Eleven years ago, Marlene Powell become ActionCOACH's first woman business coach in South Africa. Marlene says she reached a crossroad in her life. After 27 years of working in the financial sector of the corporate world, she realised she was been hold back from her family and her quality of life was poor, even though she was been taking care of financially
Don't compare yourself to anyone else, as you are the only one in the world who is you
Eleven years ago, Marlene Powell become ActionCOACH's first woman business coach in South Africa. Marlene says she reached a crossroad in her life. After 27 years of working in the financial sector of the corporate world, she realised she was been hold back from her family and her quality of life was poor, even though she was been taking care of financially.
"I felt that the corporate world was only interested in getting the best out of me but was not fulfilling me as a human being. I felt like a human doing. I realised that there was more to life than doing things for everyone else and not for me." Recognising that she'd reached a ceiling in her position and as a woman in a male dominant environment, there was no further opportunities, Marlene left her job.
She explained that she loved entrepreneur and author, Brad Sugars, the founder of ActionCOACH's vision and saw the possibilities in becoming a franchisee. As the first woman ActionCOACH franchisee in South Africa, and with more than 10 000+ coaching hours, Marlene is a specialist in her field. She is a certified business coach, providing help, advice, coaching and mentoring services to small and medium sized businesses. "I guide my clients to implement simple and practical tools into their businesses, which will allow their businesses to create more money and time for themselves so that they can enjoy the finer things in life," explains Marlene.
Marlene believes she is living her dream, and has strong support from her husband Geoff, and son Dylan, who encouraged her to turn her ambition into a reality. Marlene's personal brand is defined by precision in all that she does, so it is not surprising that the Westville based franchise has consistently been placed in the Top 100 in the world.
She attributes her success to discipline and consistency. "I have continued to focus on the positives; the vision and my purpose on why I became a coach. Significantly, Marlene says success revolves around the word action. "We literally took a pact to take ACTION and help our clients to do the same. Results must be forthcoming or else what's the point?" I hold my clients accountable for their results and just like a sports coach, push them to perform at optimal levels."
Marlene has turned people's businesses around - achieving between 46% to in excess of 100% growth. "Clients have more than tripled their bottom line in a recessionary economy; won entrepreneurial awards; developed exit strategies; taken time out with their families and found the financial freedom to pursue what really matters."
Marlene is inspired by her clients' results, especially when she sees them reaping the rewards of their hard work and knowing their businesses are taking care of them. "Instead of their business controlling them, they have taken back control of their business. That's what does it for me!" Marlene has made it to the 4% Club (The 4% who survive ten years in business) of which she is very proud. Being her own first client, she has proved that the ActionCOACH system does work despite trying times. She has endured two 'recessions', sold an intangible product at a premium price and worked with businesses who are dealing with their own challenges.
"These past 11 years have moulded me into who I am today. I know that I've found my purpose, which is to give back to budding entrepreneurs and to provide platforms to impart my knowledge and skills to prepare them for the big wild world of business. They too can be part of the 4% Club, which I would like to believe will increase from 4% to 10% in 10 years." She added that the meaning of success is very different for each entrepreneur. In particular, men and women have different approaches to business success.
"Having worked with both men and women entre-preneurs, they each bring different strengths to business. I strongly believe that there is place for everyone to make a success. I always say that women wear their 'balls' on their chest. One thing that stands out is the maternal instinct of moms and the longing to be with their children, which I don't see as prominently in fathers. That is almost always the number one priority for women, to free up their time so they can be a mom to their children."
Marlene also strongly believes that she can coach more business owners to enjoy quality of life by spending more time on themselves, their family and friends, which will in turn improve relationships and marriages. She added that she has used the ActionCOACH methodology to achieve her own work-life balance. "My business provides me with time and money to have work-life balance and it allows me flexibility. I can choose when I work, who I work with and what I do - that for me is a true business. I can choose to turn the tap on/up/down depending on my dreams, goals and my bucket list."
In giving advice to her younger self, Marlene would say, "Dream and believe anything is possible. Don't compare yourself to anyone else, as you are the only one in the world who is you (nobody has your ID number, so nobody can be you!). Don't let anyone or anything stand in your way and get out of your own way. It's got nothing to do with you what other people think and do."