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But what is the Akeno Adventure? 

Before I get into that, let me tell you a brief story…

Early in 2019, an idea started to brew… 

I was working on a fantastic project with an automotive client, when I received some feedback.

“You’re really good at this!”

I was pleased to receive such a wonderful comment, but it was the conversation that followed that really got me thinking.

My client highlighted that I’d been offering guidance, support and advice far beyond the remit for which I’d been hired. I’d stepped into the roles of coach, guide, mentor, and champion…we struggled to find the right description because I’d been all of these things and more.

Around the same time, I saw a post about a course being delivered at the end of the year. The course was to learn valuable coaching skills and to become an accredited Associate of John Niland’s Self-Worth Academy. I signed up! 

6 months later, I had successfully completed the course and could now officially call myself a Coach! I was really pleased with my achievement, but the question was, what next?

2019 finished with the onboarding of a new Global client. The project was in full flight by the new year and before we knew it, the COVID pandemic had started to impact. The ideas that had started to brew a year before had to take a back seat. My focus was to support and guide my client and their project through a challenge that no one could have foreseen; global lockdowns, furlough schemes, businesses closed and impending economic disaster, all underpinned by the fear of a deadly virus.

The uncertainty continued as 2020 progressed. All around me, I was observing work-related changes. Some were through choice and some were enforced, as businesses had to make difficult decisions about their future.

It struck me that life is an adventure. Adventures can be scary, but with the right guide and support, they can also be exciting and fruitful.

And so, Akeno Adventure was born!

I decided my focus was going to be on career confidence and satisfaction, and on career development and transition, with a specific goal of being - quite simply - happy. I have a proven history of guiding, supporting and mentoring clients, often during stressful and high-pressured projects, and now I can add formal coaching to my skillset.

The approach was shaped, the collateral created, and I’ve been ploughing through my ever-growing to-do list ever since; logos, websites, collecting testimonials, and more. I’ve even been working with clients on their personalised adventures. It’s certainly been a busy few months!

And now it’s here! 

The Akeno Adventure will continue alongside my ongoing Akeno work (www.Akeno.co.uk), because I’ve realised, after embarking on my own adventure, that my own career satisfaction and happiness comes from working on a spectrum of activities.

I’ve been asked what I am. A Coach, a Mentor, a Guide, a Champion? I’ve been called all of these things, and even ‘Career Angel’! Ultimately, you can call me what you like, it’s the Client's outcomes I’m focused on.

So what are you waiting for…let’s start the adventure….

My career has been full of training courses, consultancy sessions and workshops. However, for a long time, I have been the one stood at the front of the room, conducting the session. Last month, the tables were turned, and for the first time in a VERY long time, I was part of the audience.

So, how did I get on? Was I the model student? Did I do my homework? And MOST importantly, did I pass?!

I promised to tell you all about the course, so here goes….

The course I attended was the 'Self Worth Associate Training Program’, a Coach training program, firmly rooted in unconditional self-worth, rather than in conditional self-esteem. The week long residential was held in the very beautiful São Luís in Portugal.

My reason for signing up for the course was to develop practical coaching and mentoring skills that I could use to support other business professionals in their career journeys. I am fortunate to work in an industry I love, and I have a brilliant network of colleagues and clients. However, business life isn’t always easy. Sometimes you can have a really bad day. You may feel unappreciated, over whelmed, over worked, or even unloved. So, how do you prevent feelings like this? How do you avoid these bad days? How do you ensure you only have productive, happy, content days?

I'll let you into a secret.….you can't....

Self-esteem can take a battering at any time as a result of anything. It may seem like the smallest thing when you say it out loud, but it doesn’t matter, the impact is the same. It can destroy us. The trick is to value yourself enough to pick yourself up and remember that tomorrow is another day. The trick is to have self-worth.

Self-worth underpins everything we do; our relationship with work colleagues, clients, friends and family; even the relationship with our Partner. It can impact our productivity at work; our ability to complete tasks efficiently and effectively, and our ability to deliver to our maximum. So, a lesson I’ll be teaching to my own clients as part of my coaching and mentoring is this: “On your hardest day, during the most challenging times, remember your value, appreciate yourself, and channel your self-worth.”

In the spirit of sharing great practice, here are some key shifts I have learned and will be practicing myself, as well as teaching to my coaching and mentoring clients:

  1. Assessing to asserting - Stop self-assessing. Instead, assert yourself to take action.
  2. Self-reproach to self-acceptance - Accepting bad decisions you’ve made and moving on. Embrace the opportunities that bad decisions bring you, such as lessons learned for the future. 
  3. Self-evaluation to usefulness - This is about the power of curiosity; stop the self-evaluation and look towards how you’re useful and what you’re good at. Young or new Managers in particular often struggle with imposter syndrome. They don’t think they have the skills and experience to be there. It’s important to be curious about yourself and your usefulness to others. 
  4. “Proving self” to “valuing self” - Some people can operate in a constant “self-aware” mode. They start every sentence with an example of why they’re so great. This is not only annoying for those around us, but also unnecessary. It doesn’t show that you value yourself as you’re constantly trying to prove your worth. Women in male dominated industries in particular can suffer from this, as they often feel the need to prove themselves.
  5. “Being interesting” to “being interested in” - It’s important to be interested in other people, rather than just being an interesting person all the time. 

After an intensive week of learning and practicing my new skills, I’m pleased and proud to report I did indeed pass the course, and as such I am now a Certified Self Worth Academy Associate, qualified to practice coaching and mentoring. Here I am with a few of my fellow Associates celebrating our success!

My coaching and mentoring focus will be to empower professional people to blossom and be truly happy with their role in business. My approach will be one of self-worth; focusing on strengths rather than worrying about weaknesses. The key benefits my clients will experience from this approach are:

  1. Being happier in business, thus being happier in life. 
  2. Greater fulfilment in the day to day. 
  3. The ability to increase earnings thanks to positive career developments and choices. 

Passing the course has been a great end to 2019. I’ll be using the Christmas break to review my course notes and develop some new business ideas for 2020, including my coaching and mentoring services. However, after a busy and enjoyable 2019, I’ll also be savouring some much needed downtime. I don’t want to burn out before the new innovations have even started!

Team Akeno wishes our clients, colleagues, friends and supporters a wonderful Christmas and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year. And don’t forget, on your hardest day, during the most challenging times, remember your value, appreciate yourself and channel your self-worth. 

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