Sarah is a Self Esteem, Confidence and Identity coach, passionate about supporting professional women who find success difficult due to an innate feeling they are not worthy or deserving. They have negative inner dialogue which began in childhood with a difficult relationship, often with a parent or a life event that negatively affected them. She started coaching alongside her corporate role in 2016 where she worked closely in situations involving Child Protection and domestic violence.
She had toxic relationships in her past and wanted to use her own experiences to create something life changing. She now lives with her husband and two amazing teens, having created her specialist practice during the 2020 pandemic. She’s already supported many women to achieve life changing results.
Away from work she can be found on coastal or woodland walks with her two dogs where she relaxes with photography. Having trained in Musical Theatre but unable to pursue this as a career, she indulges in her passion for singing with the national Rock Choir. Now the world is opening up again, Sarah is excited to continue a new passion of travelling to new places with her husband or friends and sampling champagne or cocktails!
Thank you for interviewing with us today, can you introduce yourself to us?
I’m Sarah Wilson, owner of Coastal Coaching Sussex. I’m a Self Esteem, Confidence and Identity Coach. I coach women in business who find success difficult because they have an innate belief they are unworthy or lacking in some way but are ready to make a change. Their issues began in childhood with a difficult relationship, often with a parent, or a life event that negatively impacted on them and they still carry around negative internal dialogue which keeps them playing small.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
I had an amazing childhood when I was young but, when we moved house and my Mum was diagnosed with MS everything changed. She became a very toxic person and the relationship between her and my Dad really deteriorated. I had no support with my own difficulties including a diagnosis of epilepsy and, on top of that, my Mum would spill all her issues to me. I had nobody to take all this to so had to try and process it myself from the age of about 10. I wasn’t equipped to do that. As a result, I wasn’t really prepared for adult life and ended up attracting some awful men which culminated in an emotionally abusive marriage I left 13 years ago. I remember sitting very still on my sofa, my son had gone to his Dad’s and I was literally waiting for him to come home so I could be Mum again. I realised I didn’t know me, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, or liked.
I also realised that, if I didn’t make a change, this was going to be my life and I’d just fall into the same kind of relationship again that had taken me years to leave. I opened a notebook and started a list of things that made me happy. It took me three weeks of staring at the same page of A5 to write one side of it with things I liked. I started my journey of personal growth and have been on it since. I realised a few years ago I could help women who were experiencing the same so, when we had the opportunity via work to do a coaching qualification I jumped at it and coached within my company for a while. I moved jobs a couple of years later. I loved my job, but hated the values within the company. They made me part time during the pandemic so I decided to open my own practice. Six months later I was able to leave the role and go all in in my business. I’m in my third year now and watching the changes women are experiencing through the processes I use is amazing!!
Since starting, have you made any changes to your business model?
Yes, it grows as I grow. Due to the nature of what I coach, it took me a while to realise that there are a lot of people who don’t want to make a change and who don’t have the drive to succeed in the programmes I create for them. I attracted a lot of people with victim mentality who wanted to talk about what had happened but not embed anything. This led to me taking the time to ensure any leads I get are really in a place to make a change and get maximum results. It means I sometimes have to turn down someone who wants to work with me. I have had to continue the inner work too and have really started to step up and see the value in this when the right client is working with me, just how huge the shifts can be with only small but powerful strategies, habits and changes. I also realised that I wanted to help women to shine their light in the world so that meant ensuring that empowering women that empower women was really important to me. If each woman I help helps women who help women then the messages spread and women step into who they truly deserve to be and really make an impact. I want each woman to be able to say they helped someone else shine.
Have you ever had a mentor? If so how has this benefitted you either personally or professionally?
Yes I have different mentors for different things. I’m pretty self aware so can identify where I’m struggling and will then find someone to work with who can help me. To be fair, they often just appear a couple of months before I need them. I go with my gut instinct and it’s never let me down. Big confession though, at first I thought just having a mentor would be enough. Then I realised my approach was the same as my desire that paying for the gym would make me lose weight and get fit. The outlay isn’t enough. You actually have to do the work and not just once. New level, new devil! There’s something about the accountability that really works for me. I’m determined to succeed each time. Whenever, I take my foot of the Inner Work Pedal, the alignment stops and I find myself stuck.
What outlets do use for marketing?
Social media, networking and Bark.com are my main platforms. I do a lot of engagement in other groups and draw people to my FB group, “Women Putting the BE in Business”. It’s incredibly time consuming but most of my business comes from Bark.com which is a warm lead platform. I really want to improve my face to face networking this year and get more clients from building those relationships. I’d also like to start to build a team to outsource the bits I don’t like!
What or Who has inspired you most recently?
What a question! I’m inspired all the time by things I hear, see or experience. I don’t believe in coincidences so always feel whatever comes my way was supposed to in that moment and I should pay attention to it. I love tarot, numerology, and intuitive practices to support me. I speak to my spirit guides a lot. These aren’t so recent but I admire people like Maya Angelou, Michelle Obama and Doreen Lawrence. They all stood up for what they believed in despite the consequences and negativity they experienced. They created change for the benefit of others.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
Create consistent habits that support you. Consistency is key to success. It’s easy to have a magpie mind when you have a business and try something, decide it doesn’t work and then move on to the next shiny object.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
I’m not very good at this because my work often doesn’t feel like work because I love it. I set boundaries when my husband and family are around – they are very strict. I’ve just started to take one CEO week a month where I don’t see any clients, I just focus on other projects. I’m hoping it will help. I epically fail at work/life balance if I am home alone – I’m adamant I want to improve this year.
Name a seminal point in your career so far?
Probably the worst time when everything just slowed so much it created fear and anxiety. We learn a lot more when things are not going well. It gave me space and time to really work out what I wanted and I have so much gratitude for that despite the difficulty it created. I’m glad to have gone through it as I grew so much during that time and am now out of the chrysalis.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Seeing lightbulb moments with my clients. It never stops feeling amazing when they make a breakthrough, even if it’s a challenging moment. Once you know something you take the control to make a difference. You have choice and empowerment in that moment and it’s beautiful.
Are there any leading entrepreneurs or SME leaders that you admire and if so, why?
Gabby Bernstein, Esther “Abraham” Hicks, Denise Duffield Thomas and I’m sure there are many others. I love them because they make success so accessible when, as a child especially, I was taught very few people reach success, so it always seemed so out of reach for me. But it isn’t. They came from more difficult circumstances than I, so if they can, I can!
How do you define your own success?
I used to be very attached to the numbers. They are easy to track and easy to quantify but now I look at other outcomes of success such as “lightbulb” moments, testimonial content and how I’m feeling about what I’m doing, how I’m doing it and what the outcomes have been for everyone involved.
Finally, what can we expect from you next?
I mostly focus on 1:1 work but recently I collaborated to set up a group where we will be running a membership from 1st February and starting a group programme called “InVIVIDuality”. I am also looking at some motivational speaking opportunities and intend to indulge in my passion for writing and getting some articles published to extend my reach and get my message out to more women.