I've got most of my business most of my clients from. So I think that is about don't go into sell yourself, go in and, you know, build those relationships with those people get to know them because particularly in coaching people by people, so you know, some of my clients probably couldn't even name my business, which I might need to think about, because they're bought into me as a cage as a case to what my business is.


Yeah. Now, that's excellent. Thank you very much for all of that, that contribution. That's really, really good. Thanks for being our guest. And what's the best way for people to contact you?


Yeah, so I'm on all the social platforms say you can My website is enrichment coaching code at UK All of the links are on there. All of my contact details. My email is simply Gail at enrichment coaching dot code at UK and that's ga y le just to be a little bit different. But I'm also on Instagram and Richmond underscore coaching. I'm on LinkedIn, you can find me and Gayle Tang, and I'm on Facebook and wichman coaching. I'm also on Twitter and rich coach. So if you want to get in touch, contact me on any one of those platforms or directly from my website.


Yeah, that's great. Thanks so much. Nice to meet you. Thanks for having me. Part of the secret to achieving true success in business is in focusing on the specific things that result in sales and revenue generation. If you are a small business owner or freelancer, and you would like to break through overwhelm, gain focus and grow your business, visit my practice

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