Coach Joanne Maloney uses her own career changes to help those at a crossroads in theirs. The Mayo based coach talks to ThinkBusiness about what it takes to start and grow your own business.
Why did you set up your own coaching business?
I worked in the private sector for 25 years. I was with an oil company for seven years, where I did everything from accounts, to sales and working at reception. I went into Commercial Printing for eight years doing production management and financial control. I started doing events 10 years ago, small at first and larger scale events over the last few years.
“The events industry closed overnight but it gave me the opportunity to get into coaching on a bigger scale and grow that side of my work”
I went back to college to study Coaching because I found that I was organically coaching people at events on how to best present themselves or optimise their sales and marketing. I was coaching alongside doing large scale events until Covid-19 hit.
The events industry closed overnight but it gave me the opportunity to get into coaching on a bigger scale and grow that side of my work.
What makes your company different?
I look at coaching holistically. If somebody comes to me with a problem in their business, generally it’s not about the business but a problem in their home life. I look at every aspect of somebody’s life – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I have a lot of experience working with small businesses across every sector. I understand businesses from the ground up and have experience in every aspect of business, from finance to sales and marketing and advertising and PR.
“Covid was a blessing for me because it gave me a lot of space to do the things that I wanted to do but didn’t have time”
How has Covid-19 impacted your business and how did you adapt?
The events industry closed overnight. The break gave me the opportunity to grow the coaching side of my work. Covid was a blessing for me because it gave me a lot of space to do the things that I wanted to do but didn’t have time. Organising retreats was on my vision board for 10 years. I don’t think I would have followed that through if I was doing shows back-to-back like I had been doing.
I want to work with more clients setting up their own businesses, following their dreams and creative passions. A lot of people are changing jobs, they want to find their purpose and follow their dreams. Covid led to a lot of people realising they’re capable of more or that they want to do more meaningful work. I’d like to coach and mentor people in that space, it is very rewarding.
“Covid led to a lot of people realising they’re capable of more or that they want to do more meaningful work. I’d like to coach and mentor people in that space, it is very rewarding”
What advice would you give someone setting up a business?
My biggest piece of advice is to follow your dream. Where there’s a will there’s a way. Don’t be afraid to take a chance and to walk into a different industry. If you’re being pulled in that direction, there’s a reason for it. I’m pulling from every job that I’ve ever done right now. I’m self-publishing my second book after spending eight years in the printing and publishing industry. I’m running retreats because I’ve spent 10 years in the events industry. My passion is personal development and I’m coaching. If you can see it, you can achieve it and if you don’t ask, the answer is always going to be no.
“Don’t be afraid to take a chance and to walk into a different industry. If you’re being pulled in that direction, there’s a reason for it”
For anybody starting a business, they are involved in every aspect of it – from accounts to sales and marketing or product launches. It’s very hard to delegate when you’re setting up and to have the finances to do it. Being able to delegate is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned. What might take me a day would take an expert in their field an hour. You think that you’re saving money, but it’s false economy because you’re spending another important resource – your time. Controlling finances is a big thing, to be able to keep an eye on cash flow and expenditure is important. You’re not going anywhere if you don’t know where your money is going.
What are your plans for the future?
I started doing retreats recently and I’d like to do more of them. We look at the whole 360 view – everything from physical and mental health to spiritual and emotional health. I’d like to do retreats abroad next year when travel resumes properly. I’m currently working on my second book and I hope to have it launched in time for the Christmas market.