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Deborah Bulcock sat at a table using laptop in front of a bookcase.

2024: How has the first half been?

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My H1 2024 – the headlines

I’m encouraging my clients to reflect on the first half of 2024, review progress, assess where everything is at, adjust course if required, and set their sights on the next period. I am pretty good at doing this for myself and so thought I’d share some of the headlines.

I like to keep my approach simple, particularly when things feel like they’re heading in the right direction. Here goes.

 

What’s going well? What am I proud of?

I always start with the good stuff. We have a tendency as humans to dive straight into what needs to change or what hasn’t gone so well – a symptom of our inherent negativity bias.

I won’t ignore that, but let’s recall the wins, achievements and proud moments first and foremost.

Professionally things feel good for me right now and my reflections on the first half of the year include:

  • Business continues to grow and, after the initial start-up and then pandemic years, I’m in a position where I have both confidence and faith that things are in a solid position. I’m extremely proud of this. It’s taken years of grit, determination, adapting, scarcity, and being forever outside of the comfort zone. When business owners say there’s no overnight success – they mean it! Kudos to anyone who sees it through.
  • Contributing factors to the current position include a loyal client base, a high proportion of repeat business, recommendations and referrals, greater diversity of sectors in my client base, being persistent and consistent in putting myself out there (even when I don’t want to), and ultimately having the confidence to say yes and no to the right things.
  • I’ve become much clearer on where my sweet spot is – the people, the roles, the types of challenges, and how I can help. I may call myself an Executive Coach for the ease of a title, but my clients have a trusted partner by their side – coaching, mentoring, guiding – bringing the entirety of my professional experience to the table to help them achieve their goals. It’s where I can bring the most benefit to clients and that’s what drives me the most.
  • I’ve started bringing a talented team of coaches together as part of the business to help meet demand and bring specialism to other ‘sweet spots’ outside my own. It’s wonderful to be with a team again, after so many years delivering solo.
  • Recruiting Emily into the business as my PA and Operations Manager has been a big help – it’s great to have someone else around today, and for it to be someone who loves all things admin and process, and ensuring clients have a great experience. Plus, she has a love for my dog Lexi to rival my own – how lucky are we?!
  • I’ve invested heavily in my own development – my own coaches and supervisor have been exceptional guides and a much-valued support, alongside my fellow coach community who are always really helpful.
  • Oh, and I finally got my stationery line launched – a year in the making! Check out Rise High here – it’s colourful, upbeat, and fab (bias alert!).
  • And on a more personal front I’m still enjoying my morning walks (even in this crazy weather), I’m on track for hitting my walking miles target for the year, I’m taking more time for holiday than I have done for many years, enjoying time away in the UK and Europe.

What needs attention?

So there’s undoubtedly a whole load of good stuff. There are also things that need my attention so they can improve in some way shape or form.

  • With business growth comes long working hours, questions about the right business model to manage it all well and ensuring that all clients continue to be served with excellence.
  • My working hours need reining in – and that’s down to me to resolve. As someone who loves work, is “on” a lot of the time, this can be a challenge. But tackle it I must.
  • Getting my team well established as the go-to coaches in their fields is really important – for them, for clients, for me. It might be my name on the door, but the business is no longer just me, and I need to adjust to that. Watch this space.
  • Investing in time and energy in creating my own support structure. Despite talking to people all day long, running a service business like this can still be isolating. Ensuring I have the right people to lean on and learn from is even more crucial.

I could write a much longer list, but these are the priorities that allow everything else to follow – personally and professionally.

 

Musing and aspirations

And in addition to the core of business and what that means for the rest of life, I do still ponder other ideas, opportunities, and sometimes harebrained schemes! I’ll keep those in my head and various notepads for now – because the focus for the short term has to be what’s written above – not the shiny objects sparkling in the corner …

 

That’s it for me, but here’s a list of questions and prompts that might help you with your H1 review.

 

10 questions and prompts for your H1 review

  1. What wins have you had? And what makes them a win?
  2. What am I most proud of, and why?
  3. What direction is your progress leading you to?
  4. Is that direction what you want? What does your answer lead you to?
  5. What has helped you feel fulfilled, energised, motivated, and happy?
  6. How can you get more of that moving forward?
  7. What needs your attention more than anything else?
  8. How would you like things to change, and how can you influence that?
  9. What have been your key lessons and how will you apply them moving forward?
  10. How will you acknowledge and celebrate you?

 

Thanks for reading. Here’s to a great H2 2024 – may it be all you want it to be.

 

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