Realising that the effect of motivational speaking was short-lived, Colin Thompson moved into life coaching to enable him to make a greater difference to clients lives.
What’s your story?
After several years of practice, I developed the ability to visualize my wiser-elder-self. My story is from a conversation that I had with him years ago. My wiser-elder-self lived a fulfilled life and was about to depart. I asked him: “what regrets do you have”? He responded, “none, although I didn’t succeed in everything, I at least had the courage to try. So since I tried, I have no regrets”. I instantly realized to truly live a fulfilled life, I must not only identify my dreams, desires, and passions but also have the courage to go after them.
What excites you most about your industry?
The professional speaking industry is mature and has been growing for years which makes it very exciting. In terms of the life coaching industry – FINALLY!! What I mean is finally, more and more people are experiencing, firsthand, how life coaching and personal development can improve their lives. What excites the most about the industry, is the curiosity potential clients have about being coached. Just a few years ago, much effort was spent to educate and explain what life coaching is, however now more people already understand the positive impact that coaching can have on their personal and professional development.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
What drives me is remarkably simple – helping people improve their lives. I understand firsthand that people are struggling with life, have poor mental-fitness, or lack the courage to take control of their lives. Through coaching and speaking, my clients have become able to face their inner saboteurs, regain their passion for life, and improve their lives.
There are only a handful of careers where you can have a direct positive impact on the lives of others. When helping people is your passion, pushing beyond what is considered normal to help people to improve their lives is quite normal.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
The most useful skill that I have developed and applied to both my speaking and coaching journeys is the ability to create a ‘safe space’ for myself and my clients. Before you can help anybody else, you must first take care of yourself. When creating a speech, to ensure my message is honest and resonates with the audience, I must first be open, honest, and vulnerable with myself.
For my coaching clients, I create a ‘safe place’, where you can feel safe and protected while being vulnerable and open about your thoughts and emotions.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Many years ago, one of my mentors, Mr. Haguma, gave me a piece of advice that I still follow when my positive mental-fitness is shaky. I recall Mr. Haguma repeatedly telling me to “believe in myself”. When you follow this advice and believe in yourself, you gain the self-confidence needed to reach goals that might seem out of reach.
Often though, my clients do not have the confidence to believe in themselves and this is often where we start our coaching together. First uncovering what limiting beliefs they have about themselves and then coaching them to build-up their own self-confidence.
Who inspires you?
Inspiration can come from many sources and for many years, I was inspired by people whose accomplishments aligned with my values, beliefs, and goals. Now though, my inspiration comes from a different and more significant source. If I talk with you and learn that you have unfulfilled dreams, poor mental-fitness, or are living a life based on someone else’s story, you have inspired me. You would have inspired me to give you the motivation, inspiration, or coaching to believe that you can develop the mental-fitness needed to go after your dreams and visualize your future based on your own story.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
Through coaching clients that are living in China dealing with the tough Covid prevention policies, I learned just how resilient we are. Three months of Covid lockdown had a tremendous negative impact on the mental-fitness of my clients. What blew me away was their ability to find ways to make each day of the lockdown an opportunity to find something positive in the situation. At times, this was very difficult to accomplish.
As a Professional Speaker and Certified Life and Positive Intelligence Coach, through my speaking and coaching, I learned that even during tough times, people can improve their lives.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
If I had time to repeat, I would learn how to adopt the ‘Sage’ mindset sooner. In the Sage mindset, everything we experience in life, both positive and negative, can be made into a gift or opportunity. Once I learned this mindset and the importance of shifting my mindset from a focus on building my business to helping others improve their lives, things started to change. And this change was not only for me and my business but most importantly our clients. We became much more socially responsible by putting our clients first and impacting their sustainability.
How do you unwind?
My favorite way to unwind is to put on my running shoes and hit the road. Two modes of running serve me the best. The first is to run without music and with just my inner thoughts. During the run, I reflect and by the end of the run, some of my greatest ideas for my speeches are born. The other mode is to run while listening to my favorite professional speakers such as Craig Valentine, Lisa Nichols, Les Brown, and Jim Rhon.
Unwinding by developing life-lessons while running allows me to simultaneously build up my mental and physical fitness.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
Before becoming a life coach and starting my coaching business, I was a young and upcoming motivational speaker. I learned very quickly that for most people, the positive impact of even the strongest motivational message was usually short-lived. At some point, most people will need another motivational message to maintain their motivation. When I first started coaching, I was amazed at the long-lasting positive improvements that clients experienced. I said ‘ah ha’ and then modified my speaking to include proven life coaching techniques that enable the audience to motivate and inspire themselves, reach their goals, and improve their lives.
Everyone in business should read this book:
‘How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships’ by Leil Lowndes
In the world that we live in today, almost every aspect of the human experience is intertwined with tech and software. This has led to a decline in direct person-to-person communication and relationship building. Through coaching, I have witnessed first-hand the heightened level of anxiety many people have when required to interact with people and develop relationships.
The beauty of this book is that after reading, readers will pick up tools to enjoy meeting and interacting with people in both professional and personal settings.
Shameless plug for your business:
Whether you need an inspiring keynote presentation for your upcoming onsite/virtual event, a facilitator for an interactive workshop, or a moderator to preside over your event, we’d love to partner with you.
Areas of coaching include:
• Personal Development
• Executive and Leadership
• Positive Intelligence and Mental-Fitness
• Career Transition and Development
• Diversity and Cultural Awareness
• Relocation and Expat
As a result of combining decades of hands-on corporate experience, the latest coaching techniques, and powerful storytelling delivery techniques, our clients reach new levels of success when dealing with today’s most compelling personal and organizational issues.
How can people connect with you?
To ‘connect’ with me, my clients need to be open, vulnerable, and ready to make changes to live better lives. Without developing a mutual mindset connection between the audience and clients, even the world’s best motivational speakers and LIFE coaches cannot lead them to success.
I am looking for clients that are ready to improve their quality of life, unleash their true potential, and improve their lives.
Learn to handle life challenges that we face in this great, difficult, wonderful thing we call life.
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This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.