Summary of Episode 10
Vicki Maguire,Leadership and Life Coach at Victoria Maguire Coaching talks to us all about how she helps people to achieve more by doing less in their life. Specialising in helping women leaders, Vicki has a powerful story to tell about her own life. If you’re struggling to achieve everything you want, and what you feel society says you need to achieve, this is the podcast for you.
Transcript of Podcast
Martin Rodgers: 00:09
Vicki, welcome to entrepreneurs survival guide. Thank you very much for joining us. Great to have you on. Tell us a little bit about your business and how it all got started.
Vicki Maguire: 00:21
Well, I’m just to be honest with you, I’m just in the process of launching the business. Um, I’ve been in teaching for 22 years, which feels like a long time now. So I’ve done, I’ve been in leadership for about 15 years, so I’ve done so much mentoring and coaching for all of those years, especially working with new teachers and then working more with middle leaders and senior leaders more recently. Um, and I realized that it was actually the bit of the job that gave me the drive to go in every day. And it was what was really giving me a lot of passion for carrying on, doing the job after so long. Em and I’ve had lots and lots of positive feedback from the people I was working with about how much, what the work that I’d done with them had helped them to change their perspective on their role or to become more passionate about it and to make their job seem more fulfilling.
So I then looked into a bit more detail into coaching and what it entailed and what it was. And it looked like something that I felt like I could really, I could really get into and help people beyond teaching and beyond the school. Although I do have a specific focus on women leaders in schools because that’s what my experience is in a spread out a little bit further. And I looked for, other people who were looking for life coaching, I’ve, I’ve really generally tended to focus on people on Facebook who’ve come to me to say that they were really interested in what I was doing and could I help them? Em, then that’s led me to thinking that that’s something that I can set up full time. I’m just in the process now of trying to set up the business. I’m obviously still at, I’m a deputy head in a school.
Doing two jobs at the minute. So I’m quite busy. Mmm. But that, that’s what the seed was. It was working in a school and I’m working with people. That’s my passion and that’s what I love doing. So that sort of led me to, to be setting up. Err, Victoria Maguire coaching.
Martin Rodgers: 02:24
okay. So Victoria McGuire coaching is setup based on feedback from being able to help people. What’s the number one challenge that people come and ask you for help with?
Vicki Maguire: 02:33
I think that the number one thing that people ask me about is too much to do and not enough time. Okay. I think modern life is really difficult. I think we work and we’ve got families and we want to have leisure time and we want to keep fit. We want it to be doing all sorts of different activities to broaden our horizons. And at the same time, there are very few hours in a day. And that is one of the things that lots of people say to me that the wish they could have more hours in the day. And I think that’s one of, one of my things they I’m saying, actually, no, let’s work with the hours that we’ve got in the day and start prioritizing the areas of our life that we really enjoy and that we get the most from. And I think that’s the thing that I’ve learned to work with within teaching in that I think is what gives me the ability to work with people beyond teaching because it’s such a high pressured, such a busy job, that much of the experience that I’ve got of mentoring and coaching people within teaching is really useful to everybody. So that, that really is the key thing too much to do and not enough time really. I think that’s, that’s what I, I think, yeah, like the superwoman syndrome as well as something that so many women suffer from And that’s, that’s where I really think, you know, I’m really want to help people.
Martin Rodgers: 04:01
Okay, cool. So, uh, yeah, classic age old thing of um, too much to do and too little time. And obviously the number one thing that you can’t do is invent more hours. We talked about priorities. So what’s the kind of process that you help people with to prioritize their time so they can achieve what they want to achieve?
Vicki Maguire: 04:23
Yeah. One of the things I work with people on is, is working out first of all what’s important to them and prioritizing those things. But also I think one of the things that the people do and have the tendency to do [is] they try to do too many things and they need to work out which things they’re doing are having an impact in their life. and, which things could just be put to one side and left. And I think I’m okay that, that’s my focus when I’m working with people is looking at which are the things that are working for you, which are the things that are taking up space and not actually bringing in anything into your life and not actually having in an impact. So it’s about working on those things and getting people to identify actually what’s working in my life and what’s not. What do I need to keep because that enriches my life or it helps me too move forward in my job role and what can I get rid of because it’s not bringing anything. People are doing lots of things. That keep them busy. But don’t actually they’re not having any effect and it’s about working out which of those things do we need to keep and which can we actually get rid of. So I think it’s about looking at those things and thinking about the impact of what we’re doing. It’s about how it’s enriching our lives and what it’s bringing.
Martin Rodgers: 05:47
Yeah. Okay. So talking about enriching life and what’s adding to it as opposed to what’s just keeping us busy. What sort of, excuse me, what sort top tips would you suggest people do if they are sat at home now listening to this or watching it or they’re driving the car. What’s kind of three top tips that they could implement today? too get more productive or get more out of what they want? To achieve?
Vicki Maguire: 06:13
I always try to get people to pick the top three things that they do, that they are finding most useful in like if they could only have three things that they were, that they were going to do and going to keep, what would those three things be and why would they keep them? And then I do with three of those and a three of what would you get rid of and why would you be getting rid of those? I look at those things I think right? Which three things are the most important things that you do that you want to keep and which three things can you, can you get rid of? That’s quite a quick activity and then that leads into more of the right, okay. Which, which things are linked in to those three that you getting rid of and which do you want to join to the top three but do your top three and do your bottom three that you can keep and that you can get rid of straight away and that can really clear some space for you.
Martin Rodgers: 07:07
Okay fab. So top three things and the bottom three things, start there and then that almost creates a snowball effect? Starts to build on itself for you.
Vicki Maguire: 07:17
Yeah, absolutely. Cause you can build out from that and think right, which things that I do are connected to those top three and which things am I doing naturally that are connected to those bottom three. And I think that can clear quite, quite a bit of space for yourself. And then you can, you can actually with. Because what you find is when people spread themselves too thinly over too many things, the things that are the priorities don’t get the amount of time that they need either. So once you start clearing those bottom things out. You can start drawing more things into the top three because you get more time to spend on those as well.
Martin Rodgers: 07:50
Yeah. Okay, so because you, your time’s so diluted, you end up doing just a little bit of everything and achieving no outcomes.
Vicki Maguire: 07:57
Absolutely. That you’ve just hit the nail on the head there and I think that leads then to one of the things that that I look at with especially with women leaders who are trying to be the best leader, that they can be the best moment that they can be the best gym member that they can be or the best runner at running club or whatever, it is and what you feel like because you trying to do all of those things, every single thing that’s associated to those things, you end up feeling like actually maybe ya the worst mom, maybe ya worst leader and maybe you know you beat yourself up because you didn’t get to the gym to do those three classes that you wanted to do this week. And, it’s very easy then to start focusing on, Oh actually I’m not the great mum that I want to be. I’m not the great leader that I want to be and I’m not. So when we can start taking away some of those things, you can start to become, better at those things and not, feel so much guilt and not beat yourself up so much about it and you can start seeing that, actually no, that’s what I did this week that made me a great leader. That’s what I did this week that made me a great mum. I managed to rather than trying to go to six classes at the gym, I made it to two classes at the gym and these are the benefits of it. So it’s about feeling more successful in yourself rather than it leading to guilt and when you do what you just mentioned, which is like diluting all those things. To me, that’s when you end up feeling the, the guilt that I’m not doing any, I’m trying to do all of those things, but I’m not doing any of them well.
Martin Rodgers: 09:38
okay, that makes sense. And you mentioned that loads of people particularly women that it could be effective men as well, that they’re trying to do everything. And that seems to be getting worse in recent times? What do you think is driving that that’s causing people to want to do absolutely everything?
Vicki Maguire: 09:55
One of, one of the things that I’ve, I’ve started to realize is that we, we as, as successful people, success drives us to be more successful and we start to live within our means. And then we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to have, a bigger house, a nicer car, and to focus quite a lot on materialistic elements of our life. And I think one of the things that I’m really passionate about is actually focusing on being content. There’s a lot of talk about em being happy and I want to be happy, but to me being happy is an emotion and being content is a state. So one of the things I think drives a lot of people and your right? It’s women and men. And I don’t just specifically say that it’s women who suffer from that but we’re driven by being led to believe that the car we’ve got isn’t making us happy. And we need the next, we need the next up. So one of the things I’m, I’m really focusing on is actually what is it that brings us contentment in our lives. And actually, it’s not having all those materialistic things, but that’s where society as driven us, no pun intended, what I was talking about cars, but that’s how we’ve been driven that, you know, consumerism and capitalism as led us to be very materialistic. And we believe that when we earn more money, it’s earning more money to buy more things generally. Yeah. And the more you buy, the more you want. But Actually. Yeah. What I wouldn’t look at is what leads to contentment and it’s not usually having thing was, and sometimes that leads to looking at where you need to use your skills and how you can use your skills. And does it always mean going up the ladder or does it mean doing something different potentially as well?
Martin Rodgers: 12:00
Yeah. Besides a sidestep or a change of step or?
Vicki Maguire: 12:04
Complete change to something and looking at what your passion is and what you’ve enjoyed. And I think I’m, I’m a really good example of that because you know, I’ve obviously moved up the leadership ladder and I’ve enjoyed it. Like working with younger people you find is quite different from working with people who are at different stages in their life because people, who are younger tend to be driven to move up the leadership ladder and you know I’m very happy to help people do that. But I find that when you deal with clients who are maybe in their forties or 50s they’re looking for different things sometimes from life. And it’s about working out what each individual client wants and needs to do to lead them towards that contentment.
Martin Rodgers: 12:47
Yeah. Okay. So contentment. And how do they get containment? So what are the sort of top tips that you’d expect you’d give somebody to find, start that journey of finding what makes them content?
Vicki Maguire: 12:59
I think that’s all about working out. Mmm. I think it’s very much a values based. So, so quite a bit of the work that I do if I start to coach a client is to do with what their values are and what drives them and that can help them to work out where their content lies. And it’s about working out what the things are in life. It’s a little bit like what I was saying about working out the three things when we’re trying to work out about clearing out some space, it’s about working out the, you know, the things in life that make you feel, happy, or feel satisfied with your life and the things that are probably causing you discontent or, or, its feel uncomfortable or to not enjoy life. Where are the pressures coming from? And it’s about working out exactly what it is that drives you and exactly what it is makes you feel at your best really. And then working with those things to work out what you need in your life to make sure that you can, that you can have those things, if that makes sense.
So, start with what’s important to me from a value perspective as opposed to a materialistic point of view. And then work forward from there. And then my priorities, my top three priorities will probably slot into that as well, right?
Yeah, I think so because it’s, it’s about bringing those two things together, isn’t it? So for example, if one of your values is family life and family time, then you have to use that to work out how you can make more space for the for, for the family time that you want and to really focus on that element of your life. And I think it’s about helping clients to understand that there are always things that can be cleared out and that you don’t need everything in there that’s in there at the moment. And sometimes that’s hard for people to work through and to find out which things it is that are making them happy and which things it is that are preventing them from feeling the contentment. So you’re absolutely right. It’s, it’s a combination of those two things that we’ve been talking about to work out exactly what it is you can do to create that space and then fill it with the things that you really enjoy.
Martin Rodgers: 15:16
Yeah. And I think, um, a lot of people try to do this by themselves. But when they have a coach by their side, it can make the process so much quicker. Right?
Vicki Maguire: 15:25
I think so. And I think also it’s about that level of accountability because one of the things I realized when I was coached is that, I tried doing it on my own and I tried to have the list and I tried to set the goals and I looked at all the different areas of my life and how they all came together and yeah, well I wanted to do, and then after a while I looked at the lists and thought, yeah, I didn’t really do any of those things, did I wanted to do it, but I never really got round to it.
And I think everybody needs to have a coach. It should be something that, that we aim for as a society because having that person there who you, you can talk to. Helps you work things out as well. Someone you can help you work out what those. Because sometimes, it sounds quite simple, doesn’t it? Say what the three things are that are causing your blockages and stopping ya and work out what the three things are that you want to do. But, it’s not always that easy. And having someone to question really in a really probing and intelligent way to try and draw that out of you, cause everybody’s got, everybody knows what they need to do, don’t they? It just, it’s just about finding, helping them to find it and work out and discover it. And I found that with my own coach that she really helped me to pin down exactly what it was I needed to do. Put some time scales on it and say, right, okay, break it down into those things, put some timescales on. And then when it came back to her, it made me accountable because I had somebody not, not in a draconian way of someone saying, have ya done those things. But just knowing that there was someone who was going to say to me, did you do those things? And then even if you haven’t done those things, working out why you didn’t. And then maybe you have to take a step backwards and start looking at what were the reasons why you didn’t do it and where are the blockages coming from there? Freeing that up so that you do get the opportunity to do it. So having a coach myself made me realize that level of someone being able to draw that out of you and then making you accountable for it is just so enlightening and really helps you to move forward.
Martin Rodgers: 17:40
It’s incredible how simply sounds but how complex it is in reality. Coaching I think. Um, is it whether is product or service. I don’t think I’ve ever met somebody who’s experienced coaching who then doesn’t go shouting from the hilltops about how great coaching is as a proactive measure to move stuff forward. Um, so I often get asked, you know, what’s the difference kind of between counselling and coaching. And I talk about coaching being very much the proactive future looking perspective and counselling can be there to help me over a crisis and the here and now and potentially working through the past, et cetera. So, yeah, I think that’s really important what you talked about that in terms of accountability. So tell us, you’ve shared some amazing value there with people about how they can start a journey of really prioritizing getting more done or achieving actual outcomes as opposed to getting lots of little things done and really not achieving any outcome at all. Um, tell us a little bit about your business and how, what is it that you offer particular to people? You mentioned about the wonderwomen, superwoman at the beginning. Um, how can people get in touch with you? What’s it like to work with good yourself?
Vicki Maguire: 18:41
So I have my website, which is www dot Victoria McGuire coaching.com so people can have a look what I do, I think one of the things that I bring is, is, is my own experience of getting to that point where I was completely lost and I, and I totally understand that. I, I was, I was trying to be everything to everybody. I wanted to be the best assistant head teacher and then deputy head teacher. I wanted to be the best Mum. I want it to do all that while I was eating a healthy diet, going to the gym all the time, staying super, you know, stay super thin and toned and everything and eventually I, I got to the point where I’d burned out I, I, I got to total burnout and I had to actually reassess everything, find out what my purpose was and really try to turn my life around. I mean it ended up with, I ended up em going through a divorce and separated from my husband and my life has changed completely. So in terms of what I can offer people, I think I offer that understanding of where people are and what I want to do is make sure that people don’t make the same mistakes that I did and get to the point that I did. I want to work with them to make sure that they’re able to put strategies. Like you said, it’s not like counselling, it’s doing to help them too. Sounds counter intuitive, doesn’t it? To help people do things to prevent themselves from getting somewhere. But yeah, it’s like. It’s like you saying I, I help people to work out what’s important, which are the important bits that you need to do because I was trying to do everything and ended up with overwhelm where it got too much. So my own experience of that is, specifically what I bring and just my passion for helping women who have, I think it’s women generally in that probably in their forties and fifties. Who were brought up in a time of, I wouldn’t like to say that feminism is the reason for this because I am a, you know, I’m a total feminist. But, feminism has made us think that we have to be all things and that and that it’s possible to be in do all those things. and it is possible. but, a lot of women are going around about it the wrong way and trying to do everything. So I offer that unique perspective in that I’ve been there and I can help you work out exactly what it is to get you to the point you want it to be.
Martin Rodgers: 21:38
Yeah. Fab sounds amazing. Um, and are you able to share kind of what happened that was the breaking point that made you actually stop and go, I need to do something about this? Cause it may be somebody out there that’s kind of listening. Am I at that point yet? What do I, how do I know? How do I recognize that point?
Vicki Maguire 22:00
Yeah. I think I’d just become very unhappy. I was, I was really miserable and I felt like life was just a drudge. I felt like nothing was bringing me. And I talk a lot about contentment and I, I know it wasn’t content. I was very unhappy and I couldn’t, I really couldn’t put my finger on what it was. And I thought, I thought that it was my job. So, I changed my job, and, for a while. So it seemed to paper over the cracks in, it seemed to, it seemed to make things better for a while. Mmm. But then after, after a while, I started to feel the same feelings of unhappiness and discontent. And then I realized that my relationship at become, because of the unhappiness that I felt, I realized that my relationship was damaged beyond repair by that point as well. That’s where I want to stop people getting to that point to where everything in your life ends up falling down and collapsing around your ears. Because being, I think being unhappy, my relationship had made me feel unhappy at work and it’s a bit like the chicken and the egg. I don’t know which you asked me to pinpoint it. I don’t know which came first because by the point that I realized it, I was just unhappy and then I, I had to confront that with my husband. It led to us separating and obviously it’s led to me going to the, towards the changing career towards the coaching because I, because I do want to help people from getting to that point where, everything’s too much and then it takes a lot to fix it and some of the things are just not fixable anymore.
Martin Rodgers: 23:47
Yeah. So you literally, like you say the house had kind of almost been knocked down. Had to rebuild it. It was beyond repair by that point. But what you’re saying is looking back in hindsight, there was potentially a point where the house was repairable.
Vicki Maguire: 24:02
Yeah. You see that’s such a good analogy because I’ve had to build the house back up from the foundations. Whereas if I’d taken more care to probably paint around the windows or you know, do, do some pointing with the cement in the cracks between the, it wouldn’t of all come down around my ears. It’s a great analogy that yeah, you need to take care of the small things. And then the big things actually look after themselves, don’t they? And the thing with life coaching, it’s identifying which of the windows that just need touching up, where’s the paint that needs touching, which is a window that needs replacing. You know, it’s those it’s, it’s identifying those things and fixing them so that you don’t ever reach that point where everything comes down around you, Yeah.