CHRISTEN N. JAMES HELPS WOMEN SEEK CLARITY IN THEIR PERSONAL GROWTH AS THEY GO THROUGH A CAREER CHANGE
What is the name of your business and what inspired you to start?
My business is called Your Chosen Coach.
I had always wanted to be an entrepreneur and even made a couple attempts previously while I was still a part of the corporate world. The thing is that I had always had aspirations to become a Life Coach - coaching and supporting my team on their personal development as they worked on their careers always brought me such a sense of fulfillment - and then the opportunity presented itself when my previous employer downsized. I celebrated, seized the opportunity and returned to school to get my certification as a Life Skills Coach.
Tell us about your business.
I focus on Career Transition Coaching - covering everything from mindset, closure/timing, preparedness, identifying obstacles, the right mode of goal-setting so as to create effective action plans. I am based in Scarborough but my clients are all over the city!
Who is your target audience? Why would they benefit from your service?
I work best with women seeking clarity in their personal development as they go through a career change (voluntary or involuntary), be it moving to another career or starting their own business. Most of my clients know that they want more or a change but don’t know where or how to start. It’s usually a big goal that can seem overwhelming, and we work on that together to simplify the process.
How do you effectively raise awareness of your business and getting new clients?
It has been most effective by striking up a conversation at an event and asking all the right questions. When I see the light in her eyes after explaining what I do, I set up a time for a free get-to-know session. This gives us time to get to know more about each other and take it from there if the right connection is made!
Social media is also a great tool; I share what I have been up to during the week and that includes a weekly video with a highlight question to encourage engagement. It gives others a chance to get an idea of my coaching style.
How do you stand out from your competitors?
Interesting question! I don’t look at or think about competitors, really. I am consistent with my brand/image/message and come from a genuine place when I make my connections. I don’t force anything on anyone but instead I let things happen organically. Some connections are an immediate match while others may take some time and that’s quite alright.
I have seen others have a more - for lack of a better term - aggressive approach which I feel can turn people off. I know that I definitely don’t want to feel pressured, so I never do that with potential clients. I build relationships; for example: even if someone doesn’t commit to one of my programs right away, I keep in touch and check in with how things are progressing for her. I don’t turn my back thinking there is no point, because most times she does come around and we end up working together.
Do you have certifications, awards, and accomplishments that have been attained for your business?
Yes! I have a BA in Psychology, a Certificate in Solution-Focused Therapy and a Certification in Life-Skills Coaching.
What are the two toughest challenges that you face as a business owner and how have you overcome them?
In the beginning it was visibility - bringing awareness to my brand and my service. With consistency and persistence, I just had to put myself out there through networking. I had to start finding where my ideal clients are so that I can be there to make the valuable in-person connection.
Now that I am making the connections, the learning curve has been about closing the deal - showing the value in working with me so that we can get to work! I am working on helping women identify their urgency for change.
What advice would you share to entrepreneurs?
It is not easy, but nothing worth it comes easily. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, even if you have mastered the art of acting like you have it “all figured out”. There is always someone willing to help; all you have to do is ask!
I heard once that it’s not necessarily about: “fake it til you make it” but more like: “Do it until you’re DOING IT”. Basically, stick to it, be committed and take the [many] downs with the ups until you start to get your desired results. The results will come - not as fast as you would like - but they do.
What special offers do you have coming up that you would like to share?
If anyone is going (or planning to go) through a career transition, I would love to chat with them! I offer a 30 minute in-person Get-to-Know session called Your Clarity Chat with Your Chosen Coach.
Where can you be found on social media?
Instagram: @yourchosencoach/ www.instagram.com/yourchosencoach
Twitter: @yourchosencoach/ www.twitter.com/yourchosencoach
Facebook: @yourchosencoach/ www.facebook.com/yourchosencoach
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